Yes indeed, this weekend would be Norman-Rockwell-picture-postcard-perfect.  I was looking forward to the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend with such bubbling enthusiasm that my poor siblings had to endure more than one email from me that began with “only # more sleeps!” until our reunion.  Imagine a vista where the slopes of the mountains were in their scorching splendour of furious reds, mellow yellows and vivid oranges, gentling protecting the beautiful Intrawest resort village of Mont Tremblant, Qc, Canada (about an hour north of Montreal).   Couple that venue with the crispness of a Fall morning that then gave way to uncharacteristically high daytime temperatures, transporting us all back into summertime mode (in fact, several heat records were broken on Sunday).  Then picture the cozy family campfire that transpired as the chilled night air returned.  Yes indeed, this weekend would be picture-postcard-perfect.

Perfect.

If you could take away the hike down the 875m mountain (2,871ft) on a trail called Le Bruler.  Translated, bruler means to burn, as in the knees, the quads, the calves, etc., as I quickly come to realize.

Perfect.

If you could take away that the younger generation effortlessly side-stepped shoe-sucking mud holes and gazelled from rock to rock.

Perfect.

If you could take away the image of the young father we passed heading down the mountain, while he was heading up with an infant in his front carrier and a toddler in his backpack carrier.  My sister couldn’t help muttering, “Show-off!” as she allowed him and his pre-school entourage to pass.

Perfect.

If you could take away the fact that the trail map suggested that Le Bruler was approximately a two-hour hike.  Never trust trail map approximations.  Three and a half hours later, I had made 2 frantic calls to my 74-year old mother back at base camp:  one to confirm we had acclimatized to the oxygen levels and were continuing our descent and one to coordinate lunch.

Perfect.

If you could take away the fact that due to this massive hiking expedition, Thanksgiving dinner took place at 10p – well passed the bedtimes of some of our younger guests (and mine, I might add)!

Perfect.

If you could take away the fact that the perfect homemade cranberry sauce (fresh cranberries, sugar, spices and a splash of Grand Marnier) never got served (but damn if that Grand Marnier didn’t go down good with 2k to go!).

Perfect.

If you discount the hydraulic patient hoist with which we all had to take turns the next morning to help us get out of bed, providing great inspiration to my niece aspiring to become a doctor (just not in geriatrics!).

Perfect.

If you could take away the unabated enthusiasm that surrounded the annual, traditional kids vs. parents football game.  Though my muscles begged for a forfeit, I endured my older brother’s Bluto-like soliloquy:  “’Over’? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!”  Alright, already (though I did manage to sneak off the field and participate as official photographer instead … laparoscopic surgery is postponed).

Perfect.

If you could take away the fact that the kids legitimately won and now hold bragging rights for an entire year.  And really!  Seriously.  What were we thinking?  They were all young teenage athletes, one of them playing high school varsity football!  There’ll be just no living with them, now (but wait!  I do need them to help me down these stairs!).

 

 

Perfect.

But really… would I really take away these little (ok, sometimes not so little) imperfections, entirely?  Approaching Martha Stewart standard, but never quite?  Will anyone actually remember these little blemishes?  Maybe.  But there are what makes us a family – and what moves us to make the effort to continue to gather annually from (presently) six different North American locations.  Maybe, not-so-perfect is a much better standard.

Yes, indeed this weekend was picture-postcard-almost-perfect.

6 Responses to "Perfect" Thanksgiving Weekend 2011

  • Glad you had a wonderful time together as a family and those little glitches didn’t spoil your fun!

  • Thank you Elizabeth – it WAS a wonderful weekend…

  • This is wonderful! I think it would be rather boring without the glitches. Sure, dinner would be on time and your joints wouldn’t be barking the next morning, but there is something about rolling with the punches…enjoying whatever comes your way. I think the whole event sounds awesome!

    • Thanks, Annie. I think the unseasonably warm temperatures made the difference. Had it been cold or raining (or – God forbid – snowing which is not uncommon for Canadian Thanksgiving in a ski resort), there may have been more casualities than just the turkey!

  • Actually, it sounds perfect to me. The kids and you will remember the moments and years later when they are at school or having dinner with friends they will talk about these moments with love. Seriously, they will. I am always surprised what my kids talk about with their friends, makes me sniffle. I am not coordinated as you are, the most I could have managed was the hike. Is there room service on camp grounds?

    • I think you’re right, Brenda (certainly they’ll talk nonstop about them winning the football game anyway!). Oh – and I assure you this was no campground! My 3 siblings and I split the cost for a beautiful 8 bedrm rental property. No way you’d catch me camping in Canada in October (not even sure I’d do it in the thick of summer anymore, either!)! As always, thanks for stopping by!

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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