It's not for lack of stories that I haven't posted anything for 2 months!!!!!
I don't know what the reason is. Too much happening, I think.
Since August, we've made three trips.
The first one was a whirlwind two weeks to Canada at the beginning of September, to visit Michael, friends and family. During those two weeks, we stayed at 7 places. That's a lot of packing and unpacking!
It was great to see everyone and get caught up on what has happened in everyone's lives.
We left the Chesapeake early Sunday morning in the rental car Michael had picked up at the Richmond, Virginia airport on Friday night. We arrived at Baba's (Michael's mom's) on Sunday evening. We love being with Baba, she takes such good care of us! Fantastic chicken soup, perogies and unbelievable apple pie. Michael left early the next morning to return to work in Aurora.
Tuesday morning, the kids and I drove to our good friends, Glenn and Casey's home in Loretto. The kids were able play with Lucas and Thomas and a bunch of their school friends and I was able to see many friends, including our much missed Donna and Helga. With dear friends, Casey and Tawnia, I chatted until almost midnight in the barn - of course we were doing the chores too!!!. Britta and I were able to catch up a bit, but I would have liked more time. More time with everyone! It was great to see you all and I do miss you very much.
and get caught up on all that has happened in the last year. Thanks for having us, Glenn and Casey!
Also, I was able to see a lot of friends from Alliston Union, the last school I worked at before we left. A big thanks to Cecily, for offering her time and home for the reunion. I just would never have been able to visit everyone individually. Thanks, Cecily!!
We got caught up on dentist and chiropractor appointments, updated our mail forwarding service, stocked up on items we can't get in the States and generally began filling our rental car.
On Thursday, it was time to say goodbye and head to Ollie (Michael's sister) and Bryan's home. It was fantastic. After the crazy rush, rush, being at Ollie's was like the calm after the storm. We love going to Ollie and Bryan's house! Thanks for having us.
Friday, we went to Aurora, to pick Michael up from work and then drove to see my sister, Astrid and her family on their dairy farm in Indian River, just outside of Peterborough.
There, the kids played with their cousins and helped with the milking. Astrid and I did some canning in her newly (almost complete) renovated kitchen. We also made almond butter for us to bring back to the boat. It was busy, but great!
Thank for having us and especially thanks for all the canned pickles and jams! We'll be thinking of you with every bite.
Sunday morning, on our way out of town, we stopped in to visit our wonderful friends, Chris and Brian. They have been a solid rock of support for me for as long as I can remember. Who knows where I'd be now, if not for their caring and kindness.
All too quickly, it was time to leave. We picked up our school programs, which had been sent to Chris and Brian, who kindly consented to being the liaison between us and the Learning Centre at TVO. Little did we know how intense our next few weeks would be, as we started our new school year: Liam in Grade 2, Maia in grade 4 and Zoe in grade 6.
From there, we drove to Toronto to spend a few days with Michael's sister, Krys. The highlight at Krys's is always, Daisy! She is Krys's sweet and adorable schnauzer. We watched some movies and went out for dinner in old China Town. It was very relaxing. Thanks, Krys!
Ed, Michael's brother, invited us over for dinner and what a dinner it was. Yum! Especially the 'creme brulee'. You completely out did yourself, Ed!!! Thanks. The kids played with their cousins and even had a sleep over! Great fun was had by all.
While we were still in Toronto, we were able to see our friends, Mike and Carolyn with daughters, Nicole and Claudia and Matthew and Tina from Bolton. We had a yummy dinner at a Chinese restaurant and got caught up on the latest news. It was great to see you all!
Wednesday morning, we drove back to Baba's house in St Catharines. I shopped a little more for food stuffs that we just can't find here in the States.Then, it was pack and repack the rental car over and over again. We were lucky to have had such a large one with a huge trunk.
On Friday afternoon, Baba, the kids and I set out for Barrie, where we met the rest of the family (and about 200 other people) for Ollie, Bryan and the boys' 'Mazda Dealership Grand Opening'. It was a grand affair. The new building is beautiful and Ollie did an fantastic job of decorating for the event. It was a very exciting evening. Congratulations, Moffatts!!!!!
After the Grand Opening, we drove back to St Catharines. Early, very early, Saturday morning, we left to drive back to the boat. Luckily, Michael was able to join us on the drive, because he was needed in Baltimore on Monday morning. Sunday afternoon, he left to take the rental car back to Richmond. From there he got on a train to Baltimore. Full circle!
It took us few days to slow down and recuperate. We were exhausted.
Little did we know, how much energy we were going to need to do the school programs we had brought back from Ontario. But that's another story.
So, that was trip # 1.
Trip # 2, was at the beginning of October to Washington, D.C.
Ed had an opening at the Corcoran Gallery, for his exhibit 'OIL'.
Check out these two sites:
(copy and paste into your web browser)
Family and friends all met in DC on Friday. The kids and I drove, Lynne and Frank flew in from Jekyll Island and Michael and family arrived from Canada.
It was a big reunion in the hotel!
Saturday morning we were tourists and took the double decker bus around town. After a quick lunch of pizza in one of the hotel rooms, we got dressed up and headed to the Corcoran Gallery. Ed did a walk through of his exhibit. The photos are truly magnificent and hold a very powerful message. Please look at the above links.
Here is a summary of the event, written by the Corcoran Gallery:
"To mark the opening of the Corcoran's exhibition Edward Burtynsky: Oil, photographer Edward Burtynsky appears alongside ecological economist and originator of the "ecological footprint" concept, Dr. William Rees, to share their thoughts on this provocative exhibition. Focusing on the production, distribution, use, and disposal of oil, Burtynsky's photographs highlight the effects of oil on our everyday lives. Dr. Rees, named one of British Columbia's top public intellectuals by the Vancouver Sun, responds to the show and discusses humanity's impact on the earth and how to move towards achieving a more sustainable future."
"Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has traveled internationally for more than a decade to chronicle the global production, distribution, and use of oil, the energy source that has shaped the modern world. This world premiere exhibition, comprised of 56 large-scale color landscape photographs, provides a penetrating look at one of the most important subjects of our time, by one of the most respected and recognized contemporary photographers in the world."
Following the lecture, we were invited to:
On behalf of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, please join us for a reception to honor Edward Burtynsky, and the opening of Edward Burtynsky: Oil, following his lecture on Saturday, October 3, 2009.
The reception will be held at adjacent lofts of Siobhan Hanna and Tom Collier, and Dr. Roy Norton, Minister (Congressional, Public + Intergovernmental Relations), Embassy of Canada.
The impact of the photos is what sticks out most in my mind.
What have we done to the earth? What are we continuing to do to the earth? And, what are we going to do about it?
Lots of food for thought.
It was quite a day.
Sunday morning the Buratynsky/Manske clan left the hotel fairly early to be tourists again. By mid afternoon, the Toronto group had to head off to the airport, leaving Lynne, (Frank had flown out early that morning), and the kids and I to do some more touring of DC. The 5 of us stayed another 2 days and were able to see quite a few sites and museums. In the end, here is some of what we saw:
The White House
The WWII Memorial
The Washington Monument
The Capitol Building
The Reflection Pool
The Spy Museum
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
American History Museum (we saw Dorothy's shoes from the W. of Oz)
Museum of Natural History
Air and Space Museum
Modern Art Gallery
There are probably more.....
We had a great time with our knowledgable and very energetic tour guide, Lynne. As a teenager, Lynne spent a lot of time in DC, so she knew where to go and how to get there.
Needless to say, we came home on Tuesday night very exhausted.
It was a great extended weekend.
We had Lynne and Frank's car for another week, (Lynne drove it up from Jekyll Island and let us have it for over a month), so we wanted to take advantage and see some of the local historic places.
This brings us to trip # 3.
19//08/2009, Chesapeake Bay, August 16, 2009
Immersed in the birthday water games.
It was hot and that was a good thing! Most of the birthday activities were water based. After the three legged races, came the water balloon toss. Then on to the water shooter teams. Finally, into the swimming pool. After a lunch of burgers, the kids, all 12 of them, were back in the pool. When Liam could wait no longer, we moved on to presents and cake.
It was a great day, evident by the ear to ear smile on Liam's face!
Who says kids can't focus in this day and age?
Blowing out 7 candles!
"We can't shoot the balloons with you boys in the way!"