Thursday, August 16, 2007

Highlights from the Last Couple Weeks in NB

- Going to Campobello Island with my parents - I'd never been before and enjoyed visiting President Franklin Roosevelt's summer "cottage" - with 18 bedrooms and most of the original furnishings, it was a fascinating look into history. The thing that amused me most were signs warning of intoxicated bees... evidently they get drunk on nectar and fall out of the trees onto people... fortunately, we missed out on that novelty! While there, I finished a baby blanket that I began for my best friend's daughter shortly after her birth almost three years ago. I think I'll stick to dishcloths from now on... that's more in line with my attention span and level of discipline, haha! While there, I met several relatives - my maternal grandfather's nieces... six of the seven live on the island and the other one happened to be visiting from the U.S.

- We took the ferry to Deer Island; I hadn't been there since my Grade 4 and 5 field trips! My parents patiently waited while I explored a very cool antique store with shelves filled with old books, where I could have happily spent all day, and ended up buying a couple things for Jolie that I hope she thinks are as awesome as I do!

- I spent a couple days with my Aunt Kathy in St. Andrews. She's the coolest... loves books and movies as much as, if not more than, me. We watched "Water", an amazing movie set in India at the time of Gandhi, about an eight year old widow forced to live out her life in a home for widows. It was beautiful and tragic and very moving. I need to see "Earth" and "Fire" now, by the same director. We also watched The Vicar of Dibley, a delightful British comedy, went for walks, ate good food, and looked at her photos... she's an amazing artist, especially in black and white. I'm a little biased, of course, but it's true!

- Our mutual friends, Jason and Amanda, who I haven't seen in years, came to visit us at Alisha and Derek's house. We had a wonderful weekend together, BBQing, playing with Ella, and visiting. The girls went to a baby shower for a friend in Fredericton Junction (where I went to Sunday School and church with Alisha during my high school years) while the boys stayed home to watch movies. It was great to visit with some old (and newer) friends there.

- That Sunday, Derek asked me to do the Scripture reading at his church and he preached on the "lukewarm" letter in Revelation... he's a great pastor and a great friend. I really enjoyed being part of their church that morning. That night, I went to my brother's house for yet another barbecue, to celebrate our mom's birthday, since she had to work the next night. The steak was delicious. I've gained between five and ten pounds since I've been home, which doesn't bother me, but I've got to get back to the gym and stop eating so much "good" stuff, so I can start feeling healthy again!

- Got my mom an infamous "Superstore" cake for her birthday - on the East Coast, it's the "Real Atlantic Superstore" as opposed to the "Real Canadian Superstore." They have the best store-bought cakes... but really it was for my MOM, haha!

- Saw the movie "Stardust" with Alisha, a lovely fairy tale of a movie.

- Went berry picking with my mom again and got her to activate her library card. I've also set her up to check her bank accounts, hotmail, facebook etc. online... now we'll see if she actually uses any of these things when I leave!

- Went mini-golfing with my dad - our summer tradition. He beat me, of course, being the golfer he is, but I vastly improved my game from 75 to 62 on my second round, and I was the only one to get a hole-in-one... I felt victorious about that!

- My aunt Iris and her daughter, my cousin Shelly, came down to shop and have lunch. We hit the dollar store, Bargain Shop and Giant Tiger (have I mentioned how much I love East Coast shopping?). They've been going through a lot with their family, so it was so good to see them and be able to laugh and lighten the load for awhile. And they brought another Superstore cake! (My mom's birthday is the 13th and Aunt Iris's is the 17th.)

- Had ANOTHER barbecue at our house with Dan and Melissa. You might laugh at me, but barbecue toast is SO good... that smoky flavour... the chicken was okay too! Dan and I went to see Rush Hour 3 - mostly because nothing else was playing that we hadn't already seen, but I quite enjoyed it. Jackie Chan is such a cutie... how can you not love him?

- Today, Alisha, Derek and Ella came to visit and say our final farewells, as they are leaving for the Atlantic Baptist Convention tomorrow. Ella is so funny and imaginative. She has a pet dog who is blue, but not Blue from Blue's Clues, a purple kitty and an orange rabbit - all her imaginary friends. She also has an alter-ego named Francesca, who is a rather whiny and slightly dense turtle. We had fun running around outside and trying to coax the chipmunk out of his hole, which Ella kindly filled with rocks, leaves and flowers for his lunch. I love her and can't imagine how grown up she'll be next summer when I visit.

Two more days here, a day of travel and I'll arrive back in BC VERY EARLY Monday morning. (Stupid 16 hour layover in Toronto... though I do get to visit my friend, Yuriko.) I'm feeling how I usually feel at the end of my vacation... eager to see everyone and catch up on Vancouver life, but sad that I'm leaving and feeling like I'll be missing out on NB life. I'm grateful, though, to be blessed with so much love in my life, even if it's often separated by distance. To my NB friends, thank you for everything, and to my BC friends, I'll see you soon, and to all my friends in between, I love you and you're always close in my heart!

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