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Side Trip Home to Canada

BTW should you ever want to know where we are any at given time, Fran tries to keep the home page updated with our location – it’s usually several days ahead of these actual escape posts.

North Vancouver, BC

We arrived on time into Seattle from Denver, picked up a rental car and went to our dear friends, Therese & Pat, in North Vancouver, BC. We joined them at a Chinese restaurant to celebrate her father’s birthday with other family members.

During our few days here, Doug had more work than expected but we managed to fit in visits with friends for lunches and dinners.

The weather was amazing and quite warm for Vancouver especially in June. We did some nice walks along the sea walls, into Lynn Canyon and parts of the new Spirit Trail.

Saturday the 27th, we took a ferry over to Bowen Island to visit and stay with Doug’s cousin, Michelle and her family and as it happened her parents (Doug’s aunt & uncle) were visiting so we did a lot of catching up. Mike & Missy have a beautiful home on the south side of the Island that overlooks the water and they can see the UBC lands and the ferries and cruise ships as they pass by and leave the Vancouver Harbour. They own a boat as well and took us out for a lovely ride on Saturday afternoon in the sunshine where a breeze was very welcome – it was very relaxing.

Next day was a two ferry journey to get over to Sechelt to spend a few days with Fran’s sister, Sandra and her partner, Anna. We had to get back to mainland from Bowen, then go up the highway a couple of klicks before turning back towards the terminal to catch a ferry to the Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately, it was overcast, not sunny, but still very warm.

After just a touch of rain our first night in Sechelt, we had a lovely couple days with Sandra & Anna including some kayaking on Trout Lake, some good walks in the forest – where we actually came across a mama black bear and her cub – and around the area.

Then it was back to the mainland where we enjoyed a family dinner with Fran’s Uncle Dick & Aunt Monique and her cousin, Bryan and his family. Canada Day was spent with friends having a picnic on the beach in Horseshoe Bay and we saw the fireworks from Fran’s sister’s apartment in North Van. It was very warm for Vancouver and sleeping was difficult – most people here do not have AC.

We took yet another ferry over to Vancouver Island where we visited with Doug’s brother David and his family in Parksville, our niece Jalisa and her girls in Campbell River and then Fran’s cousin, Mary and her family in Comox before heading down island to Victoria. Fran’s Mom was in hospital after a slip (but no injuries) and she spent all that week staying at her place while visiting daily in the hospital. Doug had to fly to Austin for the week so the timing worked well.

Upon Doug’s return we visited with his brother, D’Arcy, his mom, his sister, Dana and her husband and had dinner at the homes of two friends, Ted & Trish and Ron & Tamara. Fran’s mom got out of hospital on Monday the 13th and we left on the 15th.

After much discussion with social workers and family, it was determined that Fran’s mom would be safer in assisted living. Fran’s sister, Cynthia, who lives in Kingston, Ontario, suggested it might be best if she lived closer to one of her daughters, so offered to have Mom come out there and then choose a place. It was difficult on everyone to make this decision but she’s bought a ticket return to Kingston with Cynthia next month after her visit.   The next little while will be unsettled until she’s settled. Fran & Sandra will join Mom & Cynthia in Victoria just prior to their departure and then attend to packing up and shipping and finally the sale of the condo.

We drove back to Seattle and then flew to Buffalo to rent another car for the drive to Brampton, Ontario which is where our son, Joshua and his little family, now live.


Brampton (suburb of Toronto)

Here we had a hot humid week for the most part. We stayed in a hotel near Josh & Alyx’s and spent our days with them. They joined us at the hotel pool a few times and the kids happily splashed in the water. We went to the Shriner’s Circus on the hottest day (40◦C/104F) and of course, the Big Top has no AC – we were SO hot but I cannot even imagine how those high act performers were feeling! The kids were not interested in the horse or elephant acts at all, but were mesmerized by the trapeze and high wire ones.

We enjoyed an evening with our friends, Maria & Bruno – always good to see them. Hope you’re enjoying your cruise guys! Fran’s sister, Cynthia and her hubby, Serge, came up for a night to see us (not really: it was to meet our grandchildren!).

It was great fun spending the time and we had a wonderful grandkids’ fix once again. It was hard to leave and drive back to Buffalo on the last day which of course was cooler weather wise now that we were leaving! It is much greener there in southern Ontario than back in BC.

It was a month long trip back to Canada for which we had amazing weather but let’s all pray for rain for the west coast – there are SO many fires and water restrictions, it’s a rather scary.