Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Three weddings and a funeral …

After Joseph came back from Africa and we schlepped the rest of the heavy furniture from #5 - four doors down to #8 and after mum's bathroom was finally finished (oops photos owing)! and after a fun sleepover with #1 grandson we escaped winter "down under" for summer in the north…

Many pills and three uneventful flights  - et voilà!!  … we are back "home" in Ottawa  … and except for a few things -  it was as though we hadn't left !   

Except that this time we are in Ken & Eileen's basement "apartment" with gourmet meals almost every night and this time we are packing boxes instead of suitcases and this time there is no store and for the first time in 23 years we aren't going to Carlingwood everyday!  Still I must say we have adapted!  We're good at that!  We're good at letting people look after us - good at eating till we can hardly walk - good at being spoiled rotten!  Yep - we have become so good at all of that!

Other than seeing friends of course - the main purpose of this trip is to pack up all of our *worldly possessions into boxes that fit onto pallets and ship them "home"… to the other "home" … on the other side of the world … the "home" that will probably become home!  … but besides all of that … there has been three weddings and one funeral.

* "all our wordily possessions" take quite the hit once I've applied the Konmari (http://tidyingup.com) approach to whittling them all down to only those things that give me joy!!

The Funeral 
(Aunt Audrey - Ken's mother's sister)

It was quite the most exquisite funeral I've ever been to!  Aunt Audrey was just three weeks away from her 100th birthday and while we would never have been invited to her 100th birthday -  due to incredible timing, we were able to plop ourselves right down in the middle of her funeral.  She was quite the lady - her husband was the British High Commissioner to Canada and India and also the Governor General to Kenya and Malaysia.  She had met the Queen and the rest of the gang including the Queen Mother - and was best friends with the lady who wrote Born Free - those and a million other amazing things.  But - there was not a mention of any of that at her funeral - just a photo of her with Elsa (the lion cub) on the back of the funeral flyer and a passing mention of the Queen Mother by the Deacon of Ottawa during the service.  But there was the best organist in the city playing List, Mozart and Chopin at the start of the service, there was the best tenor in the city singing  Panis Angelicus (urgh - throat constricts just thinking about it!!)  and there was her granddaughter giving the most perfect bible reading I've ever heard (priests, ministers included!) and then … then there was Strauss'  "An der schönen blauen Donau"  to waltz everybody, with smiles on their faces, out of the church and onto champagne and hors d'oeuvres.  You're right - we didn't really belong - we had only met her a few times - but as for anybody who did meet her - you never forgot her or her stories and I was so happy to put on my pearls and say goodbye - for Erin who should have been there but couldn't!

The Weddings: 

#1- Ashley and Andrew
(Ashley is my friend Brenda's oldest daughter - sister of Jessica (she of the winter wedding Feb 2014))

So there we were right in the middle of everything (again!) - staying at the same (fancy) hotel 
as the wedding party
View from the nice hotel window - that's looking across from the province of Quebec (Hull) to Ottawa in Ontario!

That robe was so heavy I couldn't life it with my stupid frozen shoulder!

King bed here!
liking the de-fogging mirror!


invited to the lovely rehearsal dinner on Thursday night …

…  right there for the meet and greet on Friday night, 

right there for a peek at the bride and her maids prepping on Saturday morning 

prepping the M.O.B

and there for the beautiful, wonderful, amazing wedding on Saturday up in the breathtaking Gatineau hills...

So much beauty!

there's Jess!  the beautiful baby sister!


M.O.B. "after" pic!
Pretty proud dad there Brad!

… with Lisa and Lacey our Christmas visitors!

As if the (beautiful) yummy food wasn't enough … there was a Poutine Bar!!

…. and yep!  we were there again for  brunch on Sunday morning !! 

 Oh dear- so much (wonderful) food - so many (lovely) people - so many (very, very funny) Newfie stories (both families originate from Newfoundland!) and so much fun.  In between the fun and food there was the casino-right next door!!  

We were probably the only wedding guests who gambled - but the hotel gave us a $15 voucher!! -  so on Friday night .after meeting and greeting off we went!  I had an extra $5 (signed up for their mailing list) and we started out winning bits here and there and  and every now and then it started to just spin by itself (huh??) so we kept winning a bit more and  we took a break and went to eat and then back to still winning (small) bits here and there - and then - we started to lose!  By around midnight I was down to my last $5  when it seemed that the machine just went to $0!! There was a balance of $4.75 showing but when I tried to cash it out nothing happened!  So I hit the "SERVICE" button and waited … and waited… and when I went to find where the "Service" was - they said it was a very busy time (midnight???) and I would have to wait.  So back I went and I waited and finally around 12.30A.M.  the "service" man came and he  turned keys and pressed buttons and went back over the spins and after much humming and hahing - he pointed out that when the hotel gives you a $15 voucher - they expect that you will play it all - not try and cash any of it out!  Humph!  I was pretty-sure that technically I wasn't trying to cash out THEIR $4.75 but it was late and he had a strong French accent and my French wasn't enough to argue and Joseph just wouldn't be a part of it - so I had to sit there and spin 100 more times until I had lost all of the  money!  Humph!   Oh well - it WAS a lovely wedding!

Colour in the hills ...

#2 - Dayna and Robbie
(Dayna is Joseph's mother's 101-year-old sister Zita's granddaughter)

SO special of Dayna to notice we would be "home" and invite us to her wedding. Dayna is on the Couture side of the family and a lot of them live in the Trenton/Belville area -but Dayna went to Queens University just like her uncle Joe and Tom and that's where she met Robbie.  So that's where the wedding was and we were pretty excited to be going back to beautiful Kingston down on the St. Lawrence - - with it's beautiful grey sandstone buildings and…
 our favourite bakery  (started by the guy from the Loving Spoonful!). 
Brunch at Pan Canchos!
We even stayed at the university (they run it like hotel during the summer break) and this is where Joseph studied Geology a million years ago so every time we went out it was a different street with different memories
Lots of old things on the Queen's campus

 and there we were again  -right in the middle of the action  - staying on the same floor as the young (oh so young)  wedding party 

and able to walk to the reception in a beautiful hall in one of those amazing grey sandstone buildings!    

It was another beautiful wedding - beautiful Dayna and her two beautiful sisters! 

 (There are just so many beautiful people in this world!).  

More great food and fun with the relatives we hardly see
… Dayna's dad Paul second from left, his twin sister Barb in red and Rhonda Mother of the Bride in navy.
Yep - same dress, same suit, same tie! … just a different (beautiful) bride!

#3 - James and Jessica
(James is the son of Greg and Florrie who own the cottage we (frequently) frequent!

Again such timing that we would be here and that James & Jessica would be so kind to invite us to attend.  Sadly we have declined. Their wedding is in Winnipeg -  a long tough drive from Ottawa and because it's summer airfares are crazy  -  so we've sent Ken & Eileen out to give them our best wishes and  to return with pics and stories.  We'll see their parents at the (oops - at their) cottage!  

In between the weddings and the funeral we have been;  to the dentist (jill & joe), to the chiropractor (jill), for a massage (jill), to  the hairdresser 

Lucky Bruce had another salon after his main one burnt down!) ... 

 visiting friends...
Hey Kate!  … I need a photo of everybody else at this picnic!
Friends from a long time ago … Chris White, Rhoda ...and Eileen!
Good friend Leanne … great way to get together!
 and  packing (Joseph ) boxes …but mostly we have been eating … eating all our favourites at our favourite restaurants …and still we haven't finished!

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