Friday, July 30, 2010

Kananaskis and Drumhelller

First, just a picture of us before we left Green Lake. Gary and I were married under this arbour 5 years ago so we try to get a picture there every year. We left Green Lake and drove about 8 hours to Kananskis.
We stopped in at Lake Louise at dinner time. I love Lake Louise!! Koen is such a monkey and was basically running into the water and climbing on every possible structure. I wanted him to be able to run around to stretch his legs but ended up putting him in the Ergo for a bit (and a LOT on the trip) so that I didn't have to run after him. He has so many injuries, at least one bad one to his face each day. His age, 18 months, is a tough one in regards to camping.
Our lovely family.
The boys travelled quite well, I must say. We did a similar trip to Alberta last year and it was so hard to do that with Koen (at about 6 months). Last year he screamed and had reflux and I was breastfeeding etc. This time he could entertain himself with food, milk, and his toes. He also loved having dance parties and singing.
Kai is an amazing traveller. He probably only watched his DVD player for 1/2 hour the whole time. He just looked around and chatted and sang. Four is a wonderful age for travelling!
The first night we stayed in a teepee at Sundance Lodges. It was a beautiful location. Inside the teepee was a heater and 4 beds. Koen slept in his playpen. The boys chatted until about 10pm and then fell asleep. It was insanely cute listening to them chat. Koen would say, `Tai! Tai!' (his way to say Kai) over and over. Kai would look at him and then Koen would say, `Hi!'. Kai was telling Koen about how many days are left until his birthday, how we were going to roast marshmallows etc.
It got really cold at night and Koen doesn't use blankets. Fortunately Nana Jo made him a fleece sleep sack that he slept in and the heater kept us nice and warm. It was perfect!
Every time Koen saw someone with a camera, he would face them and say `cheese!'. It happened a lot.
Teepee in the dark.
If you haven't been to Kananaskis, I would recommend it. Super awesome. Except for the mosquitoes. Yuck.
The boys were up super early each day, about 6am. Quiet hours are until 8am so we took them hiking each morning as soon as they were up.
We went to Kananskis Village which is super cute and only a 5 minute drive away. Fun to walk around. Playground. Ice cream. Beautiful views. Things to climb.
The second night we moved 2 sites down to a trapper tent. I wanted to try each one:) It was roomier and warmer. I'm so glad we didn't stay in our regular tent, it would've been way too cold for the boys.
We rented mountain bikes at the village and went for a ride down the mountain and along the river. It was a lot of fun and it was nice to get a work out in! The boys did well in their chariot:)
After two nights, it was off to Drumheller. Drumheller was about 3 hours from Kananaskis (it's 1.5 hours from Calgary). We went right to the info place where they have a great water park and of course, `THE WORLD'S LARGEST DINOSAUR!'. You can climb up inside it and this is the view out of it's mouth..
Drumheller is interesting. EVERYTHING is based on dinosaurs. They are everywhere. Everywhere. I can't imagine living there! Koen was saying `Dido' (Dino) all day long and it got extremely annoying.
We went to for a 15 minute drive to the hoodoo's which are these sand/rock formations. They are super eroded due to wind, rain and people so I imagine there won't be much left in a few more years.
Koen was in the Ergo a lot and fortunately he was okay with that. It was just way easier than chasing him everywhere. Kai was great and it's so easy to just let him roam. He's pretty wise and safe at this age.
It was HOT.
Then we went to Rosedale to the suspension bridge. Yikes. I do not like heights. I'm really trying to not let my kids see my fear because I don't want them to develop it too. I went across as quickly as I could and was glad Koen was strapped securely to my back:)
We visited this super small church on the way to the museum.
The Tyrell Museum was super cool. I don't like dinosaurs, or museums, but I was impressed. Totally affordable ($30/family or $10/adult with kids under 7 being free) and amazing specimens. I thought it was great.
The boys went crazy inside and I have to say that Kai was at a great age for it. He loved it. Koen just loved running around saying `Dido! Dido!' over and over. And running into things and climbing on things.
We talked to a guy who was extracting a fossil. In case you are curious, to extract fossils, you need an Earth Science degree and then the rest of your training is done there.
I was surprised by the amount of dinosaurs that they have displayed. 75% are real bones, the rest are casts because of missing bones or bones to heavy to display.
Kai showing a T-rex with it's actual tooth.

We did the interpretive trail outside the museum. The Badlands are pretty neat and very hot. I used to dread these walks as a kid and now I make my kids do them. My mom would love it:)
We went to a lot of parks and playgrounds. Again, dino's everywhere! We stayed at `River Grove' Campground where they had cabins. It had a fridge, sink, bathroom and two beds. We could walk to the water park in 15 minutes. It was great. I'm so glad that we stayed in cabins rather than a tent. A little more expensive but still the camping experience.
We went home in one day. We drove for 14 hours. Yikes. Kids were great. I was exhausted. Gary did a great job driving. Kai was pumped that we had dinner at his favourite `restaurant' (Subway). Here we are stopped at Finn Creek. Beautiful place for lunch.

Overall, it was a fabulous holiday. I'm so glad we went. I have no idea how I would go camping or on holidays for longer than 8 days with more than 2 kids. I was so tired from the kids not napping and just go, go, go all day long. They were covered in dirt from head to toe all day long. It was awesome. Kai says that he can't wait to go on holidays again. Koen was pumped to see squirrels and dino's. Gary and I had a great time. Except for the millions of mosquitoes. Yuck. I wonder where we'll go next year....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


One minute of internet left here so will just say that all is well! We are having a great time and Koen is exhausting us like never before. What a monkey. Kananaskis was beautiful. Drumheller is...interesting:)
Bon nuit.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vacation: Part 1

We are just about to complete the first part of our road trip to Drumheller. Right now we are staying at my dad's place at Green Lake. In case you think I'm crazy for blogging on vacation, well, I have to work while here so I'm just taking a break:) While Koen is in bed (basically chatting to himself until 10pm last night!), then it is work time. We are having a great time so far (even though Kai is sick with a cold and Koen is teething up a storm and not sleeping). I think Koen's age is the most exhausting while on's go, go, go but you have to watch him all the time as he gets into everything and climbs anything. A nanny would be nice for an extra set of eyes so I could just close mine sometimes:) Okay, will be brief. Our time so far.....
GEOCACHING (If you don't know what that is, there are cache's hidden all over the world. You go to, find the coordinates, put them in your GPS and go find them. Then, when you get it, you put a treasure in it and take one out! You also sign the logbook.)
(This one was deep in the bush and let's just say I was singing to avoid any bear confrontations)
(Kai chose a transformer from the box)
FLOATING (Koen is way too brave in the water! He totally looks like Kai here.)

Kai's said his highlight was floating and his lowlight was Koen wrecking everything at Green Lake (he is making a huge mess). Gary and I had some miscommunication and the only lens we took is the absolute worst/oldest one we have. I'm seriously considering going into 100 mile house to buy a new lens for the rest of our trip because this one is ridiculous. Won't miscommunicate on that one again!
Also, I'm having some dizziness which is frustrating. Hope it gets better soon.
Next up is Lake Louise, Banff and Kananaskis. Such a beautiful area, I'm excited about it.
Bon nuit.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Twin Islands Kayak Trip

Wanna hear about my trip? Thank you to Leah for being our photographer:) We have a rule in this house that we can't take our cameras on adventure type trips after an `incident' (our 20D rolling down a mountainside). So, it was kind of nice to be in front of the camera rather than behind it!
(Lynette, Lisa and I)
There were five of us that did an overnight kayaking trip. It was really fun and I think I will plan a different trip every year. We left on Monday and it was a one hour paddle from Deep Cove in North Vancouver to Twin Islands up Indian Arm.
(Here teenager dude was telling us about a couple of kayaks that had tipped the day before...thanks for sending us out feeling confident!)
The ocean was super calm and we found our islands no problemo!
We went in between the big and small islands because the tide was high enough. On the other side of that mountainside is Buntzen Lake, to get an understanding of where we were. It was a bit of a fiasco getting out of our kayaks and onto the dock, and then lifting our heavily loaded kayaks onto the dock, but we did it!
There was one other group camping on the other end of the island so we basically had the place to ourselves! I used to go to Twin Islands with my family for a picnic about once a year so it has a lot of great memories for me. Below is the view from our campsite.
We all slept in our 6 man tent no problemo. I loved just talking and hanging out in the tent, it totally reminded me of being 16 again:) I realized I'm too old to sleep without a proper mattress and a pillow. Not the best sleep of my life. Please do not note that the fly is on completely wrong. We didn't fix it.
We had a lovely dinner and then explored the entire island (it's not big, you can walk around it in half an hour). We went geocaching with no luck:( It was Leah and Lynette's first time so I really wish we could've found it for them! Then we went back to the campsite and had some dessert of cookies and hot chocolate. I think next time we'll bring some Bailey's for that hot chocolate!
Picture of Lynette and I in the exact same place where we had our photo taken in 1992! We have been best friends for a long time:) I realize now that I should not wear Gary's shirts out in public.
Thumbs up to Leah for making it to the top on a broken foot!
The next day we went around the small island (when it's low tide you can walk from one to the other). Lisa, Terri and I went swimming and it wasn't even that cold. I'm usually a chicken about that but it wasn't bad at all. Admittedly I was a bit of a chicken in regards to swimming out too far, all I could think about were the sharks:)
And a picture of all of us at the beautiful there hey? We saw a ton of sea stars and even more jellyfish. They were everywhere. Cool. Especially since three of us are biology teachers:)

After lunch, we packed up and went back to Deep Cove. It was a great trip for 24 hours and $60.00:) I'm so glad that we went! Thanks for coming, girls. To those that couldn't make it, wish you were there!

And now...we are packing madly for our trip to Drumheller. Have a wonderful evening.
Love, Louise