July 17-30

July 17 – July 29   Wedding Bells, Balsam Lake and Birthdays

Our two weeks in Ontario was jammed packed with family events, parties, day trips and chilling out. We arrived at the Toronto airport greeted by my sister Mickie and our chauffeur Brian (her husband). Back at the Horton home preparations for the wedding of Mickie and Brian’s son Marc were at a fever pitch. The following day was the rehearsal party which the Hortons were hosting. Mickie had lined up myself and our other sister Lorna to help out with the preparation of many dishes and food offerings the next morning. We were delighted to be part of these preparations and worked well into the late afternoon before the guests arrived, which they did in droves. I believe the last count was 32. It was a grand affair and Mickie was very pleased with the result.

The next day was spent patting ourselves on the back for such a successful event and a swim at niece Carolyn’s pool, and BBQ back at Mickie’s. All retired for a good night’s sleep and the main event was the next day. The following pictures describe the beautiful wedding better than any words. Suffice it to say it was a grand event.

Mickie (Mother of the Groom)

Horton grandchildren Lily and Nathan Flower Girl and ring bearer

Brian and Mickie

Alicia and Marc

Chris, Andy and Heather

Head table

Wedding Party

The next day was spent going over pictures and reliving the wonderful day before heading off to Lorna and John’s cottage on Balsam Lake. Unfortunately we can’t include any pictures at this time because we don’t have the required cables to take pictures off Chris’ cell phone but will try later on if we can find one at the Best Buy in Yellowknife. Yes Virginia, there is a Best Buy in Yellowknife. Who knew. We had a wonderful time with Lorna and John, eating, swimming, boating, Seadooing, laughing, and trips to Fenelon Falls. Mickie joined us for three days and she enjoyed the rest after a year of wedding events.

The following Saturday it was time to head further north to Gravenhurst to visit my brother Andy and his wife Heather. Yet another party as we were celebrating Andy’s 73rd birthday. Lorna and John drove us and stayed for the party and left to go back to their cottage where the next day they were hosting a refugee family and sponsors for a day at the lake. Lorna reported that all had a great time.

Aaron (Carolyn’s son), Carolyn, John, Lorna

Andy and Heather’s house in Gravenhurst

Chris and Andy

After the birthday party guests left we headed out with Andy and Heather to the Gravenhurst Marina where we went to their annual Rib Fest and chowed down on some ribs and enjoyed all the people doing the same. It was a lovely evening. The next day we went for a drive to Port Carling for some shopping and sightseeing, lunch at a dockside restaurant and back home again in time to go to their Anglican Church 150th anniversary service and dinner. It was great fun and lovely to have the service celebrant be a female bishop…oh to dream…enough said.

Chris and Andy

Cousins Marie, Laura and Colin

Table of plenty

Tim and Heather

Mickie, Anne (mother of the bride), Jeannine

Gravenhurst is a lovely community and we had a wonderful time with Andy. They drove us back to Mickie’s for our last few days. Mickie and Brian had us, plus Andy and Heather, Lorna and John for dinner and it was wonderful to have all my siblings there to share the evening. After some teary goodbyes to Andy, Heather, Lorna and John we caught up on the latest Trump silliness and headed for bed.

Next day was spent driving to Elora to see nephew Tim and Laura. Dinner was planned in their beautiful yard at a beautifully set table. We managed to enjoy that ambiance but rain forced us back inside. It was a wonderful way to spend our last night.

Thursday we spent packing and left for the airport early enough to take in the movie Dunkirk which was great by the way. Then onto the airport. Our flight was delayed 2 hours which was not great but finally after a rather long day fell into bed at the hotel in Calgary.

We are now at a campground in Lesser Slave Lake and the water is great as is the weather so far.

July 30

The last 2 days here have been lovely, with lots of sunshine and much warmer than we would have expected. We have become friends with the people in the next campsite, a middle-aged couple with a 7 year old girl for whom they are guardians. We have spent most of our time down on the beach. Although Lesser Slave Lake is quite large, you have to wade out quite a way before it becomes deep enough to swim, due to a number of sandbars, and apparently is only about 30 feet deep. It certainly is quite different than we had imagined it! We had quite a thunderstorm last night with lots of lightning, but by noon, the sun had returned, although the wind was brisk.

Tomorrow we head out on our longest driving day of the trip (about 10 hours), hoping to reach Hay River Territorial Park by evening. The plan is to stop in Peace River and post this blog entry. The weather is supposed to remain good for the next little while, so hopefully the drive will go smoothly.