For those of you who haven't been paying close attention, swimming ranks pretty high up there as one of E's absolutely favourite things to do, ever. She has not once declined to swim when given the chance. She has declined movie watching, chocolate milkshakes and receiving presents, but not once the chance to get wet and splash around. For this reason, we were dedicated to spending as much of this 4-day vacation blitz in the water, even on rainy days.
Enter: J's awesome friend Max. Max lives in Ottawa, but has absconded to Toronto for the next few months in order to be close to his bride-to-be as they prepare to wed in October. Admirable. Even more admirable - in my opinion - is the fact that he made a point to stop by Casa Cowfam on his way out of town to drop off a set of keys and carte blanche to the indoor swimming pool in his building for the summer. In exchange for…housesitting? Mail collection? Plant watering? Parking space saving? None of the above. Nothing, in fact. Unless you count the cooler bag we loaned him so that he could safely carry his casserole on the road. That makes us even, right? Max is awesome.
Sunday morning brought the promise of violent thundershowers, and so off we went to Max's place for front row seats to Mother Nature's performance from the comfort of a heated pool and a wall of windows. E perfected her jumps from the pool edge and from dada's shoulders, and even tried out her doggie paddle without any floatie assistance whatsoever. That bit was short-lived. In fact, she was so adept in the water that at one point mom and dad could be found performing complex cheerleading stunts while E paddled around, practicing a healthy disdain for her embarrassing parents.
Post-naptime, for the second night in a row, we were treated to a free dinner - this time by a colleague of J's who lives "in the country" (read: new subdivision in what used to be the country). I had a feeling that they were our kind of people when I walked in to find a kitchen island laden with delicious cheeses and strawberries. I was pretty confident when they asked "Is filet mignon okay?", and the deal was sealed when Julie and I spent a half hour after dinner googling our favourite actors while the boys plowed through Chris' stash of Mott's Caesars. Where was our daughter in all of this? Oh, she was being entertained by the world's greatest 8-year-old, who I tried desperately to adopt…without success. After pilfering vegetables from their backyard garden and stretching E's bedtime resistance to 10pm, we reluctantly piled back in the car for the drive home.