It was quite the responsibility to handle seven kids, but Aaron knows when they get on the bus they wont be able to disappear, and hopefully they will fall asleep. The worst bit, however, is the moaning.
Lumy: Where is the bus, Uncle Aaron?
Owen: Will we have to wait very long, Uncle Aaron?
Comfrey: Daddy, daddy, daddy, my legs are getting tired.
Gromwell: When will it be here, daddy?
But as luck would have it, the bus arrived just before Aaron lost his mind.
When the bus pulled away from the stop, Aaron gave a loud sigh of relief, they got seats together and no one has to stand.
Aaron took out his map and studied it. It was quite a boring trip, as they wont pass through many villages. They will however, stop for a break in Grinpa, and change buses. At Marigold Creek they will have another stop to refresh. The final part of the trip is always the most exciting, as they will be travelling around a big mountain range, through the Big Dark Forest and then across the ocean to the Island of Atlandia by Ferry.
Meanwhile in Mystique Valley...
It was quite a busy day in Mystique Valley. Marco Cotton had a lot of preparations to do for his family's visit from Sugarbush Valley, but now he can finally take a break and have a rest while waiting for the bus, it should be here in the next half an hour. Bruno and Angela Bearbury were waiting for the arrival of Owen who is traveling with the Cottontails, and so is Horace Honeybear, who will receive his brother's children for a visit too.
(Backdrop photo credit to VKarlsen)
Sooner than expected the bus arrived. Everyone immediately started looking for the familiar faces of their loved ones.
(Backdrop photo credit to Vidar Karlsen)
On seeing her uncle Willow ran into his arms and gave him a hug, but Sorrel first made sure that she delivered all the children to their families before greeting her brother. Aaron had quite the struggle to wake Gromwell, who only fell asleep after they got onto the ferry.
(Backdrop photo credit to Vidar Karlsen)
Marco: Sis! Welcome to our beautiful village. Was the ride okay?
Sorrel: I'm so glad to finally be here? It was very comfortable, and I like relaxing on the bus, and look at the countryside.
Aaron were talking to his friend Bruno.
Bruno: Thank you so much for bringing Owen along and looking after him.
Aaron: No problem, he behaved very well.
Horace: Yes, I want to thank you too, Lumy must have been a handful.
Aaron: No not at all, she and Comfrey had a great time and then she feel asleep on my lap and Comfrey on his mother's, so she was no trouble.
(Backdrop photo credit to Vidar Karlsen)
After everyone greeted those around them, Marco accompanied the Cottontails to the Norhtern Light, they will be renting one of the empty rooms there for the duration of the holiday.
Silver: Good afternoon Mr Cotton, we have your room ready.
Marco: Thank you Silver, meet my brother-in-law, Aaron.
Silver: Good to meet you Aaron, have a great stay with us and do not hesitate to call on Basil here should you need anything.
Basil took the Cottontails to their room, and they were truly surprised by the luxury of it.
Sorrel: Wow, look at this, this is so big and comfortable, but still luxurious, thank you Marco for organising this.
Marco: No problem, I was just glad we could find an open room.
With promises of and early start the following day and meeting the rest of the family, Marco left his sister and brother-in-law. They were obviously tired and will make it an early night, after they had some room service.
As promised, Donna, Marco's wife arrived at the Northern Light very early the next morning. She has in secret arranged with Aaron, to take Sorrel to the Beauty Salon for a treat. Sorrel was glad that she was already awake.
Sorrel were totally in awe of the Beauty Salon. The staff were extremely friendly and everything was so organised and modern in there, compared to the fact that Sugarbush Valley still didn't even had a Salon of any kind.
Sorrel were, however, not the only one enjoying the wonders of the wonderful village of Mystique Valley. Heston took Gromwell, to the local pet shop. Gromwell, was amazed by all the little animals, and they spent a good few hours in there.
Kylie and Willow took a stroll through the village, unsure of what to do or where to go, but enjoying each other's company.
As they passed the Dollhouse shop, Willow shrieked with joy and dragged Kylie towards the shop. The girls, like the boys, spend a few hours inside, admiring all the houses.
Upon asking Aaron, what he would like to do for the day, Aaron immediately answered that he would like to visit the local carpenter. Marco was taken aback by this answer as he had something completely different in mind, but as the host, he obliged to Aaron's wishes.
Aaron was received by the extremely friendly and helpful Percy Beagle. He was relieved to see that Percy used the same techniques as he did, and that they agreed on most things. Silly as it might seem to other, this was truly an amazing experience for Aaron.
After a busy and eventful day the two families gathered at the Cotton Residents for a barbeque. As chefs by trade Marco and Donna treated them with traditional food. They had an alfresco dinner, enjoying the lovely weather.
The Cottontails soon realised that Mystique Valley was indeed a magical place. Not only was there lovely people living there, but the shops and entertainment available was fantastic too.
Many days were spent exploring the wonderful shops and restaurants, but unfortunately budget and time didn't allow for all places to be visited.
Pippin's Cafe which was run by Mrs Henry-Lloyd was the Cottontail Family's favorite stop for breakfast, mainly because of the selection of muffins, scones and, of course cakes. The coffee wasn't to bad either.
Willow and Kylie often visited the shops and were always out shopping.
One of their favorite stops, was Mrs Skunk's cupcake shop, by the end of the holiday Willow had tasted all the different kinds and was sure that the blue velvet cupcake with blueberry icing were her favorite.
Violetta Lavender's Fine Jewelry shop was by far Sorrel's favorite shop. She secretly stopped there everyday and had wonderful chats with Violetta, who didn't mind Sorrel's visits.
What Sorrel didn't know was that Aaron himself also stopped there often, looking for something to surprise his wife with.
It was on the last day of their holiday that Aaron finally took his wife to the shop to buy herself something pretty. Aaron was truly surprised that Sorrel instantly knew what she wanted.
After spoiling his wife with a gorgeous gift, they had a quick lunch at the Mystique Valley Soup eatery. Again they were surprised by the delicious flavours of something which should be a simple dish.
It soon became evident that Donna's favorite shop was the Perfumery of Mrs Whiskers, she often went there with Sorrel.
They would smell perfume, study the wonderful ingredients of each soap and admire the gift baskets that Mrs Whiskers so skilfully wrapped.
Another favorite shop for Aaron and Sorrel were the Interior shop of Mr Bergere. Although a helpful and friendly chap, he let them be. Allowing them to browse the fabulous shop at their leisure, without disturbing them at all.
The pair also liked visiting the art gallery of the Hunter-Smyth family. They were both art lovers, but with different taste, so they didn't display much paintings in their own house.
For Aaron it was wonderful to sit and admire the painting on display, but also to watch Raphael paint the most wonderful scenes.
For Aaron and Sorrel all of these excursions would have been impossible if it was not for the darling Donna who regularly occupied the children. Daisy's colourful Ice Cream shop was always a hit with them.
After his first attempt at taking Aaron to the nearby wine farm of the Solitaire family failed, Marco was more direct, and didn't gave Aaron the option to choose again. Aaron who is not a big drinker was surprised by how much he enjoyed the tour and the outing to the farm. He sincerely apologised to Marco for not doing it sooner.
Too soon the last evening of the wonderful holiday came. Though missing their house and their friends, it was sad to be thinking that something so wonderful must end.
As a special surprise and treat Marco and Donna decided to cook a special dinner for their family in their Restaurant, The Sylvanian Kitchen. They closed the restaurant for the evening in order to give their undivided attention to Aaron, Sorrel and the children.
At the end of the meal, Aaron thanked Marco and Donna for their incredible hospitality and extended the invitation to visit them in Sugarbush valley soon.
Oh my what a wonderful story! Did you enjoy that? And sorry for being so forward, but I may say this, as this is not entirely mine. In-fact it is not my story at all. The idea for the Cottontails to visit Mystique Valley was mine, but the rest was all Sigrun. I told her which of her wonderful shops my family must visit and she did the scenes and the setups. But then I had a bit of a thought, how can we make this even more wonderful and it was obvious. Talented Sylvanako must help. And he did more than help, he made magic and made every picture come alive.
Thousand thank yous to Sigrun and Sylvanako. It is wonderful to work or rather play with friends like you.