Friday, 10 August 2012

Day 22 - Banff to Kelowna

Our alarm was set on the iphone in mom and dad's trailer go get up and see our friends off (we slept in mom and dad's trailer and let them have our trailer for the night).  They had to meet their real estate agent early in the morning (We hope they found their 'now' dream home).  It was a short visit but we were really happy that we got to see them and it was so nice of them to come meet us! 

Our gang was ready to leave Banff at 1000.  Today we are heading to Kelowna.  We debated between there or Kamloops but everyone we spoke to said that we should go through Kelowna (Okanagan Valley)without a doubt. We are following the group at the back today and are surprised when they get off at the Lake Louise exit.  Turns out they decided they wanted to go have a look.  Fine with us but we have to keep going because we have to drive while BB Girl is sleeping.  That is our prime time travelling time.  We decide to turn around and get back on the Highway. Not too long after, we crossed the border into British Columbia.  We stopped for our must have picture and end up being there with two other cars from Ontario! 

By the time we get back in the truck, my parents and aunt and uncle pass us so we are reunited again.  Turns out their rig was way too big to be pulling in at Lake Louise on a Sunday afternoon.  It's time for lunch and mon oncle Bernie the fearless cowboy pulls his gigantic rig into a picnic area.  We didn't think much of it at first because we figured he had been there before but he then told us he didn't.  You never know how big those areas will be.  Turns out it was perfect for our 3 rigs.  There was a nice little river and it was so inviting.  Justin was the first brave one and went right in!  Me and ma tante Syndi followed.  I didn't think she was go all the way in but since she did, I had to follow!  Glacier water is Refreshing!  Ma tante Syndi prepared some sandwiches for the whole gang and we continued our journey.  This was a really nice relaxing spot for all of us!
Love these running/water shoes!

Pépère et cocotte

Mon oncle Bernie et Cocotte

Mom loving life!
Justin is the first brave one to dive into the glacier cold water.

My crazy ma tante!!! Gotta love her!

Our mini trailer, followed by mom and dad's fifth wheel, and finally mon oncle Bernie's castle on wheels!
Next stop was in Revelstoke for gas.  Dad's truck has the smallest gas tank.  He can't go much more than 300kms before having to fill up.  It makes for a lot of fuel stops.  Along the journey, I am responsible for finding us a campground.  After calling all the campsites there are only two campgrounds with availabilities.  One of the sites is 80$ a night.  For that price, we can almost stay in a hotel so I decide to go with the other one which is right across the beach and near downtown Kelowna.  I don't know why, but we were expecting a four hour drive.  It ended up being a very long day with about 6hours of driving. 
We've got a convoy going on.

Once at the campsite, ma tante and mon oncle had to turn their RV around and they went to the back of the campsite to do so where all the tents were.  Ma tante wanted to leave immediately.  Me and Justin had no idea what was going on.  Turns out when they drove back there they saw a lot of people smoking weed and having a good time.  She was terrified that they would harm our trailers or us.  She was saying that we couldn't stay there with BB Girl!  Oh! Ma tante!  We almost convince her that they are just having a good time when the RCMP pulls in at the front office! oh! no!! It adds fuel to the fire.  Ma tante went to ask what was going on and they were only looking for information on something that had happened at the beach earlier that day!  They wanted to go to the really expensive campground but when I told them it was 45minutes back the way we came from they decided to stay! Guess what! I am still alive to write my blog ma tante!!  Love you crazy girl!!  We settled in, mom made some supper, I did some more laundry and we all called it a night early.
We were all together.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Day 21 - Visit with the Williams

We are leaving early this morning because we are hoping to all get a site in Banff tonight.  Check out at Callaway Park is early (1000) but it gets us going.  We stop in Canmore for gas and arrive at Tunnel Mountain campground at 1200.  Déja vue! The signs say that the campsite is full but we pull in and again, we are lucky and all three of us have a spot.

We have been trying to meet up with Lee and his family for about a week now.  We wanted to make it work somehow, but it was difficult with them being in Cold Lake and the fact that they are in the process of house hunting in Calgary.  Lee was Justin's boss at the Air Marshall unit.  Justin has a man crush on him :)  Lee gives us a call and to our surprise they are going to come meet us in Banff for super! Yahoo!! Mom took BB Girl for us and we headed into town to grab some groceries.  By the time we returned, they were just pulling in!  

We enjoyed a nice evening with a beautiful view.  They stayed the night with us but had to leave early to go meet their real estate agent.  It was a good night.   We were so busy catching up and having fun that we didn't even think of taking pictures.  One thing we don't miss about the military - we make some good friends and then either we or they move away - it is fun to know though that we have friends in every corner of the country.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Day 20 - The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth!

This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede!!!  Yes, we are tourist and yes we are going to the Stampede today.  Mom and Dad set their alarm clock nice and early and took a shuttle downtown to go watch the parade.  After the terrible day we had yesterday, we decide to take our time.  We end up arriving at the tail end of the parade.  I call mom on her cell phone and it turns out they are very close to us so we meet them.  Mom tells me that there are tickets set aside everyday that go on sale at 11.  Mom and Dad have tickets to the rodeo at 1300.  Maybe our luck is turning today because we are able to get tickets for the rodeo this afternoon and also to the chuckwagon races tonight.  Matante and mononcle  aren't really interested in going to the stampede.  They are getting their trailer ready for the trip so I ask ma tante if she would watch BB girl for us!! We are so spoiled! Best Auntie in the world!   Before the rodeo starts, we walk around the grounds.  There are a million food vendors but they all seem to be doing well (funny how we look at that stuff since our experience with Two Guys).  There is a really big midway and many exhibits that are actually very interesting.  The rodeo started with the RCMP musical ride.  It was a little long but beautiful. 

RCMP Musical Ride

The rodeo was really fun and as usual very entertaining.  BB Girl was enjoying the show but then the weather turned on us.  It started raining really hard and we had the cheap seats that aren't covered so we decided to head back to the campsite so that BB Girl could have a rest and be good for matante tonight. 

Budweiser Clydesdale
Here is a cute video of BB Girl and Bones

We came back to Stampede park just on time for the chuckwagon races.  The races were cool and interesting.  I didn't really understand how the race worked so we looked it up and this is how it is described;

Chuckwagon racing is a team event, led by a driver who commands a team of horses pulling the chuckwagon, and is supported by two or four outriders, each racing individual thoroughbred horses that follow the chuckwagon. Each race typically involves three or four teams, and begins with the outriders "breaking camp", by tossing two tent poles (with four outriders only) and a barrel representing a camp stove into the back of their wagon before mounting their horses and following the wagons as they complete a figure eight around two barrels before circling a race track. The first wagon to cross the finish line typically wins, although various time penalties are handed out for infractions such as a barrel being knocked over, a tent pole or stove not loaded, wagon interference or an outrider crossing the finish line too far behind his wagon driver.

I have to say that I preferred the rodeo over the chuckwagon because there is a long lull between each chugwagon race but we were really happy to have attended both events. 

The biggest surprise of the day was still to come.  When the races were over, they announced that the show would be beginning in a few minutes.  We had no idea that there was a show after the races but they took out their big tractors and pulled out a huge stage from the side of the track.  Well, it had to be one of the nicest biggest coolest shows we have ever seen.  They had acrobats from cirque du soleil, stunt bikes, performers doing aerial tricks on bicycles, singers and the icing on the cake was Paul Brandt.  He performed at least 5 songs including one of our favourites 'Convoy'.  The show was just amazing.  It was capped off by Paul Brandt signing Happy Birthday with a 12 meter high birthday cake on stage and a crazy fabulous fireworks display.  It was an amazing night!  The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

Grand Finale