Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lazy Days of Summer

The first week of July was a nice quiet, relaxing one for us.  Which we needed after that long weekend of fun…

But then the excitement started again.  On Monday Don and I went to the Grande Prairie area to do some work.  My simple humble little job is running the GPS and walking the perimeter of the tree lines for Don to draft.  Never one to make things simple I of course did not wear the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and tripped on a stump, leading to quite the cut on my leg.  Oh well – just meant an incident report, etc.  Good practice for the safety officer (me)!  In defense I must say that the underbrush was very heavy, but I was told to wear boots and long pants, but chose not to.  I now own proper boots and Carhart pants.

Anyway – another day in history on Tuesday.  We had a consult with an All Weather Windows rep and decided to replace all the windows.  The current ones are originals, and one pane sliders.  The new ones will be triple pane and cranks.  This old house must wonder what it is going through in the last couple of years!

A special treat later in the week was a visit from Lindsay minus Connor and Jeremy.  Once your child becomes a parent it seems odd to have them without their family.  We had a great visit, and did something new – went to the movie Despicable Me 2, with Tracy, Blake and Em. 

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It was great – the movie, the popcorn, the chocolate, the pop.  LOL

Lindsay went home Sunday, and Monday morning we were off for the rest of the week to Ole MacDonald's Resort, near Stettler.  It is a great family campground with a fabulous beach, ice cream store, etc.  We had a fun filled week playing on the beach and trying everything they had to offer which included train rides, tractor rides, go karts, a merry go round, and a petting zoo.  Blake and Em did a lot of bike riding as well.  Blake has mastered 2 wheels, and does loops around the campground!  Tracy and I decided it was the nicest camping time we have spent, and some of that was due to the great weather.

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We came home on Friday, and Saturday morning I went out to Wabamun where Jeremy’s mom and dad live, and picked up Connor.  Lindsay and Jeremy were at a wedding in Vernon, and Grandma Violet and I were sharing Connor.  Although it was a short weekend with Connor, it was a blast.  He is a happy goofy kid, quick to share cuddles and kisses, and also super active.

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Spending a week with the Camerons, and then a weekend with Connor left me a little exhausted, so thankfully my great friend Sharon had scheduled a spa day on Monday as a birthday gift for me.  It was fabulous, we even had a chocolate wrap!

Tracy and I took the kids to K Days on Thursday, and had a blast.  Again – just a teeny bit tired at the end of that.  There’s a pattern to my visits that all end in tired.  Ha ha

Now something I didn’t really announce was WE BOUGHT A NEW TRAILER!  That’s right – we have a new second home.  You know we just love so many features of our first fifth wheel.  At the time we purchased it, and actually still, it was important to us to have what is referred to as an fully enclosed bathroom.  Just something we wanted and weren’t willing to concede on.  Our first one had a huge rear bath, with a large linen closet in addition to a full wardrobe.  To get this feature at that time we had to forego another wish – a rear living area with recliners.  The Pilgrim served us well for many years, and we can only hope the new one is as great of quality and provides as many kilometres of travel – over 100,000!  The new one is still within the legal size limit at our lake co-operative of 35’, and has a rear living room with recliners, and a free standing dinette.  Quite exciting!  So out with the old Pilgrim, in with the new Sedona…

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The weekend was spent packing everything in, learning what fits where, and deciding as when you change houses, if there is anything you don’t use.  I hate keeping lots of things in my house or my trailer, so this was a good opportunity.  Although with an RV when you stay in it for more than a couple of weeks like we do, you need to really consider what it takes for life, as you don’t want to end up always running out to buy stuff.

This past weekend was also filled with many great visits with friends.  First we had dinner with Phil and Therza on Friday.  It is crazy that we haven’t visited since the Eagles concert in Vegas, considering they live minutes form Tracy and Cal’s.  Saturday morning we enjoyed a quick coffee with Regina and Wayne, again haven’t visited with them properly since their wedding last July!!  After getting the trailer from Olds, we had a fabulous evening with David and Anne, including a scrumptious dinner at the Sawmill.  Sunday Paul and Mary popped over to see the new unit.  Monday Tracy and Cal and the family dropped by on their way home from camping and had dinner, then Tuesday we went out with Paul and Mary!  You are correct – I have not cooked much!

Now throughout the month Don has worked a lot, including a week in Peace River.  And I didn’t even tell you about the house renovations Paul has been doing.  He installed a new wider set of closet doors in our bedroom, and re-did the laundry room.  While he was at that, I painted the shed and all the flower bed walls.

So it has been a fantastic month!

Just wait until you read about August – which of course includes many nights in the new RV!  Have a good month, and enjoy August – for many of you it will be the last month of summer, but not for us!  Ha ha…

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweet Days of Summer

Could anything be better than sitting in +28 weather, at the trailer and writing a review of June? 
Since our last post things have been a busy kind of quiet.  The same weekend the Shikaoi delegation were in town, Emerson had her first dance recital.  I was so proud of her going on the big stage with a few of her group dancers!  There was not a smile that morning on anyone’s face bigger than Emerson’s. After the recital we gave her flowers.  Photos were not allowed during the performance and the picture I posted doesn’t show her awesome costume, as the dance school gave them all T-shirts as gifts, but her smile is the same!
em dance
We had a great time out at the trailer with the Cameron kids.  They came out for the day on a Thursday, as Emerson has completed pre-school for the season, and Blake doesn’t have Kindergarten on Thursdays, it was the perfect opportunity for a mid week visit.  We indulged in hot dogs, s’mores, and endless quad rides.   Reese determined she wasn’t quite ready to be a quad rider, but she enjoyed the rest of the day.  We also played bowling and bocce ball.
There were some intense games!
giant bowlingbocce ball at lake
don and kids on quad
My next week was filled with meetings, meetings, meetings.  I have recently assessed my volunteer commitments and they are declining rapidly.  There is a lot of pressure in today’s world if you are not traditionally employed in a job that you must have spare time to volunteer.  That might be the case if you were a stay at home senior, or maybe someone who had always wanted to volunteer but hadn’t made the time, but in my case I put volunteering as a high priority for my whole life and now am ready to take a break.  I no longer want my volunteer commitments to replace opportunities with family and friends.  So I am decreasing that load.  I have resigned from the Ringette association, the Friends of the Library, the Tri Community Adult Learning Assoc., and as of December 31 the Family and Community Support Services Board.  My goal is to only serve on the Co-op Board at this time.  Other reasons come into play and a strong one in favour of the Co-op is that it offers growth and learning opportunities as well.
Rant over and back to activities.  This week did include the opportunity to attend the annual Vitalize Conference, this year held in Edmonton.  Vitalize is a provincial conference for both volunteers and those that work in the voluntary sector, and I always find it a great opportunity to stay abreast of what is happening in that world, from my business perspective.  I spent 2 nights at the hotel, one with my great friends Diane and Yvonne, and another with Yvonne alone.  Fun, food and learning all wrapped up in one.
Don spent that week working in Peace River as part of his mentoring contract.  This mentoring was not something Don thought of as part of his consulting work, but he has enjoyed it for the most part, and made good friends in David and Anne.  If I can ever shake all my commitments I would like to spend some time there with him!
Next week – guess what?  The first half of the week was spent in meetings and volunteering at a golf tournament.  But the reward was that I went to Fort McMurray on Thursday for a long weekend.  Don, Cal and Jeremy were off on their quad and fishing adventure, and it was the perfect opportunity to visit Lindsay and Connor!  By all the stories it appears the guys had another great trip, although some unexpected closure of trails, etc. saw them with a last minute destination change.  Their plans had already been impacted by the flooding and a bridge collapse over the Firebag River. 
Anyway – Lindsay, Connor and I had a great time.  Connor loves daycare so much, and the interactions with the kids, that I wondered if he wasn’t a bit bored with Lindsay and I.  At one point he even brought his clothes and shoes over to us!  But Saturday was spent playing outside in his new sand and water table Lindsay bought, and a visit with Lauren and Mike.  Also on Friday evening Lindsay hosted a Steeped Tea party and we had a blast drinking tea, nibbling on appetizers and sharing stories about life in general in only a way women can do…Connor
For anyone who has not visited or lived in the north it is hard to describe how hot it is, but using your common sense you can understand that if the sun doesn’t go down then cooling off is hard to achieve!  So I was particularly glad Lindsay and Jeremy had their a/c in fine working order!
The last week of June was  a blast, as I spent a morning with Emerson and Reese while Tracy attended Blake’s year end activity day, had a long overdue dinner with Dana and Maria, and odd but exciting I received my orthotics!  Happy feet are important.
The saddest but proudest time is June might be Blake’s completion of Kindergarten!  Unbelievable that we now have a grandchild in grade school.  Actually unbelievable that we now have 4 grandchildren!  LOL
To end this fabulous month we spent the long weekend at the lake with 2 of our closest friends, the Scotts and the Marshalls!  They came to our lake development, and we spent many hours visiting, laughing and eating!  We also visited the St Albert and Alberta Beach markets, and every one of us found some special treasures.  The temperatures were some of the warmest we have enjoyed this year (in Alberta!)
Don has worked more days this month than anticipated, but continues to enjoy that.  We sent our company year end off in good time this year, as we are getting more of a system every year. 
It’s a great life, and we are both enjoying the balance and opportunities we have worked hard to achieve.  July will speed by as we look forward to all the little trips and visits already planned.
Happy Canada Day!
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