Summer is going okay so far. We had a wonderful time in the Okanagan at the beginning of July. The trip there was very long. We drove to Calgary on day one, which really isn't a bad drive at all. It turned out to be about nine hours because we did need to stop a few times for the girls (who were remarkably well behaved). The driving is pretty easy, prairie pretty much the whole way. We did drive through the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains which is, believe it or not, right here in Saskatchewan. We spent the night at Ian's aunts place and headed out in the morning. It was a nice visit with Aunt Sue, she's got a lovely little home and was a wonderful host. We ended up staying much later in the morning than we intended, so we didn't get the early start we had hoped for. The second day of driving was...well...hot. By time we got to Banff it was well over 30 degrees out, and the drive through the mountains was brutal. It got up to about 43 degrees, and our air conditioner does not work; the only time we had cool air was when we could coast downhill. We didn't get to my uncle's place in Peachland until almost 7 that evening, but thankfully they had just started supper, so we got to eat.
The time in Peachland was wonderful, though we now realize that vacationing as an adult is not the same as it was when we were kids. Our time was all about the girls, we worked very hard (and often didn't have a lot of fun) to make sure the girls had a good time. We did get to my favourite winery on the Naramata Bench as well as a beautiful lavender farm in Naramata. I know for a fact that we will do our best to get out again next year, and every year after that. We hope to find a relatively cheap tent trailer to make the trip even more fun (fun. right. camping with small children.) and affordable.
My uncles place is really amazing, indescribable really. The main house is huge and goregeous, there are a couple of guest houses as well as a trailer and ample camping space down at the beach. The property is beautiful, there are golf carts to get up and down the incredibly steep hill to the beach/park area, and the swimming pool...well...it's the nicest pool I have ever swum in. It's an infinity pool, saline (so no nasty chlorene smell/sting), it has a beach entry for the little guys to play in, and a "grotto," which is a little waterfall with a spot you can sit behind it and look out over the edge and down to the lake. I wish I had a better camera, and a better brain. I hardly took any pictures.
The trip home was rather eventful. Half way through our week in Peachland we got a panicked phone message from Ian's Aunt Sue. Something had come up and we couldn't stay with her on the way back, she wouldn't be home. Um. We were at a loss. We couldn't afford a hotel in Calgary, and even if we could, it was Stampede, there was no way we would be able to find a room. We finally decided that we would drive home through Edmonton instead. That meant a 13 hour day of driving through the mountains. Surprisingly, the drive was better than the one out - the weather was much better, and the highway was less busy and nicer all around. We spent a day in Edmonton, visited Ian's family there, and headed home. Boy was it nice to get to our house. The cats and house survived, and we were all happy to sleep in our own beds.
Since we got back we have done very little. Relaxed, avoided the rain and thunderstorms, straightened up the house, tried to get on top of the awful weed problem in the yard. Frances has started to walk, which is pretty impressive, though she does still prefer to crawl. She's so proud of herself when she takes a couple of steps it's hard not to laugh. She stands there, beaming and bouncing up and down, her little chest all puffed out. She is also learning words - she can say Hi, Mumma, Daddy, uh-oh and up. She's still pretty horrid to be around from time to time, but she's finally developing a real personality.
Anyways, here are some pictures of our holiday. The last three were taken by either my fabulous cousin Sarah, or her equally fabulous husband, Captain Fun.
We've done the trip to Alberta a hundred times, but for some reason we decided it needed to be doccumented this time.
My family at a rest stop in Banff National Park
Miss Mary on the patio by the pool.
Dad and Frances.
The whole gang on Canada Day.
View from the patio, over the pool and beyond.