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Family Time

As I sit and write this post, Ella is sitting on the floor of our hotel room, happily playing with her cars and tea set. We’ve been on the road since Thursday morning, having great adventures. Thursday night, we stopped in Vernon and had a visit with Eric’s cousin, Amy. She and Jay have a beautiful little girl named Alvy. We enjoyed a lovely dinner on their deck, while Ella and Alvy played. The next morning we went to this little country restaurant called Friesen’s for breakfast. The food was delicious and they have a beautiful grassy area with cherry trees that the kids played in for a while. We even managed to squeeze in a quick family photograph! A great start on our trip to Manitoba.

I love Alvy’s big eyes. She’s such a little sweetie!

Our lovely hosts, Amy and Jay. Thank you again for a great dinner and a comfy bed for the night!

Ella playing at Friesen’s after breakfast.

As we set out Friday afternoon, we were determined to take things slow and enjoy the journey. We tried to not look at the clock or worry about how far we were getting. We did stop a couple of times along the way, but it wasn’t as relaxing as we’d originally planned. We made it to Castle Junction, just between Lake Louise and Banff. We found a great campsite and just as we were getting the tent set up, it started to rain. Eric was amazing and while Ella and I sat in the car eating some dinner, Eric got everything set up, emptied out two litres of water from the tent just in time for the rain to stop! It was a cold night, and we woke to pouring rain. However, Ella woke with a smile on her face and enjoyed sitting in the tent watching Cars on the ipod while we packed up.

Bedtime at our campsite in Castle Junction.

Saturday we took our time along the 1A through to Banff. Saw an Elk and some Big Horned Sheep, then decided to try and make up some time. We stopped in Calgary and had a picnic, but continued along Hwy 1. Ella slept for about an hour in the car and didn’t wake up very happy. Eric and I both looked at each other and started to talk about the possibility of turning around and taking the next 9 days to drive home, rather than trying to make it to Manitoba to visit our friends, Sarah and Gregg. We struggled hard with the decision but ultimately decided that it would be a better experience for Ella if we really did slow down.

One of the Big Horned Sheep.

So now, it’s Sunday and we’re headed to Dinosaur National Park and then onto Drumheller where we’ll spend a couple of days. As hard as the decision was to make, we know that it will make this family time that much richer for Ella. So until we have internet access again, enjoy the little moments and keep smiling 🙂

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