18 May 2008

It's Time To Celebrate...

Saturday's big Par-Tay went off without a hitch. 90 people gathered at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate to celebrate my parents-in-law. In return, we were treated to great food, good wine, and fantastic entertainment in the form of 'The Three Waiters' - three opera singers pretending to be a French, Italian and British waiter, respectively. It was a hilarious battle of the silly, much to the amusement of everyone present.

My boys were the only children at the party, and I am proud to say they were very well behaved (though I must admit to a little confusion -- I mean, how come they don't behave like that around the house?). They did get to sneak their DSes into the dining room, but played very little, preferring to socialize (another source of confusion...).

Family and friends drove from all over the country, and some flew in from as far away as Germany, Switzerland and even the US for the weekend. Most of the family spent last night at the hotel, which is how we were able to put the boys to bed nice and early (eh...11:30 pm), and still continue partying until the hotel closed us down at 1 am.

Sadly, some of us (cough 'Mike' cough) thought we could continue partying like we were 21 all night, so he decided to join his much younger sister and brother on the town for another few hours. He finally made it back into the hotel room at 4 am, making quite a lot of noise and annoying me to no end with his utter lack of consideration for me and the fact that I was trying.to.sleep.

It was only this morning I realized the extent of his..ehem...inebriation, as he suffered through the worst hang-over in years. Even his 25-year-old brother was in pain, and had to spend most of the day sleeping it off. Only Katherine stood proud, proving once again that women really are the stronger sex.

Today was spent at the house in Ripon, where my mother-in-law hosted those out-of-town guests who had not yet left at a casual garden lunch. I even had the opportunity to meet a childhood friend of Mike's, a guy he's known since he was 4. It was a pleasant and relaxed day, with everyone being tired and slightly run down after yesterday's festivities.

I'm thinking tonight will be an early night.

Tomorrow is the big packing day. We have to squeeze everything we brought to England back into the suitcases we came with AND add to that pile the things we've acquired during our three weeks here. Thankfully, we've limited our purchases here to necessities only (football shirts for the boys, name plates for their doors (very important, that), cooking chocolate to make delicious toffee shortbread, that sort of thing), so it should not be an impossible task.

What will be an impossible task, I fear, is getting through check-in on Tuesday without having to pay for the extra weight we'll be begging the airline to take home with us.

At least they can't charge me for the extra weight I've piled on around my waist this year.

We began our adventure with a big family birthday party for my mother in Norway last July, so it is only fitting that we ended it with another big family celebration this weekend. I feel as if we've come full circle.

Our sabbatical has been all about family, both immediate and extended. We've made fantastic memories, for our children, and also for ourselves. I can't wait to immerse myself in the wealth of photos we've amassed during our time away, to relive some of the experiences of the past 10 months.

But now it's time to return to our life and our friends in Canada.

I'm curious to see how Canada will seem to us after a year away. Have we changed as much as I think we have, or not at all? Will there be a period of re-adjustment, or will we be back in the old swing of things within days?

43 comments:

Suzanne said...

Nothing like a night on the town to test your youthfulness! I'd fail miserably.

Good luck as you prepare to return home!

Mrs. G. said...

At least Mike gave it the old college try! Do tell me you plan to keep blogging in Canada!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Why do I suspect I'll enjoy the story of your reentry into "real" life as much as I've enjoyed the story of your Viking Conquest?!

Beck said...

ARE you going to keep blogging when you return home? It never occured to me that you might not. Yikes.
I had the WORST hangover of my whole LIFE two winters ago, and I've been a bit shy about drinking ever since. Ouch.

dkuroiwa said...

The party sounded wonderful...only made better, though also a bit more confusing, by those boys of yours.....isn't it interesting that, as they get older and start to behave more mature-like, we are happy, yet...suspicious!?!?! :-D

With parties at the beginning of this adventure and now more at the end....you and your family have certainly come "full circle". The pictures you have posted lately have been absolutely beautiful...your posts have been like a really indepth travel brochure from a really friendly company!!! Thank you so much for sharing this part of your lives with us.

I'm with the others in hoping that you continue blogging....your adventure is far from over, luv.

oh...and hangovers....so much fun to get, so baaaaaaad to have. I hate reminders that I am no longer as young as I used to be!!

Happy stuffing...sorry.."packing"!! Have a save flight!! :-D

Laura said...

Happy travels and return to Canada.

I so appreciate your blogging this adventure - what a wonderful experience.

I am sure you will feel like so much had changed, and that nothing has changed - all at the same time!

Cheers!

jenontheedge said...

How wonderful that the party turned out so well!

I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures upon your return to Canada.

painted maypole said...

sounds fun. I'm praying for your safe journey home...

Amy said...

Hey what's wrong with partying like a 21 year-old? he he he I hope you had a wonderful time.

Best of luck with your journey home. Be safe. =)

Dawn said...

I hope you homecoming is as wonderful as the past year has been for you. I'm so glad the party was a success.

morag said...

It's time to come back to your Canadain home. We are all waiting. Stop complaining about the packing, just leave it all behind, except the pictures!
Morag

Ree said...

Let me know when the toffee shortbread is ready, and I'll send you my address! ;-)

Seriously Heidi, have a safe journey across the pond. We're waiting for you here in North America.

jen said...

knowing you guys, you'll be embracing canada in no time at all.

Rima said...

What an absolutely amazing year you've had. I hope you continue to party it up back in Canada (and to blog all about it :)

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Sounds like a terrific party!
I am anxiously awaiting your stories of reentry to Canadian life. Have a wonderful and safe trip home.

BeachMama said...

Enjoy your final day abroad. And may your trip home be quiet and uneventful. I hope you continue to share stories with us when you return home to Canada, it would be neat to see how your life has changed, if it has.

Stomper Girl said...

Sometimes you've just got to learn the hard way. Good luck with the excess baggage, it's only money isn't it. Whereas a door name plate is very important indeed.

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Safe travels, Heidi! And I hope 're-entry' goes smoothly.

Anna-borderline-bonkers-banana :) said...

I am so excited to see if it is the same for you once you get home or if you feel like a visitor in your own country.
It is so awesome that you really made everything of the time away, your trip has been amazing....well from my point anyway;)

Happy travels my friend!

carrie said...

Oh yes, the inebriated husband is funny, no?

At least you guys went out (of Europe) with a bang! Keep us posted on your travels home, I want to hear just as much about Canada as I did about Norway, you hear? :)

Beth said...

I've really enjoyed following you all on your adventures and I'm looking forward to hearing all about your old/new life in Canada!

kimmy said...

We try to test the limits of our youth all the time with Hallie and John! We always have lots of fun, but pay for it in the morning too!

Kimmy

Kellan said...

So glad the part went well - Congrats to your in-laws!!

I am also anxious to see how you all find Canada and hear all about your homecoming.

Have a good week, Heidi - see you - Kellan

E said...

Safe travels home Heidi.
You have set the bar for the rest of us expat wannabes. I have loved following your family adventures and am looking forward to hearing about the re-entry next....Ellen

Aliki2006 said...

I'm glad the party went so well!

I bet you there will be a period of adjustment, but don't let that worry you. When we lived abroad for two years, I remember returning and thinking we would all just re-insert ourselves effortlessly into life as we knew it (I was 17). But it WAS hard, in strange ways. IN some ways more difficult because I hadn't thought it would be--if that makes sense.

Misty said...

Honestly, I think you will go back and within a week, it will be like you never left. (The week is for the unpacking.) That is the way it feels to me when I get back from a trip. Do you wish it was not over? I wish it were not over, actually.

Mary Beth said...

What a great journey it has been for you, and us through your blog! I hope the last leg in uneventful and that everything goes smoothly on this side of the pond:)

Safe trip home.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

The Three Opera Singers sound fantabulous, and so does all the partying. Again, I'm so glad you were able to share this fantastic journey with all of us home bodies. I love reading about your family (close and extended), and everything you do.

I'm guessing the return to Canada will be an interesting mish-mash of highs and lows. But knowing you I'm sure you will find many highs and turn the lows into something comical. =)

Liesl said...

Oh, that sounds like a fun night! I can't believe your adventure is almost over!

Amy Y said...

My hubby is the worst drunk ever! I do not envy you ~ I hate dealing with drunken men. ;)

Can't wait to hear how things go in Canada!

MamaGeek said...

THAT sounds fun! I'm guessing you'll adjust to Canada in no time. Home sweet home is always easy to adjust to. Having said that, you'll miss your adventures in 7 days. :)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Sounds like MY kind of party!

AND...as for the unwelcome late night wakeup call....we MIGHT be married to the same man! :)

Hope the trip home goes well!

Karen MEG said...

Great way to round out the trip, Heidi. And Mike, hmmmmm, well I seem to remember a story about him and a salad bowl ;).

Your observation about your boys' behaviour at the party was very telling... I think that this experience has really taught them a lot about life, perhaps they realize by pure osmosis, that there is certainly more of a world out there for them to experience, of people, places and things beyond the DS. A truly unforgettable experience and so glad that you DID IT!!!

Looking forward to your homecoming my friend. We missed you at the Vic Day fireworks last night. And the Lboy is hootin' and hollerin' about having his buddies back.

Have a safe trip home.

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Be safe! Glad the party was a good time. Sorry the hubby had a hangover! lol

Cheri said...

Bon voyage!

gmcountrymama said...

My kids also amaze me when they behave so nicely when not at home. T will hardly sit still for supper at his house but if we go somewhere he sits still and minds all his manners. Strange. At least we know they know how.
Can't wait to here about Canada.

Lainey-Paney said...

if it doesn't all fit....here's a cheaper alternative (cheaper than paying for extra suitcase weight, and cheaper than FedEX/UPS international...or at least, it's been cheaper in my experience): air-freight through the airline.
You can buy a rubbermaid tote, or even do cardboard boxes. Pack up your stuff & make arrangements through the airline to have it air-freighted. You can send it ahead of time, or with you on the plane. In the past, that's how I moved stuff from Dallas to New Orleans, and shipped big stuff from my parents house in Arizona to myself.
Anyway...it's an option.

:)

Victoria said...

Oo - ouch, a hangover. Not fun. Can't wait for all the stories to start in Canada.

I thought of you, one of my Canadian friends, as I celebrated Victoria Day yesterday. I love Victoria Day. =)

Safe travels, my friend.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

oh i would love a good night out on the town :)

shay said...

What fun!
And too funny about your hubby. Mine tried the on New Years...we just aren't as young as we once were sweetie lol.

Bless you as you pack and head home!

another good thing said...

Sounds like a wonderful wrap up to an exciting adventure...except for the hangover part. Didn't you feel SUPERIOR? heh-heh

Annie said...

What a lovely, touching post. There is certainly a bitter sweetness to it all.

Kyla said...

Poor Mike. Heh.

I can't believe it has been a year. Seems like it just zoomed by.