Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Our Trip So Far

I haven’t been able to keep up w/ this very well, but we’ve been having an interesting trip. The first night we stopped in a small town in Saskatchewan & all the good hotels were full & the nearest town was 50 miles away & it was 8pm already. We checked into the only hotle w/ rooms left & lets just say that calling it “rustic” would be very generous. It was a dive. I was worried I was going to get bedbugs, & I figured that I’d stay cleaner by not having a shower than by having one!

Our second night on the road was better. WE stayed in a bigger town (there was a Caribou Coffee, so I got my morning Latte). There was a pool, plus jacuzzis in our rooms. Day 3 we stayedin a nice hotel too & had a lovely dinner at Red Lobster! We have seen so many commercials for the “Endless Shrimp” this summer, that we all were craving some seafood, so when we saw it, it was a forgone conclusion that we’d have dinner there.

Day 4 has been the best so far. WE stayed in Frankenmuth, MI, which is known for 2 things, the HUGE Christmas Store, & the hotel w/ the Water Park. WE didn’t make it to the Christmas store, even though it was right across the parking lot from the hotel. WE were enjoying the waterpark too much! They have 2 waterslides for intertubes, but you are in the dark the whole time, so you don’t know what’s coming. It was really fun, but Pastor Chad said that when he went down by himself it wasn’t nearly as fun as w/ Asher b/c it’s more fun to see how he reacts. They also had a breakfast buffet in the hotel w/ Starbucks! (so I got my mornign Latte again!).

Last night we stopped in Strathroy, but the hotle was full b/c of a wedding, so we went on to London & stayed at the Motel 6. They warned us when we checked in that the jets in the hot tub weren’t working, but it was still hot. At night, Pastor Chad’s parents went to take Asher too the pool only to discover that the pool was freezing, & the hot tub was tepid. Come to find out that an alarm for the hot tub had gotten stuck on, so they turned off the breaker, not considering that that might shut off more than the alarm! We had planned to stay all 3 nights, but since we have to find ways of keeping Asher busy, we have moved to the Ramada. Hopefully we have a better stay here.

Tomorrow is basically a relaxing day. The guys are going to get all our stuff moved over from the storage to the U-Haul, & PC’s Mum will watch Asher so I can go get Chancery signed up for Health Insurance before we leave. Hopefully that won’t take too long. Maybe Chancery will cry & people will have pity on me & let me got first!


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A Little Over A Week

In a little over a week, we’ll be off to PEI. It’s gonna be an interesting road trip. We’re taking just under a week to go from here to Ontario. Coming this way took 4.5 days of driving, but now we’ll be having to stop every 3 hours at least to feed Chancery.

Then, we’re taking just under a week to go from Ontario to PEI. I don’t think that will be too difficult since that part of the trip is shorter. I’m excited to do the ON to PEI jaunt b/c I’ve never been through those provinces. I’m also pretty excited about seeing everyone in Ontario again one last time on our way through.

Mostly I think I’m excited to get into our new house. I know it won’t be easy to get everything all sorted & put away w/ 2 kids underfoot, but Chad’s parents will be there too, so we’ll have some help & I’m really glad for that b/c I think that otherwise it could be months before we would feel settled.

So, I’m wandering around the house looking for things of ours that have been unpacked & left lying around to make sure we don’t forget anything. Oh, I’ll be glad to be in our own house! Less than a month until we move in!

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Being here at Grandpa & Grandma’s house is a new way of life. No cooking, minimal cleaning…. life is good. Time on the computer is fairly rare though, so I haven’t had much chance to keep up w/ things.

Here are some pictures from Asher’s birthday (yes, he only got 1/2 an ice cream sandwich). Since we were moving a few days after, we didn’t do a cake, but I don’t think he’ll suffer. Grandma is making sure he’s getting lots of ice cream here too, so he’s getting plenty of sugar. He’s showing that he’s 2 in the picture as well.

On our trip out here, we stopped for lunch at a rest area & this truck proceeded to get very stuck. It was entertaining for the 30 people or so who took the opportunty to gawk & take photos….. (I hid behind a sign so as not to appear to be one of the many). Notice that the rear driver’s side wheel is up on the curb, forcing the trailer to rest on the rear passenger’s side tire. He didn’t have much hope of getting out of there by himself.

Glad to be back in Alberta!

We are really enjoing spending more time w/ Daddy, & doing all kinds of fun new things!

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We made it to Alberta on Tuesday afternoon. Asher was a trooper (McDonald’s really helped). We stopped at the Alberta border for a picnic lunch, but there were ants EVERYWHERE! They were the red & black kind that are pretty big & they didn’t look like they were very happy. They were really truckin‘ it & they were all over the ground & the picnic tables & the playground, so we packed back up & went to McDonald’s for lunch. It was too bad b/c we were looking forward to having a nice picnic lunch again, but it was nice to be in the air conditioning too.

Asher woke up at 6 yesterday, but we figured he was still adjusting to the time change, so it was ok. He was pretty tired yesterday morning, so we took him out to Costco & Walmart to get a few things & keep him awake ’til naptime. He does enjoy Walmart! Last night Chad & Grandma took him to a playground & he thoroughly enjoyed that. I enjoyed a leisurely bath while they were out.

This morning I heard Asher wake up around 6 & ask to watch Bob the Builder, but that was all he said, then I heard him around 6:30 say that his night-light had come on (it’s on a timer & he can get out of bed when it comes on in the morning), but he went back to sleep until 7, so it was nice that we all got a bit more sleep last night.

We’ve got most of our things unpacked, but I haven’t started on the new-baby gear yet, I just don’t know where I’m going to put all that stuff & I don’t really want to think about it either. Hopefully I’ll get inspired in the next few days to find a good place for it. I think Chad’s mum would like that.

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Tonight we are in Regina, SK. Some may understand the title of this post as quite literal. Saskatchewan is said to be so flat that you can watch your dog run away fro days, so even though we have about a day of driving yet, the end may be in sight!

We are staying at another Travelodge. I realized tonight this is the 3rd one on the trip. I guess they must be pretty good. I couldn’t get a cheaper rate tonight, though I tried, but since we had gained an hour just before we stopped yesterday & then another one this afternoon, & we had driven almost 800 km, we decided that we’d just take the room here. It’s the first night on the trip we’ve had to pay over $100 for a room, which overall is pretty good. Chad still thinks that’s high, but I think he’s just out of touch w/ how much hotels cost.

The perks of our hotel are:

  • Swimming pool
  • hot tub
  • waterslide
  • kiddie play area

So, yes the perks are pretty much all pool related, but really, who has time to do much more in the evenings anyways? We have to tire Asher out after a day of sitting in the car, what better way than a pool? A bath just doesn’t cut it on days like this.

We stopped for coffee this morning in Kenora at a coffee shop called HoJoes. It was listed in our hotel book as a “Vancouver Style Coffee House.” It lived up to it’s name! It was some of the best coffee I’ve had in a long time. Strathroy had a coffee shop, but they seemed to go about things as cheaply as possible, & when you are making a latte for someone, that just doesn’t cut it, my friend!

Anyways, back to the pool! Asher enjoyed the waterslide a bit more tonight. It wasn’t as fast as last night’s was, & it wasn’t a brand new experience either. We have a pretend phone in the car for Asher to play w/ & he “called” Grandma Vos to tell her all about the pool & waterslide he went on last night. It was very cute & obviously left an impression on him.

In the kiddie play area there was a cave that lead up to a normal tube slide (w/o water) & it took some convincing & daddy to go w/ him, but Asher finally went down that slide as well. Chad said it was a good thing he had gone down the slide w/ him b/c since they were wet (the kiddie area was in w/ the pool area) the slide was really fast & Chad landed on his bottom at the bottom & it did not feel too pleasant. Plus it was quite a ways that you had to walk in the tunnel, & who knows if Asher would have made it the whole way up alone. It was pretty squishy in there as well, Chad reported.

So, we MIGHT be able to make it all the way to Lethbridge tomorrow, but it would be a long day to do it. We aren’t sure if we are up for that long of a day w/ the most boring part of the drive still ahead of us. Besides, why not have another night at a hotel w/ a pool & possibly a waterslide?

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On this trip there are many things I’ve learned, such as:

  • I’m not as patient as I’d like to think I am…. especially when I am tired & hot. I just get cranky & snappy.
  • I really, really like specialty coffee & it’s not so easy to find when you are in the middle of nowhere (although I knew this before the trip too, but it’s VERY evident now).
  • Hotel rates are not set in stone.

This last one is a tricky one b/c we all know about AAA/CAA rates being lower than normal hotel rates, but did you know that if you hem & haw just a little, they will sometimes offer you an even LOWER rate? Our first hotel’s rate was $120. They offered me $110 w/CAA, but then I asked how that compared to other rates in town & she said, “well, I can actually offer you $100.” It came through as “Rate of the Day” on the bill, so it’s worth asking for at Travelodges.

Tonight we stopped at a Holiday Inn & I asked about rates & they offered me $120, or $110 w/ CAA. I asked if there was anything cheaper & he simply said no, so we left. We went to a Days Inn & they offered $120 w/ CAA & I simply asked if she could give me a room for under $100, say $99 & she said, “sure.” So It’s definitely worth asking for cheaper or naming your price (as long as it’s a reasonable price for a room) They’d rather have you there for a little less, than not have you there at all.

I am a bit surprised that they have cheaper rates though b/c it is Canada Day weekend, but perhaps we are just stopping at hotels that aren’t full & that’s working to our advantage.

Our hotel tonight has a swimming pool, a kiddie pool, a hot tub & a waterslide. We took advantage of them & tired Asher out. he went to bed easily & has been sleeping for the last hour or so. Much better than last night. Chad had to lay on the floor by his playpen for nearly an hour until he fell asleep. He just hadn’t expended enough energy & wasn’t very tired. We made up for that today by stopping for lunch at a rest area & letting him run around for awhile & then going swimming this evening. (The waterslide was pretty fun for all of us, though Asher took quite a bit of convincing to go on it).

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We are in Marathon, Ontario tonight. We have travelled about 1200 of 3500 kilometres on our trip. It feels like we’ve gone much further. Chad mentioned today that he already is not looking forward to making this trip again in 3 months. I agree.

Trips like this used to be fun, but now I am constantly having to turn around in my seat & being 7 months pregnant it’s not too comfortable to try to reach for toys & books that have been thrown down on the floor. Asher’s actually being fairly well behaved, until we get out of the car. He just wants to run & be crazy, but who can blame him? After 4 hours of having to sit still in the car seat we all want to run around & be crazy.

Driving is proving to be less than enjoyable for Chad as well b/c of the trailer. We can’t use the cruise control b/c it makes the car work too hard, so Chad has to drive w/ his foot on the accelerator the whole time rather than being able to move a bit to get more comfortable.

Right now Asher is standing in his crib saying, “hi, Mummy!” over & over. We have set chairs on the table & draped a blanket over the top so he can’t see us. Having to share a room w/ a toddler who has not expended enough energy over the course of the day, is not a whole lot of fun.

There will be no TV watching before bed. I always feel a bit sorry for the people on either side of us when we are in hotels. Asher is great at going to sleep at home now, but I think he saves all his bad nights for hotels. I suppose it makes sense since his routine is all askew.

Wish us luck on this trip, that we get the sleep we need…….

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