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 🙌🏻

Llandudno Beach Photoshoot

Time to share the photos of our romantic, evening photo shoot at Llandudno beach 🤪

Turn away if you’re prone to cringing at displays of affection! ‘Jessica closes her own blog’ 🤪

Before our trip to South Africa, I had searched out a photographer to possibly get some photos of Mich and I taken while we were there.

It’s been 3 and a half years since our wedding and though I hope we haven’t aged THAT drastically since then (I’m sure I’m mistaken 🤪) I thought it would be nice to document, well… ‘us’ 🙈

At home, so many people use the wheat or canola fields to take photos in and they are lovely photos and backgrounds no doubt, but I didn’t feel like paying for photos of us alone, in the ‘classic’ Saskatchewan background.
This is so hard to word without making it seem like I think field pictures are dumb but that isn’t at all what I mean!!! 😂

We knew we both really enjoy South Africa and beach backgrounds wouldn’t always be an option, so the decision was made.
I found our photographer via Instagram Melissa Brown ZA  and we set up a date and place and come that time, we slightly awkwardly began the photoshoot 🤪
Luckily she was very friendly and helpful with giving us directions on how to look like we were naturally just…awed by each other 😂

Here you see the results 😉 Continue reading “Llandudno Beach Photoshoot”

Doei, Dag And Tot Ziens!

May 7th –

After breakfast, we packed up and checked out of the ‘hotel’.

We went to a farm/cheese factory to see if they had any smoked cheese to take back for my brother but to no avail. After being in there and experiencing the smell of farm animals and cheese making mixed together, I’m amazed I can still desire to eat any cheese 🤪


Pistachio ice cream was purchased at the cafe there though, being locally made and supplied from another place on the island.
It was very tasty 👌🏻
I’m not sure if I’ve began to enjoy the pistachio flavour more as I’ve aged or if it’s only lately become more popular, either way I’m happy about it 🤓

The family was going to go on an 25 or so kilometer bike to a lighthouse (and back).
The fact that I strongly dislike, and also am not very proficient at biking, made that idea a bit unappealing and the fact that it was cloudy and cold didn’t help Mikes desire to bike either, so we opted for taking the father-in-laws BMW 🤪👍🏻

We did consider renting a tandem bike, so I wouldn’t be in control of my own life 😜 but as we did, it began to rain and any thought of biking kind of dissipated 🙈

So we sat in the car with heated seats on for a little while before walking down some shopping streets, looking for a sweater for me and not finding one, so instead we bought food 🤪

One last Kapsalon to warm us from the streets dampness and then we drove to the lighthouse where we were to meet up with the rest of the fam.

We climbed up to see the view and walk through the small passage that actually went between the old lighthouse wall and the new one they built around it after the war. They had spotlights shining where bullet holes could still be seen in the stone of the old wall… I didn’t stay long enough to take a good picture as having close walls on each side and no opening in front of me isn’t my kind of ‘hang out’ spot.

The beach was then walked along, circling back to where the modes of transportation were, so we could go over to the Nord Cape restaurant.

A hot chocolate, fizzy nestle ice tea with lemon, loempias and a burger were ordered.

The need to pay more for a small glass of still water than for a pop, grew tiresome.
I rarely ever order a drink besides water when at home but when it costs more than a flavoured drink, the flavoured drink is what you end up going for 😬

A display in the restaurant caught my eye.

On it hung handcrafted necklaces made with driftwood and something else I couldn’t figure out.
Upon taking a closer look and Mich asking a staff member, it was found out that the colour dipped ends were made using melted down sea glass from the nearby beach, which actually glows in the dark! It’s a bit hard to explain and even harder to search due to most of the results being in Dutch but click this link to see a visual explanation of the natural ‘sea sparkle’, Zeevonk – Sea Sparkle.

Inge bought me a necklace as an early birthday gift 😉

We were told to check out the post situated outside of the restaurant, made using the same technique.

Once everyone was done biking, it was time to head back to the ferry and begin the trip back to the house.
We arrived there early, so ice cream was enjoyed to pass the time 😉

After the semi lengthy drive back and goodbyes to siblings, the packing began.
An extra bag was required and luckily we were allowed it so it didn’t cost us any extra and there was even an old bag of Mikes to use 🤪👍🏻

I think we got to bed around 1:00, having odds and ends to finish up come morning, before beginning the journey back to our home.

May 8th –

Breakfast awaited us and goodie bags for the upcoming travel too 😉👌🏻

We were driven to the train station and thus said our goodbyes to the parents… having had an enjoyable 2 weeks and 1 day with them ♥️

After the 1 hour ish train ride got us to Schiphol Airport, we stopped at the in airport grocery store for some last necessities.
Our classic travel snack of chicken sushi and one last ‘most delicious grape juice you’ll ever drink’.

Mike also got himself one last frikandel 🤪😷

The clocks in the airport are very entertaining… making it look as though there’s a man inside who cleans the glass and moves the clock hands 🤓

Our first flight was 8.5 hours… we dozed off and on but not a whole lot, as it was during our daytime hours.

Due to time change, we landed in Calgary approximately ‘one hour later’ 🤪 Four hours later we boarded for Saskatoon, getting picked up by my parents around 7:00 pm.

They had kindly gotten us some groceries so that we weren’t at home without cream for coffee etc. and then we went to re-meet the kittens and pet Atlas as much as possible before going to bed 😴💕👍🏻

May 9th –

Jet lag had us up by 4:30 am and so odds and ends were unpacked, though not seriously… just enough to get all the food goods out 🤪

Then a nearby garage sale was went to at 9:00, with the mom and sisters.

We ended up going along to town, to join them for plant shopping, not taking much of a slow’ post travel morning’ but having the ‘spring’ urge within 🤪

We also had much hunger within and wolfed down two double cheeseburgers that Canadian Tire was selling as our first meal back 😂👍🏻


Here ends the tale of our 4 week long trip.
I enjoyed getting to flex the writing muscle again and hope you all enjoyed a thing or two of it as well 😉

I feel like I’m brimming with inspiration from the trip and all the time I had to think…or maybe it’s just a list of stuff that now needs to get done around the house 🤪
If it’s the former, I hope to keep up the occasional appearance on here and tell you all about whatever semi interesting happenings come from that 😉

But who knows, I can be pretty persuasive about talking myself out of doing things, so maybe this is truly, ‘farewell’… or I can do as the Dutch and say a minimum of at least two terms of goodbye, ‘Doei! Dag! Tot ziens!’🤪

To Do, To Eat, To Visit

May 2nd –

Come Thursday our ‘to do, to eat, to visit’ (not eat who we visit 🤪) list, was greatly shrunk… one remaining item was to visit our other set of grandparents.

Besides that, we didn’t have any specific plan and decided to let the day take us where it would 💁🏻‍♀️

It took us to Utrecht because Mike found a store there that carried Tout Patisserie macarons 🤓
Which are the best macarons we’ve ever eaten and had planned to get from Amsterdam, depending how our trip went.
The place we went to only had two of the pistachio flavour, which is our very favourite, so we purchased them and thought maybe they would satisfy the sweet tooth enough that we wouldn’t need to make a stop in Amsterdam.

As it turns out, it only intensified the desire and Tout Patisserie was typed into the GPS 🤪😂
Not immediately, as we did think of some stops along the way but it was the destination none the less 🤓 Continue reading “To Do, To Eat, To Visit”

Filling All Facets

April 30th –

We had planned to do some shopping more focused on Mich, (since I had my day in South Africa 🤓) so we drove to Arnhem to check out our old shopping grounds 😏

It was chilly out while walking between the shops but not too bad and luckily the warmth of that ‘accomplished shopping trip’ feeling, was with us, as Mike quickly found a new pair of jeans that were on sale, fit and in a good color… three rarities . Plus I got a free, in store coffee to enjoy while he tried stuff on 👍🏻

This art caught my attention during our walking, the bright colors calling out to be seen 😁💜

We got a freshly made large stroopwafel to accompany us for a few steps down the chilly streets and shopping continued.

Ending with Mich finding three shirts, riveting details I know 😉


Plans to visit cousins for dinner had been made, so we headed there, pausing at the Starbucks along the way 🤓☕️

Probably one of the only Starbucks that he can say his full, actual name at and they will even spell it right 😉

We dined on ‘bami’ and chatted awhile before settling onto the couch to converse between watching the soccer game that was going on. True bonding time for the boys 😉
We left there around 11:00 or so, having over an hours drive to get back home.


May 1st –

Mike finally completed his house painting assignment around 12:30 that afternoon 🙌🏻

The whole upper portion of the house went from dark blue and creamy, off white windows and trim to entirely dark grey 👌🏻🏠
Some of the lower areas being left for the father-in-law to finish up, as the heights aren’t his favourite thing. Thus they were the main focus for Mich to complete.

The littlest niece from nearby was spending time at Inge’s home, so when Mich and I went to town for loempia’s and ice cream, she came along ☺️

A few of the groceries we wanted to take back home with us were purchased during the quick town trip as well.
As always, I thought we’d have spacious suitcase situations post the gift giving but our shopping has proved to be rather, successful.
Which is always a mixed feeling of satisfaction and trepidation, depending on just HOW successful 🤪

We left Doesburg a bit later in the afternoon, along with Inge and the niece, to go to Germany for the birthday party of our brother-in-law and another niece.
Moments after arrival, we had cake and coffee in our hands… not a bad way to be welcomed 😉
Mich had his, as well as my piece, of the chocolate banana ‘mole’ cake and I had a crunchy, white chocolate & cornflake sweet, served with strawberries.
No pictures available… as it often is when food is handed to us quickly and we forget that pictures are the only enjoyment for those reading this 🤪

The BBQ was lit, the meat grilled and the spread of food greatly enjoyed 👌🏻🤤

A strawberry and white asparagus salad, a couscous salad, fried mushrooms, seasoned feta cheese, a feta sauce for the meat, a pull apart garlic roll, fries and a variety of meats to choose from.

It was all delicious and ate with much pleasure 👍🏻

Our brother-in-laws grandpa asked us if we’d like to go for a ride in his 1995, Jaguar.
So we of course politely declined, as the shiny forest green car with that well known jaguar emblem on the hood, held no interest for us 😉 <- Lies.

Before the car was passed to him, his friend had originally bought it for his wedding and kept it in pristine condition until he passed away.
We were told about all aspects of the car in great detail, hearing the attachment and reverence in his voice, more than the actual facts 😉👌🏻

Once we left the party, we drove to Roermond to the shopping outlet there to look for some soccer shoes for Mich.
He didn’t find any of those but he did find everyday shoes instead 😏👍🏻

Destination 3 Of 3

April 21st –

Sunday morning, the one that’s always slightly hurried, filled with preparations for church and eating of breakfast before heading out the door 🙂

Mike and my attendance, added greatly to the number of Caucasians in a congregation of a few hundred people, so it was a slightly more robust song service than what we are generally used to 😉

After church we did a quick grocery store trip, Mike and I finding some more items to take home with us and crossing fingers the suitcases wouldn’t be too full, still holding the gifts for Holland as well as all of our new purchases 🙈

After lunch, we made our way to a cafe to enjoy one last coffee and sweet together.

They ALSO had a lemon meringue, though I should have resisted temptation because it was the least delicious of the trip 🤪

Once back at the house again, we began the packing of our things, preparing to leave later that evening so we could grab a bite to eat before checking in and flying around 11:00. It was such a nice time to fly, giving us an entire day during our last and making it seem not at all as if we’d be traveling.

I say ‘we’ packed but really it’s Mike who ‘packs’… I sort and fold and pick the required things but he typically places it all 🤪

We visited away the remaining time together, happy for having been able to enjoy their company and hospitality for a second time in two years 😉


April 22nd –


Our night passed by on the 11 and a half hour flight back to Holland.
I had it in my mind that it was a 9 hour flight but due to us having moved from Joburg to Cape Town area, that was false information 🤪
All I can say is that I was still so thankful for not having the usual flying symptoms of not being able to sleep and an upset stomach.
I downed my sleeping pill, gave Mike a half (since he’s not so used to having them) and slept for the most part until there was 3.5 hours of flight remaining.
Which is nothing less than a miracle compared to my other flight experiences 🤪👍🏻

Not all of the tulip fields had been harvested yet, so we got to enjoy them from the sky 🙂

The parents in law were our pick up committee and the hour ish drive back to Doesburg began 🙂

We paused the drive to stop at one of the rare Starbucks locations they have and I think it was one of the most delicious Starbucks drinks I’ve ever drank 😅
It tasted JUST like home and maybe I’m just super picky and stuck in my ways at the ripe old age of 23… but none of the coffee during our Africa/Holland trips, ever satisfies.
We may be driving back 50 min for a coffee again before the trip is over 🤪

Once we arrived back at the house, it wasn’t long until a nap ensued.
Instigated by Mike I will add, so you’re all aware it wasn’t just an idea from me 😜

But first Mich got a helping of apple tart made specially for his arrival 😏

My special treatment came later for supper and a meal of broccoli tart was happily indulged in 🤤👍🏻


While the men began setting up the scaffolding and paint supplies for the next days work, which had been saved for Mike to tackle during our stay, us ladies went for a walk, enjoying the warm evening🌤

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