Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cross Country Road Trip - Day 18 - Swimming then Home

After three full days of driving (not to mention the less-than-relaxing nights of camping) the motel room felt like a lottery win! We slept soundly and were shocked when we woke up late - so late in fact that we had to skip showers (nooooo!!!) and boot it to the cabin for a late breakfast.
The kids were overjoyed when they saw Jenn & Matt's van parked there too, and they all spent the morning exploring the campsite and checking out cool bugs.

We spent the rest of the morning/afternoon at a local beach. This place is awesome for kids because the water is so shallow. I could literally walk across this river.

We left shortly after lunch and made it home by midnight. Thanks for a fun day Mom & Dad!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cross Country Road Trip - Day 17 - Are we there yet???

My favorite part of camping has always been rising with the sun (I won't lie, partly because I'm so uncomfortable I can't wait to stand up) and making a nice toasty fire. Cameron and I woke up bright and early, quickly checked for bear tracks (none) and enjoyed breakfast while we waited for everyone else to wake up.

No one had woken up by the time we were finished, so we took a walk to the lake to clean off. The water was pretty, ahem, crisp so it wasn't a full bath. We went back to camp and fed a really friendly chipmunk. By then, every one else had woken up and some angry clouds were beginning to threaten rain so we packed up and continued on our way. There was still a lot of driving left to do anyway if we were going to get to Mom & Dad's cabin before dark.

Since our camping pass was valid in any Ontario park all day, we took advantage and took a break to view yet another waterfall.

Later, when stopping for gas we came across this cool lighthouse that was free to explore. We couldn't resist.

And then continued the seemingly never ending drive. We underestimated our driving time by a lot and ended up arriving at the cabin around midnight. Now we would be stuck navigating three sleepy kids and our gear through the pitch black. Great. Thankfully, my Mom & Dad had thought ahead and booked us a room at the town's only motel. Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cross Country Road Trip - Day 16 - More driving

We started the day bright and early, packing up our campsite in record time and were back on the trans-Canada by 10. One of our goals for the trip was to take portraits of the kids in the gorgeous canola fields. So we pulled over onto a dirt road just off the highway and proceeded to groom kids & snap away. I think it was well worth the effort:

Lots more driving, and we finally reached our day's destination: Sandbar Lake Provincial Park. We had a beautiful site - pretty private, outhouses just across from us, and a private path leading to the lake.

After registering, we were informed that a bear was scavenging on site #37 - we were 43! Let's just say we were extra careful to clean our site, even then I was still expecting to be woken in the middle of the night by a furry visitor. I guess he was full cause there weren't any signs of him in the morning.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cross Country Road Trip - Day 15- On the road again...

We headed home bright and early Wednesday morning. It was cold & rainy, but the van was warm & dry, so we had no right to complain. Instead of high-tailing it out of Alberta, we veered south for a quick stop in Drumheller. The weather magically warmed (as only Drumheller can) and the kids woke up as we passed thorough the Dino-adorned town site. We stopped to cross a suspension bridge and explore the hills of the mining area on the other side of the river.  

This is one of our favorite places to visit, and it was nice that all the kids could climb this time. (The last time we were here I carried Cameron in the snugli.)

The badlands are truly amazing to see - you can imagine dinosaurs walking among the hills & desert like terrain.

We also stopped to visit the hoodoos, before heading on our way again.

Austin scraped his knee. Can you tell???

I love this picture, cheesy editing and all!

We spent the rest of the day driving, then camped at Crooked Lake provincial park. At dusk, what must have been thousands of dragon flies blanketed the sky. I guess that explained why there were very few mosquitoes! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cross Country Road Trip- Days 13-14 - Final Days

We spent Monday visiting with Brian's family, then went to Lyndsay & Trevor's to visit with his "other" family for dinner. The kids loved playing in Ethan's playhouse, (which was gorgeous - easily the most elaborate built-to-scale playhouse I've ever seen) until Cameron accidentally locked them out. They moved into the house with Ethan and were quite thrilled to play with super heroes and video games.

Tuesday, we ventured back to West Edmonton Mall. Still didn`t visit Galaxy Land, but the kids enjoyed watching the sea lion show. Brian got to purchase the hat he couldn`t find on our first trip.

We spent the evening visiting with everyone, soaking in as much family time as we could since we had to head back home in the morning.

Thanks to everyone for a memorable trip: Bobbi-Jo & Bobby & Bob (Grampa) for the almost nightly bonfires, Brandi & Brian for giving all the kids lots of time together, Miranda & Sean for watching the kids while we went out for nachos (yes, they were as good as we`ve heard) and Bonnie (Gramma) & Jack for literally everything else! Bonnie, I can`t even describe how great it was to not have to cook for almost two weeks.