April 28, 2012

Spring Break with the Kids

Four months rush madly by and we're back in Alberta with the kids again. Woosh! Thank you, Spring Break!

After much phoning, texting, Skype-seshing, and Facebookery since Christmas, we flew into Calgary, settled into Brandi and Steve's, and booked it to Airdrie to grab James, Jenni and Ricky - the "Titanic Trio" - for a week of good times, catching up, and too-long-denied hugs, cuddles and arm punches.

James is now roughly eight feet tall (give or take), bench-presses Toyotas between Visalus shakes, and yet is vulnerable enough to admit that he loved The Hunger Games. This guy!

Jenni is donning a smart, new lip ring, looks great in pink dubstep gear, kicks ass at frisbee, all the while managing to maintain her "greatest daughter in the world" status, now fifteen years running!

And then there's Ricky. Holy. The kid's turning into a small tree! For sure he'll be my height by fall, and with an optimistic, "the-world-is-my-oyster" outlook to match. Must come with turning twelve! 

Day 1 (Saturday):
After hours of ping pong at friend Tara's, a ton o' laughs, and the inevitable Call of Duty sesh with Steve, it was BBQ time!

Day 2 (Sunday):
After football in the park, it was off to the mall at CrossIron Mills, where we feasted and celebrated Ricky's twelfth birthday at Boston Pizza before a refreshing bout of shopping, and a final stop at le cinema to enjoy The Hunger Games.

Day 3 (Monday):
The big surprise arrives: Grandad, bearing gifts for. . .everyone! And also primed and ready for an afternoon of frisbee (mainly with Jenni - a.k.a. "Das Fer"), pet store hopping and, finally, cruising for chicks. Not really, but that's what it felt like with three generations of Donnett boys in the car. (We attempted Wrath of the Titans, but the theatre's 3D decided to pooch out and we asked for a refund. Probably just a well.)

Day 4 (Tuesday):
No trip to Calgary is complete without a long stroll down Kensington Road. Too much culture, history, and general coolness to miss. After an afternoon filled with goodies from the Red Bush Candy Store, a group reading on the steps of Pages, cupcakes at Crave, toy inspections at Livingstone & Cavell, and the multi-cultural and aromatic delights Manana, it was off to le cinema once again for Titanic in 3D. Worth it, by the way!

Day 5 (Wednesday):
An early rise and off to celebrate an enduring family tradition: breakfast at McDonald's. Then a last drive around town before more hugs, cuddles, arm punches and heart-filled goodbyes.

It was so great to be with them again. And, wow, did everyone ever get along! (Maturity abounded. . .well, sort of.) We may talk lots on the phone, but it's never the same as seeing them, holding them, hearing and watching them tell us about what's new in their lives with friends, school, work, "growing-up" stuff. It was the fix we all need. I still hate living so far away from them and we talked a lot about "what's next" - i.e. after I'm done school. But the talk was always positive, and even though we haven't figure it all out just yet, it was encouraging to see how well they were doing, and that they were making things happen in their lives in the meantime.

Love 'em to death!


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