Category Archives: Travels

Cruising

Today is our first day in port.  We’re in a little place called Icy Straight Point where it looks as if there is a small trading post and maybe a fish cannery and that is about it. We need to buy kids toothpaste for Kieran.  He won’t use mint.  He said his mother wouldn’t let him use mint.  I suspect that may be stretching it but … he is so far brushing just with water.  Which really is OK. 

Yesterday we saw whales most of the afternoon.  Most were far enough away that we couldn’t really identify them.  Leo seems to get a kick out of identifying things.  I just like to watch.  The ocean fascinates me.  Whales are a plus.

We plan to go ashore but this morning Kieran is up with the kids program coloring and making volcanoes.  So after lunch we’ll ride in to shore on the tender boat and have a look around.

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The GPS Thingy

So, I was in Red Deer and my friends there had a GPS thing.  It so impressed me that I decided that it was a necessity and that I must get one for Leo for our just past anniversary and try it out, sort of break it in for him and all on my trip to Vancouver. 

Best investment I’ve made in electronic devices I’ve made since my i-pod which I am listening to right now on the hotel room I-pod speakers. 

I used it to find a specific winery in Summerland – took me right there.  Amazing!

Today it took me both to my cousin’s place and then way over here to this hotel.  I love the way it corrects my mistakes(if I make any)  and gives me directions to get back on track.  And, yeah, I’ve actually tried that feature out.  Great.

So, here I am at the hotel waiting for Leo and Kieran to arrive.  They did arrive at the airport but not here to the hotel yet.  Then I need to eat.

I had a wonderful trip wandering around in Alberta and BC.  Memories of places I grew up were stirred again.  That is good.  Visits with friends – exceptionally good.  Beautiful country to drive through and camp in. 

I will post pictures but tonight I need to sleep in a real bed.  Tomorrow the cruise begins.  I think I will find an internet connection on board at least a couple of times.

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Filed under Family, Travels

Vacationing

I think my posts will be sporadic over the next few weeks.  It doesn’t really seem as if a whole week of vacation has already passed.  It has been very good. 

The first couple of days were just spent around home.  I don’t think I got a lot done although, now that I think about it, I did clean out a closet and get ready to depart on my travelling camping trip,driving to Vancouver where I’ll meet Leo and Kieran for the cruise up to Alaska.

I also spent a couple of days out at Anglin Lake, a gift from my staff. It is one of my favourite places to go and, although it seemed busier than usual, was a wonderful two days.  It may have been busier due to the perfect weather.  I even swimming and sat on the beach.IMG_0233

Wednesday I left for Alberta.  There is another of my favourite spots there – Elk Island National Park.  The camping is great IMG_0391  and there are no bears resident to the park so I feel pretty safe camping there.  It is so close to Edmonton but so quiet.  This morning in the rain as I was leaving the bison were all over the road.  It took a few extra minutes to get to the highway but it is fun to drive through a herd of these huge animals that are at relative ease with vehicles.

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And now here I am at the Friesen’s in the field.  I  timed it just perfectly. This morning, I awoke at about 5 am to the sound of little droplets of rain on the roof of the tent.  Wisely, I pulled myself off my comfy air mattress and took down the tent, packed up the car and then finished my morning sleep inside the car in the parking lot before heading down here.  It has been raining all day.  I am happy not to be tenting anywhere tonight.  It has been raining all day and it is supposed to get quite cold tonight.  I could handle cold maybe but not cold and wet. 

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Reunion review

This family reunion was very relaxed, pretty unstructured, but seemed to come together to make a meaningful weekend. This was also a first – commemorating the fact that the ancestors, Joseph and Exilda, moved to Saskatchewan 100 years ago.

There was lots of time to sit and talk. The Lanoie’s are exceptionally fine talkers and story tellers so you can just imagine.

We met at a little regional park – Sylvan Valley Regional Park, very close to the tiny community of St Victor.IMG_0105

Aside from being the site of a big biker rally, I doubt that many people find the valley that is home to the park.

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It is a beautiful valley with trees hidden in the midst of the surrounding prairie hills and fields. And near it is a site attempting to preserve some early petroglyphs which you can make out faintly in the sandstone rocky outcrop.

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The badlands are full of surprises, hidden from most of us city folk who never venture out to these wild places of grass, wind and sun. There really are no attractive beaches nearby, no city to shop in, and only a primitive museum and attempts by the community to preserve this part of history along with that of the early people who travelled out here to settle and try to farm.

But in this country, the Lanoie’s are well known. They have lived here and farmed here for a hundred years.

The weather was great, the food was good and the drink did not run out (well, except for the rum. There are a lot of rum drinkers among this bunch.) The people are salt of the earth kinds of people, even if they can be a bit rough around the edges. Most still live around those parts but others came from as far as Connecticut. IMG_0064 IMG_0086

We had fun. I hope the children will continue to gather the clan together in the future, remembering their roots, holding onto shared values and even the faith that we celebrated on Sunday morning.

More pictures will be posted over on Flikr and a link set up as soon as I get this done.

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Update – sorry but the distorted pictures at a larger size just bothered me too much, hence small but undistorted. I’m sure there is a way around this but I have still to figure that out.

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Heading south

to the first ever Lanoie family reunion. I guess it is 100 years since the ancestors left Quebec for other parts, some coming out west and others heading down to the US.  I guess times were hard back in those days in Quebec.

So most of the kids and their kids are going.  I am almost packed; just waiting for my passengers to finish work. 

I won’t take my laptop with me on this trip.  I doubt that the little motel we are lodging in will have wireless anyway.  And I can give this a rest to do some serious visiting.  And I think all my grandchildren will be there. I am taking the camera for sure.

I should be back in this space on Monday night. 

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A Day With Friends

We spent the day up at Waskesiu with our good friends the Kents yesterday.  The weather was perfect – hot and sunny – perfect lake weather. 

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Waskesiu has become quite the vacation hot spot in this area.  A few years ago there was little development.  Now new and very expensive cabins are going up where there used to be tiny little cabins and shack tents.  In fact there is a “historical” display of these old structures by the administrative centre.  It is indicative of my age, I guess, that this is history I remember – like yesterday.

Anyway, pictures are worth more than words so here are a couple of shots from our day.  There are more over at Flikr.

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Last week in Chicago

Trying to sum up the last week. I wasn’t just ignoring this space. It is always a bit harder to post from a strange computer especially when there really is no time for writing – other than working on my papers for class.

It is an intense experience completing a full university 3 credit class in one week. Of course there is the pre course work and the post course papers so it does take more than just the one week. The next paper due – by the end of this week – is basically a case study to which we apply principles we learned in our readings and class work. Then a bigger 10 page paper due in a month. No rest for me.

Chicago was cold and wet. It rained almost every day except for Saturday afternoon and Sunday – when it was time to leave. There was no time for seeing any sights but we did spend time with friends every evening. That was good. And no shopping time saved me a bunch of money I’m sure.

The course content was challenging and the class sessions stimulating. As I was telling someone, it felt by the end of each day as if my brain had swollen from all that it had soaked up like a sponge. By Thursday we were a quieter group. I think we all were a bit overloaded. The course however, was excellent. It gave me a new and more profound understanding of caring practices and the theological and philosophical language which helps one to give words to why we need to be caring people.

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