My Two Weeks on Salt Spring:

In order to attend my mother’s 100th birthday, I needed to fly home to Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada from where ever we were.  We chose Cuba because the air travel home was inexpensive and non-stop, the airport was 20 minutes from the marina and, having visited Cuba twice in past years, we were familiar with the area and there were lots of friends to keep Ron occupied during my absence.  It was a bit of a trial getting through immigration as they expect tourists to stay in hotels not on their own sailboats in a marina, hence there was a bit of a delay while they sorted things out.  Eventually they let me pass with apologies for the delay.  The flight was six and a half hours long and treating myself to business class, it was a very comfortable ride!

I left Ron and Pioneer in Varadero on a lovely warm day and arrived in Canada to a wet cold with temperatures  just above freezing.  After a few days on the island, the clouds lifted from the mountains and the blue skies returned.  However, it did get colder!  Although we had not seen snow yet, there was a heavy frost on the trees and on the roads that almost looked like a thin layer of snow.  My sister’s arrival was the first of many as the entire family gathered to celebrate Phyllis’IMG_0005 100th. Kelly and family were next to arrive from Peterborough, Ontario, followed by Edward (my nephew) and his wife, then Rob and family followed by Meredith (my niece) and her family. With the entire group gathered – two daughters, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren – the party was a great success.

 

Kelly and her tribe arrive at the Fulford ferry terminal

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Pam and Judy visit with Phyllis the day before her party

 

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Judy with her family aged 4 to 100!

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Phyllis gets a special place mat!

After the party I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with my family, some just for a day, others for several days.  Mother Nature was kind on the day of the party with temperatures just above freezing and a sunny sky.  However, that lovely weather did not last long as cold arctic air descended on theIMG_0056 west coast and throughout Canada.  At dawn on the day after the party, the sky spoke of changes to come. The clouds were low on the mountains, the moon was still visible in the sky, the air was cold and crisp and the smoke from the mill at Crofton just seemed to hang in the air. It was a beautiful but ominous morning foretelling changes that were about to happen. 

A chilly morning off to the north west

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The view down Stuart Channel was breathtaking

 

 

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Frost on the deck and on the glass in the railings stayed until the early afternoon each day

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Judy and Phyllis chatting about the party and the fun that we all had

After my sister and her family left it was time for me to spend some much needed time with my children and grandchildren.  Even though I had arranged for accommodation in Ganges for both IMG_0069families, I spent time with them every day either up at the house or in Ganges at their apartment. 

From Left to right:  My son, Rob, and his wife, Carol;  my daughter, Kelly, and her husband, Malcolm

The kids love to play up at the house because they can run down the halls and can have great fun without disturbing the adults too much….. I presented each of the girls with decorative seed/beanIMG_0072 bracelets that were made in Cuba.

Rob’s youngest, Sage, shows off her bracelet

IMG_0071The boys got wooden handmade airplanes with Cuban flags on the tails. By all appearances, the gifts were a great success.

Kelly’s youngest, Regan, enjoys flying his new airplane

On our last day together as a complete family, we all walked into the town, from the kids accommodation to the Salt Spring Inn, where everyone enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch.  While we were in the restaurant, the snow started to fall and we ended up walking back onIMG_0078 somewhat slippery streets and walks.  Snowballs were formed and thrown – thank goodness no one aimed at me!!!

Carol and Jade dodge the snowballs!

Now that I am on my own, it’s time to get some work  done!  The biggest job, by far, is the view trimming.  Several attempts had to be cancelled because of wind and cold temperatures but finally a IMG_0086weather window appeared and in two hours, Thomas had the view back!

Thomas perches on top of a tree as he manicures his top cut

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Now that’s a VIEW!

 

It is amazing how much better everything looks when the view is opened up.  All the trees that we topped were the same ones that my parents used to top many years ago.

Just a few more days and I will be back in Cuba – I am REALLY looking forward to being warm again!

 

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