Hi folks. Well, although summer is traditionally a time of relaxing and getting outside to have some fun, it’s also a time that some people prepare to embark on the next stage of their careers and / or lives. One group of such people that are close to me are my sister, my brother-in-law, and my cute little niece. You see, they’ve just gotten themselves packed up and ready to move away to Riyadh for at least the next two years on a foreign service posting! In spite of the fact that I’ve been training like a madman, and very much self-absorbed, they’ve been very much on my mind, as this is a big move, and means that I won’t get to see Helena entering the terrible twos. I’m going to lose valuable time in my plot to turn her into a little hell-raiser! Oh well, I’ll just have to count on Patrick to do that for me I guess. Anyway, this post is really just to say Bon Voyage, Good Luck, and Thanks for everything to these important members of my Ottawa family. Read on if you’re interested. Also, you can check out some of the pictures of the last few days of their time in Ottawa.
Not only were Andrea and Patrick really being pressured to get all of their affairs in order before their departure, but it was also Andrea’s birthday right in the middle of all this. As you might imagine, they really didn’t have a whole lot of time to organize lavish parties, but they did manage to have a nice little going-away BBQ. Jody and I had offered to host it at our place, since they were in the midst of packing, and trying to rent their house as well. I felt it was the least I could do for them. So on a beautiful summer day (in spite of threats of rain), we hosted a gathering of some of their friends in our yard. It was a great little party, and although I was a bit grumpy due to training, we still had a great time. The belle of the ball as usual was the cute Helena, who was showing off her ability to run around now.
Patrick showed up a little earlier, and left Helena with us for about 20 minutes while he was running an errand. I swear that the last time we had hung out with Helena, she was barely walking, but this time, she was really hard to keep up with. I had just gotten back from a 32km run, and wasn’t in good shape to be chasing a 1.5 year old around our non-baby-proofed house 😉 I was really blown away by her progress. She’s going to be up to no good in very short order I would guess. Let’s hope Andrea and Patrick are ready for that time!
The Hill-Meyers provided ample amounts of food for the little party, and everyone there had a chance to stuff themselves with burgers, sausages, snacks,veggies , etc. etc. Not to mention plenty of drinks for everyone. Another thing about moving to Saudi Arabia is that it is a dry country, so Andrea and Patrick wouldn’t be going overseas with their alcohol collection. As a result, they decided to offload some of it at our house. Made sense, since I have that fancy bar in the basement. It’s just too bad I haven’t been drinking too much lately, isn’t it? Oh well, at least now I’ve got a few more bottles of fancy Scotch 🙂
The week after the party was spent with each of our families doing our own thing, and before we realized the time was upon us, it was the last weekend they’d be in Ottawa! Not only that, but we’d just passed by Andrea’s birthday as well. We couldn’t just let that go now, could we? Patrick’s parents were in town for the last weekend, and Andrea and Patrick had temporarily moved to the Minto Suites hotel for the final couple days. We decided that we should get together one last time before their flights on Monday, to have a nice meal, and celebrate Andrea’s big day. O suggested that we go to the Southern Cross, as I figured finding Mexican food in Riyadh might be a touch complicated. Not only that, but you certainly wouldn’t be able to avail yourself of any Margaritas!
The meal was a lot of fun, and Andrea even got a deep fried ice cream treat for dessert. Delicious. By this point, I think the two of them realized the size of the move they were undertaking, so they definitely needed to unwind a little bit once more before embarking on this crazy next journey! Although I don’t always tell her, I hope Andrea realizes how much I liked having her in the same city as me. Granted, we didn’t get together all the time, but if we wanted to, the option was always there. The next few years that won’t be possible, so I know that we’ll miss those spontaneous visits. I’m also going to miss watching Helena get bigger and bigger until she’s running the house, which I’m sure will be happening soon.
I wish the Hill-Meyers all the best on their posting, and am looking forward to hearing about it, and seeing some pictures. I’m hoping I’ll get the opportunity to visit while they’re over there, but I’m sure that won’t be happening until well into the second year, just from a timing perspective, and the fact that I’ll be doing my own big trip this winter. Take care you guys, and keep in touch, remember, we’re just a phone call and an email away 🙂