Thursday, December 31, 2009

Look Out Maui - here we come!

So we had a great time in Maui March 1-16, however I didn't have internet access so no posts to share, but you can check out photos at:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heading Home

We got up and headed straight to the pool for one last dip and all 6 of us went this time. We headed back to our room to get dressed, pack and check out. By 10am we were all ready to head up to the fabulous buffet breakfast. Mom and Dad and the girls were included in this meal so we all had a good time together.

The drive home was much easier and we were home by 1pm. Can't wait for next year!

Banff - Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dean and Rachel

My decorated nut cracker

Dean and I

Getting ready for the parade

Too cute sisters!

We got to sleep in until about 8:45 this morning which was nice. We ordered a nice room service breakfast and then got ready to visit the pool again. Over all we had a pretty quiet morning. At noon all 6 of us when to the Banff Upper Hot Springs which was new to everyone but me. Mom and Dad loved it, Dean tolerated it, and the girls took some getting used to the heat of the water, but by the end (15 minutes) we were having fun. There was a nice little shallow area - about a foot deep - where the girls could sit and play. It wasn't actually snowing, but there was the odd flurry in the air, paired with the view of the mountains and the cold air made for a neat experience.

The boys and little girls left while Mom and I stayed for massages at the Pleiades Spa on site. Although we both agreed the massages were great, there wasn't much of a "spa" feel to the place, but we had been prepared for this by our good friends Dave and Alana so we weren't disappointed.

Everyone else had lunch back at the hotel but Mom and I walked to Subway to grab a sub and then we all went back to our rooms for a quiet afternoon. We went for a small walk around the hotel and found some friends in the bar. We stopped for one drink, then Mom and I took the girls back to our room to play while Dean and Dad visited longer in the bar.

Dean and I started getting ready for the big party around 4:30 and Mom and Dad took the girls out into Banff for a Christmas Parade of lights. They loved it and we left before they got back. The party was a lovely buffet dinner followed by a dance with a live band. We had a lot of fun visiting and decorating the centre pieces on our table. We headed back to our room around 11:30. We were happy to hear that Becca had fallen asleep at 7:30 - while Bella was at the pool with her Grampy - and then Bella was asleep by 10pm. Dean and I were happy to just go to bed and not worry about any little girls.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Storm Drive to Banff

We had planned on driving into Banff for Dean's company Christmas party after Isabella finished her preschool today, however we awoke to snow falling and terrible road conditions so we decided to keep Bella home and hit the road earlier. We were lucky to have my parents staying with us also and we packed into the car to go pick up Dean from work at about 10:30 am. After getting gas we picked up Dean shortly after 11am and headed out of Calgary. Before hitting city limits we had to stop and do a bathroom break, but were finally on the road.

There were some scary moments but we eventually arrived safe and snug just after 1pm. We checked into our room and had a nice room service lunch. The Nauglers all hit the hotel pool while Mom and Dad did some walking around Banff. We came back to our room and after failing to get Becca to nap in her playpen we all decided to nap on the beds. We woke up in time to get ready for the Manger's party.

Mom and Dad came over to babysit for us and had a room service dinner with the girls. Dean and I headed out to the Maple Leaf Lounge along with the other Olympia managers for a nice night of cocktails and a fabulous dinner. Dean and I both had the Elk Tenderloin - yum! Just before eating I realized I had lost one of my earrings. I panicked and everyone helped me look all around for it. Turns out that I found it back in my jewelry bag at the hotel room - I had forgotten to put it in!

I headed back to our hotel room around 11:30 to find Bella in bed but still awake and that Becca had only settled down about about 10:45! I got into bed and Dean came back from Wild Bill's around 1am only to find Bella still awake! She finally settled down and we got some sleep.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009 - Home from Jasper

This morning we got to sleep in until about 7:30.We got up and got dressed and packed and had a nice room service breakfast. Dean and I had granola and yogurt parfaits (plus I had a chocolate croissant) and Bella had pancakes. Becca still didn't eat the new cereal I had bought her yesterday. We decided to go out for a little walk around 9am however Bella had woken up with a bad cold and it was quite chilly so we didn't stay long before coming back to the room and loading up the car. We stopped in Jasper to get gas but then hit the road.

Both Becca and I had a nap in the car, but we woke up when we came to an abrupt stop and found ourselves in a line of stopped traffic. We had no idea how long we would be there so we got the girls out of the car and let them play for a bit in the field next to the highway. It turned out we were only stopped for about 15 minutes and then got going again. It appears that there was some blasting going on, but we weren't sure. Bella napped and watched DVDs and was perfect and Becca fussed a bit but was actually quite good and even had two naps. We made it all the way to Canmore - about 4 hours - and stopped at McDonalds for lunch around 1:30. We got back on the road and were in Calgary by 2:30. It was a great trip and gave us hope that we can start doing the road trips we love so much with our kids.

As of right now, I don't know when our next adventure will be so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 12, 2009 - Jasper and Wedding

Becca woke me from a very comfy sleep around 6:30am but I managed to get her to just crawl around our bed while Dean and I drifted in and out of sleep. At 7am our alarm went off and Dean got up to shower. Bella woke shortly after and I got the girls dressed and packed. When Dean was done I hopped in the shower and crossed my fingers we could get into the hotel room in Jasper before the wedding so I could do more formal makeup and hair later.

We went to the hotel restuarant for their buffet breakfast which was fine, but didn't have anything exciting like when we stay at the Banff Park Lodge at Christmas. We didn't check the price before ordering and you would think we would have learned from last night, but when the bill came for $60 we just rolled our eyes and continued on. We got in the car and called the Jasper Park Lodge to try and arrange early check in, but they couldn't promise anything.

We got on the road just before 9am. It was a beautifully clear day and we had fun watching the temperature change as we hit rises and falls in altitude. The temp fluctuated between 3 and 15 degrees at any point in time. We had never been north of the Columbia Ice Field just inside the entrance to Jasper National Park so it was exciting for us to drive along and see new sights. Bella was awesome, however Becca got quite frustrated with the three hour drive. I tried bribing her with tons of cheesies but that novelty quickly wore off. Even Bella got tired of eating them.

We arrived in Jasper just before noon. We were very impressed with how nice the town of Jasper was - lots of stores and gift shops, but it just didn't have the commercial feel of Banff. We ran a few errands (like buying a wedding card and new cereal for Becca since she wouldn't eat what I had brought) but by 12:30 we decided to try our luck at the hotel even though check in wasn't officially until 4pm. The Jasper Park Lodge is not in the town of Jasper and it was about a 5 minute drive down a secluded road to get to it. As we approached we were quite surprised to see that it's not a grand, old hotel like Banff Springs or Lake Louise, but a main lodge with a series of 2-4 plex cabins. This posed a problem when we couldn't find any stopping room at the lobby and all the streets were one way and we just kept driving farther away. Eventually we found a parking space and walked back to the lobby. I was quietly cursing the place as I imagined having to walk miles from our room to the wedding in the heels - which would have been fine when I was working daily, but now that I haven't worn them regularly in over a year they aren't as easy.

Upon arriving at the lobby we were happy to find our room ready. It was actually in the 4 plex right next to the lobby so I was thankful. The desk clerk gave Bella some triangle crayons and a colouring book and she was very pleased with him. The girls and I went to our room while Dean walked back to get the car and drive it closer - there still is no parking near our room ,but they said we could pull up for a short time to unload. Our room was great! We had a little porch with a screen door before our main door and you entered into a sitting room. It had a table and two chairs and a sofa. The two large picture windows on two walls gave us a nice view of the lake. We decided to set up Becca's play pen in here because we could close this room off of the rest of the room. The rest of our room had two queen beds with a TV, huge closet for clothes and a second closet with a fridge and all the coffee/tea stuff etc. The bathroom was also nice and large and we were really pleased with everything after at first glance being disappointed.

I immediately fed Becca her lunch and ordered room service fore the rest of us. I had a yummy crab wrap, while Dean had a Cobb salad and Bella had chicken fingers. Once our food arrived we put Becca down for a cat nap while the rest of us were able to eat our lunch and get ready for the wedding. On the map they had given us it looked like it might be about a 15 minute walk to where the outdoor wedding was scheduled. However, leaving our room at 2:30 we arrived at the wedding chairs at about 2:33. We went for a bit of a walk around the lake to kill time, however I was quite frustrated with how the stones of the path didn't always touch each other and my heel often sank down between them. I was quite frustrated and adding to the fact that I was carrying a baby and it was about 27 degrees out and I was sweating before anyone even got to see me looking all dressed up, no need to mention Dean was getting frustrated with me as well. We were seated at the chairs around 10 to 3 and all you could hear was people talking about the heat. Imagine being in Jasper in September and it being 27 degrees. People were fanning themselves and there were many sun burned faces at the reception at night.

The wedding was gorgeous. All of the chairs were draped with white linen. The bridesmaids wore strapless, floor length navy dresses with full white bouquets and the bride Stacey was stunning. I had never met the groom Dale, yet I immediately picked him out of the crowd of men by how he just looked like the happiest man alive. The ceremony was quite quick and very legal sounding - which I suppose was fair since they were both securities lawyers who always dealt with contracts. It wasn't that long, but it was still long enough for Becca to start crying. Poor girl, even though she had a sleeveless dress on she was still red in her face from the heat. Bella was perfect and loved watching all the pretty girls and especially the bride. Immediately following the wedding at the chairs there was a champagne reception and we all got champagne with strawberries and they even had ginger ale for the kids.

Between a crying baby and my heels now sinking into the grass at the champagne reception I opted to return to the room with Becca while Dean and Bella stayed out longer to enjoy the nice day. After everyone was back at the room and we had all cooled off, we decided to go for a walk through the shops in the lodge. There wasn't really anything exciting, however it was fun to window shop. After a while we headed up to the lounge where we all enjoyed a fun frosty drink. Even Bella got a special drink with vanilla and mango. Becca enjoyed everyone's garnishes and ate the whole peel of Bella's orange slice and not any of the inside - weird!

We went back to our room to get ready for the evening portion and meet the sitter at 5:30. We got Becca's food set up and ordered some more chicken fingers for Bella. The sitter's name was Jenna and she was great - although I felt we weren't paying her enough when Becca was screaming as we left. Once I couldn't hear her anymore I relaxed, I know from lots of experience that she calms down once we leave. Although Jenna said she didn't eat any dinner, Becca drank her bottle and went to bed at 7pm without a peep! And she even got Bella to sleep by 9pm! This girl was good.

Cocktails were from 5:30-6:30 and when we arrived we were greeted with hors d'oeuvres and an open bar - don't ask how many free I drink I had by the time we left. I knew a total of 4 people at this wedding of about 200 guests and that included Dean. After visiting with those people I knew, Dean was whisked away by another lawyer and left me abandoned. (this other gentleman did ask my permission before stealing him away to talk business so I found that rather classy.) I quickly realized I didn't know what to do with myself so I downed my second drink, got a third and made my way to the cheese table. After about 10 minutes they called everyone to tables. Thank Heaven there was assigned seating so that I didn't have to try and figure out where Dean would have wanted to sit. I didn't know anyone at our table, but they all knew Dean and kept asking where he was. The wedding party was introduced and seated at the head table and speeches began. Wine was poured and finally Dean showed up. The dinner was fabulous: cream of mushroom soup, green salad, steak and a nice saskatoon berry dessert. And the whole time the wine kept coming. It wasn't that great, but you know, the more glasses I had, the better it got. The announcement was made that it was an open bar until midnight but then a cash bar from midnight to 2am when we had to vacate the room. The were lots of speeches, LOTS of speeches (again I knew only 4 people, and none of them were mentioned in the speeches) and the wedding favour was a golf ball with their name and the wedding date on it.

We stayed for a bit of the dance and I made a few more friends, but by 10:45 we were heading back to the room. We were thrilled with how both girls were asleep when we got home, however Becca woke up with everyone coming and going through the door in her room. I noticed she had a dirty diaper so I changed her and she again went right to sleep without a sound. Bella was spread eagle sideways across her bed on top of the covers so we rearranged her and tucked her in. I think this bed was even more comfortable than the night before and we had a great sleep.

Friday, September 11, 2009 - Lake Louise Inn

Today I packed up the girls and the car and we drove into downtown to pick up Dean at 4:30 and we were on the road! We decided to start tonight and drive to Lake Louise and continue on to Jasper on Saturday because we figured the girls couldn't handle that long of a drive plus sit through a wedding all in one day.

We arrived at the Lake Louise Inn around 7pm and I set up Becca's high chair and fed her dinner while Dean went out to try and find something for the rest of us. We didn't want to risk the girls having a public meltdown after the long drive and the only room service they had was pizza which Dean wasn't in the mood for. Dean quickly realized that Lake Louise is isolated with very little take out selection, but found a little place that sold us 2 donairs, a turkey wrap, 3 drinks and 3 brownies for $45. We quickly learned that we should have eaten before leaving Calgary! Oh well, we were on vacation!

We set up Becca's playpen by the door in a closet area so that she wouldn't be right in the room with us and we could make it a little darker there. She was not at all impressed. She screamed at first, but eventually it turned to whimpers and then she got pretty quiet, although I think it was over an hour before she actually fell asleep. I was exhausted and fell asleep quickly in my comfortable bed around 9:45 while Dean and Bella were still awake watching TV. We forgot to take any pictures today :(

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009 - Camping in Banff

This morning we woke up around 8am and Dean got right up and started the fire and warming water (what a sweetheart). The girls stayed snuggled in bed for a bit longer, but eventually Becca wanted her bottle so we got up to sit around the fire. The boys came over to join us and we found out that unfortunately Tom had been up in the night with an upset stomach. We all kept our distance and hoped he felt better soon. We had our breakfast and started packing up. It was really frustrating because I wanted to help but I had to keep holding Becca so she wouldn't get messy and eat rocks from the ground.

We checked out at 10:30 and were home for lunch. Overall it was a great trip and we were especially impressed with how well Becca slept. Our next adventure is travelling to Jasper for a wedding on September 12th.

Saturday, August 29, 2009 - Camping in Banff

This morning the girls woke us up around 7:30. We worked hard to keep Becca quiet since it was still quiet time until 8am. We got up and heated some water on our stove to make her bottle and we found it freezing outside. We snuck next door to Tom and Tara's site to steal some wood and started a fire. We had a nice breakfast of organic chocolate chip banana bread and some yogurt with granola. We also had some nice warm drinks (tea and hot chocolate) to warm us up. Adam and Ben woke up and came over and joined us.

We had a nice leisurely morning with both families eating and cleaning up and then we prepared for our day at Johnson Lake. We drove the Lake Minnewanka Loop - if you have happened to catch pictures of the "Banff Squirrel" who has shown up in pictures, it was taken at Lake Minnewanka. It's a beautiful drive through mountains, forest and lakes, however we were a bit disappointed that we only saw one deer when usually we see lots of wildlife on this drive. It was a nice opportunity for Becca to sleep for a few minutes.

We arrived at the lake around 11am and claimed a prime spot on the grass just where it meets the sand. The water was fah-reezing, but the kids didn't care and spent lots of time along the shore building castles, trenches and dams. We inflated our boat and both families had a turn going out in it for a relaxing row around the lake. We had a picnic lunch of sandwiches on shore and lots of snacks. Becca had a great time crawling around the blanket and surrounding grass. She didn't want to go on any inflatable beach toys or let any part of her touch the cold water so she enjoyed a nice day on shore.

Around 2:30 Tom, Tara, Adam and Ben headed off to Lake Louise to visit friends and a gondola ride. We started to pack up around 3:00 and went for a drive along the Bow Valley Parkway to give the girls a chance to nap. We turned around at Castle Mountain junction and drove back along the highway. We got back to the campsite and just relaxed with a few drinks while the girls played around in the clearing. We had set out a blanket for Becca to play on. Dean had a shower and got cleaned up and I gave Becca her dinner. We then used Tom and Tara's barbeque to make hotdogs for the rest of us. We had just gotten all cleaned up and Becca settled into bed (very little crying this time!) when Tom and Tara and the boys got back from having dinner in Lake Louise. We started a campfire (Tom is a pro!) and had another great night. We roasted marshmallows and told stories with the kids before putting them to bed. Bella went to bed easier this time too and again Becca didn't wake up. Then we enjoyed some more beverages and snacks before we went to bed at 10:30. I fell asleep quite easily tonight. Around 3:30 Becca woke up crying, and instead of trying to get her to settle we just brought her into bed with us. Laying between us she just kept singing and playing, however once I rolled her over to my side and snuggled her on her side she fell asleep and stayed asleep for the rest of the night (plus she kept me nice and warm!)

Friday, August 28, 2009 - Camping in Banff

This morning we woke up around 7:30 to start getting the car packed and the girls ready for our Banff camping trip. Dean’s brother Tom and his family (wife – Tara and boys – Adam 5 and Ben 4) were visiting from Yellowknife and we were all going together. We left the house around 10:30 and arrived at Tunnel Mountain Village I around noon.

Our first step was to set up our tent while the Northern Nauglers set up their tent trailer. We made a lunch of sandwiches and Becca just sat in her high chair which we strapped onto one of the sides of the picnic table. It was great to watch the cousins run around and play with each other. We got two campsites side by side and a nice clearing in the woods right behind them with lots of room to play.

After lunch we headed into the town and went for a nice long walk along the river to see the falls. It was quite hot so we stopped by the river to dip our toes and then headed to Cows for some ice cream. We then set out to find a liquor store so the adults could have a treat. We stumbled across one called “A Liquor Store.” – it sounded good however we could only fit inside a few at a time because it was the smallest store I have ever been in. It wasn’t a big problem and we got what we needed and headed back to the campsite.

At the campsite, things were rough with Rebecca because we couldn’t really put her down to crawl around. The ground was quite dirty and she was always picking things up and putting them in her mouth. It meant that I always had to hold her which made it quite frustrating to make dinner and eat. Fortunately we just had an easy meal of hamburgers barbequed on Tom and Tara’s barbeque on their trailer. Tara did the dishes in the sink in their trailer and I got Becca ready for bed. We had her set up in her playpen in the tent and I had lots of blankets for her. She cried for quite a while and it broke my heart but eventually she calmed down and fell asleep.

We roasted marshmallows with the other kids and Isabella really wanted to tell scary stories with the flashlight so we indulged her for a bit. The older kids went to bed quite easily. We had our campfire at Tom and Tara’s site so that we were farther away from Becca sleeping, and I was thrilled to find that she stayed asleep while I went in and put Bella to bed. We unzipped one of the windows so that Bella could peek out at us over at the campfire so that she wouldn’t be scared at being alone. She had a few issues of falling off the air mattress but she eventually fell asleep.

The rest of us had a nice visit around the fire and enjoyed our drinks. We went to bed and were quite comfortable in our tent. I had a hard time falling asleep and around 1am Bella woke up to go to the bathroom so I took her. I fell asleep quite easily after that.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009 - Tenting in the Back Yard

Today Isabella and I had a camp out in the back yard. It started out rocky as the replacement poles we had ordered to replace on broken earlier this summer turned out to be the wrong size - they were too long to fit. I was quite miffed as both Bella and I had been looking forward to this for days. We could set up the main part of the tent and one of the side rooms, but the other side room just hung loose and was blowing around in the wind. Worst case scenario we could still sleep in it, but if you know me then you know I want things to be perfect.

After Becca's nap and lunch we drove all around town trying to find a replacement pole (the ones we had previously ordered took 3 weeks to arrive and we are doing REAL camping in a week so I couldn't wait that long). We couldn't find a long enough pole, but I did find replacement parts so I had to settle for rebuilding the pole from scratch.

At first I couldn't get the metal connector off because it was glued on and after my neighbour Ryan watched me trying to pull it off for about 10 minutes he offered to help. After WD-40, vice grips and tin snips he got it off. I headed back to the back yard to start threading a new length of shock cord through the sections and realized that was going to be pretty much impossible. I was quite frustrated, but at least I understood the physics of how it all worked now. Just before giving up I had an epiphany. I realized that if I took two sections off of the long new pole then it was the right length. So I pulled the shock cord out - cut it and tied a new knot at the shorter length and voila! D'uh - I felt so stupid- it took 15 seconds and I could have done that without all the effort Ryan and I put into the other one...oh well - it all worked out and I didn't tell Ryan I didn't use the part he worked on for me :)

About 7pm - after Big Brother and Becca was in bed - we headed outside and started a fire in our fire pit. It took a bit of work due to the breeze, but eventually we got it going. We used the barbeque to make our hotdogs and had a nice dinner outside which Dean joined us for. Dean went inside to enjoy his evening to himself while Bella and I stayed out and told spooky stories around the fire. We didn't put much wood on it because we really only wanted coals so we let it dye down and we got some great coals for marshmallows. Bella didn't like how the smoke was blowing towards her so I ended up roasting hers, which was probably for the best. Dean snuck back out now that we were having treats, but went back in when we were finished.

We headed into the tent and got our beds all set up. I had gotten a new queen sized air mattress to replace one with a hole and two twin air mattress which were on a great sale and I knew we would eventually need. Bella slept on a small one while I took the big one. First we made shadow puppets on the wall and then we told a few more stories before going to sleep. We both drifted off quite quickly. I was cold during the night, but Bella was snug and warm.

Dean came out before leaving for work to have me turn on the baby monitor I had in with me. By 8:10 Becca was awake, but Isabella was still sleeping. I tried waking her up but she was zonked. I reluctantly left her alone in the tent while I went in to get Becca. Around 8:45 I saw Bella coming out of the tent and I was pleased to find that she was happy and not angry I had left her alone. We all had a nice breakfast of oatmeal to warm me up - although Bella only had about 5 bites and Becca pushed hers all out with her tongue.

We had a great night and I'm almost tempted to leave the tent up and do it again tonight!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009 - Home to Calgary

Today was a full day for our last. Mom and I headed out to the Farmer's Market and to get some groceries. Dad, Dean and Isabella went out to play some tennis when we got back and we all had a busy morning.

For lunch we were lucky enough to be joined by the Desmonds for a barbecue. We had a nice time visiting and enjoying the hot sun. They left around 2:30 and we loaded up the car to start our drive to the airport.

We said our goodbyes and drove off around 3:30. We had no issues returning the car or getting on our flight. I was rather frustrated to find out that our flight had a touch down in Ottawa as we thought it was direct and this was adding an extra two hours to our flight. The girls were really good. Bella sat and watched TV and although Becca didn't want to fall asleep she was quite happy being awake. Becca eventually got about an hour's nap near the end.

We got back to the house about 10:30pm and it took Isabella less than 10 minutes to complete mess up her room which I had completely cleaned before leaving. We all had a tough time unwinding and getting to sleep - except for Becca who fell asleep as soon as I put her in her crib.

Like always it's nice to be home, but we dearly miss our visits with everyone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today was a nice day. We went out for a drive in the morning to a petting farm in The Falls where we got to see lots of neat animals - we actually only got to "pet" goats so I felt it was mislabeled but it was a fun time anyway. We even got to practice using a lasso to rope stationary plastic bulls - it was much harder than it originally seemed.

For lunch we stopped at a place called Sugar Moon Farms where we had a great meals of baked beans, pancakes and sausages - all topped with local maple syrup. It was delicious! We headed back into Truro, but didn't arrive home before stopping in for some ice cream.

We had a light dinner and then headed off to bed early since we had a big day of travelling home tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009 - Back to Truro

Becca woke up at 8:15 today, which we really can’t complain about, but we had gotten spoiled by her sleeping in until at least 9am. We packed up the car to head to Truro, but first we stopped at Starbucks to get one last treat before heading into the Starbucks void.

We arrived in Truro around noon and were treated to a great lunch from Murphy’s Fish and Chips. Becca went down for a nap and the rest of us enjoyed a great hot and sunny afternoon. Dean sat out reading trashy magazines and got a tan, while Bella and I played in the little pool and with water guns. We were running low on beer and coolers so I took Bella and we walked to the liquor store which is about a 10 minute walk away (5 without Bella). Coming back she was so cute pulling a case of Keith’s in her wagon – we even got a couple of comments from some young business men who thought it was a great idea. When Becca woke up she joined us in the pool and we had a great time.

For dinner we had some steak with fresh local vegetables. After dinner we enjoyed some local Jost port and Cuban cigars before heading off to a local pub called The Red Bird. By the time we walked home from there we only had energy for a piece of pie and then off to bed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - Clams and The Mar II

Today was a fun day. We woke up and had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then we headed out to drive around for a bit so Becca could get a bit of a morning nap. It was nice to drive around and check out some of the residential areas we used to enjoy driving through. We also drove through the ship yard which is always fun.

At about 11:30 we arrived at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where we got to see lots of ship replicas and we even got to see all the original models from the “Theodore in the Big Harbour” show they film in Halifax. Bella and Dean went on the Acadia while Becca and I waited on the dock.

For lunch we went to Captain’s Catch (a tradition) for Clams and fries. They were very yummy as usual. We were entertained by a very naughty gull who kept pulling garbage out of the nearby can looking for food. At 1:30 we met up with Dianne for our afternoon Pirate Cruise on The Mar II. It is called a tall ship and is a ketch (two masted) that is 75 feet long (half the size of Dean’s tall ship from last summer). It was a lot of fun and the weather was beautiful. We had lots of wind and a full main sail and jib on the way out, however we lost the wind on the way back. The cruise lasted about an hour and a half and we had a good time.

After our sail we treated ourselves to some “Beaver tails” a wonderful deep fried pastry. Dean got apple cinnamon, but I got chocolate hazelnut (I’m pretty sure it’s Nutella). We drove over to visit relatives of Dean’s: Uncle Jack and Aunt Gwen Hornsby. We only stayed for a few minutes because it had been a long day and we wanted to get home.We relaxed at Diannes for a few hours and put Becca down to bed. At 7:30 Dean, Bella and I went down to the pool and although the windy air was quite cool the pool was wonderfully warm and we had a great swim.

At 8:00 Dean went out and picked up some Sushi we had ordered from a local restaurant, Sushi Nami and we had a nice late dinner. Although the sashimi was wonderful, the rolls were a little bit disappointing and next time we are in town we will probably try a different location. We got a head start on packing for tomorrow and then went to bed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - Parks and Spring Garden Road

This morning we had a nice leisurely sleep in and got up around 9:30am. Becca had actually woken up at midnight, but after a brief nurse she went back to sleep. We had breakfast at Dianne’s and then set out for the day. We started our adventures at Dalhousie University where both Dean and I met and graduated from. We walked around the old grounds and missed those days of very little responsibility and lots of good friends whom we have mostly lost touch with. We bought Rebecca a little shirt like we did for Bella on her first trip there. We also got a great shot glass that made us think of Dave as it ranked the universities and Dal was at the top and SMU at the bottom – to be expected. We were going to give it to him for his collection but then decided to keep it at our house because we would enjoy it more than he would.

Our next stop was Point Pleasant Park. We used to love this park, and although it is still nice, it lost a lot of its trees in Hurrican Juan in 2003. It’s still a nice stroll, but you don’t feel like you are in the woods anymore, it’s more like a walk by the beach. We used to see about 40 squirrels on a typical walk and today we only saw one.

For lunch we decided to walk along Spring Garden Road and find something. First we stopped at the Second Cup to get a family sized (large) frozen hot chocolate – everyone should try this drink – it was fabulous, and perfect on a hot day. We also made note of how the Royal Bank across the street was now a Starbucks and we knew that Dad would find this ironic. We eventually settled on Your Father’s Moustache for lunch and had some nice pub style food. Becca was quite fussy during lunch which was the first meal she really cried during so far this trip. Bella of course was perfect and ate her lunch like a princess. After lunch we headed over to the Public Gardens and they were spectacular. Although they also had Juan damage they had been repaired nicely and they were stunning. Bella and Dean threw coins in the fountains. Dean’s wishes were a secret but Bella wished to first be a princess and second to be a car racer.

After our walk we strolled a little more down Spring Garden Road, but then headed back to the car as the girls needed a nap. We went for a lovely drive out Purcell’s Cove Road and got some stereotypical pictures of your typical Nova Scotia scenic view. We drove out by the lighthouse by Duncan’s Cove which is one of our favourite hikes, and reminisced about Bob the seal who watched bob in the waves one day.

We got back to Dianne’s around 4:30 in time to hit the pool before adult only time at 5:30. She made us a nice dinner of steak and then Dean and I headed out for an evening on the town.