Bruce's Surprise 70th Summer Solstice Weekend Party
(They got me real good)

Carol-Lee's MailChimp Invitation

Bruce has always wanted to celebrate his birthday in the summer. 
So finally for his 70th, he's getting his wish!

The long summer days make it a magical time up here and we like to mark it by celebrating the midnight sun on the Summer Solstice. The northern sky stays a light azure blue all night long and on a clear night, you can read a newspaper outside with out any artificial light. 

So Bruce won't be suspicious this year we will have the solstice party for family and far away friends at my house on the 21st. On June 20th, Saturday will be his big party celebrations.It will be hosted at my friends', Darwin and MaryAnn Eckstorm's farm north of town.

Darwin and MaryAnn have an annual Solstice party celebrated on the Saturday closest to the day. This year we have agreed to we combine resources and include Bruce's birthday with their Solstice Party so it will truly be a SURPRISE!!!!!

Come prepared to greet the first day of summer with all the indulgent, summer trimmings, food, drink, music and dance. As usual, BYOB (bring your own babe, boy, bottle, bongo, bugle, bassoon...) We will supply the food.

AGENDA


Saturday, June 20
4PM  Party Starts with the erection of the Solstice tree at the Eckstrom farm
4:30ish Bruce arrives
5:30  Bison Burger BBQ 
7PM  Birthday cake
8PM  Bonfire
Grande Prairie College Jazz band to dance away into the midnight sun

Sunday, June 21
11ish Brunch at a chosen restaurant
2PM  Polo game (cancelled due to wet field conditions)
7PM Dinner at CL's

Monday, June 22
Free day to sight see, (Uncle Murray you could visit the Weyerhaeuser pulp and paper mill)
You are welcome to stay on as long as you like.
 
Back Story: I have said I want to change my pre-Christmas birthday to the Solstice - longest day of the year, always a party. Carol-Lee took it seriously and for over a year planned a surprise party weekend. I didn't have a clue.

I was well aware that it was a two party weekend. I was a bit suspicious that something special was going to happen at the Sunday party. I had no idea the surprise would be at the Eckstrom's party and that it would involve people from across Canada!

Unbelievable when I opened a cabin door to see Howard from Calgary, Emma from Edmonton, Cliff & Pat from Qualicum Beach, Eric & Linda from Langford, Brian, Bruna, Kyi & Kaidon from Mississauga. Then Uncle Murray from Montreal strolls onto the scene. Later Francoise & Carika arrived from South Africa via Rocky Mountain House.

Saturday Night Solstice Party at Eckstrom's Farm

And what a great weekend. The weather cleared up perfectly for Ecksrom's annual solstice party Saturday night. The Grand Prairie Regional College Jazz Band played on the veranda. Click on the picture below to see a video of them playing. Note the song: A Day in the Life of a Fool

Click to see a Jazz band performance

Traditional Scandanavian Solstice Tree

Bruna & Emma (cleverly balancing a baloon on her head)

Bruce and his Western children Eric, Emma, Francoise & Carika


Brian, Bruna, Kyi & Kaidon stayed at Carol-Lee's friend Cled and his lady Vivian' house in the country. Cled is quite a character on the Grande Prairie scene and a very genuine and generous person. First of all he is a GP GP doctor who looks after the health of 5000+ local residents. He is instrumental in EMS infrastructure. Many years ago Cled started polo in Grande Prairie. 

There is aways an entertaining collection of people and animals around Cled's 'farm' that contains two polo fields and 35 horses, goats, donkeys, sheep and a lama. Bruna said staying there made the trip. A special thanks to Cled and Vivian for their generous hospitality.

And thanks to Fernando for treating my grand sons to their first horse back rides


 
Sunday Evening Solstice Party at Carol-Lee's
Carol-Lee's lovely garden

Kyi and Kaidon enjoying the back yard playhouse complex that Carol-Lee's father built many years ago.
CL had me refurbish it with new ropes and willow ballisters (a clue I missed)

Extreme left to right: Murray, Charles, Francoise, Carika, Kyi, Pat, Linda, Cliff, and brother Eric

CL's sister Adele, husband Darren, daughter Kaylee and our 'adopted' son Eric

 

Uncle Murray & Charles

3 Generations of Eckhardts

4 Generations of Douglases

Thanks to old Bootsie for guarding the picnic table against squirrel invasions

and thanks to Maggie the magpie chick for a week of entertainment while it learned to fly