We all gathered together again for lunch to bid adieu to Auntie Yukiko and the girls as they are leaving for Japan at 5am tomorrow morning.
We surprised Yukiko with an early birthday celebration with two cakes because there were a lot of us and Yukiko's favourite cake that I make is not nut free.
After lunch, Grandma and Grandpa H took Matthew for a drive so that he would have a desperately needed nap after staying up until 10pm for fireworks last night. Yukiko and the girls (including Elizabeth) went to say goodbye to their totally empty house and then to Brewer park. When Grandma, Grandpa and Matthew came back after a successful drive-by napping, we decided it would be good to get calendar pictures done rather than leaving it to the last minute. Since Elizabeth was at Brewer park the whole lot of us went to the park to take pictures. It was nice for Dave and Karen and Grandma and Grandpa to get a chance to say a proper goodbye to Yukiko and the girls too, since lunch ended in kind of a hurry to get many small children napping or to the park! There was much playing in the park. I was originally just going to drop by but it became clear that it would be cruel not to let the kids play together as long as possible and it was just such a gorgeous day I didn't really want to go back home anyway. Besides, who knows how long it will be before I get to watch my nieces be dare-devils on the play structure again.
At bedtime, Matthew insisted on having "Ahi" (Erika) put him to bed. I found the various "lasts" quite emotional - we are REALLY going to miss these guys.
Auntie Janice often has to work on Canada Day, so we decided to head to the Aviation Museum to see what she was up to!
There were airplanes and maple leaf tattoos. We came in time to see the Police Tactical unit rappelling down from the ceiling (upside down!!) and checked out the fire services gear. I'm always amazed by how heavy that stuff is.
After the rappelling Xander got to assist in a magic show just for us! The magician gave him a foam ball to squeeze and kept the other. It vanished and turned up in Xander's hand. Then he repeated the trick so that Xander had three balls in his hand. "Keep them for a souvenir", he said as they all vanished. Xander seemed quite bemused and we were all impressed.
We intended to meet Auntie Janice at the space exhibit during her break, but we walked by the mobile science booth with all kinds of cool demos and it was many minutes before we could convince the kids to move on. Uncle Dave asked Xander if he knew what the (old fashioned) telephone was for. Nope! They particularly enjoyed knocking over the cups with the air cannon.
As we were making our way towards the space exhibit, a drum concert by BAM Percussion started. It was too loud for Amelia's sensitive baby ears (and frankly mine too) but the others went to watch part of it and I'm told it was completely amazing. I thought it was pretty cool just listening to it but I'm told that the performance took it to a different level. Hopefully we'll get to see them again sometime when we have ear protection!
We finally made it upstairs to the new space discovery centre. It has foam arrows you can fire so that was of course what we ended up doing for the rest of our visit. The arrows WERE fun though.
On our way home we were pleased that we had decided to come for the first few hours of the morning instead of later because the Aviation Parkway was backed up quite a long ways with people wanting to park having to wait for visitors to leave! I guess there were a lot of visitors, though it hadn't felt excessively crowded at the time.
One benefit of having cousins staying with us is that when we have stirfry for supper they can demonstrate how to use grown-up chopsticks.
Elizabeth was quite distressed that her "learning" chopsticks somehow got shattered in the drawer but Erika and Maria were good teachers and by the end of the meal even Matthew was occasionally able to get food to his mouth...