Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday, July 3 -Tuesday, July 5

Dave's family (his parents, sister Sarah, and niece Lily) came to Edmonton to meet Rachel, and to take part in her naming service at the synagogue. Unfortunately, their flight was canceled the night before the naming, and thus they were unable to be there in time for the event on Saturday morning.

However, they did arrive safe and sound on Saturday afternoon, and we enjoyed an extended visit. The first order of business, of course, was introducing Rachel, and everyone was quite happy to meet her.

Sarah holding Rachel in the gazebo in the back yard.

Andrea and Ellen checking out their new granddaughter

Bob and Rob hanging out with Rachel

Lily was very excited to meet her new cousin

Our first big outing of the visit was going to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village on Sunday morning. This village, which recreates a Ukrainian settlement near Edmonton in the early 1900's, was something we had always passed on our way to or from Saskatoon, but never made the time to stop and see. It was very buggy the day we went, but otherwise very enjoyable. We got to re-enact a class in a one-room schoolhouse, visit a church and community hall, and see many other buildings.

A view of the goods for sale at the general store

Lily and Sam in the schoolhouse

The next evening, we introduced Dave's family to the "Hoodluck" group that regularly meets for potluck dinners. We had a BBQ in our landlords' back yard, which featured grilled burgers, an awesome salad, and lots of conversation.

The next day was a bit nuts, as a few major transitions converged on us all at once. For one, it was the last day of Dave's family visit, so we wanted to have some quality visiting time. It was, however, also the day before the contractors were scheduled to start major renovations on our house. On that note, it was also our last day in Edmonton before heading off to Saskatoon for an unknown length of time (that is, until the renos were complete).

Thus, we took advantage of Dave's family being here, and left Sam with his family while we went on a Day Of Er
rands to get ready for our extended "vacation" from Edmonton. Along with practical stops like the bank and the gas station, we also stopped by the hospital to meet a new baby. Natasha's friend Elena had a baby girl, Skylar, on Monday, and so Tuesday was our only opportunity to see her before we left.

After all this, we still needed to pack for our trip and get the house ready for the renovations. So, Dave's family took Sam again on a trip to a nearby park while Dave and Natasha frantically packed, cleaned, and organized. Meanwhile, the contractors had built a temporary fence around our yard to get ready for construction, and moved large piles of lumber, roof trusses, and other building materials into the back yard.

Lily and Sarah getting in a bit more time with Rachel.

In the end, we (barely!) managed to get everything ready in time. So, when Wednesday morning rolled around, we packed the car and hit the road, Dave's family headed off to the Rockies to continue their Western trip, and the contractors arrived at our house to start the renovations.

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