All Those Family Trips

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I’m usually pretty happy with how I’ve planned trips for the family over the years, but this year when I was planning our trip to Halifax for the holiday, I really regretted something. Something that I think could really add meaning to the time spent together.

achievement blur charity collaboration

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

All these years of tripping with the kids in many kinds of places, I should have built in a volunteer experience, or even planned a volunteer trip. It’s not too late to still do this, of course, but I really should have thought the purpose behind some of the things we were doing when away. I fully support vacationing to unwind, be somewhere else and just enjoy the new location. However, I’m also not one to pack too much into the trip for fear that everyone will be disgruntled by a timetable (myself included). We will tend to experience the highlights of a place, but we also like to venture into the local scene. To me, part of being a local is understanding the community you are visiting – and sometimes it isn’t pretty. Every community has it’s woes and challenges and if we are going to spend time there, shouldn’t we do something helpful because spend money in the local coffee shop (which is one of our favorite things to do).

I think it just really came to mind this year because we were planning a trip in our home country over the holidays and holiday time is often when volunteers are needed to help at dinners or pack toys and such. I’ll keep this in mind for the next trip.

Thoughts?

 

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#tbt #34- Taste Memories

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I had a serious throwback to the ’80’s today when I drank some Vitamin Water. Flavor – fruit punch. The taste took me to my grade three classroom. Eating lunch at my desk. Drinking a fruit punch. The kind in the stubby plastic bottle with the foil top. From Super Store. Anyone remember these?

Quarter water

Guess Whose Birthday Is Tomorrow?

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Chances are.. not yours right? Nope! But let me tell you a story first before we talk about this birthday.

So, I was out with Monica (friend/co-teacher) and her daughter at their summer club, Bay Terrace Country Club, in Bayside Queens today. We played some tennis, swam around in the cool water of the surprisingly mostly unpopulated pool, laid on the chairs, chatted.

As Monica and Savannah went for a second round in the pool, I sat under the umbrella reading and listening to the voices around me. Voices that are quintessentially Long Island voices. Italian. Nasally. Semi-loud. Voices that make me chuckle a little.

As I listened and read, watched people jump in the pool or walk for their frogurt, I was transported to the setting of the movie Way, Way Back that I saw last summer with my movie buddy Tina. I thought about the boy who took a job at the summer club to escape his mother’s horrible boyfriend. For some reason I could relate to him. Not because I was escaping my mother’s awful boyfriend, or even a hard-to-deal-with family member. It just made me feel like a typical American on summer vacation. You know, the family (or some of them) goes to the country club, they enjoy their time doing summertime activities day after day. Days filled pools, beaches, reading books, playing cards, bonfires, late nights outside, enjoying the perfect weather.

But alas! I am not American! I am Canadian! And although I have been enjoying American summers for several years now, these summer days are different from my summers in Alberta. Not good or bad different, just different.

Yes, I enjoyed my share of lake days with Jill, boating, playing cards, drinking, dancing, walking in the river valley, attending festivals, and so on. And today, sitting there, at the poolside of a summer club in Bayside Queens, listening to those nasally Long Island voices made me think of the celebrations that proud Canadians will be attending tomorrow. Wearing their red and white, eating poutine, drinking a double-double, a clam-eye or a Caesar or maybe Molson. And I want to be there… but I’m not… so enjoy my fellow Canadians!

It’s Canada’s birthday.

blog.tedactive.com

blog.tedactive.com

 

#tbt 24 – Crop It

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And by crop it, I’m not talking about the picture.

Circa 1998, post Cuba

Circa summer 1998, post Cuba

#tbt20 – Edmonton

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Egad. Brett and I are going to Bray’s high school graduation this weekend in Edmonton as I mentioned in a post a few days ago… the first I’ve attended since my own in 1993… I’m interested to see the trend in dresses. Will I see some dresses from the ’93 ahahaha?! I’ll let you know…

So you’d think I’d be tbt-ing about my 1993 grad from WCHS, but I’m actually throwing it back to my Edmonton days in general.

So Brett and I rented a house in Old Strathcona/Mill Creek – which I always equated with some shabbiness. Yes, there’s still some dumpy buildings, but there is a lot of rebuilding and it turns out it’s a great little place. Good location for running in Mill Creek Ravine and walking over to Whyte avenue for lunch, drinks, or just walking.

We ran a nice four mile distance this morning down the ravine and into Rossdale. We actually ran part of our old route when we used to live in the river valley.

We finished running and decided to just keep walking to get coffee. We noticed some different places on Whyte Ave; ones I thought weren’t great like The Tilted Kilt, but there were a few decent changes since I’ve lived here like a couple of new bierhouses. I had fond memories when I saw some of the places I used to frequent in my university days – places like Funky Pickle Pizza, Queen Donair, Elephant & Castle, Fat Franks. There are now the trendy froyo and cupcakes places which I’ve seen my last couple of visits that add some new flavor to Whyte Ave, which I like. We met mom for a nice lunch a Packrat Louie, a restaurant we should have visited more often when we lived here.

coffee you love

coffee you need

Something I’m looking forward to is going to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market on Saturday to pick up our steaks and veggies for the BBQ on Sunday – after my Community Action 5k Dash of course! I’m trying to get better at taking pictures when I’m here, so stay tuned for more Edmonton.

tbt #11 – Happy Days Coming Soon

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July 1st – 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, …. 1975.

Summer, freedom, sunshine, happiness, smiles, beaches, boats, friends, parties, Canada Day events, fireworks, water falls, bar-be-ques, picnics, love.

No alarm, no thinking, no deadlines, no disingenuous drivel, no mounds of paper, no BS.

Welcome spring 2014, and I look forward to your summer too. 🙂

#tbt 9 – Grape Happy Pop

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Love Pop Shoppe!

Love Pop Shoppe!

I was excited to find Pop Shoppe pop at Bed, Bath & Beyond’s new specialty foods area. Not that I’ll ever buy it, but it was a fun memory.

I used to love the grape Happy Pop, in the stubby bottle of course. Even now, I still love the smell of grape pop… unfortuntely it’s just too sugary for me to handle a couple of decades later. But every once in a while, a little grape pop is all a person needs.

Throwback Thursday #7 – Team Canada

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Keeping it simple in today’s #tbt…

Just thinking about all those years that Team Canada won gold in Olympic hockey.

That was a lot of times.

Men and women.

Canada/U.S. battles are the best.

And the Canadian wins are the greatest. Heehee.

sportsillustrated.cnn.com

sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Throwback Thursday #3 – Au Coton

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Please tell me you remember the Au Coton clothing fad of the ’80’s – the decade with the best music and cult-classic movies yet the WORST hair and clothing styles. Seriously, look at these girls…. And I looked just like them from about 1986-1989.

ici.radio-canada.ca

ici.radio-canada.ca

To call this brand of slouchy, layering clothing style an obsession would be an understatement. My poor parents. On weekend shopping trips to West Edmonton Mall, I would drag them into this store so I could basically buy the same set of clothes I already had, just in every color. (Okay, okay – I still do this. If I love something I buy it in multiple colors, what’s wrong with that?) But look at this! Woowwwwww. So sorry I don’t have any pics of me these awesome frocks. Next time I’m at my mom’s I’ll try to find some. You will be flabbergasted.

JJ’s Throwback Thursday #2 – Holiday Edition

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I would like to dedicate this Throwback to my brother and his family for the good time this week.

Me and my bro long ago (1976 and 1982-I think)

Me and my bro long ago (1976 and 1982-I think)

My Canadian Christmas 2013 was spent mostly with my mom, dad, brother, sister in-law, niece and nephew (Brett had to work this week so he stayed in NYC, and we will be meeting up with the kids in Phoenix soon). Although I did get to see Jill and her family and had lunch with Joc and her kids; a little more friend time was scheduled but had to cancel due to feeling under the weather.

Anyway… I could throw way back and dig up some crazy old memories from our childhood (stuffing dirty socks in my mouth or getting concussions, for example), but I can call yesterday’s firecracker debacle a “Throwback” memory.

December 25th rundown:

Mom, Dad and I drive from Wetaskiwin to Leduc yesterday morning for gift openings and a day of eating and relaxing.

Gift opening: Great! Lots of smiles and happy faces.

Relaxing: Awesome! From table to kitchen to couch and around again and again. A little nap for Trent and dad, a little run for me.

Eating: Delicious! Corn chowder for lunch. Steak, crab legs, smoked salmon, potato skins and more for dinner. Mmmm!

Games: Scrabble and Beat the Parents. A little thinking involved but successful.

Fireworks: First round – great! Second round – not so much. Run for cover – literally! After Trent set them up, they fell over and started shooting at us towards the house. Ty yells: “They fell over! Get in the house!” while herding us all like sheep toward the door. Trent dove into the snow and tried to take cover. Meanwhile, dad is standing at the end of the deck enjoying the show, no big deal. Keely’s camera records the Griswald type of event that is taking place. After a delayed reaction, we were all back inside. No injuries reported. Usually this type of thing happens at the Borneman family Christmas events… 🙂

After all calmed down and tried a third and final round of fireworks, all was good. And then ended the night ended with a regular Coors and the Griswald’s.

The few days of relaxing with the fam was needed and great. So thank you guys for your hospitality and the new throwbacks! ❤