The Last Hurrah…

Day 5 – July 27th, 2020

 

Mike had told me to sleep in and rest up and I figured that wouldn’t happen, as 6/6:30 had been my usual wake up time.
I did wake up around 5:30 and told myself I MUST sleep… which I then did, until 9 🤪🙈
Which was maybe a little excessive for the plans for our day ahead but Mike said he didn’t dare wake me since I’m never usually able to sleep in 😏

Because of covid our hotel wasn’t serving the usual breakfast, so we had to head out to find substance.
‘Graze’ was where we settled in at and we got the Farm Fresh Eggs Benedict to share.

A few more little shops were entered as we meandered back to the vehicle and then we drove to find one or two more sights to let our eyes feast on, before leaving for Calgary and eventually, home.

We drove up to this view and I’m not sure of what it was called but we sat with our feet in the fresh water for a few moments while coming up with a game plan for where to go next.

I wanted to see Grassi Lakes but the only way we could see to get to them, posed a lot more steep, loose stone lined paths then I felt comfortable attempting to undertake.

So, we waved farewell to Canmore and drove on to Calgary, needing to make it in time to eat at ‘Monki Bistro’ before it closed 🤓

From mountain ranges and lakes, to roadways, vehicles and cityscapes… both unique and enjoyable to gaze upon in their own way… neither my favourite 😉😜

If you’re in Calgary, PLEASE go eat at ‘Monki Bistro’ and think of us 🙌🏻🤤
I ordered the reverse French toast and Mike got the brisket poutine.

They were both potentially flavourful but in the best way possible.

I’m the type of person that if a dish is supposed to have sauce, I want it to be swimming in it and these were both capable of being afloat 😉👌🏻

Leaving a restaurant utterly satisfied and pleased is such a good feeling. Like when you find something on a super sale or feast your eyes on an unexpected beauty.
Think I’m being dramatic? Maybe… but I don’t think I  am and we really, REALLY like food 😁

We needed to stop at IKEA to get blackout blind for the babes room, so we did a decently fast walk through of the whole place.
I found some smaller sized plates I wanted (been searching for probably a year, no joke 🙄) but of course, they were out of stock 😏
Nordstrom Rack and Homesense were also pursued and finally, we left the city.

Much later than planned… our estimated home time being in the wee AM hours and we still had ‘Drumheller’ to stop at… (but we’re young and free so that wasn’t a problem… right?) 😅

I’d told Mike we should really stop there. I’d been years ago and figured I could use a refresher but I thought he would think it was pretty interesting.
Turns out he took it on faith and didn’t look up a thing about it, so he was pretty shocked when suddenly we descended down into a totally different terrain than moments before😜

On our way to Horse Thief Canyon, we drove by ‘The Little Church’.

Which was much littler than I’d even expected😅
Surprisingly, Mike actually fit inside and it was a fun little stop… the slogan of the church being, ‘Seating ten thousand people – six at a time‘… literally, as it had six mini pews inside.

Horse thief canyon certainly evokes images to match its name… making it easily imaginable to visualize herds of horses racing through the valleys, cowboys with lassos overhead, thundering behind them 😉

Driving quickly because of the soon setting sun, we went to find the Hoodoos.

‘A hoodoo (also called a tent rock, fairy chimney, or earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoostypically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements.’

The earthy tones and warm weather, making for perfect exploration inducing conditions…but we had McDonald’s to eat back in the truck and home to return to, so we didn’t take that exploration vibe too seriously 🤪

 

I made up my mind to stay awake with the husband until we arrived home and besides some slow/heavy eye blinks around Saskatoon, (1hr away from home) I did it 🤓

We never solidified a name for the child but we did narrow the list from three, to two 🤪
Not my favoured outcome but better than zero progress made I suppose 😏

In the end, it was a great trip ☺️💗

The driving having been so broken up for the most part, that I never endured THAT much discomfort, we had mostly beautiful weather, a lot of good food and for the most part, pleasant company* 😉

*I’m referring to myself and my husband for those who could think I was making mention of the friends/family we met up with as perhaps unpleasant, which was not the case 🤪

The time allotment was good too… we aren’t usually super slow lookers/observers etc. so we got to see a lot, in a semi short amount of time and also get a good idea of what we’d want to see again, if ever.
I’d say Jasper and the drive from Jasper to Banff, was our favourite part.
I’m sure there is much to explore around Banff itself but by that time we were fading a little and it was also so busy with people, it lost the allure a little, same to be said for Canmore.
Though we had much less time in Banff/Canmore so maybe we just needed a little more time to find their Jems 😉

We pulled up to our little home around 3:00 am, crawled into bed post haste and awoke to a sunshine filled +22 by 8:00 am.
The official end of the ‘babymoon’ and the start of unpacking, yard upkeep and checking off the rest of the ‘pre-babe to-do’s’ 😉

 

 

Campside Camaraderie

Day 3 – July 25th, 2020

The campers hadn’t planned on having an early morning so neither did we, sitting down at our chosen breakfast place around 10:00 am.
That wasn’t really by choice though, as we had entered and left three other spots before finally settling on our perch at ‘Sunhouse Cafe’… we learnt from the previous evening to be happy with the menu pre settling 😉

The ambiance was very much what we enjoy and the presentation was lovely 👌🏻

Downside, small meals… upsides, tasty, enjoyable atmosphere, good view and nice company 😉

A grocery store was found next and some provisions for the day ahead, purchased.
More campfire sitting, campground walking and visiting ensued for the rest of the morning/early afternoon.

Mike warmed us up some thick slices of buttered sugar bread over the fire, which he’d purchased at ‘Dutch Delicious’ in Edmonton.

Sugar bread being a sweet loaf we purchased often when living in Holland.

A mini walk was taken along the lakes edge, after which I retreated to the truck to stretch out on the back seat.

Cousins catching up.


An ice pack on my ribs and tennis ball beneath my back #comfortable 🤪 It turned into a nap… not all together unexpectedly, nor unfortunately 😉

When I awoke, it was nearly time for supper, which was created by one of the girls on the camping trip and also a couple steaks grilled by Mike and another fellow.

It was all very enjoyed ☺️👌🏻

After dinner, some of us headed off to go on a simple hike near the campground.
We drove a little too far and had to turn around but that was only a good thing because two bull elk were spotted munching alongside the highway.

Their relaxed grass chewing, healthy looking coats and velvet covered antlers, making for a scenic pause indeed ☺️

We found the ‘Yellowhead Mountain Trail’ and began the ‘supposedly’ 2 km trek.
Which was nearly immediately more of an uphill incline than not 😬 I don’t know about anyone else but it didn’t really inspire hope for what awaited us and my heavy breathing had me deeply questioning my abilities 🤪

Hubster picked me some little bush bouquets… they gently got discarded along side the path, as I needed my hands to continue the journey 😉

How hard could 2 km really be though? Also, spot the Mike in the above photo.

Turns out, it could be decently tiring 😂

Onward and upward we went, slowly spreading out a little more, each taking their own pace and finding traction along the mud slick inclines, hopping a couple streams and trying to observe the ‘path’ through 4.5 ft foliage.
The three of us who were a little ways ahead, were starting to question how much farther we should go, when the light at the end of the hike began to shine through some thinning trees 🤪

We called to the others that they were almost there so don’t turn back and then we proceeded to take some rapid fire photos, look at what we came to see and turn around to begin retreating back down, due to the setting sun.

As we hadn’t expected the sun to have time to set, prier to starting said hike 😏

One minor slip caused some leg blemishes for me and Mike didn’t love the downward decline with his knee hinting about its ‘less than prime condition’.
Unfortunately one of our hiking members had a rough go of it coming down, due to some pre existing knee problems but thankfully made it and was quickly given Tylenol, water and a chair and hot water bottle near the fireside back at camp.

All in all, it was a bit of an adventure and really, who wants to talk about the simple little, totally doable walk that they took anyways? 😉

I attempted to look up the hike details later and from what I could see, it truly was only 1.22 km there and back but this flatlander obviously has no experience with mountain side explorations 😛

Black diamond being ‘very difficult’ *…though truthfully that could be referring to the ENTIRE hike and not just the part up to the viewpoint, where we called it a day 😉

We again spent the last evening together by the fireside (luckily with a little less smoke inhalation) and we didn’t officially part ways until around midnight, bidding the friends goodbye until next time.
Getting us back to our hostel and in bed by 1:00 ish.

Bed hasn’t felt so good to fall into, freshly showered and comfortably clad, in sometime 🙌🏻

Gaining – Both Weight & Elevation

Day 2 – July 24th, 2020

It was a fresh morning with some light sprinklings of rain as we left our Airbnb room and headed off to find breakfast.

We decided to take up our old habit of sharing one order of food, not even for the sake of prices but more so we can eat more flavours per day 🙈
Stopping one place, eating, moving on to the next and so on 😉👌🏻

‘Toast Culture’ had many good reviews and an appealing Instagram page so we were looking forward to it.
Though the service was good and the food fine, it wasn’t that burst of flavour we’d hoped for.
Having to generously salt and pepper the food and paying $17.00 for the one dish that was mainly a bowl of potatoes.
It was fine and we FELT good after eating the fresher style of meal apposed to some fried platter but it just didn’t impress us as hoped I suppose.

Since we weren’t really filled from that experience, I looked up cafes/bakeries nearby… the desire for a ‘coffee like’ drink ( since hot coffee lost its appeal over a month ago #pregnantproblems) was strong, I think due to the slightly chilly morning.

‘Chocorrant’ was found a moment away and we readily ordered their lemon meringue and crème brûlée croissants and a hazelnut coffee.

The croissants were delicious 🙌🏻🤤

Just like croissants we’d have eaten in Europe but with the added enjoyment of flavourful fillings, of two of our favourite things.
They made up for the breakfast bowl 😉

We could then begin our 4.5 hr drive to Jasper.
I succumbed to sleeping the first 2 hours away, pretty quickly.
Mike listened to another ‘Father Gilbert’ and said he actually didn’t mind it… he’s not usually big on audio books/radio dramas but having nothing to do but drive or talk to a sleeping wife, must have set the right tone 🤪

We paused for a bathroom/refreshment break at Starbucks in Hinton and that’s also when I pulled out ‘the butt pillow’ 😂
I borrowed it from my sister, (not as gross as it could unintentionally sound 🙈) who’d used it during their road trip from The States to Canada back when they moved.
It’s a gel type pillow that is meant to raise the sitting position for short people, so that the back of the user actually sits in the right spot on the vehicle seats.
It definitely helps 👌🏻

Compressions socks were also fought back on… not the easiest thing at any point in life but for sure not with a baby belly, in a vehicle, when the small person is up in your ribs. Mike may have been roped into sock putting on/removing during future wears 😜

Mountains finally began edging nearer but we didn’t see a single animal besides some fenced in Bison way back at the beginning of Alberta 😜

Personal size fruit cups that mumsie had sent with us were eaten…

I only had my little gold spoons from home to bring with and those, along with my silk pillowcase, made for a rather posh looking road trip moment I thought 😉😋

We detoured a couple minutes off our main route, stopping at Annette Lake, as I’d read it was a good one to do a little walking at if one desired and that was an accurate description.

With beautiful blue and turquoise waters, sunshine’s and mountains in the foreground, it made for a lovely ‘first stop’ and we wondered down the paved path alongside it for a little stretch.

 

We got to our hotel in Jasper not long after, ‘HI Jasper’.

A newly built hostel style complex and it was done so very nicely.
Clean simple lines, lots of windows, a nice dining/shared kitchen area if you needed and our room, though a little sterile, was clean and spacious 👍🏻

We rested there awhile, stretching our vehicle contorted bodies while searching for where we wanted to try going for supper.

We went to The Raven.

First that is 😜

The prices seemed high, which we pretty much expected but none of the meals really jumped out at us either.
By that point it felt awkward to leave as we’d already been served our waters, so we ordered what sounded like a very tasty Brie and baguette appetizer. Brie, rhubarb date chutney, candied pecans, garlic butter spread baguette and pickled grapes. It was very little but VERY flavour filled and tasty, if not actually filling 😜

We walked around town a little more, trying to decide if we should share another meal elsewhere, get snacks and head to the campsite where we’d be meeting friends for the evening or if we needed more food at all.
Turns out we did need more and it was found at ‘Alba’ 🤓

Mich got his ‘once a trip’ calamari order and I wanted gnocchi but decided to try the duck pasta instead, since I can neither cook nor easily order duck easily at home.

Both meals were very enjoyable 👌🏻
Mikes being crispy little strips with a zesty lemon garlic sauce instead of chewy rings and my pasta having a savoury, brown gravy type sauce.

We did not share meals that time and our stomachs protested due to that fact but not in an all together displeasing way 😜

Before leaving town we found a pop machine to fill up a reusable plastic bag boughten from a dollar store at home.
It worked perfectly as an ice pack, as was my intention but I wasn’t sure it would work as hoped 🤪

Standing, laying and walking don’t cause too much pain but sitting has proven to result in much upper back/rib pain for over the last month, so I’d been concerned about the icing options.

Leaving Jasper we headed to find the Lucerne Campground to meet up with our friends and family. We drove too far due to lack of cell reception for our google maps but by doing so we got to see the picturesque ‘Moose Lake’ ☺️

By the time we got to the campground, it wasn’t long until the sun starting retreating and we spent our evening around the campfire and under stretched out tarps, due to light smatterings of rain.
Suffering from smoke inhalation and enjoying the conversation until heading back to our hostel after midnight.

Which is probably one of the latest nights I’ve had during this whole pregnancy 🙈

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