I posted my last blog August 30th, and today is September 12th. Where have I been in the days in between? Well...
Since I left Blogdom on August 30th, I have driven 3,300 kilometres, slept in eight different beds (two were crashing with family, the rest were motels), eaten in countless restaurants (fine, I just didn't count), and seen the colour of the poplar leaves turn from rich lush green to translucent gold. It was a long, but lovely, trip.
Day One (August 30th): Drove from home (Grande Cache, AB) to Bob and Sandra's (the in-laws) in Langley, BC (11.5 hours drive time - not including stop and rest my numb butt time).
Day Two: Drove from Bob and Sandra's to the Vancouver Airport where I picked up Mom, Aunt Carla, and Carla's husband Adrian. Drove them to their hotel in Richmond. Drove back to Bob and Sandra's.
Day Three: Picked up Mom, Carla and Adrian in Richmond. Took the ferry from Tsawassen to Sidney, on Vancouver Island. Found motel just outside of Victoria. Drove around, found the Butterfly Gardens (which we all enjoyed).
Day Four: Drove from Victoria to Nanaimo, stopping on the side of the highway once to stare up at giant maple trees, and then taking a side detour to avoid a snarl in traffic. Put feet in a picturesque lake. Found motel in Nanaimo, and stuffed ourselves silly with really good seafood (really fresh seafood, too).
Day Five: Drove from Nanaimo to Campbell River, with brief side trip to a mining museum in Cumberland, and a stop to take photos of the ocean end of a logging operation, culminating in a raid on a wild blackberry patch that left us all with purple stained fingers and mouths.
Day Six: Dropped off Mom, Carla and Adrian for their trip to see Grizzly Bears doing what grizzly bears do (no, not sh!tting in the woods - catching and consuming salmon during the salmon spawning run). They saw 10 grizzlies! I napped. Staying in Campbell River again.
Day Seven: Drove to Powell River, then caught three different ferries for a scenic (but slow) trip back to Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver. Got a lot of knitting done while waiting for ferries, and while riding on ferries. Took the TransCanada Highway through Vancouver (only way to go), and found a crappy motel in Abbotsford for the night.
Day Eight: Drove from Abbotsford to Chilliwack, where we gassed up and had a real Canadian breakfast (bagels at Tim Hortons). Drove to a rest stop near Hope, where Adrian took over behind the wheel. He did really well considering he is used to driving on the other side of the road (from New Zealand). He spelled me until Kamloops, where we stopped for lunch. I then drove until Valemount (a long day of mostly driving, as opposed to Day Seven's long day of mostly waiting for ferries).
Day Nine: Drove from Valemount to Home!!! In between, we stopped at Rearguard Falls (definitely worth the quick walk), Mount Robson (best on a sunny day), a few roadside turnoffs in Jasper National Park, and had lunch and did some shopping in Jasper. Total distance: 2,400km
Day Ten: Got up really early to drive to Edmonton with my husband (who had been working, so was alone at home the entire length of my road trip) and my Mom. Dropped Mom off at her vehicle, and went to the doctor. Spent the night with DH's brother and new sister-in-law.
Day Eleven: Drove home (4.5 hours, and the addition of an extra 900 or so km to the total). DH went off to work for the afternoon. Did some housecleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Really, really, really tired, but still have Carla and Adrian here, so the company was good. Mom and her husband (Horst) arrived around 4:30pm. Things got lively.
Day Twelve: Hung around the house, all reading or watching TV. Six adults in the house, but things were pretty quiet and relaxed (we were all bagged). It was cloudy and raining most of the day. Weather cleared up early evening, so I took Horst, Carla, Adrian and DH up to the Sulphur Gates, then out looking for animals. Yes, I left my Mom home alone - but she was manning the phones (and a good thing she did - my older brother Dan got hold of her and they planned activities for the next day). On the way back, we had critter encounters with four mule deer, one bull elk, and numerous female and young elk. Adrian and Carla were thrilled (they had begun to think we'd been lying whenever we talked about the local wildlife).
Day Thirteen: Mom, Horst, Carla and Adrian packed up and left, heading for a reunion with Dan. DH and I went into blah mode. I started, but did not finish, a humungous pile of laundry. And, I thought about cleaning house, but chose not to.
And, that brings me to today - Monday, September 12th. DH is at work. I'm tired. I napped on and off all day, basking in the silence. I love company, and enjoyed the time with family, but man oh man, I'm out of practice. I did get some knitting time out on the balcony this afternoon, enjoying the gorgeous fall colours and snow on the peaks across the valley. Now, I'm off to bed. Again. Or, maybe a bubble bath. In blessed silence.