Saturday, 3 August 2013

Aug 2- HOME!

Despite the early hour of rising this am (530), the excitement of going home got everyone moving. We ate breakfast at the hotel- the Pomeroy Inn and Suites had a great breakfast spread. We were on the road by 645! 

We were really testing our ability and driving- going from Grand Prairie to Whitehorse. That is 1544km in one day. But we were up for the challenge. The kids were sure we could do it and were most helpful. They made sure when we stopped, they went to the bathroom, they requested getting food to go for meals. And when we stopped for gas, everyone helped clean windows, get snacks, go the bathroom and with pumping gas.

The road was pretty empty, although we noticed there were a lot of big rigs going south!
We made it to Pink Mountain at 11am. We went to use the washroom and found out their water had turned off. Too bad we found this out after Cassel and Paul went in to use them! But it seemed it was just the women's that didn't work so Hannah and Kerri used the men's. We grabbed some sandwiches to go and were on our way.

We stopped in Ft Nelson and then Watson Lake for gas. The van was getting good mileage after so many kilometres in the road- something like 8.8litres per 100 kms. 

We arrived in Watson Lake at 6pmish. Filled the gas tank, emptied the holding tanks and were on our way. Paul was tired so Cassel drove. He drove for about 2.5 hours and then was tired and Paul took over again. Paul felt refreshed after a short nap. 

There were lots of bugs hitting our window on the way from Teslin- so many they sounded like rain!

We rolled into our driveway, after getting milk and bread at a convenience store, at 11pm, putting on 9790kms during our trip! 
Thanks for following our adventure! Until next time!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Aug 1- the visit with the Dumonts!

Today was beautiful! We woke up in Edmonton and the sun was shinning and the sky was blue. By 830am, it was already 18 out!
Our plan was to grab breakfast at one fast food place on our way out of Edmonton. The Fantasyland hotel did not have the free breakfast and we figured, to save time, we'd grab breakfast and go. This proved harder than we had thought. Firstly, our GPS in the van was not as up to date on the new roads so we ended up going towards St. Albert. If you aren't familiar with the area, St. Albert is to the northeast of Edmonton and we were trying to go west. Our next problem was, there were absolutely NO restaurants along our route- fast food or otherwise. We spent an hour getting out of Edmonton and getting gas and breakfast in Spruce Grove. At 930, we were on our way!

The drive was pretty boring. There was some construction. At Valleyview Esso, the gas pumps were out of order so we just stopped and used the washrooms.

We arrived in Grand Prairie just after 130 and drove to the mall. We found Melanie, Chris, Fraser and Tanner in the food court. We hadn't seen them in over 2 years and the boys had grown so much! 
We spent a couple of hours shopping in the mall with the Dumonts. And then we headed to the hotel about 430. Our room was really nice at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites.

Everyone but Melanie and Kerri went swimming as soon as they got to the hotel. While everyone was swimming, Kerri and Melanie caught up on what had been happening. They also realised they had been friends for 31 years- long time to know each other for. They also ordered pizza and wings for dinner.

The rest of the evening was spent eating pizza, chatting, laughing and having fun! At 11pm, it was time for us to say goodbye as the Scholz Family was going to leave very early in the am. Big hugs all around.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

July 31- Lunch with Cousins and West Edmonton Mall

Today was a hard day for us. We finished loading up the van today and said good bye to Paul's parents at 830am. Hugs were given and some tears were shed (well Kerri almost did, but she held them in!) Jasper grumbled at us like he knew we were going. I think he enjoys the extra 8 hands to pet and play with him. Mary sent us this picture of poor Jasper at the front door waiting for us to return.

The highway was clear, and the weather was beautiful for driving. Along the way, we saw a tanker truck with a picture of a young boy on it. At first we thought it was a missing child, but as we got closer, we saw it was one of the new Report Impaired Drivers ads from MADD. We hope it helps. 

Our first stop was Drayton Valley where we had lunch with Kerri's cousins Jason, Cinthia, Aiden and Kendra. We only had a moment with Jason as he had to get to work, and we were behind schedule because of construction, but it was nice to see him for the short time. Lunch was at Kahl's and it was really good food and a great visit. About 130 we left and headed to the big city: Etown- otherwise known as Edmonton.

The drive was just over an hour and it was real easy to find the hotel....especially since it was in the biggest mall in Canada (if it still is). We decided to stay at the Fantasyland hotel while in Edmonton. How nice to park the van and we could do so much without driving anywhere.

Cassel and Hannah decided to go to the water park and spent a good 2 hours fighting with the tsunami waves and sliding down the huge watersides. While they were splashing away, Paul and Kerri wandered through a few stores. We were able to shop for birthday presents while the kids were away. That is always so much fun!

At 6pm, Kerri and Paul got the kids from the park and then we all went to find something to eat. Luckily, almost everything we wanted to do or store we went to was in the area around the hotel. 

After dinner, we wandered around and looked at some stores. We found a pet store with the cutest Panda Pups- never heard of that breed before, but they are cute! And expensive!

One store called The Supply Sergeant we spent about half an hour in while Cassel, Hannah and Paul all checked out the army supplies, weapons and LARP supplies. LARP is Live Action Role Play and this entails costumes and weapons for whatever game or character the person is.
(The Supply Sergeant's window display)

We decided to go watch the movie Grown Ups 2 at the Cineplex. That movie was very funny, and just after 1030, we made it back to the room. Everyone is happy to just relax now and play on their iPADs, laptops and iPods to relax and take a load off.
This dragon is at the theatre!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

July 30- Nanton and the packing to go head home.

Today was a mix of relax and busy. We spent the morning with Mary and Gerd relaxing and discussing family history. It was interesting to learn more about Paul's great, great grandparents. We were able to update the family tree information on Kerri's computer, and show Mary how works. Kerri had found and shared some 1901 UK census data that showed Mary's grandfather.

After lunch, we headed to Nanton to explore. Nanton was just over an hour away, but Kerri still fell asleep. The first stop in Nanton was Ultimate Train Museum. This is a neat train museum and store that has a huge G-scale train set up in the yard. It is a neat place and there is a rideable train that goes around the set up. 

Next stop was the Miniatures Museum. This was a neat place. There were many scenes from the different ages. There was a First Nation scene showing Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump and then it went onwards into the cowboy ages. A neat sign was the 1900 rules to be an Alberta teacher. We will let you read them so you can see what made them so unique.

Nanton is home to the largest candy store we have ever seen. It is a combination antique and candy store. There was every candy you could think off- from penny candies, chocolates, gum, etc. We also wandered down the street and checked out a few other antique stores, before heading back to Crossfield. There is also a the really nice Lancaster Museum (Bomber Command Museum of Canada) there, but we didn't make it this trip. As its name suggests, it contains a Word War II vintage Lancaster bomber, as well as many other RCAF and wartime artifacts. 

We also learned that the highway that travels through Nanton will be rerouted around the small town. This may spell the death for many of the small businesses which cater to the traveling public who stop to check out Nanton. Hannah likened it to the fictional Radiator Springs in the Disney Pixar movie "Cars."

On our way through Calgary, we stopped at Nancy's to say goodbye. We spent about half an hour with her and Kira before we continued on our way back. A quick trip into Airdrie to pick up a few things and then we were back in time to have a lovely dinner with Mary and Chico. After we had stuffed ourselves silly, we spent a good hour starting to pack our van Tetris-style. 

We still have laundry to do, so stopped packing for now. The rest can be done in the morning. As much fun as it has been to be on holidays, everyone is looking forward to going home. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

July 29- Relaxing and lunchtime with Nancy!

Today was a quiet day for us. We had a bit of a lazier morning, getting up after 8. We had a great breakfast and then about 1045 we headed into Calgary to meet up with Paul's sister Nancy for lunch. Paul got a little mixed up but we were able to pick her up at the University of Calgary, where she works, about 11:35am.

We went to a place called Montana's that was about a 5 minute drive away. We enjoyed a nice lunch with good company.

After we dropped Nancy back off at work, we headed back to Crossfield. Kerri had to do some work, so Paul, Cassel and Hannah dropped her off and they headed into Airdire to do grocery shopping and into Calgary to look through some hobby shops.

After a great dinner, we headed in to watch The Heat. It was a really funny movie and we enjoyed it.
As Kerri tried to type up this blog, she had Jasper vying for her attention....he was quite persistent! 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

July 27- Yard Sales and Christmas in July!

Paul and Kerri left Hannah and Cassel with Mary and Gerd and went to find some yard sales in Airdrie. It certainly was fun trying to find the streets, especially when the streets all have the same name except for the ending.... We searched along Reunion Cres., Reunion Blvd., Reunion Crt., Reunion Place; you get the idea...
After a nice lunch in NW Calgary at a place called Joey's, Paul and Kerri headed back to Crossfield to wrap gifts and get ready for the gift exchange for Christmas.
The Christmas in July tradition came about because Mary and Gerd spend winters in Arizona and they wanted to share in the Christmas experience with us, so whenever we get together in the summer, we do Christmas. Usually decorations are put up, a tree, a turkey dinner is served and gifts exchanged, during sometime in July. This year we just have some lights on the stair railing, but it is Christmas nonetheless. Most of the gifts given and gotten are yard sale treasures and finds so that everyone gets silly gifts. 
During the afternoon, the 6 of us exchanged a gifts. There were many little gifts for each.

The Christmas dinner was great! Paul's sister Nancy came with Paul's and her niece Kira. After the delicious dinner and dessert, we all gather in the living room for our yard sale gift exchange. The rule is no more than a dollar per person is to be spent. And when you give the gift, you explain why you got it for them. Lots of laughs were had at the gifts, and lots of oooohhhhhing and ahhhhing at some of the treasures.

After the gift exchange, we played a game of Telestraitions where there were many laughs at the interpretations of each others drawings.  
What a fun evening. And now we can relax and put our feet up! 

Friday, 26 July 2013

July 26- Birthday brunch and visiting

The morning started with a light breakfast before we headed to the free book shed at Airdrie's Recycling Centre. Cassel and Hannah guarded the van while Paul, Kerri, Mary and Gerd looked through the hundreds of books for a good read. 

We then headed over to Cora's for Gerd's birthdays brunch. Paul's sister Nancy, her partner Jo, and his niece Kira joined us. Kira is over from Germany and staying with Nancy and Jo. It is nice to spend some time with her while she is here.

Kira joined us for the afternoon and we spent some time shopping in Airdrie before meeting up with Kerri's cousin Tammy. After a good hour of catching up and some good laughs, we said good bye to Tammy and went to the Nose Creek Museum. This is a nice little museum with lots of neat items like manual hair clippers (Hannah loved these), some old tractors, and some military memorabilia.
(The kids in front of an ad with Creepy Toaster Guy in London Drugs)

The young lady at the front desk of the museum was most helpful and she suggested a Gelato place to get a nice cool treat. The place was called Amarato Gelato and it had 72 flavours of gelato! Between the 5 of us, we tried, Black Forest Cherry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Lava Caramel Cake and Cookies and Cream. We may have to go back while we are here.

We came back to Mary and Gerd's and Cassel, Hannah, and Kira went outside to see if they could get Cassel's foam glider to fly in the wind. They did and just before dinner the glider got stuck on the garage. Upon retrieval, the nose got damaged. I do think it will fly again.

After a most delicious dinner, Kira, Cassel and Hannah went out to explore the town. It is nice to see the cousins doing things together.