Action-packed Visit by our Son Richard and our Grandchildren Mateo, Azure and Emeline
Klopp Family Chart I – IV & V
A week after our family reunion on Galiano Island (see previous post) Richard and his children dropped in for a month-long visit. There were many joyful moments, such as horsing around with the grandchildren on our yard and at the beach, picking beans with Azure, appreciating and praising Mateo’s daily progress weeding in the garden, playing board games like Agricola and Settlers of Catan, watching Richard’s creative works of statue building, chatting with our visitors from Montreal, just to name a few of the highlights.
Yet, there were also stressful times caused by the unfortunate timing of the visit that coincided with the impending demolition of our home, which had given us warmth and shelter for the past 40 years. I had to focus on moving furniture into make-shift shelters, and on planning and preparing for the new modular home, which our son Michael had ordered to be built for our golden years.
When things were at times too hectic and chaotic with the daily household routines, I often took my wife for a canoe ride so we could relax for a couple of hours at a lonely beach of a small island near the Needles ferry terminal.
In early July our family gathered on Galiano Island. This was definitely a major highlight in the lives of all family members. In addition to strengthening the bond of our family that is scattered all over Canada and the world, it was also a celebration of Gertrud’s and my golden anniversary. We spent four glorious days with the finest weather on this beautiful Gulf Island. The participants were our son Richard from Montreal with our three grandchildren Mateo, Azure, and Emeline, Anthony and his partner Lisa from Victoria, Michael and his wife Angie from Vernon, Stefan and his partner Laura from Vancouver. Unfortunately, our eldest son Robert could not attend, as he had just started a new engineering job in Germany. The video below will tell the entire story. Enjoy!
Mateo and I have always had a very special bond. His first few years after he was born I was lucky enough to live just down the street from him and his parents before they moved to Montreal. When Richard asked me if I would be Mateo’s godfather, I was honored and vowed to be the best uncle I could be.
Years ago a friend had told me about their Aunt who had taken all of her nieces and nephews on trips when they turned 16. As someone who love to travel, I latched onto the idea and decided when Mateo turned 13, if his grades were good I would take him on a trip.
For his 12th birthday after clearing the idea with his parents I told Mateo I wanted to take him on a trip. After discussing possible destinations we settled on Australia. Mateo had a real fascination for animals (especially those down under) and I loved the idea of going to a continent I had never been before.
A few weeks after Mateo turned 13 we set off on a 777 Air Canada jet to Sydney; our first stop on our adventure. It was a long flight, but we were lucky to be flying direct, and 16 hours later and we arrived in country.
The plan was to spend 4 days in Sydney, before flying south to Melbourne. From Melbourne we would then rent a car and drive the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. Then we would take a small jet north to the center of Australia to spend a few days camping and hiking around Uluru and finally make our way to Cairns to get some sunshine and explore the Great Barrier Reef.
The trip was everything I could have imagined.
We zip lined through the Otway National Park, snorkeled and dove the Great Barrier Reef, surfed in Manly and hot air ballooned north of Cairns.
We saw a breadth of animals from koala bears to echidnas to kangaroos.
We hiked the Grampians, explored Uluru, and adventured around Kangaroo Island.
Most of all however, we got to hang out and be buds for three and a half weeks. As 2015 comes to a close I look forward to future adventures with Mateo big or small.