Archives For July 2011

Finally arrived home yesterday!  Oh Joy! Oh Bliss!  Oh man we have a lot of mowing to do…
and of course it poured most of today.  I did not complain, sleeping in my bed instead of mowing seemed like a much better use of my time:)
Got into Lethbridge in time to see the Air Show finale, even from a far, it was a sight to behold!

I can’t help but hold my breath as I witness this.
Cannot stay in the Lethbridge Lodge without a photo on the big rock.
Suckers for punishment, Dad dunks them again and they keep coming back for more!
Our last night on the road was great, but I was so ready for home.  
Of course, since I was desperate to be home, we had one little glitch near Elnora, not bad considering we drove 7,500 km.  Why is it every time a man in my life changes a tire, they make it into a demonstration?   Dear, we have AMA for a reason, right.  Lugnuts: pffffffft!
As for our family, I have adopted a few Alcatraz rules, here is one:
The girl was up most of last night, I guess she is not accustomed to having a room to herself after two weeks in hotel rooms with the rest of us.  Which reminds me, I too was up with her, NITE!
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On the Home Stretch

July 25, 2011 — 4 Comments
I have a hankerin’ for fresh produce.   I can deal with noisy hotels, uncomfortable beds, and the daily State changes, but I sure miss wholesome food.  I plan on handling this issue better in the future, a cooler for road trips.   It would be a pain to haul it into a different hotel every day, but so worth it!
In all honesty, I wish this trip would last longer.  The family time has been invaluable, the sights spectacular and experiences memorable.  Going home means: yard work, house work, complaints of boredom, and giving the hubs back over to his career.  The very Career that made this trip possible.   So I will hand him over with the anticipation of the next great adventure. 
We round out our trip with a visit to Yellowstone National Park, stopping first in Idaho Falls.
The Hubs ate at this Smitty’s when he was young on the way to Yellowstone.
By far the best meal of our trip.
 Idaho Falls
This was cool…so I made the kids be cool with it:)
The REAL reason we are here!
Not gonna lie, Old Faithful is getting less faithful over the years, but well worth the wait!
What do you do after a long day of driving…throw rocks at each other.  That’s what you do, right? It’s not just us?!?
This, we could not resist.  Over priced and very much like a CARA Rodeo, we still enjoyed the evening. Sadly for the Hubs, no bulldoggin’.  
This kid was a cutie…entertaining us many times throughout the events.
Coffee: Rodeo Style.

So I kind of messed with the plans yesterday.  We had a casual driving day with only 5 hours to Cedar City.  As we leave The Grand Canyon I SNAP, I LOSE it.  No…not quite, but I gently ask the hubs why we are in a rush to get to our next destination, must we power through, what’s in Cedar City anyway?  Here we are at the GRAND CANYON, yet leaving in a reckless rush.  I MUST set my eyes upon it once more.  He very patiently looks at me and says, “if you want to see it again, let’s see it again.”  This is why I love him:)  Of course the man was merely focused on the goal.

Mostly we needed to return so he would actually smile for a photo this time.
This was not posed, their formation and stature was stellar though!
The folks decided to head back with us, we were all happy to return.
We followed the folks out of Arizona, they headed East in Utah, us: North
On our way they spotted the Watch Tower and pulled over.  An astounding view of the Grand Canyon.
AMEN.
Cannot believe how big our boy is getting…
The menfolk discuss the best route.  No one asks me what I think, probably for the best.
Stone Sheep
Driving through Zion National Park was amazing and after coming out of Arizona, it was refreshing.  This is a place we will return to one day.
Next up:  Idaho
I’m gonna find me a potato.

So here is what I would like.  Instead of “free” internet and breakfast, could we please have the following:
1-Crockpot
1-Rib Roast.  Alberta beef of course.
Potatoes, veggies, ingredients for yorkshire pudding and horse radish.
Eating on the road is getting old.

What I am finding is that Free internet is akin to dial up unless you can’t sleep and chose to blog at 3:19am. So here goes:

On Tuesday we pulled into Vegas just in time to clean up, order the kids pizza and have a quick date before the show.  We chose Mystere by Cirque Du Soleil, it was excellent! http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/mystere/default.aspx

Our date was comical on so many fronts.  We basically had an hour and twenty minutes so we chose a Steak House in our hotel.  Prices and even decor would indicate that we had chosen well.  Instantly we are asked to have our photo taken.  Ya ya, make it snappy! (hilarious, I know).  Well, 3 poses and 6 photos later the woman leaves.  Settle in to order and it turns out our waiter likes to chat up his clients.  I mean, he had it down to a tee, coming back when he could afford the time to continue the tale in not one but two languages, ironically to show us how he thinks everyone should have perfect english before coming to America.  Food arrives, OH JOY!  As does the woman with our photos.  The food and photos were equally poor.  Pass on photos.  Eat our meal that is perhaps one step up from cafeteria food, pay an insane bill and get the kids and head to the show.  Date night fail.  Thank goodness for Cirque!

Our stay is short lived in Vegas, kid’s view of it beyond our hotel.  
I am going to say, I don’t love Vegas.  Yes, somewhat related to the bombardment of hussy photos in every direction, but also for the same reason I don’t like any overly crowded and loud place.  I am a very social being, but this is not my style.  
Back on the road.  The Hubs likes to bend the snot out of our maps, use them and pass them back to me to  return them to their natural state. 
We didn’t take Route 66, but of course I had to have a photo of a sign.
Arrived in Grand Canyon Wednesday afternoon, rooms weren’t ready so we headed right out to view it! This is us trying to get started on the 3 mile walking path.  I can see why we had difficulty locating the canyon as it’s only 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm 
The Hub’s folks met us for this stop and we could not take in enough of the spectacular view!


He SWEARS he is smiling.

This is a reunion tour for the inlaws, they took the Hubs on a road trip to the Grand Canyon when he was young.  Apparently he sat on the floor of the car and said he would never come back.  Ha!


Dodged that bullet.

Well that is it.  I did laundry tonight and it was glorious.  Except the whole spending 2.5 hours in sauna like conditions waiting for it to be done.  Up in a few hours for breakfast and we hit the road once more.  Good times, great memories, slow internet.

So, I think we are on day 6 of our 11 day drive, but honestly, I can’t say for sure!  It’s been fantastic and insane all rolled into one and as we arrive in San Francisco Sunday Night I was about to have a “Becki” sized hissy fit in the girly truck.  Tired, wanting my own bed, sick of the people I love dearly, and craaaaaaaaaanky!

On the way to San Francisco from Crescent City, I decided that waiting for the sun was senseless and that the kids MUST get in the ocean (they’d been itching to anyway) and with strict instructions to go in up to their knees, they gladly went!

In their defence, they were in up to their knees when the waves hit.  They were soaked, but had a blast!
Kids had to get changed right on the road, they were mortified.  
Paul Bunyan was creepy.  and big-ish.
The Redwoods were AMAZING.  and also big-ish.
Turns out Brenda’s salsa is like crack to the hubs…caught him sneaking it more than once.  Salsa intervention? Dear, we love you, but you gots to stop the salsa.
San Francisco Zoo!  The kids had not yet been to a zoo due to the turkey farm for bio security reasons and were thrilled with the experience!
They were particularly happy with the Tarantula Exhibit.
This is a photo of us with San Fran in the background.  Wait…
ALCATRAZ
Solitary Confinement,  pitch black, door closed on us, the boy already heading for the door.
By far the best tour I have experienced.
Cool plane flew by mid tour.  
So that is it. or is it.  Yes it is.  I will save the story of using public transportation on street car F on the way back to our hotel for a day when I have a much stronger stomach.
  I will say this…No, I won’t.
It’s been a couple of days since my last post and much has happened…and I didn’t have the energy to take it all in AND blog about it;)
The boy had a significant hair cut, while the girl had a blue extension and feathers put in her hair:)
 The hubs graduated from the National Executive Leadership Institute he attended this past week.  Very proud of him! 
Then we packed up and tottled off to Victoria and the Black Ball Ferry only to realize that we did not reserve and therefore missed the first one to Port Angeles.  This was beyond frustrating as only 18 miles of water stood between me and my friends. 
Ducks outside the Empress in Victoria, the kids enjoyed seeing them and then playing in the yard of the BC legislature building.
Almost 7 hours later I showed up the their door step in Port Angeles, family and luggage in tow. 
 Brenda sent us along with her FAMOUS homemade salsa:)
At Lake Crescent with Dawn and Brenda
 Doesn’t matter to the girls that it’s glacier water…brrrrrrr!  The boy stayed on the dock.
 We have not had the best weather on our trip so far, but hanging with friends makes it much better.
Too cute!  The girls hit it off instantly…it’s so great, Dawn and I were in grade 8 when we met, and now our daughters have become fast friends.  Dawn and Rob have three lovely daughters, and one awesome Auntie Brenda in their lives.
We enjoyed out brief stay in Port Angeles, but now it was time to move on.  We drove 10 hours and arrived in NewPort last night.  We know there are mountains and lovely scenery out there, but we can’t see a lot of it for fog and rain.  Also, it’s a WINDY road…ugh…so carsick….I even got the hubs carsick while driving today!  We offset it with great Adele and Linkin Park tunes….both albums play like a long and delightful story…much like the road we were driving!
Today we have arrived in Crescent City…the beginnings of the Redwood Trees  and I am watching the kids burn energy in the pool, my ankle swell up and Stu nap through it all:)  

Well today’s photos will be a little different…all were taken with my Camera+ App on my iPhone, so the quality won’t be great.  We had a full day.  The kids and I trekked over to Coombs to see Goats on the Roof.  Would have been AWESOME if we had actually seen said goats.  On a Roof.  We didn’t.  Saw two in a field though and that my friends, was STELLAR.  Here is a link that will show you actual goats on a roof.  http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/

From there we proceeded to head to Horne Lake Caves.  I was under the impression that we were signed up for a family friendly 1.5 hr, 1 cave spelunking experience only to discover  upon arrival that the Hubs had different ideas, we have 3hr, 3 caves to go.  AHHHHHHHH.  I have NEVER wanted to spelunk. I do however like to expose the kids to a variety of activities, so off we go!

This is me, blissfully unaware of what the future holds…or maybe that’s a nervous grin…
Yep and this is how we entered the cave, right onto a ladder.  I don’t know how I got through this, but I puked a little just looking at this photo!  Maybe it was the 6yr old in our group that motivated me.
The boy taking it all in stride.
No touching this stuff please.  What’s it called?  Who remembers? I was just trying to remember to breath in, breath out.
The Girl.  Touching that stuff we aren’t supposed to touch, but they had a sample, so we touched it.
The Family posing in front of the cave I passed on.  Apparently they climbed beside a waterfall in that cave.  Sounds spectacular, doesn’t it?  Yet, I have nary a regret.  Also: saw nary a goat here either I should add.  I did say I’d rather face any bears that wandered by over entering another cave.  The second cave had many tight spots in it, and once in the farthest reaches of the cave, after splashing in it’s cold waters to let it know I arrived (ya, I know) I thought me and my helmet would be trapped forever.  I felt like crying, puking and screaming all at once.  I collected myself and focused on just getting out, and once out, NEVER to return.  The end.  
p.s. the kids loved it.  I hate that.
http://www.hornelake.com/caving_programs.htm