Monday, May 21, 2012

May Looooong weekend

This weekend seemed to go on forever.   I'm used to weekends flying by; one minute I'm having Friday afternoon happy hour with my neighbour; the next I'm in the van driving kids to school.  It was awesome and we packed in a lot, but I think we did everything on our summer list so I'm a little worried about what we're going to do the next 14 or so summer weekends.

On Friday after happy hour, we went to Blake & Kristin's for a BBQ with a bunch of friends and had a great time.  On Saturday, I had some activities planned for the family.  The children (one in particular) don't always appreciate my suggestions when it comes to family outings, so I positioned it as an extention to Mothers Day.  The first thing on the list was a bike ride to High Tea Bakery for cookies, but since it was raining, we drove instead.  Then we went downtown to Dalnavert Museum, a historic house.  It was short and sweet and we all really enjoyed the tour.  Then we went to Toad Hall Toys and let each kid could buy something small.  The final stop was lunch at Pop Soda's, a cute new-ish place near the U of W.  It's a very fun atmosphere with live music and couches and mismatched furniture and books and games.  We had panini and flatbread and then we went home.  Everyone was happy and relaxed and there was no complaining the entire time.  It felt like we were on vacation.  A vacation I didn't bring my camera on.

Saturday night, we went out for dinner with Teresa & Anthony and Doug & Lorie.  We went to a new restaurant in the Exchange called Deer + Almond.  A guy at work had been to it and said he wouldn't go back, so I thought it would be perfect.  The food was very unique and creative and tasty, but portions are not large.  By not large, I mean the tea party saucers that the food was served on were not nearly full.  But it's a cool place, and as long as I'm not famished, I would definitely go again.  It was Teresa's birthday, so we had cake over here afterward.  A great night with good friends and lots of laughter is better than medicine.  Not that I need medicine; except maybe some for my hacking cough.  The laughing didn't actually help that.

On Sunday, I fulfilled my life long dream of riding the Prairie Dog Central.  The trick to fulfilling life long dreams is to dream small.  I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations after all these years, but it was awesome.

They have different themes each week, and this one was a cowboy robbery.  So as we're riding happily along, we spot bad guys on horses riding beside the train.

The train is forced to a halt and masked bandits get on and tell everyone to put their hands up and hand over our money (which gets donated to charity). 

Spencer hesitated before handing over his loonie, so the bandits got nasty.

After the bad guys left, the train continued on to Grosse Isle where we stopped for lunch.  There were concession stands, live music, people selling crafts and jam and baking, a petting zoo consisting of two sheep, and a little old house we could tour. 

We told the kids about the train ride the night before, and Neve was adamant that she wasn't going.  Trains, boats, planes, and buses all fill her with anxiety because of her fear of throwing up.  She is scared that she or someone around her will get motion sickness and her world as she knows it would end.  I made her a deal that if she didn't enjoy it, I would take her out another day to do whatever she chose.  I was worried that she might just pretend not to enjoy it so I'd have to take her to Kid City or play Polly Pockets all day.  But she's not that manipulative or that smart, so it wasn't long before she said she was having fun.  Luckily, she now appears to have conquered her fear of trains.  Last Christmas, she refused to ride the little Christmas train near Assiniboine Park, and now she was happily riding the little tractor-pulled train at the Grosse Isle stop.

Neve beaming as she rides around in a former chemical barrel.

When we got back, Neve and Spencer went to friends' for a sleepover.  The rest of us had nachos on the deck and then went to Jim and Sabrina's later.

And today we did a lot of nothing.  Chloe and I went for an eight mile run, Dale and I went for a bike ride to do some errands, and we did things that make us seem like a perfect Norman Rockwell family, like reading Anne of Green Gables aloud, crafts, and games.  

Painting flower pots.  Neve stripped off her Victoria Day party dress so she wouldn't get it painty, so I drew her a photoshop t-shirt.  

And a few games of Old Maid with the whole family.  Neve obviously doesn't have the Old Maid card or she wouldn't be smiling.

In between all this fun, we also did some yardwork like eavestrough cleaning, planting flowers, planting grass, raking, etc.  I painted some living room furniture (will show you soon), did laundry, cleaned, and got organized for the week.  I also slept in each day, read and watched several movies.  A few times today I looked at the time and couldn't believe it was still as early as it was. Dale felt the same way; at one point he said he was ready to go back to work and I had to agree.  I think.  One more day off would be okay too.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering what Neve's (photo shopped) shirt was made of. :)

Wow...I think riding the Prairie Dog Central is now my life long dream.


Rose said...

You sure did a lot in one week-end! Yeah for family and fun!

Anonymous said...

Ok, this blog made me laugh out loud LOTS!! Between eating at non recommended restaurants, Spencer being held at gun point, Neve riding in a chemical barrel and oh so much more - I had too much fun!! Your writing is so funny, Ellen!! I love your blog.

ps - if you had an iphone, you'd never have to worry about not having a camera. Can you just get one please so I can text you photos of birds all day long?


Daniel said...

Ah Siobhan, you do know how to make an iPhone appealing to L, don't you. I'm sure that if she ever comes to visit you, you'd make her hang out in the big courtyard near your place.

The chemical train is awesome. The PDC robbery is awesome. You packed a lot into that weekend - I can see how it stretched out so long!

L said...

Siobhan, you're a mean one! I've just decided I will never get an iPhone.