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 other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Last Month of 2020

 So let's be real here - I can talk forever about COVID but who wants to hear all the negativity?

Let's talk about how great December was. In no particular order here are the great things we did. And I must say that the weather the whole month was AMAZING!!

When we were still able to do so we had an outside fire pit coffee with Paul and Mary - thank goodness they have a fabulous fire pit.


We went to the Stecyk cabin for sliding, quadding and tobogganing behind the skidoo.

We re-discovered Chickakoo Lake in Parkland County, and our love for hiking. It may not be southern territory - but it has been fabulous. It is so much nicer to hike some hills and paths than walk the sidewalks in town.

We went to Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park for the most perfect canyon hike from the Fifth Bridge to the Tea House, which was actually opened to get a beverage at. And we went to town for a quick pick up at Bear Paw Bakery!






We spent days and days baking and cooking, which we so enjoyed, and lots of evenings driving to see Christmas lights.

We created a special way to share our days with the grandkids. We made Christmas Boxes! There were 2 editions.

Box 1 was filled with Decorate your own Cookie kits for each kid, an advent calendar for each, Elf on the Shelf cereal, photo booth props and their individual ornaments. Oh and the Stecyks' had Zoominescence passes.

When it became apparent Christmas wouldn't be in person this year, of course we needed Box 2! This one had their traditional Christmas PJ's, Ginger Bread House kits that Don MADE!, a couple of family games for each house, nuts and bolts and a small ski gift card for the Camerons.

The houses will see improvement next year. Em's had rough edges and couldn't stay together and Blake's broke, but he went with a more unique structure, and Connor's, Mason's and Reeses's were good! Regardless of the construction part of them, everyone agreed the gingerbread was delicious!










We had so much fun making these and there have been conversations about a January box - we will see:)

On Christmas Eve we did porch drop offs with the presents, picked up ours, and dropped off cinnamon buns and buns.

We made a smaller turkey for ourselves on Christmas Day, but big enough for leftovers and soup.

And we had a great time opening our gifts on our virtual chat! Thank goodness the girls remembered to take screenshots!


We had a virtual chat with Mom, Kathy, Karen and Darlene on Christmas Day as well. That is something we had not done prior to COVID and hopefully we will keep doing.

We spent New Years Eve watching hockey, having a drink or two, and slipped out to see Stony Plain's fireworks display!

So there you have it - December in a nutshell




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

November?

 How is it only November when we feel like time is dragging and the world is weird?

We seem to find enough to do - walks and cleaning and cooking and baking...

But first - The family photos ARE DONE!! This was truly the gift of a lifetime - and they turned out so fantastic!





November is also Tracy's birthday! We had so many plans for her 40th Birthday. This woman is amazing and we are so proud she's ours!

Their house was on restrictions because Tracy's work has had some COVID issues, so Cal and Adrianna planned a drive by party. Lindsay had the most adorable cookies made, and at least we were able to see her.




And in the family list of birthdays on an yearly basis - Reese is last but not least! Our youngest granddaughter - a real character. She calls DOn and I Little Don and Little Donna from a family joke that's already a few years old. She is funny, unique, loving and all that you could hope for. And it is hard to believe she is 10!

We were able to take her for the traditional meal and shopping trip and boy did she shop. LOL And I borrowed this collage form Tracy to show off all the sides and ages of Reese.

We got through November and I will leave it at that. Don and I are trying to walk every day which isn't really a new thing, and we are dealing, as everyone is, with not seeing our family as we are used to, etc. I am getting worried about Christmas and we are talking about how we may see each other and what we will do if restrictions are in place.

See ya!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Some Sense of Normal??

 Oh this is getting tiresome. We never know where COVID is taking us. Wear a mask, go to a house, go for coffee, don't go for coffee, kids are masked in school, sports are ok, but not the same, no spectators, parents doing car drop offs, car dressing, etc., etc.

This is the month of Halloween and that seems to be a discussion focus with COVID.

But before we get there we need to get through Thanksgiving. Cohorts and limited visitation is still the topic, and this year I am cooking a giant turkey, but the Camerons are doing meal pick up. Their kids, although COVID negative, have been feeling down with colds etc., and precautions are important.

We also have family pictures booked and there is no way we want to miss those!

And Thanksgiving weekend is also Tracy and Cal's anniversary - this year is their 16th.

And - it's Don's birthday month.

So forget all the COVID crap, and let's live the month out in photos.

The month started with such amazing weather - we picked Blake up for a day of fishing before we winterized the boat. It was a beautiful day, like hot!! There were no keeper fish but we sure had a good ride.



Thanksgiving day came and we had such a nice day for our family photos. And as I said the Camerons did a meal pick up on their way home. 


And so far the kids are on the ice! This is Reese...


And Blake in his game day suit:) We are so proud of him for making the U15AAA (Bantam) team his first year. He spent so much time preparing for the try outs, and he has several games upcoming.


Here's Mason - you better keep a watch on this dynamo!


And Em all ready for her first skate...


And Connor - who likes being a goalie and will always do it for his team, which is so appreciated. 


Then later in the month we celebrated Don's birthday with the whole family at Lindsay and Jeremy's!


And now you finally get Halloween photos.



And that my friends is October in a nutshell - or a nuthouse.



Friday, October 2, 2020

September Traditions


 Don and I have been going somewhere in September for years now. When we worked traditional jobs it was sometimes difficult, but as we began our own companies, etc. we became better at going away and or working away.

This year we had to work it around my Co-op Board role. So we went to BC for 3 weeks, came home and unpacked the trailer, packed our suitcases, and headed to Saskatchewan. Don dropped me at the hotel in Saskatoon and went on to Tisdale to visit family.

But first - BC.

I just love the southern part of our province and the windmills, and after a summer of driving the boat around as we camped, I was happy to be a passenger again.



This year we decided to go to the Cranbrook area again, but to find a new boondocking spot. Again we lucked out.  As is our habit when scouting new boondocking sites, we spent one night at Kikomun Creek Provincial Park so we could unhook and find a spot.

Our first site for a week was Wapiti Lake Recreation Site. The first 2 nights we had this giant space to ourselves, but there was no surprise as the weekend approached that company arrived. No problem though as they were a long way from us, and 2 great couples that we are still in touch with. We spent our days exploring, and drove to Fernie to have lunch with the Paskos.






One of the most mesmerizing sites was at Surveyor's Lake, where you can view literally 1000's of Painted Turtles in the water. I have never saw turtles in this environment.




We found falls to explore as well. The first ones were Marysville Falls. The falls are right in town and just beautiful. And there was an ice cream shop at the end!



The second set is Meachem Creek Falls, again just stunning!




Our next destination was a site at Goat River Canyon near Creston. Yet another idyllic spot on the river. There were even some trails to walk and explore. This was a forestry road so there was traffic in the daytime, but nothing disruptive.



We did a lot of exploring on this trip as well. We actually drove to Trail to see my niece Jenny and her boys, and while there her and I had lunch while Don and Ivan went to explore. Oh I forgot to mention Ivan joined us here for a few days.

We weren't really sure when we were leaving or where we were going, but the weather or actually the smoke from the forest fires made the decision easier. We headed to Cranbrook and at the end of the day actually found ourselves back at Abraham Lake.

It was at bit busier than earlier in the season, but just a hint of smoke. We relaxed there for a few days, then headed home. 

I had a commitment to work at a golf tournament, then we were headed to Saskatchewan. 

This gave us a chance to do some yard work and laundry before heading out. 

By the time we got home September was nearing an end. 

It was a great month with more memories. Don had a wonderful visit with his mom and family and I made it through my first set of in person Board meetings!


Friday, September 4, 2020

2nd Half of Summer

 I've tried to stay away from COVID talk, but who would have thought we would still be in the midst of a pandemic in August?

We were lucky that August gave us opportunities to be with friends and family. As I said in my last post we headed to Jim and Janice's farm in Glendon for a visit. We had a relaxing time, the weather was hot, and we got to see their new fifth wheel trailer. We made sure the fridge and air conditioning worked and had a great visit!

When we came home the final touches were done on the house and garage, we did a walk through and identified a few minor areas which were fixed on the spot, and the whole story ends with a freshened look of our house and garage. These projects gave us a focus over the summer and we are pleased with how our humble home looks now. We added finishing touches with a new mail box, outdoor lights and numbers.


After all that work and stress we escaped for the day to our favorite mountain get a way - Jasper. It was a great day as always, and the drive is never a bother.


If there is one thing COVID has taught us it is to appreciate all the time we typically get with our grandkids. We finally had a chance to have them for a sleep over! Everyone was a great sport about picking beds, etc. We had a blast and fit in a visit to the Edmonton Corn Maze. It was such a hot day, we finished it off with ice cream at Beach Corner.

The rest of the visit was spent watching movies in the cool basement, and some great food!














We enjoyed our last Alberta camping trip of the year at Moose Lake, with Paul and Mary. We haven't had a camping trip together for a year or two since they now have a lake lot. But they pulled their other trailer out for the weekend and it was sure appreciated.

The fish didn't cooperate this trip, but you can see the boating conditions were supreme.






We are approaching our September trip, so I will update you soon.