Montreal was a no-negotiation destination for us. We had both been there before but JB's brother and his family moved there almost six years ago and we hadn't seen them since then. It was time to reunite, and it was a rather emotional reunion for us.
We were moved to see Emmanuel and Leila again and to get to know their two beautiful children. For Anais and Tea, it was like they had know Victor and Louise all their lives.
La ruelle is the idyllic setting which their house backs onto. A back street green and blooming with pretty flowers, it is where the children gather and play and cordial neighbors congregate for a drink or to chat over dessert.
First there were two... then
Girls rule the world!
A stone's throw away from the house is the lovely Jardin Botanique.
Wanting to show us their favorite summer getaway, Emmanuel and Leila took us to Lac Castor, about a couple of hours out of Montreal. It was a hot, hot weekend and as we inched our way through the heavy traffic, it was hard to believe that being knee-deep in snow is the more common scenario.
Anais and Victor jumped from the car into the canoe.
Louise and Tea: Meet our super dads!
Bonding time between JB and his nephew Victor.
Happy in the water.
Forget about tranquility.
Anais striking out on her own.
But two is faster than one.
The hut we slept in, safe from bears and mosquitoes.
The girls doing a thorough analysis to see if the stick will do for toasting a marshmallow on, but decide its too big.
Best photo award: Leila and Emmanuel. Encore un grand merci! It was so special to spend this time with you, laughing over old times, learning some Quebecois, and seeing how bright and happy your children are. A bientot.
Brothers in oars.
It was hard to say goodbye. But we left happy. You know that feeling; when you've spent time with people you love and have sat in their kitchen and seen the view from their windows and know that they are safe and happy.