Friday, July 20, 2012

Family Trip!

Sorry I have been MIA for a while! We went on a pretty awesome family road trip to western Canada and through the States. I was a little nervous about the drive. Sitting in the car for 14 days with a baby that hates the car... Luckily Aiden did amazing!! He had his moments, and trust me, by the time we got home he just wanted OUT! But for the majority of the drive he was great! We tried to do most of our driving in the morning so we could catch his naps. I had to get in the back a couple times a day to entertain him, and a friend lent me a DVD player which helped a lot! In 14 days we put about 9000km on our car!!

While we were gone we decided to buy a little notebook so we could track our trip. It was a great idea!! And I will be using it for all of our trips so we can look back on them! So here you have it :) This is what we did!

Friday June 29:
We left our hometown around 7pm and drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan. We arrived around 2am, and both Shawn and I were exhausted! We crashed at a Red Roof Inn for the night.

Saturday June 30:
Originally we planned on taking the ferry across Lake Michigan, but I forgot to look at the departure times ahead of time. Luckily I looked before we left our hotel! Turns out we would have to wait pretty much all day if we took it. So after a little discussion we decided to drive around the lake. We drove to Minneapolis, Minnesota and stayed at another Red Roof Inn (they are reasonably priced and a fairly decent hotel). The drive was really long, probably the longest we did in a day.

We enjoyed buttered burgers at Culver's in Wisconsin...yummy!
 Sunday July 1: HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! :)
In 2010, Shawn had an abscess on his lower spine that he had to get drained. Unfortunately it came back. He felt it on Friday but thought he might have just hurt his back, but my Saturday night it was definitely back. We didn't get travel insurance - Our travel dates were not set in stone and I didn't think we would need it. Apparently we did :(
After a bit of research I found out we could get the same medical attention in other provinces as we would get in Ontario. Our best option was to drive to Manitoba so we could get Shawn to a hospital, and that is exactly what we did. After 3 hours of waiting Shawn saw a doctor, had the abscess drained and immediately felt better. We went to Boston Pizza for dinner (Shawn's favourite), and then found a hotel. We stayed at the Greenwood Inn, it was such a nice hotel!!

Monday July 2:
Shawn felt MUCH better! Aiden and I had a swim at the hotel and then we carried on with our trip. We have a friend staying in Grenfell, Saskatchewan so we drove there to visit with him and spend the night. He took us on a tour of the countryside and the farm he is working on. One place he showed us was this beautiful valley. It was honestly breath taking. As we drove into it, these horses were walking on the edge. What a picture perfect moment!!
We have another friend working near Regina, so we all drove into town and had dinner at Red Lobster.

Tuesday July 3:
Shawn knows the people our friend works with, so we had a nice visit with them and their kids in the morning. It was nice to let Aiden have a little play! He really missed our friends at home and our play dates! We left the farm a little later than we would have liked, but it was so nice to chat with them. We drove to Edmonton where we stayed for two nights at the Travelogue. Our drive there was pretty scary. There was a huge storm! We even saw funnel clouds, and apparently a tornado touched down. Thankfully we made it safe and sound! We even saw bison on our way!

Wednesday July 4:
It was a pretty crappy day! So what better way to spend a rainy day than at a mall! We spent the whole day at the West Edmonton Mall. We watched the Sea Lion Show and a bit of a hockey tournament going on. I was a little disappointed that Marine Life was closed (until September...who closes an attraction like that during the summer?) but we did have a great family day at the mall! We even had dinner at Hooters on Bourbon Street.

Watching the Sea Lion Show

Aiden's new boots and Wranglers!!! So cute :)
Thursday July 5:
Aiden LOVES animals, so we took him to the Edmonton Zoo. It was a little zoo, but perfect for what we were looking for. They even had an elephant (Lucy)!!! Thankfully Bob Barker hasn't relocated Lucy so Aiden had a chance to see one!

(The backpack we left in Madison...)

I love this picture!
We drove to Jasper - what a beautiful village!! I loved Jasper :) On our way there, we stopped at the Maligne Canyon and saw long horned sheep on the side of the road! We stayed at the Filia Inn...we actually got an upgrade, so Aiden had his own room! There was even a roof top patio that Shawn and I took advantage of. Before we put Aiden to bed we walked around the village and got a bottle of wine and a few beers from British Columbia and we had dinner at the bistro below our hotel. We enjoyed our beverages while watching the sun set on the patio :)

Long Horned Sheep

Maligne Canyon

View from our room

Roof Top Patio

Friday July 6:
We had breakfast at the Bear Paw Bakery in Jasper. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! We went to the Athabasca Falls and saw elk and deer on the side of the road. We went on the Lake Louise gondola where we saw a bear! Then we drove about 20 minutes away (into British Columbia) to see the Canadian Pacific spiral tunnels. Next it was time for some relaxation. We went to the Upper Banff Hot Springs and then carried on our way to Calgary where we saw a mother moose with her two babies! Before we hit Calgary we took a little detour to the town of Cochrane. Another cute town! We went to the Cochrane Ranche and had a little photo shoot with Aiden. Once we got to Calgary we stayed at the Comfort Inn.


Athabasca Falls
Touching snow in July!

Cool picture of my car :)



View from the top of Lake Louise Gondola

Spiral Tunnels in BC

Look close! There is a moose!

Upper Banff Hot Springs

Saturday July 7:
We took the train to Stampede Park. We watched the rodeo, vintage tractor pull (well attempted to, but we only saw the show and shine), team penning and the chuckwagon races. I even had a chance to preg check a cow!!! (It was fake....haha). It was a long day! We got back to our room around 11pm, where we watched three firework shows :)

This is how Aiden sleeps in his stroller - always with one foot up!

Preg checking a cow!

Sunday July 8:
We drove back to Grenfell and stayed with our friend again. It was nice to have a home cooked meal :)

Monday July 9:
We drove to Fargo North Dakota where we stayed at a Super 8, ordered pizza and watched the Home Run Derby . Aiden and I went for another little swim!

Tuesday July 10:
Since Marine Life was closed in Edmonton, we decided to go to the Mall of America in Minneapolis so we could check out Sea Life! We actually really liked this mall. It was really nice, and not a lot of duplicate store (unlike the West Edmonton Mall). After the mall, we drove to Madison Wisconsin and stayed at the Red Roof Inn. We had dinner at Applebee's (really good), went back to our room and watched the All Star Game!
Jelly fish at Sea Life

Wednesday July 11:
My parents ride Harley's so on our way through Milwaukee (where Harley originated) we stopped at the House of Harley to get them a couple shirts (and Aiden a pair of shoes).
This is when we realized Shawn left the diaper bag back at the hotel :( We could have drove back but we decided to carry on and hope that when I called them they would be able to ship it back to us when we got home. (Thankfully they did!!! It wasn't that big of deal, but the value of everything in it adds up, and there are a few things in our bag that I wanted back. Not to mention we just bought a new Roots bag to use when we were in Edmonton, and of course that is what we left).
After that ordeal....we went to Chicago where we had the BEST deep dish pizza at Giordano's. We continued to drive to Lansing Michigan and stayed at another Red Roof Inn!

Ohhh soooo good!!!
Thursday July 12:
We made it home!!
Overall it was such a great trip! We truly enjoyed every second of it, with my favourite being Jasper...I seriously loved it there :) I can't wait for our next trip...probably Disney in a couple years!

No comments: