Ep 2 – 2017 ‘Big Birthday’ World Tour  

Canada and Family Time

Warning – lots of photos 

The week began innocently enough with a flight up to Vancouver. Train ride to downtown and a brisk walk brought us to our hotel, and a long lift ride delivered us to the top floor (30!) to be greeted with hugs from my sister, her husband and our niece who calls Vancouver home. 

It’s been 4 years since I last saw them all, briefly, at a wedding but it was as if we had been together the week before. Talking was thirsty work, so Skye led us to a seafood restaurant for happy hour, which included happy hour share plates – awesome food and drinks, and the beginning of a wonderful week with numerous highlights….

Birthday surprise…. woke in the morning to find our room decorated with a wall hanging, streamers and balloons. ❤

Birthday wallpaper 

Birthday walk…. headed out to Queen Elizabeth Park which overlooks Vancouver. Met Skye, Cindy and Peter up the top and wandered down through the different gardens. 

We are family – by blood 😊

We are family – by love

Birthday crawl…. wandered down Main St and ended up at a craft brewery where we had lunch of wings, ribs and beer. Then we went to another one, then another, then another, then…you get the idea! At two of the stops we got tasting paddles of 4 x 4oz beers per pair, otherwise we chose pints from the craft beer menus.

The start… how fresh we look 


Stop #2

Stop #3


Stop #4


Stop #5 – we are looking a bit flushed and it’s not due to the walk 😉

Birthday finish…. after 5 stops along the way, we finished up at Tap and Barrel, where Skye is a manager. We were greeted like old friends by her workmates, friends and boss. It was now time for more food  (better late than never!) and we dove into poutine, wings and pizza, washed down with more beer,  wine and shots of Jamieson. The night concluded with birthday cake and candles. Deciding it was time to pour ourselves into a taxi, we went to pay only to find out Skye’s boss had covered our bill! 

Mostly still holding it together…. first round at the final stop 

Time to go home….

Recovery…slowly, slowly went the next day 

On the road again…. we packed up the car (a very nice, very new Chevrolet SUV) with all the family and assorted baggage and headed north east to Drumheller,  dinosaur capital of Canada! via Banff and Lake Louise. Spent nights at Salmon Arm, Banff and Drumheller before turning around to head back to Vancouver.   

Snow fun…. Lake Louise was iced over and it snowed while we were there which was awesome fun for us all, and top of Cindy’s wishlist. 

J and Cindy playing in the snow at Lake Louise 

Family! 

We’re all about risk! 

Dinosaur adventures…. Drumheller is in the Alberta badlands and home to a myriad of cute and kitsch dinosaurs, plus the excellent Royal Tyrell Museum, completely dedicated to dinosaurs. We spent 3 hours there being fascinated with the exhibits. While there we participated in an Easter egg hunt,  looking for and recording the location of the eggs. The one in the tarantula cage was one I didn’t take a close look at.    

It’s huge!

Hoodoo gurus…. just up the road from Drumheller are the hoodoos – strange formations caused by the erosion of softer rock by wind and water. The layering of the soil caused eerie patterns across the scenery.

Layering – and I found a new function with the camera on my Samsung! 

Hoodoos – beauty in the works of wind and water  

Closer look at layering of soil deposits 

The road less travelled…. heading back to Banff we took the Icefield Parkway which wound through more stunning scenery, from prairie plains, conifer forests, soaring snow covered jagged peaks to snow covered fields. (Separate post to come later) Less traffic meant much more opportunity to stop for photos and ‘snow shenanigans’ as J phrased it.

Snow angels, created by all except the sensible person who didn’t want a wet butt!

Snow man with ‘beer goggles’

Wild life…. stopped to pick up lunch supplies and Cindy commented that we hadn’t seen much wildlife on the way. Lady behind the counter replied ‘No, they hide. Cos we shoot them.’ Later we were lucky enough to have a herd of long horn mountain goats cross right in front of the car while we had stopped to take photos,  and also spotted wild ponies and deer grazing beside the road. 

Critters in the wild!

Next week brings the return to Australia for Cindy and Peter, and a return to work for Skye. J and I head out on the road again, more adventures await!

Until next time,   ❤ xx 
   

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6 comments

  1. Tracey Byrne · · Reply

    Looks awesome 🖒

    1. Looks and is awesome. A lot quieter now that it’s just the two of us….

  2. Meredith · · Reply

    looks like a fantabulous time being had by all. Enjoy and safe travels.

    1. We’re having an awesome time ! Hope all is going well for you ❤

  3. Chris Johnson · · Reply

    It’s great to receive your travel emails while I recover. I’m thinking of going somewhere safe and close to home at the end of the year. I’m thinking of going to NZ again as I just love the scenery. Take care and stay safe.

    1. Thanks Chris, hope you’re recovering well. Canada is also safe, but definitely not close to home. NZ is lovely…

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