Monday, May 10, 2010

Bits of My Weekend, Volume 11

For all the weekends that are mellow and local, this one was decidedly not.

Seth and I hit the road Friday morning to see my Grandma in British Columbia and wish her a happy Mother's Day! Before we left, we got one quick look at the balloons--this weekend was the local balloon festival, and the town overflowed with ballooning types.

Once on the road, the weather changed about every half hour. In the middle of the state, there were great fluffy clouds and rain all around us but none ON us. From the border north to Kelowna, it poured rain the first hour, then cleared up nicely as we pulled into town. Thus ends the weather report portion of our weekend!

We stopped in briefly to see Grandma before she headed to the dining hall for supper, and made plans to return Saturday for our "big" visit. Then we were off to take care of some of our Canada traditions...

There are a few family rituals involved in every trip to Canada. First, there's the candy. There are chocolate/candy bars available that are simply nowhere to be found in the states. Some may argue that's a good thing for a candy bar named Big Turk, but I beg to differ. We also stocked up on Smarties--different than the U.S. Smarties, think closer to M&Ms--Coffee Crisps, Mack toffee, and assorted other varieties. Seth noted that I'll pick up anything that advertises itself as having hazelnut in it. Smart boy. And, for you health nuts, this stash will last us for a LONG time. At least until our trip north in July. Ha.

OK, I got a little distracted by the candy... back to traditions. Another tradition is Scandia Golf and Games. This one started when Seth was a wee boy and needed some form of distraction while in town visiting Grandma and Grandpa. Well, not so wee, but Seth still loves the idea of Scandia. It's not quite the rockin' hangout joint (major arcade action) it was when I was in high school, but it's still quite busy; I don't know why I'm always surprised to see it open for business and the parking lot reasonably full!

In the winter we play indoor mini golf, which I liken to whacking a golf ball around someone's basement; the ambiance leaves a bit to be desired. I hadn't considered that it would be nice enough to play outside and I practically jumped with joy to realize that it was warm enough to play the outdoor course! Sweet. It was cool, so we didn't exactly saunter, but at least we got the tradition taken care of so we could get on with the rest of the weekend.

B.C. is definitely a few weeks behind in the flowering arena--there was forsythia still blooming, and lilacs just starting to open, as well as these beautiful tulips.

After Scandia, Seth and I met Aunt Bobbie and Aunt Sheila (visiting from Oregon) at White Spot for supper. Yep, another tradition. With us, if you do something more than once, it must be a tradition!

Saturday we all gathered at Grandma's for lunch together, and Uncle Ben joined us as well. Below is Sheila giving Ben the third degree on growing up in Alberta. I think she even took notes! He had some good stories to tell. I listened with one ear, while keeping the other ear semi-tuned to the Scrabble game I was playing with Seth, Bobbie and Grandma. We followed up the Scrabble with a few rounds of Rummikub. Love that one!

Seth and I with Grandma Opal. (That's what we decided we should have been calling her all these years instead of Grandma Kandt... It's not too late to switch, is it?)

A beautiful planter sent from my mom and dad for Mother's Day. Lovely!

One of my favorite things to do at Grandma's is look at all her photo albums. She also has a great assortment of photos in frames that are fun to look at and remember the occasion when they were taken.

Sunday we got up and had another visit with Grandma before hitting the road. (I also got to have breakfast with a local friend too, which is always a treat! Thanks, Lisa.) This shot of the valley is taken from the perspective of coming into the valley, and it's always right about here when I feel like I'm "home." I don't actually consider the valley my home anymore, and haven't for decades. But I have a distinctly soft spot for it, and so many wonderful memories of the place, I will always think of it as where I'm "from."

Oh wait, one last tradition! Why do they all seem to involve food? Sigh. Tim Horton's is a coffee/doughnut joint that is a very ubiquitous across Canada (think Starbucks, almost. Or at least Dunkin Donuts). We like to get a few Timbits (what they call doughnut holes) to see us on our way. Seth was a little aghast that I told the girl to just give us an assortment, but he was then delighted to learn that TH makes jelly-filled doughnut holes, which we wouldn't have even known to order. Serendipitous!

Seven somewhat long hours later we arrived back home, having listened to the audio version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, talked each other to death, and listened to The Bird and The Bee (their Hall and Oates tribute album is one of my current faves) and various Glee numbers... with a little Owl City thrown in for good measure. Whew.

I did a quick yard circuit to see what had transpired in 48 hours... the peonies are progressing nicely.

And the snowball bush just going to town!
And of course, husband  did some fabulous work on the garden in our absence as well, replacing a few frost/trampled plants and making sure the tomatoes are protected for another night...

It's a little surreal to travel 14 out of 60 hours (give or take a little) to end up right where you started, but it was entirely worth it, and entirely lovely. Thank you to my wonderful aunties for a great weekend--and Grandma too! And to my road warrior son, I can't imagine a better Mother's Day than to hit the open road with you.

Well, OK, I can, and it involves less driving, more Timbits and a hammock somewhere... next year!

For more Bits of My Weekend, go here!


  1. great pictures - i remember Tim Horton's from when my hubby and I honeymooned in Canada! So great!

  2. Tim Horton's! We have those in Ohio and KY (where I am from and used to live). Everytime I am home for a visit Timmy's is on my list, Iced Capps are perfection.

    Love all your pics, B.C. is beautiful.

  3. mmmm... Tim Horton's and Smarties! My husband is a Canadian military brat, and spent a couple of high school years in Esquimalt! (Don't worry, he won't rob you.) Such a beautiful area, I'm really hoping to make it that way one day. Thanks for inspiring me with your photos, and happy belated mother's day to you :)

  4. That is a busy weekend! Loved all the pictures!
    Peonies are my absolute favorite flowers!

  5. Wonderful weekend! There is now a Tim Hortons in NYC! Between 6th and 7th Avenues on 48th, I think. CRAZY, huh?!

  6. Love your photos and commentary...and hungry for Tim Horton's!!! It looks to me like you had a very lovely weekend and you made a lot of people happy.

    Happy Mother's Day to you too!

  7. One other comment on your blog page...that sweet little blue bird is very enticing. Who can resist such an invitation? Isn't that the cutest little bird you ever saw?

  8. This post is chock full of so much good stuff, I don't know where to begin commenting! We love Scrabble and Rummikub! And traditions should certainly involve food (especially chocolate)! Your flowers are lovely, the scenery is beautiful, and it's so fantastic that you are giving your son an appreciation for time spent with family -- particularly the older generation. This blessed me.

  9. Coffee Crisps and Mack toffee sound good! And your grandmother has a beautiful home :-)


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