The birdbaths in the background are dedicated to my grandfather and great-grandfather.
We were so lucky and grateful to be able to impose on our good friends, Cathy and Aaron, and their beautiful son, Chase, for two days of room and board, and my Aunt Chook and Uncle Ron for the other two.
We managed to get to the Halifax Public Gardens (which was designed by my great-grandfather, dontcha know) the first afternoon we were there. It was a windy walk there, but we had a good 40 minutes or so to stroll through the starting-to-burgeon grounds, chase some birds, get told to stop chasing the birds by a guy in a golf cart, and drink a nice cuppa before the skies opened up and we were absolutely drenched in a raining-sideways-so-you-can't-even-see way. We dashed/squelched about halfway back (all three kids were in strollers, so they were fine), then the weemen and children took shelter while the menfolk ran the rest of the way home and returned with their respective Subarus.
We had a nice dinner with a wee bit** too much wine, and got to bed late, but able to join my Aunt Mary Jean for a Cora's breakfast the next morning. We met up with Lisa and MISTER MADER! for dinner, and Aaron and Cathy were gracious to invite them back to continue the shenanigans, after a crazy tubtime with Chase, Vaughn and Ailsa. Poor Chase did not get the relaxing bath he was expecting... I think it was probably the loudest, most exciting bath of his life, in fact!
Move over, Schroeder.
Saturday morning, we headed over to my grandmother's new place for a nice little visit, and somehow, it was still standing after the Vaughnster's explorations! We then took a lovely walk in the sunshine (FINALLY) to a playground, where we met up with Aaron's little brother and his family, and Amy and her family too!
After we packed up and gave effusive thanks to Chase for his hosting-with-the-mosting, we headed out to Prospect to begin phase two of our vacation: Karen's family. (dun dun dun) Chris, of course, was all aflutter with anticipation, as he gets.
It was just as lovely - a warm welcome from Aunt Chook and Uncle Ron, a good dinner (Vaughn finally got the pork chops that he'd been asking for, for months!), and a nice bit of catching up with Aunt Mary.
Sunday was cool, but we took Vaughn for a walk down to the lake, then to peek over the hill at the A-frame (when we win millions, it will be mine, all mine!), before the cold wind raced us back.
The influx of family started around 3, and soon the house was full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins' kids, which was amazing - Vaughn was so proud to be able to play in the basement with the big kids, and without Mommy and Daddy (he sent us back upstairs) - it was so wonderful to catch up with everyone. A delicious potluck followed, and before we knew it, the kids were in bed, and we were packing up to leave the next morning.
It was a whirlwind, and I can't believe we actually saw almost everyone we had planned to see. I also can't believe how well-behaved our children are when they're not at home.
*depends on the day, natch.
** wee bit, in this case, is defined as "more than 4 bottles, causing one to be too hungover to drag oneself out of bed in time for the Royal Wedding".