Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Drumheller Holiday

Hunter and Julia at the Campsite

We tented at River Grove Campground. It was great because the spots are surrounded by trees and just hidden enough to make you feel like you are actually roughing it even though you can just walk 25 feet for flushing toilets, sinks and showers. There was a park in the campground that didn't hurt either and it was about two blocks away from the Aqualplex and the World's Largest Dinosaur (more on this below).
Hunter on one of the many dinosaurs that are sprinkled throughout the town. This place is perfect for four year old boys in love with dinosaurs and in awe that this is where they actually lived 75 million years ago.
Hunter and Jason at another one of the cool dinosaurs that are sprinkled throughout the town. If we hadn't forgotten the memory card for the camera, I'm sure there would have been at least a dozen photos very much like this one (or the one above).

The Hoodoos (Hunter loved visiting these - I think as much because he loved saying Hoodoos). Here's a tidbit of information on them in case you're interested.
Hunter hiding out near the Hoodoos. You cannot climb on them because they are very fragile but there are lots of close by spots to hike around.

Jason and the kids near the Hoodoos. If you're wondering why most of the pictures are of just Jason and Hunter it is because I was wearing Julia in the snuggli on most of the trails, etc. so if she was asleep we didn't disturb her (there are a few pictures where I got Julia's hat in the shot...).

A mural outside the reptile museum (which incidentally is another must see for any self-respecting four year old boy and his family).

Some snakes at the reptile museum. Hunter got a real kick out of the reptile museum - there were all sorts of exotic frogs, snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and turtles.

In the dinosaur area at the Calgary zoo because really there just weren't enough dinosaurs in Drumheller. Actually we went to see the giraffes because last year when we went to the zoo the giraffe was pregnant and we wanted to see the baby. Oh, and the hippos because we love the hippos. It was worth it even though Hunter locked both sets of keys in the car causing me to have a near stroke until I realized that since the trunk was open and the 60/40 split wasn't locked he could climb through and open the doors. I'm not sure why the only photo I took was one with a dinosaur, but the animals are in our memories anyway (and I guess it's harder to pose next to moving animals than dinosaur statues). Also, you'll notice that in this photo Hunter is looking in a different direction than Jason and Julia - this is because another kid was taking a picture of the dinosaur as well and Hunter figured he should pose for that picture.

World's Largest Dinosaur!!

Inside the World's Largest Dinosaur. We did this twice because Hunter loved it so much. Unfortunately, the time we brought the camera was when it was raining (the view is quite spectacular on a clear day).

We didn't get any pictures at the Royal Tyrrell Museum because it was so busy there (and the whole forgetting the memory card for the camera thing). We are going to try and make it back in the off season - maybe on an overnight trip when we're up visiting my parents. I really enjoyed the museum but could definitely see why the creationists were threatened enough by the science to create their own alternative version of dinosaur history museum (with no basis in science).

We also ventured to a suspension bridge near where some old coal mines were that we really enjoyed (there was great hiking around it as well). We didn't have time for the actual coal mines tour so will have to make sure we get back another time. Even though we had five days there (as we got up at an inhuman hour to drive out the first day thereby arriving around 2), we didn't have enough time to see and do everything we wanted so are definitely hoping to get back sometime in the next few years (I think when Julia is four and Hunter is eight would be ideal).

It was a great trip and gave us some confidence in venturing outside of our comfort zone (you know, a trip through the Rockies and, if we have the time, out to Vancouver Island). We are now thinking that we might actually do a camping trip out East next year and possibly even a camping and road trip to Newfoundland next summer (depending on holidays of course, that is a serious amount of driving).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Honest, when September comes around I'll be back to regular blogging. We are heading out of town tomorrow (now Drumheller instead of Banff) so I will write a real update when we get home. Oh, and I have posted some new pics on the other blog (finally).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Holiday Inflation

In 1999, Jason and I took a two week holiday through the mountains and out to Victoria. My Grandma used to keep travel diaries that detailed activities, costs, etc. so I thought it would be a good idea to keep something similar. I stumbled upon it the other day when I was cleaning out our filing cabinet (read making a mess). We're planning to take a much condensed version of this trip next week (five days and probably just to Banff) so I thought it would be interesting to compare some costs:

Gas in SK 65.9 cents per litre (Regina)
Gas in AB 59.9 cents per litre (Calgary)
Park Pass $10 per day
Campsite $13 per night
Gondola $14 per person.

Gas in Regina 106.9 cents per litre
Gas in Calgary 98.9 cents per litre
Park Pass $17.80
Campsite $19.00
Gondola $24.95 per person ($12.50 per child, free for babies)

I wonder how this will look in another eight years? My favourite part about this holiday (and probably one of the reasons we take it so often), though, is that there are so many things you can't cost because they are free (and priceless) - like hiking 10k to see waterfalls, or paint pots, or well hidden natural hot springs. Eee! I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Six Months? Really? Already?

Dear Julia:

I can not believe six months have gone by already. Today your Dad and I printed some pictures from these last six months and it really hit home just how much you have grown and changed. Six months ago today we caught our first glimpse of you and instantly fell in love. Six months ago you were adjusting to being in the outside world and now you explore it with every sense. Six months ago we were contemplating your name and now I can not imagine it being anything other than Julia. I can not imagine my life without you in it.

Six months ago you were just under 7lbs, now you are 14lbs. Six months ago you seemed so delicate, but now you seem so strong. You hold your head up, lift yourself off the ground, jump in your jumper and your saucer, and stand up and desperately try to escape your bumbo when you do not want to be in it.

In this last month, you started eating oatmeal and rice cereal for supper and started snacking on baby mum mums (your favourite non-milk food by far because you can feed them to yourself and you are nothing if not independent). You have graduated from your cradle to your crib. You have taken your first swimming class. You have found words for Hunter and kitty that you use consistently even if I'm not quite sure how they sound like Hunter or kitty. You are so close to crawling forwards you can taste it, you actually find it funny when we give you belly blows or play peek, and when Mummy comes towards you you reach your arms up (there is no better feeling).

In honour of your six month birthday, Hunter decorated a couple of cupcakes. Unfortunately not only are you too little to enjoy the cupcakes, but your teeth were bothering you tonight so you ended up falling asleep before we had dinner and missed the whole thing. My tooth prediction was wrong but I really hope those first ones break through soon so you can have some relief.

I wish I could slow down the clock and keep this time from escaping so fast. At the same time, I'm eager to see you grow and change because you constantly amaze me. Julia, I love you more than I can express, more than you can imagine, and further than you can dream.

Love Mum

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What Julia Has Been Working On

It's taking a lot of effort to attempt forward crawling so right now rolling is much more efficient for achieving what she needs. For moving backwards, though, crawling is working fairly well.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I have a confession to make.

When I was on vacation I. wore. crocs.

Granted it was at the lake, but still, I did it. And worse, I miss them. Not only do I miss them, I long for them, and I am seriously thinking about buying a pair. Just for around the yard, and maybe for the odd walk, but I'll never wear them to the mall or work, I promise. And I won't buy a brightly coloured pair. But I'm a little concerned that everybody says that and in reality it's only a matter of time before I'm wearing a pair of bright yellow crocs with a suit (and I'm not talking about a swimsuit either).

While I'm a little ashamed of myself, I'm not quite as ashamed as my fifteen year old niece, Baylie. Baylie slipped on a pair of crocs to walk around the yard. When she confessed her fashion sin to her friend via telephone one evening, her friend screamed into the phone, then shouted "we promised each other we never would!!" Oh Baylie tried to rationalize that it was okay because she was at the lake and no one would see her, but I don't think that excuse cut it because I noticed that for the rest of her visit (almost) she opted for her sandals or runners instead of the sweet, sweet, comfortable (but oh so ugly) crocs.

I'm still holding out in hopes that the memory of just how comfortable and convenient they are will fade (mostly because of the aforementioned slippery slope concerns). But I am hopeful that if I do succumb to my croc desire, most of my friends will be kinder than a fifteen year old girl. I guess this means I should leave my anti-croc facebook group?

Settling In

It's hard to come back from vacation especially when you've been away long enough to get into a nice routine that doesn't involve home improvement projects. My days on vacation went something like this:

  • Wake up a bit later than usual (while Hunter actually slept in a couple of days this waking up later was mostly due to him harassing my Mum early each morning and her putting up with it)
  • Drink coffee, sometimes even three cups before lunch (okay, I only drank three cups once but it was really nice I had forgotten just how much I enjoy drinking too much coffee) and sometimes outside on the deck (a close second to my favourite - having morning coffee in the hot tub which has only rarely happened since Hunter was born)
  • Walk to the boat launch or an early morning trip to the beach
  • Lunch that includes garden vegetables (next year I am growing my own lettuce as it's one of those things that you just don't get enough of when you rely on other people's gardens, same goes for tomatoes)
  • Do yoga while the kids nap (they nap on vacation because of the heat and because they stay up later at night)
  • Check facebook and blogs or read while children continue to nap
  • Do craft or some such thing with Hunter while Julia continues to nap
  • Make supper on awesome barbecue (must get awesome bbq, ours just doesn't compare) or eat awesome supper someone else made
  • Evening walk
  • Kids to bed
  • Tea and visit
  • Facebook, blogs, reading
  • Repeat

When I break it down like that, I can see that a lot of the same elements happen daily at home (with the exception of the sleeping in and Hunter having afternoon naps for the most part) but at home the home improvement projects and other things I ought to be doing distract and nag at me. For instance, I've spent a portion of each day since I've been home weeding, contending with ants in Hunter's garden, noting spots where I should be touching up the white trim on the main floor, lamenting scratches in newly refinished hardwood floors, and thinking about finishing (and starting) various projects elsewhere in the house. Oh, and there's the cleaning too. And increased television viewing (relative to the minimal viewing at my parent's place). And the idea that I really ought to be blogging because I'm home and don't really have an excuse.

But there's also Jason, and my own bed, and that makes up for the increased responsibility that comes with being home.