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Sometimes, There Are No Words

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We believe she did this to herself.

Our Day at the Stampede

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After all our fun at the parade, we were inspired to take the kids down to the Stampede itself to check it out. We took the train down so we wouldn’t have to deal with trying to find parking. That started the day off perfectly for Dougie, in fact, the train may have been his favourite part.

We arrived just in time to see a piano demonstration. Dougie was in awe! Once they finished, they allowed the kids to get on the piano.


As you walked across the kids, the piano would play notes. I think Dougie would have just stayed here all day if we had let him.


Of course, that was before he knew there was a display of various military equipment. Dougie asked to go on the boat twice. The navy person who was supervising it even let him wear his hat.


As we got closer to the kids area, we saw a jumping area that I thought Dougie would really like. They put bungee cords on the kids and then would let them jump and turn. Unfortunately, Dougie wasn’t heavy enough to try it. That was okay by him because he decided he wanted to go on the go carts more anyway. I thought he was too young but they assured me it would be fine.


Unfortunately, Dougie couldn’t get the idea of holding the trigger to make it go or turning the wheel to steer. This nice guy actually held the trigger and steered for him.


It was a big thrill for Dougie!


Finally, we got to the kids area and tried out some of the rides.





Connie didn’t do a whole lot there. She was too small for most of the rides. She was quite happy to sit in her stroller and watch the people though.


It was a fun day! We were lucky to get some really great weather for it as well.


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It’s Stampeded time in Calgary and that means the entire city channels their inner cowboy and celebrates living in the West. We decided that, as new Calgarians, it was our obligation to attend the parade with the kids. Scott had the day off work (yes, parade day is a holiday) so we headed downtown.

I was fortunate enough to be able to buy tickets for the bleachers so we didn’t need to get downtown too early though I didn’t realize that they were at the end of the parade route which meant an extra 45 minutes of waiting for the parade to start. I’ll know better next year. There were lots of folks that came through to entertain the waiting masses though so at least we weren’t staring at an empty street the whole time.

Connie in her best cowboy outfit

She is just mastering clapping so she took every opportunity to give it a try.

The kids were so excited to be there

Finally, the parade started. The grand marshals were Jet and Cord from the Amazing Race. These guys were, by far, my favourite Amazing Race team ever – so it was pretty exciting to see them.



Wow, an entire float dedicated to me? What an honour. :)


After a while, this came along.


I thought this was just brilliant! They decorated street cleaning truck and then sent it down the road to clean up after anything the horses may have left. Dougie did not like this. I think it may have been the noise but he shrieked every time they came down the street. In an hour and a half parade, that was a lot more often than we were happy about.

Look, there’s another one.


Hmm, he’s a little out of place here in Calgary, in the summer

Connie just took the whole thing in.


Nothing really scared her once the people stopped yelling “Ya hoo” as she was trying to nap.

Overall, we had a great time! We’d go again but we’d be sure to get seats closer to the start of the parade route.

Getting Bigger Every Day

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Connie continues to grow. More importantly, she continues to get stronger. She pulls up all the time now. She loves to stand.


She has definitely perfected sitting.



The one thing that hasn’t changed is that her brother loves her. He still constantly asks to “hold the Connie.” Since she’s a bit more stable, it’s gotten easier for him.

We swear she isn’t as big as this picture makes her appear

Jasper Road Trip – Day 3 & return

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Our final full day in Jasper started with a trip to Maligne Lake. We had tickets for a boat trip out to Spirit Island. On the way there, we had an elk run right past our car. Then, when we arrived, we saw this:


It’s like they were waiting to greet us.

The lake itself is beautiful. We were lucky to get on board early enough to get a window seat so we could get some nice pictures on the way out.


When we reached Spirit Island, we docked the boat and everyone got off to get some pictures.

The Island

Scott and the kids with the island

On the way back, we stopped at Medicine Lake. This place isn’t really that interesting in the summer except to know that a few months earlier, there was almost no water in this lake. By October, it will again be just a small stream.

IMG_4304 - cache

As the day warmed up, we headed down to Maligne Canyon. It was beautiful though very crowded. We took a stroll down quite a ways to enjoy the view.


Connie had been wearing a hat but she removed it shortly into the trip. Someone found it and hung it on a pole near where we entered the canyon. We were very glad to get it back and really appreciated the kindness of whoever found it.


We still had a while to kill before dinner so we opted to head to Pyramid Mountain to have a look. There is a little island near the viewing area. It wasn’t too crowded but there were enough people around to get someone to take our picture.


Before we headed back to town for dinner, we stopped to play a bit.


We headed out reasonably early the next morning. Our only disappointment about the trip was that we hadn’t seen a single bear. We weren’t too far out of Jasper when we saw this:


Our trip was complete. We’ll definitely head back to Jasper again as there were a lot of things we didn’t get time to do but this is by far one of my favourite vacations.

Jasper Road Trip – Day 2

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From hot springs to ice! Today, we headed out from Jasper down to the Columbia Icefields. Scott had been before several years ago but this was something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved here. They are only open in the summer though so our trip had to wait until now.

Here is Athabasca Glacier. It is the most accessible glacier in the Icefield. Though it appears huge, it is really just a small part of the icefield itself.


We bought our tickets and had a little wait until it was our turn. We had to take a bus out to the Snocoach waiting area where a coach would take us out onto the glacier.

Here is the road onto the glacier itself.

It was pretty cold and the kids were hungry so they were a bit off at this point.

Amazing what a few crackers can do.


As we go closer, they explained the “rules.” They want you to stay in the marked area. They check that area daily for crevasses and know that it is safe for walking but anywhere outside of the marked area can be dangerous. People have died here so better to be safe! We would be given about 15 minutes to walk around on the glacier once we arrived. We were really lucky that all of these coaches left right after we got there so we had the entire area for just our bus group.


It was COLD! We knew it would be cold but this was really cold!!

Another guy on our bus offered to take our picture so we managed to get one with the whole family.


After lunch, we headed down to a different viewing area to see the toe of the glacier. It was interesting to see how much it had receded since Scott was here last time.



Poor Connie missed out on most of this action.

We made the long drive back to Jasper and called it a day.

Jasper Road Trip – Day 1

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We started our first full day in Jasper with a trip up Whistler’s Mountain. They have a gondola that will take you most of the way so it wasn’t too much of a hike though we did decide to head for the summit.

The mountain is pretty high so there was still snow on top when we got there. Dougie wasn’t quite sure what to make of snow in July.

After a bit of snow inspection, we headed towards the summit.

Dougie thought the various inukshuks on the mountain were great – though we had to stop him from trying to knock them down.

Dougie had a little jeep with him that he was sure to stop and play with every chance he got.
Pud Jeep

As we got closer to the top, there was a lot more snow. Dougie, who now loves snow, wanted to play in it despite the fact that were were not properly dressed for it.

Tired and a bit wet, we grabbed a few pictures and started back down to the gondola.



When we got back to town, we grabbed some lunch and settled in to watch the Canada Day parade. There is something special about a small town parade. Where else would you see something like this:


Connie was very due for a nap at this point so we thought a drive may be in order to let her get a bit of sleep in the car. As we were heading out, we noticed this pizza sign. I’d buy pizza from these people just because of the sign.


We weren’t too far out of Jasper when we got stuck in traffic. We were more than a little surprised by it. It was Canada day but we weren’t going anywhere that should have had a lot of traffic. Turns out, we were in a goat jam.


A few little goats basically shut down the road out of town. Fortunately, a ranger came along and scared them all away from the road.

When we arrived at the hot springs, we were excited to see more goats.


A lady, who was clearly a local, explained that this is about as ugly as the goats get. They were shedding their winter fur and getting ready to get the nice bright white color that they always have in pictures. Regardless, seeing a big bunch of mountain goats was a thrill for us.

We hadn’t brought our bathing suits with us so we didn’t go into the hot springs but we did hike around to see the “source.” You can stick your finger in here and see how hot the water is. They actually cool the water a bit here before they put it in the pools so it doesn’t burn people. They also add some chemicals to reduce the sulphur smell. Unfortunately, those weren’t added at this stage so this area was scented.


Connie tried to catch a few Zs while we were walking.


Dougie tried to burn off some energy pretending he was a dog.


From here, we headed back into town. It was a long day and we were all pretty tired.

Jasper Road Trip – Getting There

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With a long weekend coming up and lots of Alberta we still hadn’t seen, we decided to take the opportunity to take a family road trip up to Jasper. It’s a long drive but we made several stops along the way to break up the trip.

First stop, gas around the corner from the house. Don’t the kids look thrilled?

We decided to take the Bow Valley Trail up from Banff to Lake Louise. It’s supposed to be a good wild life viewing areas and we were in no hurry. We weren’t on the road for 2 minutes before we saw this:


He has some friends across the road in the woods too.


We got a bit carried away with the touristy stops. We were grabbing a few geocaches on the way and they tend to trend towards touristy. Here I am at the continental divide.


Connie and Daddy at Lake Moraine.

The whole family in front of the lake.

Lake Morraine is where the picture for the old Canadian $20 bill was taken. So, we posed in the same spot for our $20 picture.

From there we headed over to Lake Louise. I had always heard it was spectacular and it didn’t disappoint.

Connie and Daddy in front of the lake

As we got closer to the Columbia Icefields, we came across a small group of mountain sheep. I was excited enough by the sighting that I climbed a not insignificant hill by the side of the road to get a better picture.

It was a long drive, made longer by the fact that we kept stopping, but we had a great time and were so glad to finally arrive at the hotel.

Welcome to My World

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Now that Connie is quite mobile, she can go and find Dougie no matter where he tries to go. He’s embracing this change and has decided to share some of his passions. In this case, cars:



Connie is thrilled to be part of her brother’s world. Dougie likes it as long as she’ll leave when he asks – that has yet to happen.

Increasing Mobility

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The kids were playing and I was getting dinner ready, suddenly, I noticed it was really quiet – too quiet. I went to investigate and found this:


ACK! What are you doing? No standing up!! That only leads to… walking!


Don’t look at me like that, I know you’re trying to walk.


I can tell you’re planning something


No no, climbing is totally unacceptable!


Good thing you’re cute

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