Thursday, August 20, 2015

more summer vacation moments

Back to New Brunswick for some more vacation memories with my husband's family. We arrived in time to celebrate Laura's birthday with my in-laws which was very fun for Laura. My mother-in-law did everything from the cupcakes to the birthday dinner and it was lovely.

Shane's family takes croquet to almost the professional level. The competition is fierce, and the game is set up where ever the families congregate for summer holidays. My kids make valiant attempts to participate, but the grown-ups are really the ones who take it seriously, if you call trash-talking and knocking their opponents' ball into the most inconvenient places serious. If you hang around for even a few minutes, you will soon hear someone mention some version of a long-standing family joke of  "How about some croquet under the lights?" And then at any moment, they will be trudging off to claim their mallets and other fortifying weapons.

You are looking at the mountain I climbed in order to be surprised by a marriage proposal and ring presentation way back on a chilly November day.  We were visiting my future in-laws during American Thanksgiving while we were both still working in the States. I had no idea that he had plans to propose during this trip, the surprise was genuine. Immediately after slipping the ring on my unmittened hand, he urged me to put my mitten back on so that the ring had no chance of slipping off.
The views from the mountain and the main roads are still amazing. 

Our next stop was to spend the weekend with our long-time friends and their family. They have acquired a gorgeous spacious house which gives us all plenty of space to be their together without making our collective eight children be in the same room all the time. They have beautiful professionally landscaped areas around their home and then untamed areas in the woods behind their home. This deer wandered in one day checking out the fort no doubt as a possible meeting place for her newly formed Doe-Ray-Me Music Club. She found plenty to nibble on without any sense of urgency as she must have been contemplating her back-to-school plans.
We had a great time together and ended the last night with a magic show from primarily their oldest who has been learning card tricks since Christmas time and is truly very talented. It was wonderful to renew the friendship and relive some of our memories through much laughter and hilariousness.

Leaving our friends, we headed to some rural cottages to meet up with Shane's family. All four brothers and their families and his parents meet up every other summer to spend a week together. It was a beautiful site and a good place to be able to explore other surrounding beaches and rivers. Most of them spent one morning doing a canoe trip, while I stayed back and enjoyed an early and leisurely lunch by myself as my mother-in-law took Kate on some errands into town. That was an unexpected gift of alone time and I savored the quiet in my reading spot.

I do have quite a bit more vacations photos if you can stand it. I'm sure only the dedicated are still with me, but I'll take those five readers any day.  Oh, and the heat wave has subsided and it has been breezy and comfortable again. And I'm hatching plans for the school year. It's a good feeling.

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