Dear Joseph & Celeste:
Initially, Papa and I had thought we would travel and take you to some new places. We then decided it would be ok to stay and explore everything around here. I’m glad we did – it was a great week and here are just some of Grandma’s & Papa’s memories:
You are a ferocious healthy eating machine… All things fruit and vegetables and meat are your “go-to” choices. Your love and appreciation for a wide assortment of food is amazing! Sushi, grilled onions, medium rare steak, shrimp curry with chop sticks!
You have a sparkling smile! Your smile is beautiful – your eyes sparkle like huge stars! Your smile makes me smile and I love it!
You are so kind and considerate! Whenever Celeste was crying you would be the 1st one there to console her (unless it was because you were teasing her…). When you and I were hiking you were always offering me guidance such as “be careful, it’s slippery here Grandma”.
You LOVE animals! Gracie and Freddie were always in your lap! You were the 1st to find the baby bird in the nest; the baby turtle on the log; the baby frog near the pond and the bunnies in the grass!
You are so smart but you don’t act like a know-it-all. Your brain is a huge sponge and your memory retention is incredible! You always had some unique facts to share! I think Celeste stumped you though when she came out showing us her “head, thorax and abdomen”! “What the heck is thorax?”
You were always the 1st to participate! Who wants to play bocce? I do! Who wants to go on a bike ride? I do! Who wants candy?…
You are so competitive and you love to win and you work so hard to do that! But then who doesn’t? I loved getting the best score at mini golf! I beat all of you!
You just learned to ride your 2-wheel bicycle this summer and you are a great rider! You kept up with Joseph and I, you tried your little heart out to win some races – and – you learned to do some horse riding tricks – on your bike!
You give the best hugs! Papa loves them!
Joseph & Celeste:
Grandma was so impressed with you going straight to bed when asked. Papa would give the 5 minute warning “o.k. it’s bed time in 5 minutes” and away you’d go. Maybe this happened because it was late – around 10 p.m. – and you were tired! That’s o.k. – Grandma was still impressed!
REMEMBER MAKING ICE CREAM?
We made 2 different flavours. A healthy Mango ice cream for Joseph, and, a not so healthy one for Celeste and Grandma – Skor ice cream! Celeste, you were so excited when I took the bag of Skor pieces out of the cupboard. “Grandma – that’s my very favourite!” You were doubly excited when I said “Celeste – that’s my very favourite also!” There was that sparkling smile!
That night we did a blind fold taste test (not one of Grandma’s better ideas) and the Skor ice cream was the unanimous favourite! The mango ice cream didn’t taste that great and it’s still in the freezer.
ON A WATERFALLS ADVENTURE!
We found one pretty close to the coach called “Devil’s Punchbowl Falls”. We parked at the conservation area and hiked the trail to the falls. The waterfall area contained two separate falls – the Lower Falls was a 6 metre classical waterfall and the main Upper Falls was a 37 metre ribbon waterfall. The Devil’s Punch Bowl is one of Niagara Escarpment’s most amazing sights, created at the end of the last ice age by huge meltwater rivers that plunged over the Stoney Creek Escarpment, carving the Punchbowl and gorge.
There was an awesome view of the town of Stoney Creek and Hamilton Harbour from the lookout, not to mention the view down – all the way down!
WHO WANTS TO HIKE?
Near the waterfalls was a section of the Bruce Trail and the Dofasco 2000 Trail. Celeste – you were the first one to say “I do” and you started down the trail following Joseph. Sadly the start of the trail was a little slippery and part of it was washed out after all the rain we had on the weekend. You were afraid and didn’t want to do it anymore. You and Papa then stayed behind.
Joseph – I’m glad it was you leading the way! You did an amazing job, you were so brave yet so careful and cautious. You were never afraid – even when we took a wrong turn going back! You and I even agreed that we were glad Celeste and Papa weren’t with us ‘cause parts of the trail were a little tough to maneuver. We won’t tell them o.k.?
Remember the steps that were built into the hill? You yelled out to me “Grandma, these steps are huge – even bigger than at GG’s house!”
NO SHARKS IN THESE WAVES
We spent Canada Day at a very fun waterpark! There were 4 really big waterslides; a huge wave pool and a lazy river. We had inflatable tubes to play with, we brought a picnic lunch and we had some Canada Day cake that was served to everyone in the park! The day was a little cloudy and cool but when the sun came out it was beautiful. Celeste, you didn’t want to do the big water slides but Joseph went down once. We also did the lazy river but I think we had more fun in the wave pool and Grandma loved watching you guys swim, splash, jump and giggle. My favourite was playing pool tag when the waves were shut off. It was hard to catch you guys in the water but, I think I did it once!
HOW MANY GRAMS OF SUGAR IN THAT?
Our healthy “L’ill Man” is a label reading machine and “Oh my gosh Grandma this apple juice has 38 grams of sugar in it!” “Let’s do an experiment” said Papa. Out with the weight watchers scale (the 1st time in a year) and out with the white sugar.
Anyone want 4 bottles of apple juice?
ROAD TRIP – TO NIAGARA FALLS
We went to Niagara Falls twice – it’s really close! The 1st time we got caught in the rain and had to wait it out for a bit under a tent. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long. Grandma thought it would be a great memorable adventure to ride The Maid of the Mist – but not this time! No interested takers – it’s too scary. Will have to wait a few years for that one.
But – look Grandma there’s a huge ferris wheel! Can we go on it? Look, there’s mini golf! Can we play? Look, there’s the Guinness Book of Records Museum? Can we go in? There’s ice cream! Can we have some? Grandma – fudge! Can we buy some? I’m hungry – can we have lunch? Oh oh – who’s idea was this anyway?
Big helpers in the kitchen! Joseph, you were so good at cutting the tomatoes, slicing the strawberries and peeling the mango. Celeste – what a big help breaking the lettuce for the salads. Papa always reminded you to wash your hands before helping – do you remember that? Do you know he learned that from his Grandmother when he was just a little boy. He still washes his hands every time he helps me in the kitchen.
Do you think Papa will let me use the tongs and turn the chicken on the grill? Let’s ask him… Looks like pretty serious concentration – and the chicken was delicious!
Joseph, I am so impressed that you are taking this so seriously. Lots of fruit and vegetables on your plate; milk and water to drink (o.k. maybe the occasional Diet Pepsi). On the floor doing your sit-ups was a daily occurrence and of course you were always outside kicking that soccer ball or riding your bike!
Celeste, maybe someday you can be just like your big brother! Grandma is hoping you get some of Joe’s good eating habits and follow his good example. Guess what? Celeste doesn’t like tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries! I’m kind of thinking that all things candy and desserts are in your future!
Papa only invoked his 3 minute “quiet time” a few times! If Papa didn’t act like Grumpa he wouldn’t really be Papa would he? Celeste – remember Papa singing? Good night Celeste – sleep tight Celeste… You asked me “does Papa sing that to everyone?” “No, I’ve never even heard him sing before! This is the first time!” There’s that huge sparkling smile…
Grandma’s one wish is that you will soon learn the difference between teasing and facts and you will also learn to ignore each other and stop crying and/or yelling when you are being teased. I realize this will take a few more years BUT I know it will happen. It finally happened to me and my sisters and brothers!
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the other things we did this week but I will always remember – this was one of our best…weeks…ever…
Thank-you Joseph & Celeste for the memories!
Love you –
Grandma & Papa