Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Weekend

Our family ... top row ... Char, Kelly, Brooklyn, MA, Shaun, Emmy, Cody, Allayne, Dennis, Rich, Tania, Taylour
bottom row ... Ryenn, Parker, Zachary, Jake, Avory and Madison

Busy, busy weekend. Shopped all day Thursday for our family weekend, then I headed off to Shaun's to spend the night and watch the girls on Friday. We did our usual, off to the park for an hour or so, and then fun stuff at home until Shaun got home from work. Back to Kelly's to prepare my stuff for Saturday, to find that Kelly (love her!) had already made up my brownie mixes! Really, such a little thing made a huge difference in my work that night!

Arranged for the bounce house with the slide again through Wacky Zone for our family weekend. It was supposed to be a pirate house, but they double booked and we ended up with a bigger bounce house with basketball hoops and punch bags for the same price. This time, everyone was able to make it, except for poor Chris, who has too few weekends off and is still trying to put up siding on the house. Dennis' friend, Jerry (his brother's friend from childhood) was able to make it, with his daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Dante, and their daughter and son. I'm terrible, I forget their names, but they were adorable. Amy's daughter was 6, as were our Avory and Mady, so the girls had a great time comparing notes and having fun. Nine grandkids stayed over, along with Parker's friend, Liam (Jake went home with MA). I suppose we could have done more with them the next day, but we were just too exhausted! The kids did get to play in the bounce house again, since they didn't pick it up till around 2 in the afternoon. Dennis took Cody and Zach out to get White Castle, and brought some back for Kelly and Taylour. Charlie was smart enough to head out at 7 in the morning to go golfing.

Grandpa with Avory, Ryenn and Emmy ... Char, Kelly, MA, Taylour, Tania and Rich. ... Amy in charge of lunch with the little ones

Uncle Rich and Emmy ...Taylour, Tania, Cody, Rich and Maddy ... Shaun with Ryenn, Emmy and Avory

Ma, Zach and Jake ... Char and Apollo ... Kelly and Brooklyn

It's so great to have everyone together!!!!

Where has the time gone? Dennis had hoped to take Cody and Zach out to the gun range for some shooting, but just ran out of time. Took Taylour, Cody and Maddy home to Windsor on Monday; haircuts, last minute shopping and packing Tuesday; dropped off the rental car Wednesday, and Kelly took us out to the airport hotel; back to Panama Thursday.

Where did those five weeks go?

Monday, September 13, 2010

At Home In Michigan

While we were back home, drove over to Windsor one Sunday to take Taylour, Cody and Madison out for lunch. Went to our favorite, Swiss Chalet, and then Baskin Robbins for dessert. Dropped the kids off and had time to kill, so decided to drive down to Lakeside Marina and see if Paul and Mary on Winpipe were in the area. We thought they were members of the Yacht Club, so stopped in there first. Then checked out Lakeside Marina, and who was walking by, in full Scottish uniform, but Paul and Mary. He's a world class piper, and had been piping for an anniversary ... how unbelievable that they'd be walking by when we drove up! We had a drink at the restaurant while they went home and changed, and then had dinner aboard Winpipe and enjoyed a fantastic evening!

Paul and Mary, thanks for a great evening!!!

Grand Canadian Tour

Had a wonderful two weeks staying with either Kelly and Char or at Shaun's, and then decided to give them a break from us and visit our Canadian friends for a week.

Headed up to Brockville, Ontario, in the Thousand Islands, to visit with John and Brigitte. As always, tons of fun. The scary looking mermaid is Brigitte's new puppet! Got up, walked around town and then took a car trip, crossing over the Thousand Island Bridge to New York State; then drove down to Clayton, doing tourist stuff and taking two ferries back over to Kingston where we had dinner and ice cream before heading back home. The next day we got up and headed down to Mystic, their 35' Niagara. Just a short little motor to their yacht club's island, where Brigitte made lunch, we went exploring, played a mean game of Mexican Train dominoes, and then ate a fantastic dinner. Motored back to their berth, put Mystic to bed, and then ourselves!

Up the next day and after breakfast went over to see Brigitte's dad's beer stein and photo collection. What a wonderful 83 year old! Then, on the road again, heading to Toronto to visit with Mark and Deb (Sea Cycle) at their condo in Toronto.

Amazingly, hit no traffic and we were there in no time. Thought about going out, but just hung out, with a little wine, and caught up. What a view from the 49th floor down by the Lake!! Spent the next day on a walking tour and stopping by the Rustic Cosmo Cafe - Deb's cafe, now run by their daughter Nicole. Okay, if you're in Toronto, you need to stop by this place. Neat looking place in the artist district, and the food is amazing!! (They're on Facebook) That night we had a great time -- dinner at Mark and Deb's, and visiting with old cruising friends Cliff and Deb from Watermark, who actually live down the hall! Haven't seen them in about four years, so there was lots of catching up to do. A very, very late night! The next day Mark took Dennis on another walking tour of Toronto while Deb and I went shopping. I think Dennis actually likes Toronto now!

Time to travel again. Left Toronto and headed over to Lake Huron, where our friends Sue and Dan have a beautiful home. We were there about four years ago when it was still being built, and now we were able to see the finished result. All we both can say is -- WOW! They did a fantastic job. Dan had a second knee replacement two months ago, so we went on a short hike, which he was able to manage, and then had lunch in Tobermory. That little town sure has changed since Dennis and I were last there. Eeek ... Sue and Dan actually went in the lake for a swim. Dennis stood on the shore wrapped in a towel, waiting to go into the hot tub.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, so we said goodbye to Sue and Dan and headed back to Michigan. Took the scenic route all the way, including catching the ferry from the Canadian side over to Marine City in Michigan. That was so much better than waiting for an hour on the Sarnia/Port Huron bridge!

Back to Shaun's first, where we were welcomed with little girl hugs and kisses!! ~~~_/)~~~Posted by Picasa