Friday, June 30, 2017

Family Reunion in Calgary

We arrived in Calgary! The whole family is here, with the exception of granddaughter Alina. This was our ever-changing itinerary.

The Airbnb house we rented and shared with Jeff and Nadine and the boys was perfect. It had a room for everyone and a spare, and a nice backyard for the kids to run around in. Getting ready for Canada Day celebrations!

So cute...we arrived after Jeff and Nadine and found this sign pointing to our bedroom. I guess age won on this one...we had the lovely bedroom on the main floor. Dominic was quick to give us a house tour and show us the fireplace in our bedroom.

Warning! Get ready for a blog full of family photos! Dominic with Sawyer, who just turned 2 in June. Such a change since we saw him last year.

Cousins! Smile...

And then this is more like it!

Sawyer and I checking out the back yard and the street beyond the fence. The swing was well used.

Sawyer became quite adept at opening most doors, including the front door onto the street. This one was more of a challenge.

Damian getting pinned by Sawyer...they both loved it.

A visitor, who over the course of the week, managed to clear the lawn of most of the clover.

The next day, it was off to Midtown Kitchen where Patrick and Krysten's brewery would be doing a tap takeover. We were pretty excited to be there when it happened. They started their brewery about 8 months ago and I think it has been more successful than they could have hoped for.


Outcast Brewing...love the name they chose and the logo.


Look who has joined us! Joanne arrived from Edmonton to stay with us for a few days. So happy to see her and so glad she could join in the family reunion. Siblings...

Four Outcast beer on tap...pretty exciting to see!


A reservation for 20...the whole family was on board.

Jeff, Damian and Dominic...

Our grandson, Nicholas, with his girlfriend, Courtney...

Grandson, Erik, with his other Grandma, Ilona...

Patrick and Krysten talking to the owners of Cold Garden Beverage where they have been fortunate to have space to brew their beer.

Nadine and Stephanie with Jeff and the boys...

Joanne and I...

and Jim...

Daughter, Jennifer with hubby, Doug...

Proud owners...

Patrick with his dad and brother...

Jeff after he got his bill...yup, you've got a 10 year old and an 8 year who have adult appetites. It was an expensive night!

Krysten mentioned that a Cat Cafe had just opened up across the street. Say what? Cat lovers were immediately on board!

Now that's a happy face...

People on the street peeking in while Damian peeks out and pets a cat...

You can feel right at home...

They allow about 10 people in at a time with a worker to make sure you obey the rules. You aren't allowed to pick the cats up, but you can pet and play with them to your heart's content. Dominic getting some pets in...

The boys have really grown to love cats...

This guy, who looked just like our Pepper, took a liking to Damian's hat...


The cats have some high places to escape to or they can completely leave the area if the human interaction is too much for them.

This guy decided he would just observe from the area where he couldn't be handled...

On the other side of the glass is the cafe area where you can purchase coffee and sweets or cat-themed items with the proceeds going to the Meow Foundation, a group that rescues cats for adoption.

It was a great day! Tomorrow it's Canada Day with a family BBQ and celebration!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Summer of Reunions!

A familiar sight to start off the blog...once again we're on our way to Toronto. Initially we were going to fly from Fredericton to Calgary for our family reunion, but a chance to meet up with some old friends in Montreal and in Ontario changed our plans. The beautiful St. John River...

And the mighty St. Lawrence River...

This gorgeous Canada flag was flying in the breeze...it's close to July 1 when many towns and cities will be celebrating Canada's 150th birthday.

The farms along the St. Lawrence...

And arriving at our hotel for the night in Drummondville, Quebec...what is that arc across the windshield?

Apparently when we stopped for gas and I cleaned the windshield, I didn't put the wiper down properly. I'm really not sure how that happened as I think I've cleaned a few windshields over the years. However, in the midst of a heavy downpour, the windshield wiper flew off, and we were left with a screech, screech sound as the arm ground across the windshield. Luckily, we arrived in Drummondville early enough to get to Canadian Tire and get a new one. Also luckily, it was on the passenger side!

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Here we are in Boisbriand at the home of Jack and Catheline. Jim and Jack worked together many years ago and we hadn't seen them in about 20 years. It was so nice to visit! There were a lot of stories that started with "What was that guy's name?" and a lot of laughter. Catheline prepared the most delicious lunch...homemade roasted red pepper soup with bread and crackers (which would have been enough of a lunch on its own), followed by stuffed pasta shells, salad, dessert and fruit. Oy...we almost needed a nap after that. So nice to catch up...

We left there and headed into Ontario and our destination of Iroquois...

Here we were going to meet up with five of Jim's high school buddies. They hadn't been together as a group since 1998. Recently a close friend had passed away and that made them realize they shouldn't wait too much longer for a get together.

Doran Bay Resort in Iroquois has several cabins and we chose it for the little reunion...

Beautiful view, but that sky looked quite ominous...


Everyone pretty much arrived at the same time and out came the high school yearbooks and the memories and stories.

Bill is quite musical and has taken up the chanter. He said for every day you don't practice, it sets you back a number of days and he had a lesson coming up when they got home.

The expression on Louise's face and Bill's wife, Christie, might indicate their dismay at his playing, but in fact it was only due to the fact that it was really, really loud!

After this, Bill declared his playing terrible. We thought it was pretty darn good.

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Jim and John reliving some high school memories...

I would have to say thank heavens for this little meeting place where we spent a lot of time. None of our cabins were big enough to accommodate everyone and it poured rain. This was a great spot to gather and we all brought our meals here to eat. It was super.

Good friends getting ready to recreate a photo...

Same group in 1998...

Nothing like old friends, still good friends after 60 years...

And the wives who had a great time, although half the time we had no idea who they were talking about...

With a promise to not let the next reunion wait so many years, we were off to Toronto and our flight to Calgary.