We started the year with a great fondue dinner and some pool in Buckhorn at the home of our friends Marc and Kris, and some skating and shinny on the pond. We went to Ottawa for our annual Winterlude visit and did some skating on the canal and had poutine and Beaver Tails, as usual. Then we went south to visit Becky’s mom and dad in Florida and did some playing in the waves and lying around soaking up the sun on the white beach at Siesta Key and some shuffleboard back at the Bay Indies park where Becky’s parents have a place. And we headed off with Becky’s family to Busch Gardens for some rollercoaster riding and other forms of assorted merriment.
Meaghan went on a school trip and saw the statue of the lady holding the fire, and had a birthday (something she almost always does once a year). Becky and I went out west because I was invited to be part of a panel at an arts conference at the Banff Springs Hotel. We stayed in a hotel in town that had a spa in the basement, and went for a run down by the river, and had a delicious dinner in a restaurant just down the hill from the Banff Springs that I think used to be the clubhouse for the golf course. There were the usual summer hijinks at the Farm weekend, as we call them, which included the next generation this time — Zoe made a new friend named Fox and we took the kids for a swim in the old quarry.
We also had some of the usual Golden Lake fun in the summertime, including swimming and some relaxing on the beach time, some pedalling around in the paddle boat and some lying on the pontoon boat, and some sunset watching. Meaghan worked at the summer camp down the road and had to have a nap in the hammock back at the cottage to recover from her labours — I also spent some time in the hammock with my favourite hammock companion, our cat Shadow. Zoe learned how to dive. We visited our friends cottage on Go Home Lake and had French toast on the dock, and Zoe caught a big fish.
We made another road trip down to PEI to visit our friends Rob and Vicki, who have a place on Bay Fortune, near Souris, and made the mistake of inviting not just our family but Becky’s brother’s family and her sister’s family as well (for the second year in a row!). It was a big crowd but we managed to fit everyone in 🙂 And we had fun hanging out on the giant beach and playing on their giant lawn and climbing around on the old lobster-fishing pier, and eating lots of lobster (which we did not personally catch), and we got some amazing sunsets to watch as well. We took a trip out to Basin Head beach, where the dunes are massive and there’s an outflow into the ocean that you can jump into.
Zoe got to practice her sea kayaking skills, And Becky and her family got to reconnect with their uncle Jack, who lives in Nova Scotia and came by for a visit and to walk his dog along the beach. Zoe took part in a school dance routine at the Scarborough City Centre bandshell with about 200 other students, and also tried shotput and the long jump at the annual Rouge Hill Fair. And at the cottage for Thanksgiving, we went for our usual hike up the road to my uncle’s place at the top of Blueberry Hill where there’s a great lookout.