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:)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

As Winter Moves On

Well here it is the end of January, and although I really don’t have that much news ( as news should be new stuff I think), I can report on all the activities that led us through this month and how fast it has passed.  A part of me wants to say I’m just waiting for the time to pass so we can leave in the fifth.  For sure we are seeking some warmer temperatures, but ultimately we just love living in the trailer and the lifestyle we enjoy.  We do miss our kids and friends, watching Blake's hockey, impromptu visits with Emerson and Reese (and Tracy and Cal), trips to Fort McMurray to see Connor and his mom and dad, regular dinners out with the Scotts, my 7 am coffees with Sharon, etc. BUT we also love spending time alone, dropping in to visit friends that winter south, and walking, hiking and all the new scenery.  Although I have simplified all belongings and space at home, living in the trailer continues to be enjoyable, cozy and a great choice.

But I dislike wishing time away, and as anyone who is our age can confirm, watching our family grow happens fast enough.  So we enjoy the days we are home as well, and try not to focus on what is ahead.

Don has had a hodgepodge of time up north it seems.  From equipment breakdowns to access approvals going slower than usual, I have been lucky to have him around a bit more than expected.  In an attempt to reach my 10,000 daily steps, and as a thumbs down to the weather, we have become mall walkers.  Don’t laugh until you try it!

Lindsay’s due date/delivery date is fast approaching, and I have been to Fort Mac to visit twice since Christmas.  I am headed up there for February 2, and we are expecting a scheduled C Section on Monday February 3.  I will write more about this new grandson when his arrival is complete:)  I will also stay a week then, as well as one more week later in the month, to ensure that she is behaving and taking care of herself properly.

Lindsay and Jeremy are moving to Edmonton, so my last February visit will be bittersweet.  I love the community of Fort McMurray and will be sad that this piece of connection will be gone.  But I am so happy that I will be able to see them often, drop in for coffee, meet for visits, etc.  And I know on their behalf living closer to family and not needing to make that 5 hour drive will change the dynamics of their family life.  We are thrilled to see this move.

From a social side, as I has said in my last post, we have had some company this month.  Darrell and Shirley arrived for a few days, and although Don was away, we had a great visit.  As always happens with company we enjoyed lots of conversation, shopping, eating, movies, eating, shopping and lack of sleep.  All in all a perfect visit!

This week we had my favourite people visit – my Uncle Michael and Aunt Doreen, along with cousin Diane and her son Rylan.  Although it was a short visit, we had lots of great conversation, food and laughter.  Michael is my mom’s youngest brother, and our 2 families spent a lot of my growing up years together.  Sometimes I feel like Doreen is one of my greatest fans, but I think that’s just because we share the same beliefs about many things.  Having them visit, to me, is like a boost of morale, and I just love it.  It’s a kind of selfish thing:)

Today was lunch with Tracy and kids at Boston Pizza.  It’s nice to do that, and with Blake having every Thursday afternoon off from school, it’s just doable.

So January draws to a close.  I won’t tell you about the horrible weather this month has brought us.  Just typical wind, rain, icy streets and sidewalks, etc.  We are tough Canadians.

I’m looking forward to February and all it offers – a new grandson, 5 family birthdays (cake cake cake), challenging myself at those darn exercises, and enjoying this gift called life!  Then March when the Stecyks move south, and Don and I depart on a new chapter of Driving Miss Donna!

Until then remember…

 happy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Joys of January

Fooled you - as you sit there wondering what the joys of January might be?  For us they bring some future visits to look forward to, as well as spending time with our family.

It's always sad to see Lindsay, Jeremy and Connor return to Fort McMurray after Christmas, but I remember too well those days of travelling and just wanting to get back to your own home and beds.  It's particularly tough when you don't spend the whole "vacation" in the same house.  This year holds something extra special to look forward to, as the Stecyks have made the big decision to move closer to their old home area.  Sometime this spring they will be moving to Edmonton!  But first that new grandson has to be born.  We are expecting him the first week of February.

The last few days of 2013 we spent with Don working, trying to get some prep work up north completed, and watching Blake in a hockey tournament.  He had a great showing, and it is hard to believe that little skater, shooter and scoring dynamite is the same boy we watched learn to skate, when making it across the ice for a drink of water was an achievement.

On December 30, after his last game, we brought all the Cameron kids home for a sleepover.  It was Reese's first one with us, and it went well.  Actually incredible.  She had a great time and you couldn't wipe the smile off her face.  We had 2 movie and popcorn days, but our plans of attending Stony Plain's celebrations on New Years Eve were put aside as the weather was horrid, and Blake was exhausted, hence an ear infection and fever set in.  But we still had a great 2 days and made some new memories.  I can't wait for the Stecyks to join us in sleepovers.  I wonder if I should have all 5 at one time, and if Don will stay home for that?!

On January 2 Don headed up north to his job.  He has about 30 days to get in this winter, and hopefully allowing for weather, equipment challenges, etc. he will be completed around February 10.

On January 5 I stayed overnight at the Cameron's (thanks to Em for sharing her bed with me) and then on Monday morning headed up to Fort Mac to spend the week with the Stecyks.  I will miss the long visits when they move closer, but will appreciate seeing them more.  We had a great week, I watched Connor a couple of times while Lindsay took care of some appointments, and they treated me to a visit to my favorite spa, as well as a couple of meals out.  I am going to miss many aspects of Fort McMurray, and I must say this spa is one of them.  Thanks Stecyks for sharing your home with me over the last 7 years.  It seems that I was always bunking there, using a vehicle, or hanging out, and I always loved it.

As expected at some point during his venture in the north, Don had an equipment breakdown, which shortened his first shift and I benefited by being able to ride home with him on Friday, rather than the Red Arrow bus.

We had a fun visit with the Camerons today.  I sure find it hard with Blake in Grade 1 to see him as much, so we took supper to them and the kids had their opportunity to jump on Grandpa for a while!

Don heads back north for 2 weeks on Monday, and I am popping back on the 22nd for a few days, as Lindsay's due date is getting close and Jeremy needs to go out of town for work.

So getting to our upcoming guests - Darrell and Shirley Hueser are coming for a few days for medical appointments, and then my Uncle Michael, Aunt Doreen and cousin Diane are coming the next week for a few more.  I will appreciate the company as Don toils away, although I must say this winter I have been more at peace with being at home than usual.

So our January is passing and we are dealing with the snow, rain and weather changes as Canadians do.  We are planning our southern trip on the maps, and today I started routing our Yellowknife trip too.  We are a bit restless to get going, but also excited for the move and baby coming.  There is no need to rush through these days.

Although I don't share much of my yoga, meditation, exercise life, this is a quote that reminds us not to rush life...

The ultimate challenge in life is to neither allow our fantasies to bring us too much suffering nor to prevent us from living fully.  Earon Davis

Talk to you soon

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all our readers - family, friends, and those we haven't met in person. We must all admit that through the years we've met surprises that we never expected on January 1st, and this year will be no different I'm sure, but here is a short list of what I believe is going to happen and what we are looking forward to...

Late January or early February a new grandson
March/April a trip to the southern states  and an attempt to get further east thatn we normally do!
In that same time frame our youngest daughter and family moving closer from Fort McMurray to Edmonton
The annual May long weekend camping trip with family and friends
June trip to the north, with a destination of Yellowknife, with our long distance camping buddies the Scotts
July week at Old McDonald's farm with the Camerons ( and maybe some Stecyks)
August godson's wedding

That is far enough ahead!  We know the summer Alberta months will be spent with many camping trips, and hopefully the usual amount of day trips, coffee visits, dinners out and everything else that this great life allows!

So to everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Enjoy the year ahead, meet your challenges head on, appreciate what you have and the joys of the days, and hopefully we will see each and every one of you on we Drive Miss Donna!