Back on the road, this time off-roading through torn-up Montana highways. Such a crazy drive! We partook of the first Corn Nuts of the trip (a must-have), crocheted away down bumpy dirt roads through massive wind farms, finally got a very ticked off Lucy to sleep and ultimately ended up at a Great Falls hotel with a waterslide (see Grandpa's feet out of the water?). There is a hilarious bathroom story from this leg of the trip that may or may not be suitable for the world wide web, so I'll have to share that one on an individual basis, depending on how well I know you...
The next morning we took the party international...Canada, baby! Also known as Wild Rose country, allegedly. Gorgeous scenery, Timbits at Tim Hortons and a Canadian delicacy: Poutine, i.e. french fries topped with cheese curd and smothered in gravy. It's delightful.
Lethbridge, Alberta is my Mom's hometown and one of my favorite places to visit. We loved visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. They are still so feisty and fun to talk to in their late-80s. I am very inspired by them. I enjoyed talking to them about their friends and lives...they've done so many interesting things. They are full of faith, and I'm so thankful for their example. We also got to see my also-awesome Aunt Val, Uncle Keith and cousins Ian and Eric who are now both proud-Papas with adorable boys and beautiful, fun wives.
Ft. Whoop Up was a fun stop in Lethbridge. I remember coming to a different part of this park as a little girl and getting stung by a bee. I guess you never forget bee stings... Lucky us, no bees on our visit, just a bunch of cool old stuff, a Tee Pee, a cannon firing and pony rides!
We stayed in another memorable waterslide hotel on this trip...the best one yet, with 2 slides, a wave pool and an in-water jungle gym. Canadians know what's up. Also, there's the house my Mom was raised in (my grandparents moved out just a few years ago), we visited the Cardston temple where the groundskeeper invited Simon to sit in his tractor when he saw Simon admiring it. He was delighted!
A couple of my favorite shots from the whole trip: the ultimate family picture (enlarge to see details): Chris ready to string Mason up for insubordination (common at picture-taking time), Lucy poking Maya in the eye and me in a snit. Ah, but just seconds later we managed to pull it together for an almost-decent shot. Good times. Also, Simon face-down on the sidewalk is a trademark of this trip and/or Simon's life in general. We definitely get used to him jumping up and down and stomping his foot like a little troll, whirling around like the Tasmanian Devil and ultimately landing face down on the ground in tears. He's got drama, that one!
From the Cardston temple we headed up to Glacier National Park to Waterton. A little best-of here: that view (!), Cameron Falls, riding a car-bike down Main Street and ice cream (the site of yet another of the aforementioned extra-special Simon tantrum).
The Prince of Wales Hotel is always a must-stop. My Mom worked here during the summers when she was in college, so it has great memories for her and I've been coming here since I was little. The view is absolutely amazing!
It's the perfect place to chase your kids around and do your best "The hiiiiiils are alive...with the sound of music.". Oh, you better believe I did! "My heart wants to sing every song it hears."
Picnicking down by the freezing-cold lake and eating an ice cream cone on Main Street are both pretty-much perfect and always required on a visit to Waterton. The bike car was a new one, though. Trust my Dad to show up riding that thing...he was just so pleased with himself! It was pretty darn fun, that is for sure!
We finished off the day taking turns checking out Cameron Falls while a spent-Lucy snoozed in the car. Gorgeous, gorgeous!
Visiting Lethbridge definitely tapped into the "back to our roots" theme of the trip. So many wonderful memories, and I'm so glad I had the chance to bring my children along and help them create some good memories of their own. Plus, we left with big bags of our favorite Canadian candy. Not that it lasted long...mmm, I could go for some mini-Mackintosh's right about now! Yum and yum. Canadian candy is the best.
On our next leg, we continue the Canadian adventure into British Columbia where we visit one of the most beautiful places I've been in my life...