August 10, 2008
I guess I sort of left the trip at the B.C. Museum and Imax. Turns out that the stupid museum closes at 5:00 and we got there at like 3:00..so decided it wasn’t worth paying all the money for one lousy hour. We did go to the Imax Dinosaur movie. John wasn’t really that impressed because it was mainly about the paleontologists and less about the actual dinosaurs.
It was quite emotional leaving the Island because we don’t get to see those family members much at all. Apparently Auntie Twila spent the rest of the day crying :( We drove to Kamloops after the ferry ride over and spent the night in a cheap motel because the Best Western was over 200 bux. There was a pool, however, the pool heater was broken and it was like 66 degrees. John swam, but I didn’t! Derek went and had drinks at his old bar hangout, the Inlander with his buddy Wes.
The drive to Jasper was long, but we stopped a few times to check out waterfalls at Wells Grey Provincial Park. The roads were rather windy and John got carsick. Derek sure stopped the jeep quickly when John said he was gonna puke (the Jeep Liberty has GREAT traction control)! I doped him up on gravol and forbid him to play video games and watch T.V. on mountain roads.
We loved Jasper except that the weather sucked. It was much less crowded with tourists and the scenery was quite spectacular. We skipped Maligne Lake because it was rainy and the lake was out of our way. We did see Athabasca Falls and it was very beautiful. On the way to Drumheller we enjoyed seeing lots of very turquoise lakes just as you leave Jasper Park.
The Tyrell Museum in Drumheller was the same as I remembered. John was too excited and basically rushed through the entire museum in less than 1 hour. Oh well! We basically blitzed through the prairies and Derek was pleased to get his pillow back that he left in Regina. He left his replacement pillow in Victoria (actually Wendy did)! We went to Chuck E Cheese in Regina and John claims it was the favourite part of the trip.
We overall enjoyed the trip and put on over 7000 km in the jeep. We didn’t kill each other or murder our kid! This is a good thing! We continue to work on John’s cocky attitude towards life in general now. I dread what the teenage years might bring!
Friday, July 25 to Tuesday, July 29
Friday we spent a long time trying to get to the Vancouver Aquarium. It seemed like every single route we tried today led to construction and traffic congestion. At one point when we were going to Maple Ridge to see Derek's gramma, we only went 1 mile in 40 minutes. I certainly don't want to be anywhere near here during the 2010 Olympics.
The Aquarium was very very neat, but crowded. We saw lots of the sea creatures that John was wanting to see like seahorses, and jellyfish. We also waited to see the momma beluga and her 45 day old baby. They took us down in small groups, as not to disturb the researchers and the anxious new momma. We wanted to see the sharks and the sea turtle, however, the shark show was going on and it was too crowded. We did enjoy the dolphins and watching them swim near to us.
We had a very nice visit with Derek's gramma and boyfriend. They treated us to dinner at Zellers and then it was back to her place to check out all the little gems gramma bought for John. He really liked the coins that used to belong to Derek's grandpa. Now it's to keep him from losing them. John was very warm to gramma and even gave her kisses and hugs. We took the car ferry back across to Langley.
The trip over to Victoria was uneventful. We had to wait quite a while to get on the ferry. John found the ferry trip quite boring.
The ocean has been a lot of fun for John. He especially likes chasing the crabs and looking for rocks. Derek got some excellent shots of the Fort Rodd lighthouse in both cloudy and sunny weather. He's been enjoying visiting with his Auntie Twila and cousin Kissy and Ryan, her boyfriend. Kissy, Ryan, Derek and I went to the casino. Derek and I both won and went away with sixty extra dollars. We also enjoyed a match of mini golf and I actually didn't golf that badly. It's a much nicer course than the one at home! At least there is some shade to enjoy. Everything in Victoria is pretty expensive, but this afternoon, we are going to visit the Royal B.C. Museum and see an Imax movie!
Wendy forgot to mention that Derek won at the mini golf...
July 24, 2008 - Thursday
We drove the Fraser Canyon route to Langley B.C. Lots of twists and turns. We saw the old Alexandra bridge and Derek and John walked across it (not me..too scary). The bridge deck is steel grates which allows you to see just how high you are! The trees are much greener here (lots of trees near Kamloops are dead because of the ponderosa pine bug). We also stopped in Hope for lunch. John was impressed that the Rambo movies where filmed here.
Sunday, July 20 to Wednesday, July 23
We did lots of swimming at Lana’s outdoor pool. We went to the wildlife park, but it was extremely hot and John tripped near the Lynx exhibition and took 3 little chunks out of his hand. We took the little train ride around the park, the first time Derek had ever done so! We visited the Kamloops Museum, Riverside Park and went to visit Wes’ farm. John loved all the farm animals, but was attacked by a rooster. He was running around the yard chasing chickens and then the rooster came after him. He was throwing rocks at it and I was trying to get myself between the rooster and him.
We also saw the Wall-E movie (John was very well-behaved).
July 19 - Saturday
Lots of driving today. We arrived in Kamloops earlier than predicted and Lana and Bill weren’t there yet. Derek relived his entire childhood and took us on a tour of the million and one places he lived and schools he went to. When we first arrived at Lana’s, her puppy really scared John. He jumped up on him and scratched his back all up. It took him quite a while to warm up to the dog, and then he didn’t want to leave him. He’s still missing Sammy the dog. Lana had a big party the first night and John didn’t get to bed until very late.
July 18 - Friday
Today we drove to Banff and Lakes Louise and Moraine. The weather was temperamental and we did Lake Moraine first. It’s still as beautiful as last time and this time we saw lots of low lying clouds. Derek and John climbed up the rocks to get the best view, but I was still pampering my back which I hurt 4 days before we left for vacation.
There where lots of tourists. We also went to Lake Louise but John wasn’t behaving well by this point. Lunch in Banff was a washout because John was crying about everything.
The later afternoon was fun though. We took the gondola up Sulphur Mountain. I’m so scared of heights, I had to close my eyes lots. Once we got to the top, it was freezing cold and it even snowed a bit. We swam a bit in the outdoor pool (John did..too cold for mom) at our hotel.
July 17 - Thursday
Today we took the scenic highway to Canmore AB. We saw lots of mountain sheep on the road and they certainly take their sweet time moving out of the way. Canmore has grown up very much and to be quite honest, we didn’t like it as much as last time. Lots of the nature trails we did are no longer there…it’s houses instead. We had dinner at Boston Pizza. We stayed at Rumble Mountain Lodge which had a nice indoor pool. It had no a/c and I wouldn’t stay there again. The beds were really uncomfortable. I think it's time the owner spent a little money to update the rooms a bit - or at least do some renovations.
July 15 and 16 - Tuesday and Wednesday
The drive to Lethbridge was very uneventful, however, apparently a huge storm blew into Medicine Hat shortly after we left there. We got a little lost in Medicine Hat but since Derek is such an awesome navigator we found our way soon enough. We arrived in Lethbridge around 3 ish. We spent the evening visiting Derek’s Mom and Dad. Derek, John and Ed went out to see the world’s longest/highest train bridge (of its kind). While they were out, a huge storm blew into town with hail and everything but it didn’t last long though. They hid out under a bridge in the hopes that there wouldn't be any hail damage to the Jeep.
Wednesday we did a little shopping and took John to a sprinkler park. Just after John finally was enjoying himself (takes a him a bit to warm up to an activity), we had to leave because of another storm. We didn’t do very much in general, except sit around and visit.
Ed and Memory do not have a internet connection so Derek could be found occasionally walking around the house with the laptop trying to get a connection. He would get a connection but the signal strength was pretty low so he could only connect for a few minutes at a time. It was the only signal that was not secure.
July 14, 2008 - Monday
Today we began our family vacation. We left Dryden at about 6:30 a.m. and John was actually pretty good in the jeep. I sat in the back with him about ½ the time and we did word searches, played guessing games, listened to music etc. We had breakfast in Prawda and stopped briefly in Brandon. The hotel in Regina (Days Inn) is nice, but the internet connection is very slow. We played in the pool for a while and then had dinner at Chili’s. We then went back to the hotel to swim some more, however, this big kid went down the slide and really got John by surprise. He inhaled a bunch of water and then was sick on the deck. Thank God it wasn’t in the water. We’re all pretty much tired and it’s just lazing around time at the hotel. On to Lethbridge tomorrow.
July 5, 2008
Well, John, Grandma and I had our first beach day today at Ghost Lake. John had fun playing in the waves, but we didn’t catch any minnows (too wavy). He did manage to find a couple of dead fish which he put in a bucket for a while.
Yesterday John had an absolute blast playing at Kinsmen Park. It was a nice day and there were lots of children to play with. Natalie met us there with Rachel, Brooke and Joshua and then we ended up having dinner over at their house and enjoying the outdoor pool.
July 1st was fun for John because he had his first experience seeing fireworks. He was absolutely amazed by them and it was much more fun for us to see them through his eyes. That’s the coolest part of being a parent … reliving the absolute marvel of seeing things for the first time. (check out some of the photos Dad took. Check out the fireworks galleries found in the Scenic area on the navbar)
John is enjoying being off for the summer. He was very ready to be done school and so was Mom! I’m now trying to learn the “gestures” program for teaching SKF. It’s a sort of sign-language thing that helps kids figure out the meaning of new French words without you telling them what it is in English. I’m sure getting to be a slow learner though.
We bought John a few things to keep him amused during the holiday drive…an etch a sketch, some new movies, a new DS game, a word search that is electronic and a couple of small skateboard toys. I’m going to look for a few more sticker book sorts of things. I anticipate sitting in the backseat most of the time because he will be bugging me every five minutes for something, I’m sure. We have a set of headphones for him for the movies and the video games.
June 5, 2008
Well, another school year has almost come to an end. It's hard to believe our little boy will be in school all day long next year. He's going to miss his play time that's for sure. I predict he's going to find listening all day a long chore.
He continues to enjoy soccer and his team is pretty good. It's funny watching lots of the kids just standing around waiting for the ball to come to them. John's starting to get the idea that he has to run to get it :) I go and scream like the typical soccer mom.
Derek made John a cute little tool box and painted it green. John has been spending time organizing the tools that his daddy gave him. Who knows? Maybe he'll be a builder some day.
We're looking forward to our trip out west. It will take lots of patience on our parts because John is not going to like riding that long. I'm going to start looking for little things that might keep him amused for a while. Stuff he can do in the car. We have the portable DVD player and his Nintendo and maybe he might even sleep a bit (ha).
Swimming lessons is almost done. He only has one more lesson left. He will be skipping a level when he starts next time because he's really good at the glides and has absolutely no fear of the water.
He has a little play coming up; Poule Maboule. He's the Loup fou fou fou (crazy wolf). I took my last 1/2 of a personal day to go.
I introduced John to the little girl across the street last weekend. We're trying to find a new friend for him who lives close by. Alex moved and John didn't really seem that freaked out by it. I thought he would take it much harder.
June 26, 2008
School’s out for the summer! John’s all done Best Start and Senior Kindergarten. It’s off to first grade next year. He’s really happy to be done Best Start. It’s been a great program for him, but he now calls it “Baby Best Start” because lots of the children are younger than he is.
He’s now lost his two front teeth and looks really cute. He got 3 bux each time from the tooth fairy.
John had a nice little play at school called “Poule Maboule”. He was the “loup” fou fou.
The last day of soccer is this Saturday. John is excited about getting a medal. His team did really well this year and he certainly did enjoy it.
We’re looking forward to our trip to B.C. and Alberta. We’re also looking forward to spending some down time at home.
John’s starting to play more at friends’ houses. He plays quite often with Adam who lives a couple of doors down from my mom’s house.
Uncle Wade brought John lots of new flags for his flag collection from Europe. He has the most flags I’ve ever seen from a 5 year old.
© 2008 Derek Kennedy