And it was lovely. But the highlight of the week this year was spending time with our 4 year old niece Boitumelo. She was born in southern Africa, and her name means "Joy" which is fitting as she is a very happy, bouncy kid.
As little kids do, she took to her big cousin Caroline with rapt fascination and wanted to emulate everything she did.
But the memory I'll hold close was the morning we took Boitumelo for her first pony ride. Despite not having seen many horses in her native Lesotho, Boitumelo decided early on that she is going to be a "horse rider" when she grows up. When asked what horse riders DO for work, she will fix you a serious look with her dark eyes and say "Ride horses!" Well, duh.
So the first pony ride was a Big Big Deal. Boitumelo promptly fell in love with her lovely white pony "Merrylegs" (who, by the way, seemed to have very tired legs and didn't seem very merry except when she was headed back toward her hitching post).
Her ride consisted of her being led several times in a big circle around a field, accompanied by me (aka Auntie Diane), Uncle Roger, and her moms. We made quite a procession and I kept thinking that she looked like a princess being escorted by her servants.
I loved seeing the amazed concentration on her face the whole time. And all four of us grown-ups just grinned the whole morning, too.
We have a few days at home before we head off on our next adventure -- to England!