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.
Even though I have fully embraced computer and digital technology, I have two problems with both. It has to do with their miniature size. On the cameras I find it often difficult to use the tiny buttons with which to control the settings. On the small SD cards fit thousands of images. If you happen to misplace the card or worse you accidentally erase the files, the loss of these visual treasures could cause a lot of pain. This almost happened to me, when my precious video files from last summer went missing and I had almost given up of ever finding the SD card again. As it turned out, I had put it in a “safe” place, a special card holder not much larger than a Canadian dollar coin. Recently I rummaged through my camera bag. Guess what, I found the card. The result is the video report of our family reunion 2014.
Today our youngest son Stefan took Richard, Azure and Emeline to the Nakusp Hot Springs. When they came back, they had some practice on Stefan’s Slackline. There is a video that will show how they were handling the challenge each in his or her own way.
Click on the link below.
Practice for Richard, Azure and Emeline on the Slackline.
The day started out with a bacon and eggs breakfast that my granddaughters had specifically requested that I would prepare for them. Biene had to go off to work at eight, while we continued eating our breakfast in stages. Then I had an excellent learning session with Azure, who became my student and teacher in French. While Richard took Azure and Emeline to the lake, I cleaned up. Biene had prepared a large pot of vegetable soup, which I heated up for lunch. When Biene returned from work at three o’clock, I had a big pot of coffee ready, while Biene served her home-made chocolate ice cream. Emeline enjoyed hers very much, as it is clearly written all over her face on some of the pictures below.
Breakfast with Bacon and Eggs
Azure getting a Lesson from Opa
Azure skipping Rope while Richard looks on
Stefan and Azure blowing Soap Bubbles
Richard explaining the Bubble Blower to Emeline
Emeline fascinated by the Wind Chime
Helping Opa Cleaning the House
Young Gardener Azure
Emeline and Azure trying out the Chairs Biene bought for them
Emeline and Azure enjoying Biene’s Ice Cream
Emeline ready to touch the Solar Bird
Biene and Emeline
Azure playing with her Kidpad, while Stefan is having a Conversation