As I sit here watching the Olympics on TV the last six weeks feel like a blur. It all started with that fifty plus hour journey to arrive. It's seems so long ago!
Even though we were tired, we had a reason to be extra excited about our trip to Canada this year. For the first time in our lives we bought a place. It's a little seasonal summer cottage with just two bedrooms, but a perfect place to hang our hat when we come north. As I watched the kids grow bigger, year after year, I realized that spending the summer in guest rooms was becoming increasingly difficult. Fourteen years after leaving Canada it was time to have our own pad.
I managed to hit the ground running, leaving the kids with grandparents for four days to go and literally 'play house'. With Canadian efficiency and no kids I could move like wildfire. It was shocking how fast I was able to take a place that was an empty shell and turn it into a home. It was joyful to shop, to meet local business owners and to create something wonderful. It's not very often in life that we get to furnish an entire home at once. I loved every minute of it.
The next five weeks are a blur. We spent a ton of time with family and friends including ten days north of Muskoka at The Force's long-time family cottage. I saw a bear! Ok it was only two years old and at the dump. But I saw a bear! I have to admit that my solitary morning walks slowed down afterward. I want to be tough enough to brave the bears, but let's be honest . . . I'm not.
Beyond the bears, we have done it all . . . campfires (before the fire ban), tubing, baking in the sauna and then jumping into the lake (scream!), making s'mores, eating lots of good food and visiting with just about everyone. We spent time with grandma's, grandpa's, aunties, uncles and cousins. There were even several family dogs thrown in for good measure. The kids were in heaven.
Our good friends Magnolia and Lone Star wonderfully made the trip to Canada from Texas to hang with us for a week. It was so great to reconnect and we loved watching the kids pick up so naturally with each other, a year later. They played and played and played. In the last year their family has had some huge news, a new baby. She is a bouncing baby girl both gorgeous and sweet. She's such a doll. I loved getting some bonding time with this adorable four-month-old. Congrats you guys! She's amazing.
We've been busy right to the end. The last week after The Force returned home I've been juggling family time with finalizing our place, picking up supplies, packing and attending some final appointments. I think we managed to do it all. Or at least as much as we could.
From the beginning I wanted to make sure that we had some time downtime. We planned to finish everything the day before our last day. So that today, our last day, we could go to the beach just the three of us.
We went to the Sandbanks in Prince Edward County, a childhood favourite of mine. These white sand beaches (the largest freshwater dunes in the world) would look far more at home in the Caribbean than they do in Canada. I took them for granted as a kid, but grew to appreciate how lucky we were as I grew older and travelled around the world.
On the way to the beach we passed beautiful rural landscapes and farmer's fields. It's pastoral. Everything is exactly the same as I remember. It's still gorgeous. The kids and I camped under the trees in the shade and took it all in. They built sand castles and buried each other. I closed my eyes in the breeze. We swam in the shallow waters with gentle waves. The Glamourous Girl referred to the water as the ocean but I didn't bother to correct her. I know it's Lake Ontario but it does feel like the ocean.
And now it's all done. The bags are packed, the frig is clean and the laundry is done. Tomorrow we head to the airport.
It's time to head home . . . to The Force, to Yoda the cat, to school and to a life in Buenos Aires. We're ready.