up, up and away

This morning we have a lazy few hours with Max and Abby watching television cartoons. I am folding the clean laundry (I have a rule about travelling with dirty laundry) and when I need their assistance and call their name, they respond with a karate stance and a sharp “ma’am! Yes ma’am!!) They lighten my slightly sad mood as I realize this is the last morning of Nana Vacation time, and now I will have to share them again.

Abby asked for two small pancakes for breakfast. So, I made her some!

Packed up our beautiful little condo for 5 days and then out and about to say good-bye to Victoria before we have to head to the airport.

It’s a good thing that we are leaving the dangerous downtown of Victoria. The kids were almost eaten by a Canadian bear!! Poor little things were terrified.

To celebrate their survival, we hop on our final Victoria Taxi and made our way to the Victoria airport to meet up with Jeffry and Kerri in Calgary.

Almost everyone of these taxi’s we used (and we used them at least twice a day!) were all Prius cars as Victoria prides herself on keeping green. The Unites States could take some lessons from Canada. Going green is just one of them. The other major one is how British Columbia tries to save historical buildings – or at least their facades and architecture – even if they will be renovated for use other than what was originally intended. I understand how a sleek modern building may be the desirous effect of the moment, the beauty and history of the old is far more interesting to me. And I think by discarding them, we do our younger generations a disservice and rob them of the importance of our past. That is just this Gdovin Girl’s perspective.

This old Catholic church in BC was restored and has been used as an art gallery.

The Empress Hotel in 1908 and then today.

Late lunch at the White Spot in the Victoria Airport before winging our way to Calgary. Jeffry and Kerri met us with a rental car and the GPS loaded for our drive to Red Deer, Alberta – Kerri’s hometown, and then to our Airbnb for a week. Of course the little ones were very excited to get hugs from mommy and daddy and jabbered about their adventures and the plans for upcoming family get-togethers as we navigated our way to Red Deer.

remembering July(s) from the past

an all grown up granddaughter comes to Leesburg to say good-bye before we move back to Tucson

weekend visit with a granddaughter

Old Glory

Wedding day for Lori & Jim

Tristan gets a little surprise from Uno Blast

Kerri’s Birthday

Maxwell visits Leesburg

Family get-together

Walking the town center in Leesburg Village

I have no idea what he is doing, but it must have been important!

Look at those little kiddos.

Parade in downtown Leesburg

Parade in downtown Leesburg

Parade in downtown Leesburg

He loved the Inner Harbour in Victoria

Bicycling thru Tucson

Family BBQ in Canada

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

 

on the road

We all pitched in and cleaned our little rental house, packed up the van and headed off for a day trip of sightseeing on our way to Calgary.  First up – Image result in Red Deer.  Tim Hortons Inc. is a Canadian multinational fast food restaurant known for its coffee and donuts.  Breakfast sandwiches for the ladies and donuts for the kids and their daddy.  

We weren’t too far into the trip when Jeffry confiscated my phone with my 136 songs because he determined that I was singing too loud.  Jeffry doesn’t have much of a poker face, so it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out who took the phone!

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He did make up for the theft by tuning the radio to the Beatles channel.  Sightseeing beautiful Canada AND the Beatles – nothing better!  First stop …

LAKE LOUISE and Mount Michener, with a 2,545 m (8,350 ft) peak, is a mountain on the eastern border of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada. It forms the northerly part of the Ram Range. The mountain sits on the shore of Abraham Lake.  The waters are a light Tiffany green-blue.  I have never seen that color water before.  Pretty amazing.  Photos do not do it justice.  As the melt water from a glacier that feeds a lake starts to flow in the spring time it carries with it glacier silt or rock flour. The silt is created when rocks underneath the surface of the ice are grinding from the movement of the glacier. The rock flour is very light and stays suspended in the lake water for a long time. The sunlight that reflects off this rock flour is what gives the lakes their spectacular turquoise blue or green colour.

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 Note:  Kerri is the only one who doesn’t look like a crazy tourist.  She’s a Canadian.

Look at the view from The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Louise, near Banff, Alberta. The original hotel was gradually developed at the turn of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was thus “kin” to its predecessors, the Banff Springs Hotel and the Château Frontenac. The hotel’s wooden Rattenbury Wing was destroyed by fire on 3 July 1924, and was replaced by the current Barrot Wing one year later. The Painter Wing, built in 1913, is the oldest existing portion of the hotel. The Mount Temple Wing, opened in 2004, is the most recent wing and features modern function facilities; these include the Mount Temple Ballroom.  The hotel was first conceived by the railway at the end of the 19th century, as a vacation destination to lure moneyed travelers into taking trains and heading West. By the time airplanes and automobiles had displaced the trains, it had gained sufficient renown to have a life of its own. In 1999, Canadian Pacific Hotels (a division of the Canadian Pacific Railway) acquired Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and adopted the Fairmont name for all of its hotels, resulting in the Chateau Lake Louise being operated as a Fairmont hotel.  Rate is from $1199.00 CAD per room, per night based on double occupancy.  Offer is available for one or two bedroom suite bookings.

Oh yeah!  We will definitely stay there next trip.

Of course, we found our way to a cute shopping area near Lake Louise for a few souvenirs and some lunch.  Max and Abby were very happy to spend their Canadian dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

And we are off for more exploration!

        

ma·jes·tic
məˈjestik/
adjective
  1. having or showing impressive beauty or dignity.
    synonyms: Statelydignifieddistinguishedsolemnmagnificentgrandsplendidresplendentglorioussumptuousimpressiveaugustnoble,

     awe-inspiringmonumentalpalatial

yes.  all of the above.

Off we go to Canmore and Best Western!  Beautiful hotel and amazing rooms.  Fireplace.  Walk in shower as big as my house…well, almost.  Reading and work nook.  Very nice.  “Okay, ma’am.  we have upgrades you to an executive room today and the charge is $289.  A little steep, but it is only one night, so go ahead and splurge.”  The little song from Moana is playing in my head “you’re welcome!”

Image result for canmore best western

Jeffry’s turn and since he booked way in advance, this should go fast.  “Thanks for waiting sir.  Okay, your standard room with 2 Queen beds will be $499.  Will that be check or charge?”  I watch the color drain from Jeffry’s face and I am wondering if he will pass out right here in the lobby.  A few seconds pass and he calmly says “that cannot possibly be right”.  Um, unfortunately it was.  After an hour on the phone with the booking company it was finally reduced to the same price as mine.  Whew.  For that price per room, they had better bathe me in bubbles, do my hair, mani-pedi and give me a new outfit with shoes and purse to match!

Tomorrow we hit Calgary – with some fun in between.

back in time

I worked most of today.  But, took a little time to visit Kerri’s childhood home in Red Deer – and I so want to restore this house!!  Look at those windows and the covered porch.

and then to Kerri’s Elementary school – Grandview – where we turned the grand kids loose on the playground.  I wish the school had been open, so Max and Abby could visit the classrooms where their Mommy most likely got her bug for teaching.

Waskasoo Park

Today, we ventured out to Waskasoo Park in Red Deer … featuring the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, the Aspen Parkland and the Cronquist House.   Seems like Red Deer and the surrounding area is peppered with natural areas like this and provide for an abundance of daily outings (and let’s not forget learning opportunities for the little ones)  without even leaving town.  After a quick tour through the Centre, we embark on a nature walk.

I fell in love with this painting.  Amazing to see what our minds are muddled with these days.  Something to think about.  Get it?? Think about?

Maxwell especially enjoyed knocking his daddy off of the rope.

After a picnic lunch, Jeffry and I opted to tour the Cronquist House (thinking it was a museum) while the others ventured out in a paddle boat.  We soon found the museum to be a tea house.  

Not really our thing, so we spotted a tandem that would seem to be a lot more adventure than sipping tea.  And off we pedaled.

 

say cheese

group photo

Morning photo shoot with Kerri’s big Canadian Family (and a couple of American’s tossed in for good measure) at her Aunt Arlene’s home.  Afterwards, an old fashioned BBQ picnic at Aunt Linda’s.  I must say that the family was wonderful and the food was great.  But, oh … the amazing gorgeous outdoor area was a whole other story!  I cannot really call it her yard because it was so huge!

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This carrot cake was scrumptious – just a side note!

Doesn’t matter which country, Abby has Papa wrapped around her little little finger.

She knows it and he relishes it.

Chris Mundle rented a jumping castle for the day and kids of all ages enjoyed it.

Best idea ever.

There were lots of introductions and how are you related and great food.  There was water balloon fights between the cousins – a tradition as I understand it.  Lots of photography and clean up and long walks on a beautiful property with some really good people.  So happy to be invited along on this trip to our neighbor up north.