Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Cowfam Visit-stravaganza

Ready for another exhilarating play-by-play of another exhausting adventure? Me too. And you know what's great about the recap? It can be enjoyed with a glass of wine, and if it gets to be too much you can just walk away from it for a while, and pick it back up when your mental fortitude has been restored. Unlike the real thing.

Let's jump in, shall we?

Day One

The Drive: Ottawa to Scarberia Scarborough
The Targets: Walker and Walker's Lady

Synopsis: I'll be honest. Two of us were very excited leading into this latest adventure. Driving, visiting, playing, getting clothes dirty and not having to wash them, eating food but not having to go grocery shopping...there was a lot to look forward to. I'll leave you to guess about the identity of the Negative Nancy of the group. Apparently some people consider being trapped in a moving vehicle for a combined total of 18 hours of a 6 day vacation doesn't sound appealing. *shrug*

So, after breaking E out of her last day of school early and forcing J to pack instead of sleep after a 24 hour shift, we piled into the car and our vacation was underway! We showed up at Walker's house just in time for dinner...or so we thought. It turns out that not every person on the face of the earth went and had babies when we did, and some of those people still eat dinner at 8:00...or 9:30. We tried to keep E hanging on, but at 8:30, with a stomach full of olives and pretzels, we had to pull the plug, despite the absolutely divine table that had been set with an antique high chair and Peter Rabbit china circa 1975. It's too bad, because she would have loved the crab-stuffed salmon and Cinabons. Once we did away with the short one, things took on a much more laid back pace. Remember lingering over dinner, grazing on appetizers and sitting at the table long enough to start eating again? It's nice.

Day Two-Day Four

The Drive: Scarborough to London to Sarnia
The Targets: Desmond and his parents, The Shaggy Nicols, Zoey and her parents

Synopsis: At the crack of 9:15am, we bid adieu to our sleepy hosts and flitted off to London for a lunch date. E and Desmond reunited for their long awaited second date, and the grown-ups enjoyed a Lebanese feast while relaxing in a perfectly manicured backyard. After lunch, a nap and a stroll through our old stomping grounds, we were off again.

From now on, I will refer to our digs in Sarnia as our "summer home". Because it's our new summer home. B&J (I'm only now for the first time in our relationship realizing that your initials are BJ...giggle), until we buy that $180K beachfront property, you might want to keep our basement love nest on stand-by. It turns out that I love Sarnia. Now I am aware that this affection most definitely has as much to do with the DeWagners as the bridge fries and the five minute drive to the beach, but those DeWagners have a very handy habit of making any place they happen to be a very cool place. Now, granted, Brooklyn was already cool before they got there...but they fit in like drunks on a subway. And Zoey? Well, Zoey is every bit as cool as her name implies. She and E are a week apart in age, a foot apart in height and have so much in common that they can't help but be friends. That's not to say that sometimes they didn't get VERY FRUSTRATED with one another, but have you ever spent three intensive days with someone who is exactly like you? It can get a little frustrating. Especially when you're 3. But when you take a look at the breathtaking shots that Zoey's mama took (when I get around to uploading them tomorrow, I swear) I think you'll see a bond that can survive a heated discussion over good dinosaurs vs. bad dinosaurs. Zoey's mama takes a mean picture, I tell you what.

C-Fam visit

C-Fam visit

C-Fam visit

We went to the beach, we went to the museum, we ate our dinners on the deck and went to bed way too late, we started our mornings slowly and didn't really speed up at any point. Ralph got more exercise chasing a ball in those three days than he had during his entire time in Brooklyn. Even our reluctant member was found snickering over beers and lost among the rocks collecting fossils. It was a moment of stillness in a ridiculously paced vacation from a ridiculously paced life.

Day Five (Happy 8th Anniversary to Us!)

The Drive: Sarnia to London to Milton
The Targets: Trish & Co., The Wilsons

While we weren't quite ready to leave the summer home on Tuesday morning, we were excited to head back to London to take a look at our rental property. It had been a couple of years since we had been inside, and five years since we had lived there ourselves. As we walked into our old apartment it occurred to us - what a great way to spend our anniversary! J and I met in London, we bought our first house together, adopted Ralph and got married in London. There are lots of memories there. After the tour we went to lunch at our old diner just outside of the university gates, drove through campus and showed E where we first met and where we used to study together. Then we swung by Trish's house to meet her newest additions - 8 month old twinsies! After a quick visit, we were off to Milton.

J & I met Mr. Wilson on our very first day of university - the very first day we met each other. His lovely wife, Mrs. Wilson, was one of my frosh when I was an orientation leader. These two are very much a part of our history. Their daughter, Reese's Pieces, is just a few months younger than E. Youngest daughter, Miracle Baby, is 7 months of squishy cuteness. We shared a celebratory bottle of wine, then the boys switched to the hard stuff. We watched bad reality TV, we reminisced about the old days, and the girls called it quits early while the boys yammered into the wee hours.

Day Six

The Drive: Milton to Toronto to Kingston to Ottawa
The Targets: Papa Mike and Uncle Tim, Papa Ger and Gramma Barby, Tempurpedic Bed

At the crack of 10:15am we bid adieu to the parents-of-two who had been up for hours and headed into the city. First stop - J's parents house, which continues (14 months on) to be a full-on construction site, although it is taking shape nicely. They hope to be able to move back in in the next month or so, and it will be a beautiful place to move into. We managed to prevent E from falling down the open, un-railed staircase, dismembering herself on random saw blades strewn about the place, tripping/electricuting herself on various dangling wires and falling off the edge of the third floor un-railed rooftop patio before deciding that perhaps she might be better to suited to the park down the street. After wowing us with her monkey bar prowess, we ventured into Chinatown for some dim sum before continuing on towards Kingston. Once there we fed and systematically unloaded our progeny onto enthusiastic grandparents and high-tailed it to Ottawa before anyone changed their minds.

Then we got into bed. And prayed that nothing would ever transpire that would require us to leave it ever again.

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