It's not often that I go for two whole weeks without writing a new post, especially at this time of year. With family and friends visiting from overseas I decided to hold off for a while.
The first guest to arrive at the very end of June was our friend Dave. An English man who moved to New Zealand around the same time we did back in 2002. He lives in the village of Havelock North where he has a beautiful home and garden bursting with indigenous trees and even has a lemon grove! A retired British Airways engineer means that he gets to travel the world for free, usually in first class!! Something we can only dream of, having only ever flown in economy seating. Dave did a little sightseeing whilst here and spent plenty of time with Craig driving around the local area. He was so sweet, helping with the mowing as well as treating us to a couple of meals out.
Lunch at 'The Port' with Dave
The same day of Dave's departure was the arrival of Craig's sister Tess with her family; hubby Mike and children Leah, Jono and Rachel. All the way from South Africa, they had already visited relatives in England for a few days prior to landing in Canada. Jem and Amber were a little nervous after over 8 years apart and hardly knowing their cousins. They needn't have worried because within a few minutes everyone was relaxed and the bonding grew from there. They spent the night with us and we had breakfast on the deck in the morning sunshine. As there were five of them they decided to rent a place up at the lake for the rest of the week, just 6 minutes drive away and very handy. A sweet little hexagonal shaped cottage right on the waters edge.
With the weather being pretty much 'perfect' the whole week there were plenty of things to do; swimming, canoeing, pedal boating and even indoor games when it got too hot or during the only rain shower one morning. Five of them playing 'Twister' was particularly entertaining!Craig took Tessa and Mike out a couple of times to see some of the touristy places; Lunenberg, Chester and Mahone Bay. They also stopped off in the city of Halifax on the last day to visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which featured a comprehensive Titanic exhibit. A last request was to view a 'big' shopping Mall in the city. Couldn't have them leaving thinking our kids were deprived of retail therapy :D
We all enjoyed a day out in New Minas meeting up for lunch and then going on to do some strawberry picking at Dempseys farm.
Most evenings were spent around the BBQ at the cottage, relaxing with a glass of wine and a cold beer or on our deck with the children eating under the trees on a picnic blanket.
Under the variegated Maple tree as the sun went down
I could go on and on, with so many funny and heartwarming things I noticed and heard when they were together. This has been a holiday full of precious memories as they all slip into adulthood. A blast of uninhibited fun, the way it should be for children, especially cousins so close in age.
'The Famous Five!'
Jono (13) Amber (14) Jemma (16) Rachel (13) Leah (15)
Their visit exceeded our expectations and I really hope that they enjoyed the holiday as much as we did. My only sadness is that Durban is so very far away and I now have a couple of teens who are going to miss the cousins they only knew through facebook until this week.
You never know though, maybe we will win the lottery and get to see them all again one day in the not too distant future.