I got stung by a jellyfish in the Atlantic Ocean by the time I was 5. My sister's hand was clamped by a king crab at the Pacific Ocean when she was 16. I've seen Northern Ontario, the Great Lakes, the prairies, foothills, and Rocky Mountains. I've seen the cities and countryside of Quebec, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.
As an adult, I continued my travels both overseas and in Canada. I spent my first year of teaching in the Arctic regions of Quebec, and once again drove across the prairies and mountains to British Columbia.
I'm a gal who loves a road trip. A bag of snacks, a bottle of water, my knitting, a good book, a pillow, and a cozy blanket are all I need to happily pass hours in a car. Unfortunately, my youngest child experiences motion sickness after twenty minutes in a car, so these days we don't go much further than my parents' home (which is 22 minutes away).
When the opportunity arose to drive six hours to Kitchener-Waterloo to my brother's wedding shower (followed by a six hour drive home), I jumped at the chance. My parents, sister, and I hit the road at 7 a.m., drove for two hours, and met my other sister. We all switched over into her van, and headed on down the 401 to Toronto. It had been so long since I'd done this, let alone with my parents and sisters! I half-expected my mom to start a game of "I Spy" to keep us busy! The time passed quickly, and after a few pit stops to pee, eat, and finally change into our nicer clothes, we arrived in Kitchener.
My brother and his beautiful fiancee had no idea we were coming. They had a "wtf??" moment when they first saw us, then hugged us with joy. We mingled, ate, and took a few pictures:
My "little" brother with his three big sisters: this is the requisite "act casual" shot...
...followed by the "okay, seriously, now" shot (serious, aside from my brother's tie!)
Can I add that we simply LOVE our new future-sister-in-law? She's more than we ever dreamed of as a match for our beloved little brother: she's funny, sweet, down-to-earth, has a Masters degree as well as a Black Belt in Karate, plays a mean hand of cards, tells stories to our kids, and is beautiful to boot!
We are so happy for our brother, and feel so blessed to welcome Ada into our clan.
It was such a joy to see the home that Ada grew up in, hear stories about her childhood, and to meet her sisters and all of their closest friends. My already profound love and respect for this woman multiplied with this additional glimpse into her life. If a woman can be judged by the quality of the company she keeps, Ada is definitely a keeper!
After a two hour visit, we turned around and headed home again. It was a crazy day. It brought back so many memories of how we learned about our country from the backseat of a car, and of our little brother who has grown into such a loving, hilarious, handsome man...an ideal match for this wonderful woman he has chosen to marry.