Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What's Up Wednesday: The Northern Road Trip Edition

Welcome to the "we're on vacation" edition of What's Up Wednesday. We are in the middle of a three week vacation where we're on a road trip from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Whitehorse, Yukon, with a couple of small side trips into Alaska. As of today, we're meandering our way back to Saskatoon with a stop in Southern Alberta. You can read more about the "why" of that in "What I'm doing this weekend..." below. Also, I've been meaning to blog about the past week but between exploring as much as we can and visiting with our friends, blogging hasn't been a priority. Stick around though and I'll get back to documenting our travels soon.
image from here

What we're eating this week... We ate a whole bunch of seafood this week. On Sunday night we had a dinner of crab and salmon from Alaska. That might have been my favourite meal to date. Yum!!! Now we're back to fast food for three days of driving. Boo.
I've also really been enjoying the homemade chai my friend has been making at night. The surprise ingredient is black pepper and it is delicious.

What I'm reminiscing about... Right now, nothing! We're still making memories over here. But I know we'll be reminiscing about this trip for a very long time.

What I'm loving... I have been loving seeing these four kids playing together. They've been having such a GREAT time. We're all friends because Sam and our friends' oldest son were in Grade Two together.

What we've been up to... I haven't had a chance to blog about this (coming soon, I promise!) but we've been to Alaska twice since we've been here.
We also got to visit the Carcross Desert, known as the smallest desert in the world. It is only one square mile so we were able to walk across it.

What I'm dreading... Something I wasn't expecting was all the wildlife encounters, especially as we've been driving. Last week, somewhere in BC, a herd of bison crossed the road. I had to navigate this before I'd had my morning coffee. Ack.

That same day, we stopped to watch a bear and then he decided to cross the road too. And a few days ago when I was driving, a bear crawled over the guardrail and landed in my lane, right in front of me. Thankfully, no one was driving towards me because I had to swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting him. Yikes.

So I'm dreading actually running into some wildlife on our drive home. Wish us safety.
 

What I'm working on... NOTHING! I still have a week of vacation left. Yay!

What I'm excited about... Needle felting. My friend introduced us to this craft and we are ALL loving it. I stocked up on needles and yarn so we'll be bringing this craft home with us. I can't wait to see what we'll make...

What I'm watching/reading... See above for what we've been watching -- bears and bisons and foxes, oh my! And sadly, our days have been so full I've barely had time to read which makes me sad. I don't really feel like myself right now.

What I'm listening to... Today (and for the next three days), I will be listening to the sound of the wheels on the road as we are beginning to wind our way home. Whoo hoo?!?!? Hopefully I won't be listening to the kids going insane as we spend 27 hours in the car -- without screens no less...

What I'm wearing... I picked up two really cool shirts this trip. The first one is from a local Whitehorse company called "Yukon Built." The shape is the actual Yukon Territory. (Spoiler alert: We may have gotten family shirts. Hahaha!!!) The second shirt is a long sleeve shirt from Haines, Alaska. I'll be wearing this one A LOT come fall.

What I'm doing this weekend... We're meeting up with my mom's side of the family in Southern Alberta and celebrating my aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary! I just think that's an incredible milestone. Then we're going to a dinosaur museum. I'm really excited! Dave, Sam, and I were able to celebrate their 50th anniversary with them when Sam was just four months old. We also visited the same museum.
Baby Sam at the dinosaur museum in August 2009 -- awwww!

What I'm looking forward to next month... I'm really looking forward to our weeks at the pool when the kids will do swimming and tennis and I will get a ton of reading done!

What else is new... I think that about covers it. Next month things will be back to normal around here :)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Go West, Young Man, Go West

So in case you haven't read the blog lately (and you don't follow me on Instagram), we are currently on a road trip across Western (and into Northern) Canada. Friends of ours from our neighbourhood in Ontario moved to Whitehorse, The Yukon in the fall and we decided we wanted to visit them. We did the drive from Ontario to Saskatoon and Edmonton in August 2016, so we decided to start our drive in Saskatchewan to make it a bit more do-able.

Our first stop was Edmonton, Alberta, where we used to live. This is where both Sam and Rachel were born. We stayed with my aunt and uncle and cousin and the first night we had supper with our good friend, Natasha. Then we were able to go and see the house where we used to live. Both Dave and I were amazed at how small it seemed now!
The next morning the kids enjoyed picking berries. My aunt and uncle have turned their front yard into an amazing fruit/flower/vegetable garden. The kids ate lots of Saskatoon berries and raspberries.
And I took a ton of pictures of the lilies. They were so beautiful.
 
In the afternoon we met up with friends from my New Mom's group. Unfortunately some of the families were unavailable. However, Sam and Olivia used to be best friends and have known each other for almost ten years.
And Sheri and Marcia were two of my closest friends in Edmonton. I so wish we lived closer to each other and could see each other more often.
My cousin and her partner were able to join us for supper so we had to get a picture with them and my other cousin. Sam and Rachel LOVED playing with these cool adults!
The next day was the first day of our three day road trip north.
Sam contemplated the Alberta scenery at a rest stop.
We didn't know we'd see the world's largest beaver in Beaverton, Alberta. Ha!
We entered the province of BC (British Columbia) and I loved how people had made inukshuks behind the sign.
Spoiler alert: We didn't drive the entire Alaska Highway but we have driven a good portion of it! This was at Mile 0 -- a lot more miles to go!

And that was the first bit of our road trip. Next up: Wildlife and hot springs!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Daily Photo: July 16 - 22, 2019

July 16, 2019 -- Willem came to babysit the kids this day and they played Monopoly for hours.

July 17, 2019 -- We were on an airplane this day. We flew into the sunset for hours and it was gorgeous.

July 18, 2019 -- Mom and Dad didn't intentionally install a green roof but this day, they got one anyways. Boo.

July 19, 2019 -- We all loved the canola fields we saw as we left on the first leg of our road trip. This is somewhere in Saskatchewan.

July 20, 2019 -- We stayed with my aunt and uncle in Edmonton and they have the most amazing front yard with a gazillion lilies.

July 21, 2019 -- We had a short break from the car and I made the kids run up and down this hill a few times. This is somewhere north of Edmonton and east of Grande Prairie.

July 22, 2019 -- We saw a lot of different animals this day but these Bighorn sheep were the only ones which stopped traffic! This is in British Columbia between Fort Nelson and Muncho Lake.

Summer 2019 Week 3

I tried to publish this post earlier today (Monday), but the internet in Northern Canada is a little flaky.

Summer Week 3 brought the trip we've been waiting for since March. Whoooo hoooo!!! But first we had to do some yard work...
...and go swimming at the pool and eat ice cream treats.
The kids and I did errands in the mornings, and packed for our trip, and then in the afternoons, they played with Willem.

Finally, it was time to leave on our trip. Whoooo hoooo!!!
First up was a flight to Saskatchewan. I got to see a lightning storm from the plane so that was really cool!

On Thursday morning we did lots of errands to get ready for our road trip -- buying some activity books, obtaining some snacks, and picking up our rental car. On Thursday afternoon we were hanging out on the deck having happy drinks when a windstorm started.
The kids ran inside, Dad and Dave went to move all the cars indoors, and Mom and I cleared everything in from off of the deck. I heard some creaking and cracking, and I went inside. Then two branches of the big tree fell. Thankfully they didn't cause any damage, or hit Mom, or break the roof.
On Friday morning before we left on the first leg of our journey, Rachel learned to work the coffee machine. She can make cappuccinos, get coffee, and clean it.
Sam, meanwhile, made a good dent in Oma's peaches.

And that pretty much defines Week 3 of our summer -- hanging out at home, getting ready to travel, and spending too short an amount of time in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What Makes It Home?

Today is a day we've been waiting for since March, and dreaming about since last September. We're heading out on our summer vacation today. We're visiting three provinces, one territory, one state, some good friends, and lots of family. We. Can't. Wait!!!

As we leave home behind for a little, I thought I would reflect on what I love about where we live. This post has been swimming around in my head for almost four years now. What the what?!?!? Yes, in September 2015, my friend Bekah wrote a post about what she loved about where she lived. And I wanted to do the same thing. You can read Bekah's original post here.

So here are some of the places which make this feel like home to me. And one of the things I love about where we live is that most of these places are within a twenty minute walk of our house.

Our library
Those of you who know me well are not at all surprised that our library is the first thing on my list. We go there multiple times a week. And usually have about fifty (or more) books out at any one time.

Our CSA

My friend, Angie, started a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) about twelve years ago. We joined up as soon as we could. We LOVE getting fresh veggies (and eggs and flowers) every week in the summer. It has introduced us to so many fun vegetables that we never would have tried otherwise.

Vincenzo's

This is our favourite sandwich place. I always get one of these sandwiches during my readathons and Dave and I love picking them up as a special treat.

Our Starbucks

Yes, we have our favourite Starbucks that we love to go to. We don't go as often as we used to but it's still a special treat.

Our trail

I am always on this trail -- sometimes multiple times a day. It gets me from our house to uptown so we can go to the library, credit union, Starbucks, public square, and more in just a short walk. We often run into people we know on this trail. I cannot overstate my love for it!!!

Our ice cream place

It's just a Baskin Robbins but it's our go to place for ice cream whether it's February or July.
 

Our public square

Our public square is the best thing ever. Whether it's set up as an ice rink in winter or a Raptors' viewing party in the summer, there is always something going on there.
It's even where we go to have Channukah on the Square.
 
So this is all just a part of what makes our city feel like home. The other thing I love is that our city really feels like a small town. Almost every time we are out and about we run into someone we know and I love it.

I'm really excited to head out on our vacation but I am also looking forward to coming home again and enjoying some of my favourite places.

What makes your town/city feel like home? What are your places?