We started our time in Alberta by arriving in Edmonton an hour after my sister arrived from Vancouver. There were all kinds of tears and laughter, as I discovered that Tim Horton’s in Alberta has interac. Huzzah! (No such thing in New Brunswick – nor in Ontario up until the time we left.)
In the couple of weeks following, we started the rounds of visiting family. I took the girls to visit several uncles and aunts, and they got to meet their 2nd cousins. We got a lot of good visiting in, and we scheduled a trip south, to visit three more aunts and to go to Drumheller.
Two of my sisters joined us, and we had a fantastic time. Of course, we chose the hottest week of the summer to go, and we discovered we would probably die if left in a desert for an extended period of time. We were so unprepared for the weather – the girls didn’t have hats, no bottle water, nothing. We had planned on spending a large part of the day in the Tyrel Museum, but it turned out it only took us two hours to go through the whole thing.
In this photo, Lauryn, my sister Gabriella, and Kimber have found a hole amongst the hoodoos. I could explore this area for hours – except for the heat, of course.
Here she is riding Paul, lead by my cousin Sarah. Lauryn so wanted to take Paul with us. Alas, he could not be happy in our back yard, much less fit on the plane.
Next we headed east, next to the Saskatchewan border, to visit another aunt. There we had a grand adventure getting lost in the middle of no where, because in true Alberta form, the highway suddenly turned without any signage or indication and we continued to follow the road straight. We ended up at the farm two hours later than we should have, but once we found our error, it was quite funny.
There we had a great adventure, as the cattle broke through the fence and got into the neighbours pasture. As it turned out, that was also the pasture in which the neighbours herd was grazing at the time. We had to lure the herd out with calls and feed, hoping the neighbours herd was skittish enough to not follow. Score one for us, we got them all the first round through. The only one missing was a cow-calf pair that stayed behind, which could easily be recovered at a later time.
The girls had a great time doing this, yelling “come, boss!” along with everyone else, and Lauryn sat in the back of the truck with her hands up in the air going “woooo!”. lol! I am sure she would be very comfortable on a ranch. She just loved all of what she was exposed to.
August long weekend we went to Jasper, to show the girls the Rockies. This was loads of fun, even though we only went for two days. Mom and my sisters all came along, and we had seven females go camping in a tent in an overflow campsite in a thunderstorm, with a train passing by every hour (seriously. And it had to honk that damn horn every time), and neighbours who were paranoid someone would steal their car so they kept setting the alarm (you know that “honk” you get when you push the lock button on your keys? That. Every so often 14 times in a row.).
We explored several areas there, including Maligne Canyon and Athabasca falls. Here is my sisters Sandra and Gabriella, Lauryn, my sister Angela, and Kimber. Mom and I were dying on a bench near by. Apparently we took a wrong turn and our 20 minute path turned out to be a 4 hour hike. Again, we were unprepared, no hats, no water, etc. But lots of great photos.
When we returned, the town had its annual fair. My sister Sandra’s employer needed a small body to fit in some of the work wear he was displaying for the parade, and Kimber joined in.
Unfortunately she was too tall to fit into the coveralls they had set aside for her, and we could not convince Lauryn to join in as there was too much candy to be had. So Kimber got a lovely neon outfit. Following the parade, I stole my neice and took all the girls to the fair, where we spent far too much money on very little. A good time was had by all.
The next day we had our family reunion. All my siblings were around so we took the opportunity to get some family photos done. Standing in the back is my sister Sandra, my niece Mariah held by my brother in law Phillip, my brothers Michael and Aaron, my sister Kathleen. In the middle is my sister Gabriella. In the chairs is my sister Gloria, my Mom, and Lauryn. On the ground sitting is my sister Angela, Kimber, my niece Caliea, and myself.
The next day was the big family reunion. This year was the best showing we have had, with only four people missing. I won’t even begin to tell you who everyone is. But don’t we all look almost coordinated! lol!
In the ten days that were remaining, we spent some time checking out West Edmonton Mall. There is a lot to see there, even if one doesn’t go shopping, including this super awesome cool dragon. The girls both really enjoyed it, though the fire was a tad hot and he was pretty loud.
I also got a chance to go for sushi with Angela, at the best sushi restaurant we have found so far in the country. If you ever get the chance, it is ShoGun, located on 121st street just north of Jasper Ave.
And so our vacation adventure ends. We got home very smoothly, our plane landing ten minutes early and our three pieces of luggage coming off the plane first. All three pieces! lol! Now if my laundry worked that way.