Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ontario: Family

One of the main reasons we came on this trip was to spend time with Erik's sister Stephanie, her husband Neil, and their daughter, Claire. We hadn't seen them since I was pregnant with Pearl, almost four years ago, so it was very special to have nearly a week to be together. We drove up into Canada to visit them and had a wonderful time.

We had some beautiful days of warm sunshine, as well as some rain and storms. One afternoon we went apple picking. We're still enjoying those apples, and lots of yummy treats made with them.
Uncle Neil introduced Raphael to the wonder of Kraft Mac n' Cheese. "What's that orange powder?" Thanks for contributing to his education, Neil! Haha! Raphi thinks Kraft and Uncle Neil are a pretty awesome team now.
One evening Neil and Stephanie offered to watch the kids so Erik and I could go out. Alone. We enjoyed a walk and Vietnamese food and a nice, long talk with no interruptions. We came back to find a sushi festival underway. Here's Peregrine's masterpiece!
He slices! He dices! 
Claire helped Raphael make his own tiny roll of sushi.
One afternoon we met Stephanie at Compassion Canada. She gave us a tour of the building and shared more about what she does, as well as about the work that Compassion is doing to help children worldwide. 
Thank you, Auntie Stephanie!
We visited Covent Garden Market, which was a fun place with produce, delis, and other neat little shops and cafes.
They took us out of town to where Neil keeps his ultralight plane. The kids took turns sitting in it and they all really enjoyed that.
Neil took it up for a short flight. 
There he goes... up, up, up, and away!
He did a couple flyovers for the kids.
On our last night we drove out to Lake Huron. The kids were amazed at the size of it! We arrived in time to play for a while and watch the sun sinking into the clouds on the horizon. It was beautiful. We just finished reading Paddle to the Sea, which was a fun read as it takes place on the Great Lakes.
The kids had fun on the pier and around the little lighthouse.
The beautiful, bright moon rose over Grand Bend as we got ready to drive back. The picture doesn't begin to do it justice, but it was very special to see the sun set and the moon rise, both so brilliant and orange.
We had a great time with you all.... Neil, Stephanie, and Claire! Thank you so much for your kind hospitality, your generosity and thoughtfulness. It was very special to be with you and we will always treasure the memories! We love you! 

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