Here's another travel tip – always chat up cab drivers. It's a great way to get a free tour of a new city. Once in Saskatoon, Sarah and I had an entire history of the region, tips on where to shop, why 1 side of the town has old bars while the other side only new, and why the 3 feet of snow we saw was “nothing”. And all in a 15 minutes drive.
Sarah's dad and his kin grew up in Columbus and this was the site for a family memorial for Sarah's dear grampa. For me it was a chance to meet “the other side” of Sarah's family and it was wonderful. We are both extremely fortunate to have wonderful, loving families that get along well. Good thing as we will be staying with so many of them. We arrived to an amazing dinner and even a Congratulations cake from Sarah's Aunt Kelly and family.
Sarah's dad and his brothers (2 of 6 pictured here) are true gentle men. Friendly, funny, happy to hug, down to earth, good to their wives, decent. I count myself lucky to know some really solid guys, and it's always nice to see men of an older generation who are comfortable expressing their feelings, sharing love and sharing laughter.
July 4th was the memorial and, of course, USA's celebrated birthday.
It's my first time in the US for Independence Day, and man does this country know how to celebrate a birthday. Canada Day has always felt a bit humble. We watched a huge parade from the front lawn of Mark's Aunt Shirley which is a big tradition in the family. Uncle Dana and Aunt Heather walked by in the Ohio State marching band, another long-held tradition.
Sarah's grandmother made the trip and was the life of the party. She and her sister Shirley had us in stitches throughout the week as they recounted stories of bats in attics, practical jokes and boys being boys.
A huge shout-out to Aunt Kelly, Uncle Eric and their amazing offspring Cousin's Erin and Sam. These guys hosted us every day, shared their local pool, and fed us and fed us and fed us.
A few more photos from July 4th