Aug. 8, 2012

Road Trip 2012 - Calgary!!

So this is all kind of back to front, because that is how my pictures are.  Calgary was our last stop on our road trip.  We didn't really have any fixed plans for this part of our trip - but we all had things we would LIKE to do!

We arrived on Friday afternoon - having driven up from Waterton.  We settled in and the kids went swimming for a while, and then we headed out for the evening.  We drove over to Bragg Creek - one of the recommendations of a guy I know who lives in the area.  He is also a photographer - in fact two of his pictures are actually being used on the main Calgary website  :)  How fab is THAT???  :)

We drove out to Elbow Falls which is a lovely picnic area on the Elbow River - and the falls are stunning!  We had a really nice evening there:

August Holiday Weekend - Drumheller.

We headed back to Drumheller for the holiday weekend, to the same campground as before - so that we could meet up with friends.  This time it was just Susannah and I, so she invited her friend Shania to join us.  We were blessed with amazing weather again and it was a lovely weekend!  

Some of the firepits around the campground - the picture doesn't do it justice - but a circle of campfires looks so lovely - and the smell and sound of crackling fires was lovely :)

Susannah with some of her friends from the campground:

Such a great group of kids - they helped set up the tent AND pack it up at the end - and as soon as we arrived they were at our site to see Susannah :)  

There was a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers near our tent:

I spent a lot of time relaxing, journaling and reading in the sunshine:

Fed up teens as we were about to leave:

Sunset walk at Horsethief Canyon:

We drove out to Wayne - an old coalmining town - now a ghost town.  The girls are sat in one of the old train carriages the miners would have ridden in down into the mine:

Scenes over Drumheller and area from Orkney Viewpoint, 
including the Red Deer River:

Drumheller doesn't compare to the Rockies and the beautiful views there, BUT it is majestic in its own way - and feels soooo full of history.  The town itself is pretty run down and there isn't much there - but in some ways that is a good thing - less to do, so more time to spend relaxing, hiking and appreciating what IS there - and what IS there is quality!  Like the Atlas Coal Mine and Royal Tyrell Museum.

And the hills of the Badlands are amazing - with their stripes and shapes :)  You really CAN imagine dinosaurs living there!!

The kids have already said they want to go back next year - and we have plans for one more trip before camping season is over for the year :)

End of the month tag - July

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?    I read Nicholas Sparks 'The Choice'  and then started his book 'Safe Haven'.  I read Homeschool Horizons magazine....Oh and 'Choosing Me Before We'.
What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?  I watched 'We Bought a Zoo' with Sam.  Don't think I watched anything else in July.
What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?  Omg where do I start???  July was PACKED full of fun!!  From Street Performers Fest to A Taste of Edmonton, trips to WEM, the Legislature Pools - to our road trip around Southern Alberta!  It was just one long sunshiny, fun filled month :)
What special or unusual purchases did I make?     I bought myself a new bag at The Prince of Wales hotel in Waterton.  Not expensive but I LOVE it :)  
What illnesses or health concerns did I have? A major storm came through at the beginning of the month - one so bad we ended up in the basement and even I was thinking it was a tornado - I have never heard the noise like we heard that night.  It was scary.  I got a REALLY bad migraine that started early in the morning the day OF the storm - and lasted over two days.  It was comparable to the migraine I had in Florida when the tornadoes went through.  At least I had meds back then though.  This time I just slept for a few days and hoped it would pass.  
What were my accomplishments this month?  I took my kids on a  three week road trip - camping!!!  And driving all over Southern Alberta - on my OWN.  I even drove in downtown Calgary in RUSH HOUR!!!  :)  We had the best holiday ever and I am soooo proud of ME!!!  3 years ago I didn't drive outside of Sherwood Park and didn't know how to put gas in my truck.  I seriously can't believe I was like that!  I would just NOT put up with being that dependent any more - I LOVE doing things myself now.  We are already planning our road trip into the US for next year - Seattle and California!  :)  Woooot :)  
What were my disappointments this month?  My bird table got smashed in the wind :(  It wasn't beautiful or anything - but Lloyd made it for me so that I could feed birds on the porch and sit close by and watch them.  It got knocked over in a storm and broke into pieces :(  I already really miss having somewhere to feed the birds.
Anything else noteworthy to include?  July was fabulous - with amazing weather, plenty of fun and some incredible memories.  Summer has been pretty incredible so far :)  

Banana's new leotards for gymnastics...

Abby is completely and utterly gymnastics-obsessed right now :)  

Monday evening :) August holiday Monday

Abigail and Sam were with their Dad this past weekend, and couldn't come to Drumheller with Susannah and I.  I REALLY missed them and it made me sad that the campground was FULL and was also FILLED with families and children their age - they would have LOVED it and would have had soooo much fun!  

Such a shame but we have already booked to go back in a few weeks :)  

When we got back on Monday I really wanted to make the most of the good weather with them - so we headed out for the evening.  After running some errands - including getting the car washed - we headed to Jackie Parker for the evening!  It was still like 29c at 8pm, so it was perfect for the splashpark!  I sat with Laurence and Susannah, and Sam and Abby had a blast together!  

The evening ended with the most gorgeous sunset!  

Sam enjoying the car wash.  The kids LOVED it:  

Did you miss me??? :)

We've been away for the last three weeks and so I have a lot of catching up to do!!  We went on a road trip with a flexible plan - we had an idea of places we would like to go but chose to leave it open and see how we felt along the way - it worked out perfectly as some places we LOVED and others we only needed a couple of days in!  We met lots of new friends and saw lots of new places :)

All in all it has been one of the best Summers EVER :)  Edmonton has had so many bad storms and heavy rain because of the heat this Summer - but we have been very lucky and the sunshine seemed to follow us the whole trip :)  It didn't rain at all during the day - we had one storm during the night in Waterton and one storm in Lethbridge at the end of the evening that ended up being a lot of fun!  :)

All our pictures are on Facebook in my Instagram folder - or you can see them on Instagram by searching up my username:  Janemma1234 :)

I'm going to post a few of them, but to see the rest just check out one of the above :)

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