visiting with the ontario family!

Jul 12, 2014

To say that the past month has been busy would be putting it mildly. Non-stop, jam-packed, and a little bit exhausting would more accurately describe it.  After two weeks in Oklahoma and a week in St Lucia, I returned home and prepared for another week away.  This destination was slightly less exotic but exciting nonetheless.  I packed up the baby, the dog, and myself and we set off for my hometown of Red Deer for a week's stay at my mom's house.  My grandparents were in town from Ontario for the first time in a few years, so we decided to stay in Red Deer for the duration of their visit.

The last time that they'd seen Aaralee, she was just 2 months old and spent the majority of the day napping and nursing.  Nearly 8 months later, she is a crazy busy little girl who never sits still for longer than a few seconds.  They were reunited on bad timing, with a sleepy baby wanting cuddles from nobody other than her mommy. Fortunately, she warmed up to them as the week went on.  
It was a busy week jam packed with adventures. First things first, we wanted to take our guests to the best place that Alberta has to offer... the Rocky Mountains!  We left early in the morning bound for the Columbia Icefields. Ryan and I left early, stopping a few times to keep the baby fed, changed, and happy.  Our group was traveling in 3 separate vehicles and we were all fortunate enough to make it through just in time before the highway was closed due to a wildfire. Once we'd met up we headed for a bus to take us to the brand new Glacier Skywalk.  Stretching out above the valley sits a glass floored observation deck.

 When you look down, all that you can see beneath your toes is a 918 foot drop.  It was surprisingly less scary than I'd anticipated, but a cool experience nonetheless.  Once we'd finished with the Skywalk it was onward to Jasper where we arrived at our awesome chalet for the evening.  It was a cozy log cabin big enough for the whole family! 

We ventured into town for a bit of shopping and returned for dinner before calling it a night.  Ryan left at a ridiculously early hour in the morning, bound for the airport to depart on yet another trip down to Oklahoma. 
The next day brought us back to Jasper and Athabasca Falls before the long, long journey home. Because the highway was still closed due to the fire we were forced to take the slightly longer and far less scenic route back. It was a long day but we eventually made it back to Red Deer to rest up for another long day to follow. 

Once again we hit the road, this time bound for Calgary. It just so happened that the Stampede was on and I could not wait to indulge in all things deep fried.  It was a hot summer day filled with overeating and money wasted on games that nobody ever actually wins.  I tried my best to win a teddy bear for my baby, but I lost as per usual.  Among this year's snacks were deep fried pickles, Dippin' Dots ice cream, pulled chicken, deep fried oreos... and of course, a corn dog. It was so much easier last year, as I was pregnant and felt more entitled to indulge. Everyone had a great day taking in all of the fun that the grounds had to offer.  Another year, another successful Stampede! 

The next day was Wednesday and somehow an entire week had gone by and it was time to say goodbye to our Ontario visitors as they returned home.  It had been a great week and it was wonderful to be on maternity leave and have so much time to spend with them and the rest of the family... rather than being stuck at work or living abroad as I'd been on previous visits. It's hard to believe that the next time that we see them Aaralee will be a walking, talking, adorable little monster! 


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