Thursday, July 17, 2014

Family Camping

We arrived home on July 1st and on July 3rd we headed off to The Pinery to join our friends for "Family Camping".

We have been doing this camping trip with this group of people since 2008. There are usually 7 families - 13 adults and 17 children. We go camping for 9 days and it is one of our favourite trips of the year. Our kids were so keen to go but we told them repeatedly that we would play it by ear. We had to get our van up and running and then get it to the mechanic. We also had to get the insurance and the sticker. We also thought that once we were home the kids would just rather stay home rather than go camping. However, they were still dying to go so after only being home for 2 nights we headed off to Lake Huron.

We told our friends that we wouldn't be there until Friday, but showed up on Thursday instead. It was fun to surprise them and it was great to finally see everyone! Our kids fit back in like they had never left.

The kids traditionally sit at the benches for their dinner.
Addie is using her brand new and bigger camping chair.

They loved being at the beach, as usual.

Lauchy spent the whole time playing with his best bud.

Addie did, too.

Heather pondering life.

New this year was a talent show (Lauchy is intently watching it). All of the kids loved it and signed up for a variety of acts. We all plan on participating in the talent show next year. 

I still can't believe we went camping after only being home for 2 nights, but I am so happy that we did. This camping trip is such an amazing time for all of us and we look forward to it every year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Journey Home

Day 336 (July 1):

Jeff and I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to shower before getting the kids up. We were all outside just before 6:00 waiting for our taxi.

The taxi company assured us that they could 
fit all of our luggage and us and they were right!

The two-hour ride to Heathrow was uneventful, but as we got closer to the airport the traffic went to a standstill. Thankfully, we still made it to the airport with plenty of time. The check-in was very quick. We were fortunate that the Air Canada employee didn't charge us for all of our overweight baggage, which was almost every single bag. Yikes! We weighed every suitcase but I guess the scales that we used were not entirely accurate.

Waiting at Pearson airport in Toronto for our luggage.

Next up, Tim Hortons! Wahoo!

Since it was Canada Day there was no traffic from the airport to our house, but the hour-long drive still seemed to take forever!

At long last, we are reunited with Tassie!

As usual, she seemed slightly annoyed. Some things never change.

There was a Welcome Back sign on 
the driveway from neighbourhood friends.

We received 3 different Welcome Home / Care Packages from friends and neighbours. I can't tell you how loved we felt when we received everything!

Our tenants left us some champagne, too.

It is SOO good to be home again!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Canada!

Day 336:

Today is a big day. Not only is it Canada's birthday, it is also the day that we arrive home after being away on sabbatical for 11 months.

We will have left the farm at 6:00 a.m. this morning and should arrive at our house in Canada between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Canada time, which will be 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. UK time. I am sure the kids will be tired.

We likely won't have Internet access until Saturday so this space will be quiet for a few days.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Goodbye Bristol

Day 335:

This is it. Our last day in Bristol has arrived. When we first arrived last July it was hard to be away, but we spent a lot of time exploring, hanging out with Jeff's mum, and camping. Once school started and I was on my own, however, I found the days long. I definitely appreciated having the time to myself, but it was lonely at first. Once I started making connections with neighbours and other mums from school, I started to feel so much better and enjoy my time.

We have all been pretty grumpy and on-edge today and I think it is because we are so sad to say goodbye to friends, neighbours, and to Bristol. At the same time, we cannot wait to get home. We are dying to see our cat, to be back in our house, and to see our friends and neighbours. What an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks has been!

We went into town today for one last time.

As promised, we had our frozen yogurt, 
just like we did before leaving Canada last July.

First day in Bristol - July 31, 2013

Last day in Bristol - June 30, 2014

Park Street

This is where Orchard Street, Orchard 
Lane and Orchard Avenue all meet up. 

Goodbye Bristol.

It has been more incredible than I ever could have imagined!