We were thrilled to finally arrive at our destination where we were warmly welcomed by Dawn and Garry into their home. Dawn is my mother's cousin and reminds me so much of my grandmother and my mother it makes my heart ache!
This isn't the first time I have visited Dawn and Garry. We visited them in California when I was a child and although my memories are fuzzy, what made a distinct impression on me was Dawn - her gracious nature and her genuine interest in other people. She just has this way of making people feel special! And of course, my memories of Garry were that he always had a smile on his face. And he still does! (Even when he got into a heated political discussion with my dad and Shawn!) The other memories I have of that childhood visit were of Dawn's many collections.
She collects kaleidoscopes. I am looking through the smallest kaleidoscope in her collection.
She collects buttons. During that California visit she inspired me to collect buttons and I did for a while. I love how she sews them on ribbons according to the design of the button. She has many, many more that what I am displaying on my lap here. I could spend hours looking at her button collection!
She collects perfume bottles. Large and small - new and old. Her collection is unique and lovely!
We had so many wonderful experiences during our week in Canada which I will highlight in separate posts. But some of our most treasured memories will be of the time we spent with Dawn and her family in their home. It was like visiting "grandma's house."
Here is Cate helping Dawn make fudge (THE most delicious fudge!). She made a special batch just for Kip who wasn't able to come on the trip.
Dawn helped the kids design a journal with this neat paper tape.
The kids loved spending time there because they had boxes of puzzles and unique toys, a pool table downstairs, a trampoline and many other fun things. Here she is sharing a children's book with Wes.
And right in the middle of the coffee table was a big glass jar of jelly beans!
We were able to visit the Cardston Alberta temple which is unique and beautiful. We made this visit on our way to Waterton. But I was able to go back with Wes, my dad and Shawn and we were able to do an endowment session which allowed us to see the stunning woodwork and decorations on the inside. I've never seen a temple quite like it! The Cardston Alberta temple was the first temple to be completed outside the United States and it was the first temple designed by professional architects. The architects were influenced by the ancient ruins in Central America - specifically Mayan themes.
Dawn's son Jamie and his lovely wife Kristy and their children were also so kind and welcoming to our family. We loved getting to know them better!
Our family of six was too large to stay in Dawn's home so we rented a cabin at a local RV park. Here it is - the red cabin. It was the perfect size for our family and had everything we needed for our stay.
The decor just made it all the more interesting and memorable - even the can of odor eliminator on the shelf! There was kind of strange smell about the place....
We will always have a few laughs about our stay at the Red Cabin.
Wes picked this up from the local grocery store. He remembered eating it on his mission in Toronto and for old time's sake had to try it again. It was everything he rememebered and more!