Spending Time with Family

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Howdy all you friendly people out there in the world wide world. Hope everyone is doing well, and that you’re not missing me too much. I realize that I must sound like a broken record, but once again, I’ll apologize for my lack of blogging of late. Getting back to domestic life takes a lot out of a person you know? Also, after spending my entire days at work on a computer, I must admit that I don’t much feel like firing up the ole PC to write when I haven’t been doing very much. Lucky for you, I’ve got a few stories to share with you. So many in fact, that I’ll spread them out over two posts. This one will be all about my mini family reunion that took place last week. Yup, Andrea, Patrick and Helena were over from Saudi Arabia, and by dad and his wife Nicole made the trip up from Nova Scotia. Read on for more details, and check out some relevant pictures!

It was great to see the gang once again. Seeing as we are seperated by relatively large distances, we don’t get to see each other enough over the course of a year, and this was the first time we’d had a chance to see our little niece since they left last year in August. Helena has grown quite a lot in that time, and has really started to become an interesting little person. I’m looking forward to the day when they’ll all be back living in Ottawa, so that we can play with her and watch her change into a little brat 😉 So what was the reason that they made the extra-long journey from desert land to snow land? Well, I think they just needed a break from the day to day grind of living in a more restrictive environment. Well, that and the fact that they do get a few trips out of the country granted each year as a result of being on what is called a ‘hardship posting’. Either way, they looked to be in great spirits, and happy to reconnect with both family and friends, even though they only spent a little over a week in Canada. They started the trip by going to Switzerland for a few days, then stopping in Ottawa for a few days, and finally capping off the whirlwind trip by visiting Toronto for a few days. All told, they spent five days with Jody and I.

Andrea, Patrick, and Helena arrived on a Saturday evening, after a long series of flights to skip over the pond from Switzerland. Unfortunately, little Helena didn’t feel like sleeping on the plane, so I think they had a rough go at it. I was hoping to spend a bit of quality time with them that evening, but they opted to head to bed pretty quick instead. Oh well. Next day, they hosted a party at our place for all their Ottawa friends (any a collection of infants as well!). The house was full of excitement with all the wee ones running around. Luckily, A&P had opted to get some catering for the thing, so our work was minimized somewhat, and as a bonus there were tons of sandwiches and veggies left for me for the upcoming work week.

Monday dad and Nicole arrived, so once again, we had the full house. Rather than trying to cook for everyone, or displace them all for a restaurant (which is a tad complicated with a 2-year old all out of time-zone whack!), we ordered in Chinese. It was a great feast for all, and we were amazed at the amount of food you get with a ‘family meal for 5’. This thing fed 6 of us very well, gave me lunch the following day, AND provided supper for 4 of us on Tuesday. All that for about $50. Good value for money in my opinion. Being at home also gave us plenty of time to just gab and catch up on all the comings and goings. We also had a chance for me to show off some of my NZ videos from the trip, and watch a movie on Fiordland that I’d brought back from there. No, I didn’t force it on anyone, people were genuinely interested in my trip (I’m pretty sure anyway).

The rest of the week went by pretty quick. It was a busy work week, and with biking to/from work, and then getting home with a full, busy house, it was all a bit overwhelming, but awesome to see everyone. I had a good chance to get re-acquainted with Helena, which is always fun, and I even tried to give her an introductory piano lesson. I’m not sure she’ll retain my ‘this is middle C’ lecture, but she seemed to enjoy herself nonetheless, as the pictures reveal.

Hopefully it won’t be so long between family visits all the time, but with Andrea being a foreign service officer, nothing is certain. Jody and I are now even contemplating heading over that way for Christmas holidays. In all likelihood, we’d spend a week or less in Saudi, and spend another week elsewhere, either in the middle east or in Switzerland. I head Jordan is quite lovely… anyway, that, in a nutshell, was my little family reunion. Later all.

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