Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby Shower

It’s been a practice among our friends to celebrate the events in our children’s lives.

There’s a bridal shower when any of our children marry and now when the grandchildren are born, we hold a shower for the first child of each family.

Last week it was our youngest son’s first child that we celebrated. Julia was born at the beginning of May, 5 weeks early so we waited a month before celebrating her birth.

Jan hosted the shower and had the table decorated so beautifully.

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Julia was the centre of attention and was passed around as everyone wanted to hold her.


This little girl will be well dressed!


We were so happy to have Adele’s mom attend. She was visiting from Peace River.


Before the shower was all cleaned up Betti, Lorraine, Jan and Pat were already planning a bridal shower for another friend’s son’s fiance’. I feel so blessed to have such a supportive and loving group of friends.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Weekend with my Daughter!

Chris called me a while ago to tell me that her husband and boys had a father/son weekend planned. " That means I'm free, about meeting me in Edmonton?"
Now what mother is going to say no to that? Not me!

So this past weekend she drove the 5 hours out from Saskatchewan and I flew from BC to meet her in Edmonton. After picking me up from the airport the first item on the agenda was a good visit over lunch!
After lunch we found our hotel and got unpacked. Later we looked up her friend's shop, "The Country Pumpkin" and spent an hour or so browsing the hand crafted items there.
That evening we enjoyed a dinner theatre at the Mayfield. The performance was a musical; "The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee" and included an extensive dinner buffet. We thoroughly enjoyed it all.

Saturday we shopped! This was the first time I've been in Edmonton and not shopped at West Edmonton Mall. Chris' SIL recommended South Commons so we spent the day in this large shopping area. Unfortunately it was pouring rain most of the day so we had to do some running between shops and our vehicle. But the weather was easy to ignore as we shopped the sales.
We found some cute tops for Chris, some must-have kitchen gadgets and gifts for upcoming baby showers.
After dinner we took a drive up Whyte Ave. in the old part of the city and then took an involutary tour of the area on our way back to the hotel. (smile)
Sunday we spent at Home Sense and Ikea and found some wonderful items for the boy's newly rennovated bedroom.
Then it was time to say goodbye as she dropped me off at the airport and drove home.
Chris, I loved every minute of the weekend and am so glad you chose to spend it with me.
You are one special girl!
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Montreal – Churches


On Saturday we booked a walking tour of the Old Town.  I’d highly recommend this to anyone visiting Montreal for the first time.  Our guide’s forefathers were among the first settlers in the area and much of his tour took on a personal flavour as he related Montreal’s history to the stories handed down from his family.  One of the highlights of the tour was the Notre Dame Basilica.   It dominates a large plaza set in the heart of Old Montreal

This gothic revival cathedral is the largest in Montreal and it was designed by an Irish Architect from New York . It’s design was based on the cathedral situated in Paris however as the local craftsmen were more familiar working with wood rather than stone, the entire interior is beautifully carved from local hardwoods.  At the time of its construction  it was the largest cathedral in North America.  It was built in 5 years beginning in 1824  with the main edifice completed in 1829.  The twin stone towers were added in 1843 and 1845.  One of the towers houses the Saint Jean Baptiste bell.

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The interior is incredible and the lighting highlights the amazing wood carvings and many items of art.



Two of the many events that took place in the main Nave, were Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s funeral and Celine Dion’s wedding.

The Chapel of Notre Dame Sacre-Coeur was built later to accommodate smaller weddings and funerals.  It became known as the Wedding  Chapel and was partially destroyed by fire  in 1978.  Rather than try to duplicate the original wood carving the new architect chose a more modern design  for the ceiling and frontpiece which were damaged beyond repair.  This caused much controversy.  Now opinions are divided as to whether the marriage of the original intricately carved side porches and the new more modern ceiling and frontpiece is successful.   Harv and I thought it was brilliantly done and that the old and new together brought a peaceful atmosphere of  worship and reverence.


We also took pictures of a number of the other old Churches in downtown Montreal.

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This church was on the harbour and was nicknamed, the Sailor’s church.  It was called The Norte Dame –de Don Scours Chapel or the “ Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help”

It looked like a conglomeration of buildings from the outside but was glorious inside with a vaulted ceiling and fabulous stained glass windows.

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We passed on touring more churches, truly enjoying and marvelling at the ones we did see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Montreal – Places, Plazas and Promenades


Place de Jaques Cartier was the first area we stumbled upon.  This is a wide promenade area with restaurant terraces lining both sides and small vendors booths, park benches, statues and fountains in between.

We found a restaurant where we could hear the street entertainers serenading us as we ate dinner.  All the entertainers we heard throughout the week were excellent and enthusiastically supported by the crowds of people that gathered around them.

The weather here had been cold and wet before we arrived (as it seems to have been all across Canada this Spring) so the dry and somewhat warmer weather brought out tourists and Montrealers in droves.

Rue Saint Paul, the main street of the Old Town is a dedicated pedestrian area in the summer months .  It is paved with old bricks and stones and is lined with restaurants and tourist shops.  We felt a real atmosphere of fun and community in all of the public spaces we visited .




One afternoon we came upon the Plaza Des Spectacles situated near the Museum of Contemporary art. Here water shot up in different heights and sequences  from the paving stones and it was fascinating to watch and to see kids of all ages running through the water or trying to guess where it would next spout from.




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When we went back a few evenings later to see how it looked under the lights, we were surprised by a completely different activity there.

There were no water fountains on, instead, just as we approached, the lights came on and long rows of people began to file onto the plaza.  They spread out into 7 rows, stretching into lines of 30 or so per line.  They were all ages from 15 to 75, dressed in everything from suits and ties, jeans and tee shirts to flowing skirts and exercise wear.

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They danced and we watched for almost 3/4 hour as they moved to the music.  It was a cross between line dancing and contemporary dance  and was very  well choreographed. Later the water jets were turned on and became part of the dance.  It was absolutely amazing and we felt so fortunate to have happened upon it.  We found out later that it was a dress rehearsal for a performance several days later.  We heard several people remark that they were planning to volunteer for it the following year.

On another promenade area on the edge of the downtown district, there were rows of open structures which, as we approached, were seen to be swings.  There were probably ten of them supporting 3 swings each.  Again, people of all ages were swinging.  They were set up to play music as the swing went up and down and if you cooperated with the other swingers in your set, you could make different sequences of music.  It was fascinating and everyone walking by took their turns.

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Other areas included a wide park area along the waterfront, small promenades next to peaceful pools of water and beautiful groves of cherry trees.

Perhaps it is because of the long winters but it was obvious that these places drew people – everywhere we saw people strolling along, sitting on park benches, bicycling or dancing – truly enjoying their city.