My big company last week was my (adoptive) mum (from Vancouver Island) and her mother (from a cow-town NE of Calgary). It was a super-big event... mum is pretty leery of flying, new experiences and is pretty thrifty, to boot... I was sure this meant she'd never leave her Island home to visit me. It probably would have meant that, too, but before Dad died in October, he made her promise that she'd come out and visit me. There was no way she could back out of that!
She kept her word. Despite her worries, she came. We totally scored a good deal on the plane tickets, with the price dropping $800 due to a sudden seat sale. We scored the tickets in a slim window before the gas surcharges and new stupid luggage rules (thanks again, Air Canada), and managed to get her and Grandma out here in between summer storms. Osama didn't bomb the planes, as was her reason for not to coming last time this trip was planned. We even found a period where the SD's were gone and the house was lovely and quiet and tidy. Everything fell into place perfectly.
And what a trip it was. They walked into the house and nothing was strange, despite the fact that this was their first trip to my grown-up house... they saw a basement suite or two I crashed in when I was all 19 and starving, but things have changed since. It was as comfortable as they visited every weekend, and they felt it too.
We cooked up huge pots of doughy German food, drank wine (them by the thimbleful, me by the fishbowl, as per usual), walked our legs into stumps, and chatted up a storm. Mum bonded with the only grandchildren she'll ever have by me...
We did the Busker's Rendezvous in Kingston, more by accident than on purpose, and snaked back through the lovely towns along the St. Laurence. Mum's into genealogy and got a thrill out of seeing places where her and Dad's relatives were from.
Another day we visited Montreal. VIA took us there in style, and we braved the Metro to make our way around the city. We saw a tiny portion of the amazing botanical gardens there...
Then made our way back to the old city to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. This was amazing!
We went for the obligatory horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of the old city, had supper, and that was pretty much it for the Grand Montreal adventure. I was a little worried about Grandma as we did a pile of walking, but she was a right trooper and kept the pace with minimum rest breaks. I hope I'm that active and able when I'm her age!
What a wonderful gift their trip was, but of course over way too soon. The house seemed so quiet after they left, and I still have a bad case of i-want-my-mummy.... but I have a consolation. The trip, flight and all, went so well that she'll be back. I know she will.
Thanks, Dad. She'd have never done this without you.