I can't believe in two days I will be flying back to BC. Part of me is excited to see Jolie and the kids and my friends again; part of me is already missing my family and wishing I could see them more often. I have done too much Christmas shopping... I'm going to have to ship myself a parcel because I can't fit it all into my suitcases... oops!
I spent a few days with my best friend and her family. We celebrated an early "Christmas" together - exchanged presents and had a Superstore cake (the best!) and listened to Christmas music. Alisha and Derek got me addicted to Slings and Arrows, a Canadian TV show about a Shakespearean theatre company that I gave her for her birthday, so we spent every night after Ella went to bed watching a couple episodes. Derek, God bless him, made me buckwheat pancakes twice while I was there - my favourite, but which I'm usually too lazy to make myself ;) I sat in on Ella's Montessori homeschool class, which was lots of fun. And we would read bedtime stories and cuddle together every night. We also celebrated Ella's 4th birthday with lots of presents, cake and friends, and enjoyed walks in the woods behind their house. It was so great to be together again!
I also visited with my cousins, who love animals of every sort, and my aunt, who loves books and movies even more than me! Went to dinner and saw Nights in Rodanthe (a tearjerker) with an old friend.
My parents, aunt and I visited Minister's Island - the beautiful (although desperately in need of funding for repairs and upkeep) summer estate of an early 1900's railroad tycoon - I love history! Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera and my dad's both died out halfway through the tour :( We had to drive over a sandbar at low tide to get to the island... good thing, as my mom is not fond of boats :)
Yesterday we drove up to the Miramichi (where my dad has spent lots of time fishing) and stayed in a lovely log cabin. After hitting the local dollar store (you know what mom's and my priority is!), we walked beside the bay just across the road, swung on the hanging porch swing, had barbecued steak, and played 45's. A relaxing, fun evening. Today, we stopped at the Parksville Suspension Bridge, which Dad and I enjoyed walking to take in the view of the Miramichi River surrounded by the gorgeous fall foliage. And I was so proud of my mom, who fears both water and heights... she got 1/6 of the way across before having to turn back... good for her! After we got home, Dad and I did our traditional round of mini-golf. He beat me the first time, but I managed to come back in the second round!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and aunt and uncle, before my mom goes to work in the evening. My best friend and I are getting together tomorrow night for our last hurrah, and then I have Tuesday to get myself ready to fly home first thing Wednesday morning. It's been wonderful - but I can't believe it's all over! Thank goodness I have so many wonderful people to fly back to, or I would be too sad missing my family!