On The Point

Words and images to capture the joy of vacation, the value of family, the chaos of kids, and the beauty of The Rock.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009 - A Three Hour Tour

The day dawned in pea soup fog and light drizzle, but we were not deterred from our plans to head out on Conception Bay in the William B II. And it was a lucky thing. By the time we got to the yacht club in Manuels, the sun was splittin' the rocks and we were peeling off layers of clothes to soak up the rays. We headed out the bay towards Brigus (home of polar explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, or Captain Bob Barker, as Ed preferred) a crew of 17. The five Power-Donhams, five vacationing Capers, Tom & Ellie, Captain Joe, and four Germans we found along the way. Oh yes, and one dog. As we motored past Bell Island, Jonathan was sitting at the helm on top of the boat. He was heard to gleefully remark, "Newfoundland!! It's better than Canada!"

The whole trip was spectacular - the time on the ocean, but also the time ashore in Brigus, where we explored the caves, shorelines, and outport luxury condominiums. On the way home, Jonathan stayed close to the Captain (Joe) and First Mate (Tom). He was loving every minute of it. Enjoy some images of our amazing ocean voyage....

We made it home to Calvert, sunburned and happy. We unwound at the end of the day with a cold one...

a little emailing...

and a nap in the rocking chair.

Gotta love vacation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - Lucky Number Seven

There are good days and not-so-good days, even some really horrible days. And then there are days like today. Days filled with sunshine and cake and friends and celebration. Days where, at the end, you sit back and smile and offer a prayer of thanksgiving for graces received.

Seven years ago today, the world met Margaret Esther Power. And today, we marked the anniversary of her arrival with a totally awesome party! Maggie and eight of her Calvert friends (along with some grown-ups and a crowd of Cape Bretoners) rocked the swingset, painted picture frames, pinned the tail on a codfish, passed the parcel, dipped bananas in the chocolate fountain, and ate Barbie cake.

A party like that is bound to have some after-effects. Joan was exhausted.

Riley was satisfied.

Jen was dirty.

And Barbie...well, Barbie was still rockin' out.

After the party the foreigners got the 42 minute tour of Calvert. (We drove reeaaalllly slowly.) Stone Island was the only place we got out of the van. Ed and Max went for "one more hiking", and Jen and Jonathan posed by Stone Island Pond.

Joan could not be moved.

We finished the day at the Cemetery Mass then a cup of tea at the Hall. Ellie's egg sandwiches were the best, bar none.

To close, the obligatory picture of my new hair.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - Bounce

A bit of a hectic day today, everyone off in different directions. Silas had the best chore - heading off to Argentia to pick up the vacationing Cape Bretoners. All six of our travelers seemed to have had a good trip, perhaps the only people to emerge from a Marine Atlantic excursion looking rested and relaxed. Apparently, they managed to reach the top of the cabin waiting list, so they had a cozy "home away from home" for the voyage over. Although I wasn't there to witness it, the pictures do make it all look pretty exciting.

(While Silas was fetching friends, I was getting my hair done. Pics to follow tomorrow when I have a chance to style it myself.)

Soon the L'Archies were all settled in at their home away from home Over The Beach.

We joined them for a pasta supper. The food was tasty and the company exceptional, but still the boys considered the dryer the main event. Josh on the outside, Jacob on the inside.

Monday, July 28, 2009 - No Pain, No Gain

Our first St. John's excursion! We squeezed all three kids into the back of the Camry (thank God for a big car!) and Mom and Grandma in the front and rolled off to the big city for visiting, swimming, and shopping. We packed a tremendous amount into the day, and all the while the kids were absolute angels.

Aunt Bridie's was our first spot. The boys spent most of the time there in her closet, although they did break long enough to give her some kisses. This was a popular move.

Then it was off to see Sr. Patrice at the convent. We arrived in time to bang out a few "tunes" on the piano in the lobby before heading upstairs to the Chapel for Mass. Although they wouldn't admit it, I think the nuns were a little nervous about us joining them for services. After all, the boys have not proven themselves to be calm and well-behaved within the walls of the Presentation Convent. Little did they know of the boys love for Mass! They were just perfect, and after Mass was over they continued to pull out the perfect tricks to impress a crowd of Religious. First, Josh ran up on the altar and into the vestry where the priest was tidying up, pointed at the priest, and exclaimed "God!". Then he came back to the altar and crouched in front of the diorama of the Last Supper. He pointed right to the main character and named him "Jesus!" (Of course, then he pointed to the bread in the hands of the disciples and pronounced it "Ice Cream!"

In the meantime, Jacob was at the back of the Chapel sticking his hand in the Holy Water font. Various nuns reached frantically forward to stop him from his impending sacrilege when he surprised them by drawing back his wet hand and bringing it to his forehead "Father, Son, Spirit, Amen," he said reverently as he moved his hand around his torso.

The day continued on with MacDonald's Playland (boys agreed to leave without crying!!), swimming at the Aquarena (first time in the big pool), coffee with Grandma's friend Marilyn (who needed a rest after just watching us), an unsuccessful trip to the library (closed), groceries in Mount Pearl (Grandma injured by large bag of flour), pizza at Uncle Ernie's (Missy enjoyed Maggie's garlic fingers), then up the shore to bed. All in.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009 - A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

And the fun times continue. Yesterday turned out to be a lovely sunny day, albeit a bit chilly. Grandma and Mom went to yoga (also known as "yogi", sometimes "yogurt") in Admiral's Cove. Sun Salutations went smoothly, and although Grandma came out feeling fine, my yoga muscles were aching, owing to some serious neglect over the past 12 months. When we got home, the "best Dad ever" was putting together the swing set that Harold Boland brought us for the kids. Thanks Harold! When the assembly was complete, all three kids (and later Maggie's friend Claire) were absolutely delighted with the result.

After lunch we went to the ball field in Ferryland for the opening of the Shamrock Folk Festival. We might have stayed home on the swings, but Natalie was singing at the Festival and we didn't want to miss that! First, the kids spent some overpriced time in the Bounce-A-Rama (and there were ructions when the boys had to get out!), and then we found a good spot at the front of the crowd where we could see the object of our affection on stage, and where the boys could have plenty of room for dancing. Some poutine (which Josh enjoyed very much) rounded out the afternoon.

Saturday afternoon Silas and I headed off to town in preparation for the Tely 10, which we ran this morning in the drizzle and fog. Ten miles in 99 minutes for Silas and 124 minutes for me. We may not be speedy, but we are determined. Not to mention sore.

Incidentally, there are lots of lovely pictures of our happy adventures these past two days, but for a variety of reasons not worth mentioning, they are trapped inside the camera. The problem is fixed for future snaps, but these ones may remain in digital limbo for some time. So instead, check out these two links to videos Silas took of the boys. The first one is from Thursday night when they stayed up, literally for hours after bedtime, with Jacob singing our bedtime song:

I love you forever,
I like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

The second is from this afternoon when they whiled away the hours in the late afternoon sun, taking turns in the Little Tykes car that Emily gave Maggie years ago, and that still is a source of amusement here on The Point.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009 - Napster

Ah, vacation. Today we did so much, and yet, so little!

Maggie hit the ground running this morning, breaking out the sidewalk chalk and decorating the lane with hearts, people, and a few hopscotch grids.

We went to visit Aunt Joan (who is blooming, thank God), played at the playground, then Mom and the boys snuggled on the couch reading books. Clearly, the boys were all in, after a late night last night.

Late afternoon, a knock came at the door and who did we find on the step but Natalie! Fun times ensued, everyone happy to be re-united.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009 - It's been a loo-oo-ng time comin'

So, a public confession to begin this latest chapter of the blog. Our week was tightly scheduled in preparation for our departure on vacation. Although we were eager to get away, we were also trying to squeeze out every Cape Breton minute to get to the end of what seemed an endless list of things to do. So a 7:00pm departure from Orangedale left plenty of time to take the garbage to the dumpster, drop off Dennis' phone bill, get gas, and pick up some fruit-filled Timbits, all in time to arrive at Marine Atlantic the required two hours before our 11:00pm departure for Argentia. We were going flat-out till the minute the little hand hit seven, but still feeling good.

When we got to North Sydney we were backed up behind a massive live of tractor-trailers, then poorly directed by some borderline-competent RCMP Officers to bypass the line up to get to the check-in kiosk. We cheerfully handed over our reservation number. "Which crossing are you on?" the uniformed employee asked quizzically. "11:00pm", I replied. "11:30pm?" she asked with a question in her voice. "No, 11:00pm to Argentia." "There is no 11:00pm crossing to Argentia. The Argentia crossing is at 9:00pm." In a flash, I knew it. I had messed up the 24-hour clock. 2100 hours is not 11:00pm, it's 9:00pm. Current time? 8:46pm. Oh my.

I said the world's fastest Rosary, and the word came over the walkie-talkie that we could go ahead and board. Second-last vehicle on the boat. Divorce narrowly averted. Vacation intact.

After that dramatic beginning, the crossing itself was blessedly uneventful. We snuggled in overpriced, uncomfortable bunks for the night and one or two of us had a good sleep.

In the morning, Maggie found a great window ledge for the boys to play on. When Jacob got tired she snuggled him and garnered many adoring looks from passers-by.

The Point was waiting to welcome us - Grandma and Granda, Riley, and this time, Uncle John. As the sun set over the shed, we gave thanks to be home.