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Hamming it up at my brother's place...

Me being my usual reserved self…

Those were my brother Michael’s words when I posted on Facebook what a blast it was to visit with my family last week.

You may have been thinking that I was MIA but really I was at the Schwenkonsortium.

The only thing that could have made it even more spectacular is if my daughter had been able to join us.

She would have loved the impromptu photo session courtesy of neighbor Roberto. But more on that in a bit.

I arrived at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal early lastTuesday afternoon.

And was greeted by Uncle Arno who’d been on a business trip in Chicago and decided to visit The Schwenks before flying back to Berlin.

After making a quick stop to say hi to my brother and his family, Arno and I headed west to my parents place on the border of Quebec and Ontario.

There was a lot of catching up.

There was a lot of eating out at restaurants.

There was a lot of playing Mackebeen (not sure on spelling) with mom.

And there was a lot of reminiscing and laughing about the good old days like where Oma and Opa were born, how they met and when they got married.

I had the group in stitches as I read old German documents out loud with exaggerated pomp and loud stereotypical German authority in my voice.

I had the pleasure of meeting Pauline who comes in once a week to look after my dad. It takes a special kind of person to be a caregiver and Pauline definitely fits the bill.

Dad thinks so too, because on Thursday when she came and we sat down to eat together, dad didn’t hesitate to tell me that I was about to sit in Pauline’s spot!

On Friday night the kids – what mom calls my uncle, brother, sister-in-law and me – went to L’Acadamie on Rue St. Denis for an excellent meal prepared by Chefs-in-training.

The food was F A N T A B U L O U S !

And you can bring your own wine!

My brother and his wife had veal with pasta. Uncle Arno had yellow tuna and rice. Nephew Spencer opted for Salmon. And I went for grilled chicken with a pink pepper sauce.

Did I mention that I love Montreal?

After dinner Uncle and I headed back to the Schwenk homestead to reminisce and laugh some more with mom and dad (uncle’s brother).

On my second-to-last day, Uncle Arno and I headed to Mike’s place for a barbecue. Arno left for the airport to fly back to Germany after dinner.

The rest of us family, neighbours, friends sat outside in the beautiful 30c/86f temperature enjoying each other’s company.

It was a surprise birthday party for nephew Spencer, whose actual birthday is in July but was being celebrated in September because his parents are lame – Heather’s words, not mine!

As the sun set and the sky grew dark, neighbor Roberto set up his camera for a fun, somewhat visually experimental and creative photo shoot.

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Brother Michael, SIL Heather and I stayed up until 2AM which seemed like a good idea at the time, but not so wise when we got up at 4:30AM to head to the airport so I could catch my plane back to Calgary.

All in all, it felt good to be home. I really should go there more often.


Do you cut loose when you’re with family? Do you see them often enough?