Alas, we have returned and recovered from more than two weeks of vacation in Alberta. Choosing the word "recovered" explicitly because the Canadian extended family always shows us too much of a good time.
We had not been back in years' and were happy to see the family healthy and growing in numbers. Gavin was astounded at the sheer number of cousins related to him. The Canucks were just as eager as ever to teach us the next drinking/athletic game, take bets on whether we could be successful or embarrassed, subsequently handing us another adult beverage regardless of the outcome. Such friendly people.
Gavin and Cousin Nathan
Alberta is gorgeous this time of year. Lush with evergreens, flowers and raging rivers. We spent several days in the big city, Edmonton, shopping at the 2nd largest mall in the world, which housed an enormous indoor waterpark, a full-size hockey arena and one helleva a western store. (I shot my wad on some lovely boots.) All built to entertain the Canucks during their long winters.The running trails are endless and I enjoyed several runs through the White Mud Nature Preserve, appreciating the lower altitude and the ease of distance. Thanks to Kiri and Duane for letting us stay at their lovely home while in the City. Please send your Nanny our way!
Our trip centered around Gavins' attendance to Vasa, a Swedish Camp for children, held each year at Pigeon Lake. The Lake holds a rich history for the Johnson family as Evelyn and her husband were early pioneers in establising the property, bringing in electricity and additional members. Johnson cousins started the first Vasa camp and their relatives continue to volunteer as Directors and in other capacities to this very day. LeAnne and Lincoln, you did a fabulous job and your parents would have been so proud. :)
I volunteered with Kiri, Erics' first cousin, in the Craft Shed. Eric enjoyed the extended daylight hours finding more time to visit and indulge in beer and golf while fulfilling the role of floating Volunteer at Camp. He taught two kids how to ride a bike, delivered water and filled in as needed. In addition, we both coached volleyball. Guess you would call this, a working vacation!
I must say, throughout all of my years attending various camps as a child then serving as Camp Counselor, I have never seen one held with this much organization, cultural education and structure. All of this wrapped up in biking, endless lake swimming, tug a war (in the mud) and a variety of outdoor athletic games. Seriously, it blew Eric and I away, and was a screaming deal at $60.00 for the week, including three hots a day. We devoured our Swedish pancakes, made from scratch meatballs, pea soup and desserts. The family secured us a guest cabin and 5th Wheel so we stayed on the property the entire time but only saw glimpes of a very happy and contented Gavin. Til now, his camp bracelet remains on his wrist, wear he vows to wear it, until camp occurs in 2013. Dare I say, it was the experience of his lifetime, thus far.
Erics' first stint on a wakeboard
Gavin is now a Cub Scout, I am a Den Leader and Eric a Committee Member. I am the newsletter, agenda, calendar writing fool.
The fire left Ruidoso scarred and continues to affect the local economy due to the loss of recreational activity. Efforts are underway to market the resources that are lesser known and thus far it has not affected the normal invasion of Texans.
Gavin starts school on August 13th, not one day to soon.
Eric is continuing to work on his three-year contract for relocation of the Villages entire sewage system. Sounds nasty but pays well.
I am still working for Candice quarter-time and assisting with training of our distributors and direct hospital sales in NM. Since we licensed the product it has a new name, Medi Hydra Pak, and will be produced and order fulfilled elsewhere. We closed our site here this week and shipped our entire inventory to the new contractor. Wish us luck!
In closing, we are home the remainder of this year, with the exception of a few weekend jaunts for running races, camping and our (Gavin and I) usual Fall journey to Texas. We spent last weekend at Ute Lake so expect a few pics from that adventure shortly. I was a fishing machine, but they were all to little to keep.