Sunday, July 29, 2012

Final Stop: BFF

We wrapped up our long trip with a short visit at my favorite vacation spot.  It had been too long since our last visit.  Babies and kids grow and change so quickly that six months between visits is way too much time...and too much time for the moms as well.

After driving past hundreds of kilometres of farmland we finally got to explore those bright yellow canola fields up close.  Known for its living skies, the scenery in this province is awesome.  I love how you can see a storm coming from a mile away, inching its way across the sky until it is on top of you.  

This visit was extra special because we headed out to the cabin.  We have photo albums full of good times at this little cabin.  Most of them pre-children because those prairie storms and flooding have reeked havoc on this fine resort over the past few years.  

Its funny what time does to a place.  In our twenties we rocked this cabin with nights full of Karaoke and table games that involved the flipping of plastic cups and late night fireworks and fire-pits on the beach.  And hot days full of coconut oil, friz-stick tournaments and coolers full of a local beverage fittingly called Moose Milk.  So many vital things were celebrated at this lakefront cottage... birthdays, engagements, going aways and starting overs.

We used to watch the neighbors kids play on the beach all day and feel slightly guilty for the loud music, bad singing, and likely inappropriate language from the night before.  And now in our thirties, it is our turn.  The beach has been lost to flooding but our kids never knew it existed.  They run and play on the dock, make cabin crafts and play chutes and ladders...making their own cabin memories and adding to ours.

Fortunately, the neighbors don't believe in pay-back.
An absoulute perfect end to our family vaycay.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Next Stop: Dinosaur Town

Let's just say I know more about dinosaurs than I ever thought I would.  I now know that reptiles that flew or swam are not actually considered dinosaurs as well as the little fact that grass didn't actually exist during the time of the dinosaurs. And we can't forget that dinosaurs legs are positioned under their body not stuck out from the sides.  Until our stop in Dinosaur Town, Ross Geller was was my favorite palaeontology teacher.

Let us begin our tour in the Cretaceous era...

We spent two days in this little town and I always get excited when my girls get to experience new things.  I could almost see their neurons firing as they soaked up all the information their brains could possibly comprehend.  And the best part... there was no test at the end.  Just fun.

It sorta feels like you're in another country when your descend down into the Drumheller Valley.  You're just driving along the highway enjoying some prairie land, checking out canola fields and then BANG... the landscape takes a drastic turn.  Surprisingly, rock climbing was on our agenda.  Our own town is built on rock but it looks nothing like this...

When we were in Cowboy Country I wanted to trade my rubber shoes for a pair of foot stompin' c'boy boots.  In Dinosaur Town I needed some sensible, sturdy hiking boots.  As we tried to climb higher up the Hoo Doos Lexi's feet kept slipping on the soft sandstone.  Callie says, "you can't ever dust the sand off this rock!"  A lesson for us all with regards to erosion...and another reason to have many, many, many pairs of shoes!

We knew Dinosaur Town was famous for it's fossils but didn't realize we'd be meeting some very alive and well reptiles.  We were very brave from the other side of the glass.

We all attended Dinosaur School but only the girls got to make the cool sun visors that magically turned them into real life palaeontologists.  Everyone learned something as the teacher took us back 65 million years.

After receiving our Academy Award for our role as best tourists in an independent film, we jumped ship from all things museum and headed to the water park.  Because with this desert-like landscape comes desert-like temperatures.  And this water park won the best location to get wet, hands down over the other in its category, the hotel pool.

I had fun with my little family in this little Dinosaur Town... doing and learning and making memories.

Callie says, "Hey, this looks like Pride Rock from the Lion King."  And the Oscar goes to...
Just one final stop on our adventure.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First Stop: Cowboy Country

Today feels like the first day back at the gym after falling off the exercise wagon.  I have fallen off the Blogger wagon lately for all the same reasons I've fallen off the exercise wagon.  This has to be the hottest July we have had in a long time.... and we went on vaycay.  We packed up the girls complete with snacks, drinks, dvds, iPad, books, toys, clothes, blankies, paper, markers, and the kitchen sink.  Actually, we packed an extra large bag of wet wipes instead of the kitchen sink for our 2600 km long trip.

We traded in our rocks and trees for wide open spaces....

...and family.  A lot of family.

These family get togethers are ingrained in us.  People always ask how we do it.  How do we get so many of our family members together on a regular basis?  I will try my best to describe how it happens.

Someone: "So when is our next get together?"
Someone else: "I don't know.  What should we do?"
Another person: "Well it's been six years since we've travelled west."
Another: "Has it been that long?  Where does the time go?"
Someone: "So west it is. Jake can we come to your place?"
Jake: "Just tell me when you'll be here."
Someone else:  "What weekend works?"
Another person: "How about July 14th?"
Another: "July 14th it is."
Someone: "Okay, everyone.  Book your holidays for July."
Someone else:  "If you can make it, great.  If not we'll catch you next time."

And basically that's how it happens.

On this trip, little sister found a new love.

Without hesitation, Lexi jumped in line for a ride on Maggie.  And she wanted to go again and again.  And before we knew it she was trading in her purple Dawgs for a pair of boots.  Lil' sista embraced cowboy country with both arms.

As for Callie, I hardly saw her for four days.  Not because she was busy riding horses but because she was wrapped up in the world of cousins.  Running and playing late into the night.  Just like I remember doing as a kid.

I picked myself up a little piece of cowboy country at a gas station along the way.  I told Jon, "just wait, I need a hat!"  As they say... when in Rome...  I held back at getting the boots but I sure wish I had them when we were stompin' a couple of two steps.  Somehow rubber shoes just don't measure up when your singing and dancing until the wee hours of the morning on a gravel dance floor.

We had such a great time, it's hard to believe this was just the first stop on our long trip.  Saying goodbye to family is never easy.

Carrie: So when is our next get together?

Monday, July 9, 2012

At The Beach Days

The first week of summer holidays is complete and there haven't been very many at home days.  We've had "at the dentist days," "at the hair salon days," "at friends' houses for coffee days," and of course, what would summer be without "at the beach days." 

We have resumed our positions at our favorite beach. Same beach, same friends... new memories.  The first trip to the beach is always a time for reflection because changes in the kids can not be missed when your last comparison comes from a year ago.

Hair has grown longer, there are new swim suits for taller bodies, we have improved swimming abilities, and swim diapers have been eliminated.  All these changes are evident in the foreground but lingering in the background is a solid base of friendship that supports the weight of growing personalities.  Friends of the best kind.  The kind that it doesn't matter which child goes in which vehicle.  Parental guardianship can be flipped and flopped.

We are in the middle of a heat wave.  Hot, Hot, HOT.  Sticky, sweaty hot.  The kind of hot that has you heading for water or hanging out in the freezer section at the grocery store.  I've been holding out for a rainy day to open my computer and sort through my pictures but the forecast isn't calling for one of those for quite some time.  

Camp fire s'mores.  Check.

Ouch!  The start of little sister virus that has slowed us down....just a bit.

With our long summer nights, we have a tendency to loose track of time.  Routines have been traded for long afternoon beach days and supper time naps and two girls who have hardly been in bed before midnight since or at home days began.  I like getting rid of routine for awhile.  That way maybe we'll appreciate it more when it returns.  But for now, I've got a two year old telling me it's time to get to bed.  We've got to rest up for another beach day tomorrow.