Sunday, June 7, 2009

A visit with my father

My dad's in Southern Ontario for a few days -- he lives in Halifax on the East Coast. With his advancing age and less than reliable health, the realization that opportunities to visit is dwindling is starting to hit. You just never know when it is going to turn out to be the very last time or if there will be more visits to come. That's why Pene and I decided to go out East this summer in the van with the kids, even if we can't really afford to do so - when is going to be the next opportunity to go as a whole family, seeing that Ash only has two years left before she heads off to college and we can't bank on my father being around for perpetuity.

Yesterday we were in Paris for the annual Springtime In Paris festival. I'm finding community festivals to be a lot more enjoyable than major productions in big cities -- for example, why pay $100 for the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto when it's overcrowded, hot, has long lineups for rides, etc., when there's the festival in Paris which is free and the kids enjoy themselves just as much with the five playgrounds, donkey rides, old-fashioned carriage rides, and a raptor owl show? At the Ex, a bottle of water is $3 while a bottle goes for $1 in Paris.

As it turns out, my half-sister has just moved to Paris for her first post-graduate job (Just had her graduation ceremony at the U of T this past Thursday! Congrats to her), so we'll get to see more of her and it might even get my father out here more often to visit since I'm only about a 20-25 minute drive north of Paris.

Today? I'm still deciding if I want to take all of us out for a drive out to Stratford and Shakespeare, just a short hop down the highway from us - they're noted for their Stratford Shakespeare Festival performances (this town was one of the favourite getaway sites of Mystic and her late husband). Or if we should head up to Elora for the afternoon with the scenery and unique shops up there.

Decisions, decisions...