Friday, August 30, 2013

Scenes from PEI

In case you've been contemplating a trip to the lovely land of Prince Edward Island, let me take this opportunity to give you a couple more reasons to add to your list.

1.  If you're basing what you know about PEI from the Anne of Green Gables movies , then you won't be surprised to find that scenes like this one I snapped from the moving car are abundant in PEI.  It just wasn't hard to imagine Gil and Anne coming over the ridge on their way down to the Lake of Shining Waters.    (I'll do a whole post on the all of the Anne sites and activities later)

2.    Canadians seem to accept and recognize that there's nothing wrong with letting some grass grow long and allowing the wildflowers to bloom.    We were in love with this field of wildflowers right next to our cabin in PEI.  

3.  Being a small island, there is plenty of beach to go around (haha!)  and visiting one right at sunset was literally an out-of-this world experience.

Cami snapped this one with her iphone and it turned out to my favorite picture taken on our whole vacation....WOW!

Spence working hard to get the perfect shot...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wet is Wet

“The sun did not shine. 
It was too wet to play. 
So they sat in the house. 
All that cold, cold, wet day.” 
Adam sat there with Emma. 
They sat there, they two.
And they said, "How we wish
we had something to do."

All they did was to
Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!
And mom did not like it.
Not one little bit.

Then mom said, 
"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, 
but you can still have lots of good fun that is funny."

So they jumped over puddles and into the car
and mom drove them onward, but not very far.

Then they arrived at the pool and mom said, 
"It's time to get out and wipe away that pout.
Go jump into the pool 
and keep yourself cool!"

"But mom!" they did shout,
"It's rainy and wet and we don't want to get out!"

Then mom gave them that look
and that was all that it took, 
for Adam and Emma to rethink their plot,
 and admit that they liked swimming a lot.

And whether the water came from up high in the sky  
or from a splash in the eye
wet is wet 
and having a whole pool to themselves
 is a treat they'll never forget!

With apologies to Dr. Seuss.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's a Small World

A couple of weeks before we left on our vacation I posted a status update on Facebook asking for ideas of what to do in and along the way to PEI.  Shortly afterward Cami's best friend from elementary school, Mikhaela, who had moved back to Canada a few years ago, excitedly got in touch with us asking about the dates for our trip.  In a very random twist of awesome timing, it just so happened that her family was planning to be in Prince Edward Island for two of the same three days we were planning to be there.

After jubilant rejoicing from our oldest daughter, we looked forward ourselves to reconnecting with our long lost friends.    We arranged to stay in the same place in Cavendish that they were staying and joined them for ice cream as soon as they arrived.

After being separated by an international boundary for the last three or so years, Cami and Mikhaela were happy to reconnect and lost no time picking back up in late night chats and lots of giggles....

Mikhaela's younger sister Josée was just a baby when they moved away, but Ellie and her hit it off too!

Mikhaela used to live around the corner from us and I didn't realize until we were all back together again how much I missed their family.  Luwana is a kind, dear friend and I really enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with her again.  Heck, we even joined in the fun with the younger girls and played dress-up too.

The night before we left we kept the kids up way too late, so us adults could all keep talking...

Josée was already asleep, but Ellie, Cassandra, Cami, and Mikhaela didn't mind their parents' distraction a bit and took full advantage of the extra time with their friends.  :) 

It was hard saying goodbye, but we are grateful for the opportunity we had to reconnect with our friends again and hope that we can find a way to do it again in the not-too-distant future!   

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sweet Revenge

When life gives you lemons (or in Emma's case a nasty case of poison ivy)....

you may as well squeeze it for all its worth and get some sweet revenge while you're at it!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friendly Competition

For those of you who know my side of the family, you know that I grew up with a dad that absolutely loves to travel. He values seeing new places and experiencing different cultures and as a result brought us on some really awesome trips while we were growing up.  We mostly did low-cost camping roadtrips all over the US, Canada, and Mexico, but when I was fourteen they scraped together frequent flier miles and brought the family to Europe (where we also mostly camped).    By age 21 I had been to 49 states and 17 countries.

Now it's nearly two decades later and I am a little embarrassed to admit that those numbers haven't budged one bit.   While Glen and I have done more than our fair share of roadtrips over the years,  it's clear that we definitely don't have the same itch to travel like my dad and a few of my siblings have.   My dad and a few of my siblings, on the other hand, are now in the 50-60 country range.  

BUT all hope is not lost!  On our vacation I realized that I may still have some Crain travel bug in me yet!  

When we were on our way from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island we realized that we'd be passing within 20 miles or so of Nova Scotia.   Without a second thought we determined that it would be practically against the laws of Crain nature if we were so close and gave up an opportunity to add another Canadian province to our list.  And one with such an exotic sounding name as "Nova Scotia" at that!

So we made a little detour....

and drove straight for the cute little town of Amherst...

where we took a few pictures....

 admired the beautiful architecture and charm...

and marveled that they, too, had they same weird painted statues that Saint John had.

Although only there for fifteen minutes, it turned out to be plenty long enough for the friendly Deputy Mayor of Amherst to spot my big camera and out-of-province license plate and officially welcome us to his beautiful town with a handshake and a memorabilia  pin for our lapels. 
 A pin which I will proudly wear to my next family reunion.


 PS  Normally us Crains really don't believe in gloating at all, but having just received confirmation that I have indeed beat my dad in visiting Nova Scotia,  I am going to gloat a little. 

PS#2  I may have exaggerated a little when I said we don't believe in gloating.  

PS#3  I also beat my dad (and the rest of my family) to Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A New Era has Dawned

Today we packed up the car, said our goodbyes....

and drove our baby to JMU for his freshman year of college.

We helped him get settled into his room...

and we laughed when we realized that Spence and his roommate, Anhthy, (who he has been friends with since elementary school) will have to be pretty careful when they leave for campus each day as  their backpacks literally are the exact same brand, size, and color.  

Then we went on one more shopping trip (without Spencer) for a few forgotten items (a laundry basket, trash can, and some school supplies) and met him for a very brief few minutes to pass off the supplies before he headed off to another freshman orientation activity.  

After that we quickly said our goodbyes one last time... 
 and  drove away with an empty space in our car. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Spencer Steals a Girl's Lollipop in Saint John


Once upon a time a family made plans for a vacation.
There was a little mix-up in the name of the city they were going to, 
but luckily it was all squared away before they left home
and lucky them, they were still able to find a last minute 
vacancy in this fine looking establishment. 

And the luck continued when  the next morning dawned bright and clear--
 perfect weather for a boat ride. 

They were a tad surprised (and worried) when they arrived to the boat launching site 
and saw this not-so-lovely paper factory directly across the river. 

But their hope was renewed when they saw that this was the view looking the other way...

They ended up going on a leisurely harbor tour where they relaxed... 

and got to hear all about the fascinating way that the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River
interact with each other.

It was on the boat ride that they fell in love with the quaintness 
of the small New Brunswickian city 
and decided that they wanted to explore a little more than they'd originally planned 
before driving onto their next destination. 

But first they took a wild-and-crazy jet boat ride that took them 
spinning and splashing 
through the rapids and in process traumatizing a whole flock of cormorants
(and their youngest child).

After they dried off and stopped their knees from shaking, 
they drove to the thriving metropolis of downtown Saint John to eat some lunch.  

I don't know if there was something fishy in that bag of Bugles, 
or if the jetboat ride damaged their noggins,
but from lunch on after things went downhill pretty quickly. 

First Emma started reading the newspaper over some random guy's shoulder.
Then Cami and Adam started fraternizing with a creepy looking dude holding a pinwheel
and even Ellie started trying to share her lunch with a well buxomed lady waiting for a bus.

Even Glen broke out of his normally reserved personality and 
got all chummy with homeless guy feeding the birds. 

As shocking as all of their behavior was, 
Spencer's actions really took the cake.

Or should I say "took the lollipop"? 

It was shortly after he made the little girl cry
that they declared that Saint John had gotten a little too odd for them
and that it was time to move onto greener isles.

The end. 

Stay tuned for more Canadian adventures coming soon...

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