our canadian vacation

This August, I packed up the kids and took them on a two week vacation to British Columbia. Not a fan of flying, I chose to instead drive the 4000 km (round trip). We spent the first eleven days driving there and then venturing across the province. We stayed with family in various parts and went to at least one attraction everyday. A lot of the time, we did two things. Naps were skipped and we were wiped out by the end of each day, but in the best way possible. Geoffrey then flew out to meet us on the twelfth day, and drove back with us over the next three days.

Before leaving, I prayed that it would go well and that we would make it back safely. So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. God certainly kept us out of harm’s way, and we had the trip of a lifetime. Here are the highlights taken from the day Geoff joined us until we made it home.

August 28:

Early that morning my brother, Wilder, and I picked up Geoff from the airport and we met Remy, her cousins, and my sister-in-law at a nearby park and lake. We visited for less than 1 hour then sadly said goodbye. Thus began our trip as a family of four.

We made it to 3 Valley Gap around noon. We had already stopped at the ghost town on our way through about two weeks prior. We loved it so much that we decided to visit it again, this time bringing dada.

We explored old buildings, rode a train, played, ate, and ran around. It is such a fun place to visit, and spending a couple hours there is almost not enough time. Revelstoke is definitely a city of immense possibilities for families, from the Enchanted Forest to the Locomotive Museum. It is one that I look forward to visiting again and again.

After leaving 3 Valley Gap, we drove for a few more hours and made it to Golden, BC that evening. I had already stayed the night in Golden with the kids, and knew that there weren’t any attractions in the small but beautiful town. That said, we still needed something to do that evening as well as the next morning before hitting the road. I therefore asked Geoff to book us a room at the Kicking Horse mountain resort, hoping that there would be trails and/or parks within walking distance.

Located just outside of Golden, it is one of the most picturesque places that I have ever been to. We acquired a room at Winston Lodge and given that the busy season was just ending, a room turned out to be the same price as one at a lower-rate hotel within Golden.

The lodge reminded me of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. It was huge, beautiful, homey, full of history, had amazing food, and so much more. Guys, if you need to stay the night in Golden, please stay at the lodge or anywhere else in the Kicking Horse resort. What a gorgeous end to an overall fun and fulfilling day.

August 29:

The next morning we ate our complimentary breakfast. Then we went back to our room, packed up, and headed to a park before returning to the road once again. I didn’t want to leave, and wished that we could have stayed another night. Being in the mountains and in a secluded resort felt so freeing! I would have loved to explore the trails and ride the gondola for one more day. Alas, we had to go.

Our next stop was in Banff, AB. We drove through the Rocky Mountains and made it there within two hours.

Once in Banff we parked downtown and went to Central Park so Remy and Wilder could run around and work up an appetite. Then we walked the main street until we settled on a restaurant. After we ate, we went shopping. Afterwards, we returned to our vehicle and loaded everyone up.

Our final destination that day was Drumheller, AB. We arrived around supper time and went straight to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Remy is in love with dinosaurs, and so naturally she had a blast. We chased her around the museum, going from exhibit to exhibit, naming all of the dinosaurs. Wilder sat content in his stroller.

At the end of the museum visit, she and Geoff climbed the large hill outside, and Wilder and I took photos of them from below. What an amazing place for children!

August 30:

The next day was dedicated to the long drive back home. Although our time with Geoff was short, it became our favourite family vacation to date.

Emory

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book review: don’t drink the pink

“Don’t Drink the Pink” is the third children’s book by B.C.R. Fegan that I will be reviewing on my blog. 

This story is about a girl named Madeline. Madeline’s grandpa gives her a different coloured potion each birthday to drink down. These potions have fun and peculiar effects. Madeline is allowed to choose any colour except pink- that is, until her grandfather passes away.

Like “Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32” and “The Day that A Ran Away,” this is another rhyming and colourful children’s book. Yet, while the previous two focus on number and alphabet learning, this one seems to have graduated to more mature subject matter, like growing up and death.

The back of the book states that it will explore “the reality of growing older.” I found that due to its whimsical nature, and especially the ending, I found it to be less realistic and more idealistic.

That said, I think that it might help Remy have a better understanding of death. This is something that we are trying to work on with her. So far we have only read through it once, and although she loved it, I didn’t go into great depth with explaining what really happened. I certainly will over the next few times that we reread it.

I think that “Don’t Drink the Pink” is a wonderful book for preschool-age children, up to perhaps grades 3 or 4. It is cute, sentimental, and honestly just a nice read. Look for it today.

This book was graciously sent to me to review on my blog. All words and opinions are mine.

Emory

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recipe: vegetarian refried bean & rice burritos on homemade tortillas

I recently watched a Ted Talks called “How to Live to be 100+“. In it, Dan Buettner discussed communities where their residents commonly lived to be over 100 years of age. Scattered around the globe, one thing that they had in common was that they lived largely on plant-based diets. More specifically, they ate a lot of beans.

I went on to read a related article that stated if you eat a handful of beans everyday, you can increase your overall lifespan by up to 4 years. Incredible! After that, I immediately began to look up delicious recipes that featured beans. Geoffrey and I have agreed to eat more beans and less meat, starting with one vegetarian day per week. We will see where it goes from there.

This is my take on one of those recipes. Geoff said that it was honestly the best supper I have ever made! Thus, there is no reason for you not to try it out for yourselves. ;-)))

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Rice Burritos on Homemade Tortillas

(Takes 1 hour)

Ingredients:

For the tortilla
(Makes 6)

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¾ cup water
3 tbsp canola oil (and more for cooking)

For the burritos

6 tortillas
1 cup long grain rice, cooked
2 cups refried beans, warmed
1 cup corn, cooked
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup cucumber, chopped
½ cup onion, sliced
1 cup cheese (any), grated

Steps:

1. For the tortilla- combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix in water and oil.

2. Place dough on floured surface. Knead into ball. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Separate dough into 6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into thin and smooth circles.

4. Heat pan to medium. Add oil and then one tortilla at a time. Cook until brown (approximately 2 minutes on either side). Remove from pan and place on plate. Set aside.

5. For the burritos- cook rice, beans, and corn. Cut up remaining vegetables and grate cheese. Heat clean skillet or press to medium. Fill each tortilla evenly with each ingredient.

6. Take one side of the tortilla and fold it over to the middle. Holding that side down, grab the left and right side and fold those in as well. Then roll it closed and place it face down on the skillet or press. Cook until browned and sealed close. Serve warm. Add salsa, sour cream, or any other condiment if so desired!

Emory

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ten months old

Our Wilder is now 10 months old! This was a month of many, many new things for him.

Wilder saw the ocean! And mountains! Plus two new provinces! We got out of our prairie routine and took a 2-week vacation to BC where we mostly stayed with family. There, Wilder saw landscapes that he has never seen before. I will be very excited to share that with him when he is old enough to understand.

He now points to objects. He also gives high fives. It’s the cutest dang thing.

He says “mama” on repeat. I swear he also says “hey dad” sometimes as well.

He is constantly standing with support and walks along furniture.

He is still breastfed but is beginning to not want it as much. He now only wakes once or twice during the night, and nurses for just a few minutes. He is growing up too quickly!

Only 2 more months until he is a toddler. My mama heart just isn’t ready.

Emory

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po the saint

We recently added a new member to our household! Friends, meet Po, our St. Bernard.

This little girl is my fourth Saint and Remy and Wilder’s first. I’ve waited many years to get her, having wanting to be settled on an acreage before we did. We knew that moving out here meant that we could finally get one, and so last week we did!

So far she is very quiet and very sweet. I have had a couple of friends with kids over on different days, and everyone can’t believe how good and calm she is. They have all said that she doesn’t act like a puppy and it’s like we don’t even have a dog in the house. I asked for a calm temperament (because of our children) and I guess it paid off!

Remy adores her and Truman has even warmed up to her as well. We hope that her mellow attitude will rub off on him. Nothing seems to phase her, which is the opposite of Tru.

For now, this is our life with Po.

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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