The one and only thing I don’t like about summer is that it always has to end. Maybe if it never ended, I wouldn’t like it as much but I’d like to find that out for myself. As much as I tell myself that September is still summer, things are different. Dale and I went for a bike ride Friday night, but by 9:15 it was pitch black on the trails and we were wiping out and almost hitting deer. It just wasn’t the same. But despite today’s miserable weather, I know there are lots of pleasant days ahead. And we will enjoy them to the fullest.
The rest of this post is mostly just lots and lots of pictures of what we’ve been up to the past month or so.
|Hanging out with Dale's family. The Miami relatives were here for much too short a time this year and we didn't see nearly enough of them.|
We spent some time at Bob & Janet's cottage while Dan was here. It was a great few days of enjoying the lake, watching Olympics, hiking, playing games and more.
|Neve giving a tutting lesson. Don't worry if you don't know what that is.|
|Hike to Pine Point Rapids. We took the short way back and it seemed like double the distance.|
|There should be a prize if you can tell me what's going on in this picture.|
|This wasn't even the large!!|
Back in Winnipeg, we celebrated Dale's mom's birthday at Beachcomber. Unfortunately it started raining during our meal and some of us (mostly me) got soaked. But it was a delicious meal and a fun time.
|The very next day we went out to LaRocca to eat with some of my family. They have a beautiful patio area and the food was so good.|
|If I look a little stiff, it's because I am. I had a bike mishap the day before and my neck was so sore. I am totally fine now but I still cringe when I look at this picture.|
|We had an extended family get-together at my grandma's old yard (the house has been demolished), which is right beside my parents.' My dad and others transformed this yard from its dilapidated state in the weeks before this and it was a lovely spot.|
I was sorry we had to leave early, but I had to send Neve off to camp. This was her first year of sleep-away camp and she was nervous, but excited. My friend and I drove our girls to Kenora Sunday night and stayed at another friend's cottage, whose daughter was also going. We brought them to the dock Monday morning and waved goodbye as they got into the boats that took them to their island camp. Then us moms went back to the cottage and spent the day hanging out at the lake.
|After camp. Looking a lot less nervous. And yes, the two girls probably did wear the same shirts all week.|
It was a quiet week with Neve away. I was amazed at how productive I was. It was a nice break but by the end of the week, I was ready for a little more noise and activity in the house. She had a fantastic time and is already talking about next year.
Between work and going to cottages or trips with friends, it's been very rare to have Chloe home for a whole day this summer. We had to plan way ahead to get in a Grand Beach day. It's too bad it happened when Neve was at camp, but it was probably more relaxing. Luckily, it worked out that my sister could join us, so the three of us spent a perfect day at the beach. Not a cloud in the sky, super hot, and no wind. The downside was little flecks of algae in the water. A lot of little flecks. I'm not a lake water diva, but the water was not very appealing. I couldn't get myself to put my head under water. That was unfortunate, but it was still a great day. We stayed on the beach until it started to get dark, then had a bite to eat at a little restaurant at Albert Beach.
We've eaten dinner on our deck every possible day this summer. Sometimes even in the pouring rain. Just ask Doug and Lorie. Outside is definitely my happy place. I instantly feel more relaxed and can even breathe better when I'm outside. Maybe there's something wrong with the air quality in my house. Here we are on a pleasant summer evening when Dan was over.
|Wait, how did Bean get in these pictures?!|
Then came the sad time when Dan had to go back to his real life. It's become a tradition that we always go for a picnic in Assiniboine Park before he goes to the airport. Luckily his flight times are conducive to that; if he left at 8 a.m., that tradition would become less appealing.
Surprisingly, a good percentage of my family was able to come to the park for lunch on a Tuesday afternoon.
|Grandma and grandaughters|
|Until next year ....|
You may recall Neve planning and preparing a meal in one of my previous posts; this week was Spencer's turn. He didn't think much of this idea so he tried to think of the easiest meal possible. When I vetoed hash browns (frozen from a bag) and cereal, he decided to do salmon. Dale was the supervising parent and they ended up with this meal. It was really good and now Spencer has something he can cook to impress a girl someday. Because that's my goal in life.
|Watching Shrek at Rainbow Stage.|
The girls and I usually have a "girls day" during the September long weekend, but due to Chloe's work schedule, we moved it to the weekend before. We did some shopping, some eating, more shopping, and more eating. Here we are at Confusion Corner Bar & Grill. The daisy chain headband was one of the day's purchases and let me tell you it has gotten a lot of use so far.
|Silly shot with 2.5 of us|
Another day, my friend Kristin and I took our girls on a macaron-tasting excursion. We bought macarons at four different bakeries and then did a taste test. We had score sheets where we gave each place points for different things, ie. the look of the shop, the friendliness of the staff, the appearance of the cookie, the filling, etc.
We went to some cute shops and met some really nice workers. Then we went to the park and ate four macarons each (well, Kristin & I shared). It was a tough job but someone had to do it. We concluded that Jenna Rae's macarons were our favourite. It was such a success that we want to do it again with another food comparisons; maybe doughnuts or French fries next time.
I also went to my parents' one afternoon this week to help my mom make salsa. Neve came too and brought a friend. They had a great time running all over the yard and ziplining and finding things in the garden.
|Salsa ... mmm|
|Whaaaat?! More cat pictures? Neve is still enamoured by her foster-pet. She is a good little kitten with a laid-back personality. But we're still not keeping her.|
It's been a great long weekend so far. Mike & Darla and the girls came for dinner last night. Darla and I coloured our daughters' hair and I won at Rook. The hair turned out pretty good - I have never ever done anything like that before but Neve is pleased with it.
This morning we went to the Pancake House at the Forks for breakfast. I had pictured riding our bikes there but then it rained and apparently not everyone in the family has bikes that work. Oh well, it was fun anyway, especially after I confiscated Spencer's book.
We spent a great evening at Rob & Gab's tonight. We went for "faspa" (light dinner) but it was like no other faspa I've ever seen. Definitely a faspa on steroids. I regret not taking a picture of the huge spread of food. It was great to catch up with some friends we hadn't seen for a while, including Teresa's kids.