Almost Settled

We have been home for almost a week now, and we are almost settled again.  As you can see from the picture above we had a ton of stuff to unpack and wash, which are two things I don’t really like to do.   Jamie has been back at work for the last few days, but yet to catch up with his work email and I have been trying to get into a routine so I don’t waste the summer away.  I know, it’s a hard life having the summers off.  But I do have a whole lot on my list, including some much needed work around the house, planning for the next school year, getting a business license for my yet to be started photography company and getting my US citizenship (or at least the paperwork completed- trust us it’s a long process).  There is never enough time for everything but cross your fingers that at least some of it will be completed.

No luck fishing

Jamie and my Uncle Keith headed out yesterday at 7am to go fly fishing and did not return until 11pm, now that is dedication.  They drove over two hours to a place called Crowsnest Pass, it’s a river southeast of Cochrane where my Aunt and Uncle live.  Jamie practiced fly fishing in the yard the last time we were at their house to get the hang of the motion needed to cast, or something like that.  I do have pictures of that but I do not have pictures of them when they were out.  Much to my disappointment they came back with no pictures of Jamie in his waders, chest high rubber pants, or any pictures of them fishing!  I would have been all over that prime picture op.  Although I am disappointed without any pictures it is probably for the best since Jamie took a “swim” in the river at one point and got soaking wet; to his defense it is not easy to stand in a very fast current with rubber shoes on wet, slippery rocks.  If it was me I would have been swimming more than that, I am sure.  Uncle Keith caught three trout, two rainbow trout and a brown trout, and Jamie didn’t get any although he had lots of fun.  It was probably a great time spent by all in their “nothing box”.

We are off to watch my cousin Amy’s soccer game today and then to hike with my Auntie Trish and Uncle Keith out near Moose Mountain, although we will probably not see any moose there.  Either way it should be fun.  We are headed home on Monday afternoon but we don’t get back into Orlando until Tuesday; it will be a long over night flight.  We are looking forward to our last few nights of  relaxation until we get back and have obligations.

Stop to smell the mountain wind…

Yesterday Jamie and I returned to Mount Edith Cavell, a gorgeous place where you can admire three brilliant glaciers all at once.  We went there the day before around 9pm, yes it is still light enough to hike at that time, to see the sights and we enjoyed it so much that we went again yesterday.  The hike to get there was not easy and my legs are sore from it, pathetic I know.  However, we took the lower road yesterday and that hike was a much easier one.

Jamie and I stood there for 2 hours each time that we went, just staring at the beauty around us.  I know that you can’t even begin to imagine these sights or the grandness of these mountains unless you have been there, especially from these photos, but trust me it was wonderful!  You are surrounded by mountains on three sides, two of which are home to three Glaciers that could swallow you whole in a minute flat.  It is peaceful, except for the occasional human voices (there weren’t any the first night that we went, a perk of night hiking) and the occasional snowfall.  A snowfall which I have affectionately called it, is much like a waterfall; it is when a large amount of snow slides off of the side of the mountain and makes a huge rumbling sound that I, being a girl, could not replicate properly.  If you want the sound effects ask Jamie, his are better, always.
This trip has been fun, animal sightings and all.  However, it takes sights like these, the ones that take your breath and your usual ability to use descriptive language away, to truly appreciate the beauty around us.  I hope that you all have a moment like this soon, and if you do not, take the time to make one.

Elk and Goats and Bears, Oh My!!

Well I know that all I have practically written the last few times that I have posted is about the animals that we have seen, but I am going to do it again.  We saw tons of them today and all kinds too.  After packing up our stuff and checking out of the hotel we got on the road from Banff to Jasper (first using the number one, which as far as I know takes you right across Canada and then taking 93 through the mountains).  From the moment we were on the road we were lucky with our sightings, two deer running across an open field- man are they fast.

Although the deer are cool, we also saw 5 more up the road.  We quickly came upon a huge male Elk just eating his way down the highway.  There were tons of people stopped to see him as he had his mid-morning snack, maybe some dandelions and grass, but he couldn’t have cared less if we watched him.  I guess when you have a huge rack, the same rules don’t always apply.
I couldn’t resist adding this one, it’s too funny.

After the Elk, we began our very exciting Bear sightings, yes “sightings” plural.  Jamie and I saw a total of 6 Black Bears today, 3 young bears on their own and then lastly a mother and her two cubs.  We were anywhere from 15 yards to 40 yards away from them each time and safely behind car doors.  We are curious but not stupid.  It is so amazing to just be driving down the road and look over to see a bear having some lunch, by the way they are always eating when you see them.  It makes me wonder just how many things are roaming around in the beautiful mountains that we miss all the time.
Bear #1
Bear #2
Bear #3- Pretty shy and not photogenic
The babies

“Following the leader, the leader, the leader…”

Between bear sightings we were able to add another type of animal to our ever growing list, the Mountain Goat.  We saw a bunch of goats licking the mineral deposits off of the side of the road when we got closer to Jasper.  As a matter of fact we passed a “Warning Goats Ahead” sign (it didn’t actually say that but I am unable to precisely describe the sign without boring at least a few of you) and we saw the first group maybe 30 seconds later, I kid you not.  The best part about seeing the goats was the seeing the little one, man was he cute, all tiny and huddled next to his mama.  It is great to see the animals in the spring, they all seem to have a baby in tow, and man are the little ones my favorite!
These guys had such fuzzy butts…

Mama and baby, awww

All in all, it was a very eventful day; animal wise we saw a ton, we got settled in Jasper, saw an amazing turquoise lake (Lake Peyto) and photographed the Athabasca Falls.  We will be hiking tomorrow and probably visiting a few of the nearby lakes, I will be sure to keep you all posted on the animal front, we are on the lookout for Beaver, Moose, Cougars, or whatever will pass our way.
Pretty view from the side of the road.

Lake Peyto, no we did not alter the color of the lake

The two of us at Athabasca Falls

Elk, Elk and more Elk

Jamie and I drove up to Banff yesterday to spend a few days exploring the mountains and trying to find as many animals as we could.  I would consider yesterday a success since we saw 27 Elk, 17 Bighorn Sheep and a coyote (although we didn’t get a picture of him)!  

We drove up to the city of Banff, which is in Banff National Park, got a room at the Caribou Lodge and then walked around town.  Jamie had a prime rib for dinner, you should have Alberta Beef when you can, the cows are huge here.  After dinner and our downtown walk we piled into the car with our coats, it was getting chilly, and drove up to Lake Minnewanka.  The lake is a beautiful blue/green color and they have not yet been able to determine the depth of the lake.  When we were at the lake we built an Inukshuk, which looks like a rock-man and is used in the mountains to mark trails while you are hiking.  We left “Rockman” at the lake and drove back to Banff which is where we saw all of the Sheep and Elk.  The Sheep were in about three groups along the road and we saw one group of 5 Elk on the side of the road; the other Elk were in a big group at the bottom of a valley.

Well, we need to check out of the hotel so I am going to go.  We are on our way to Jasper, which is North of here, who knows what we will see today!

Rain and Snow in June

I am sorry for not updating you all sooner, however this is only the second time that Jamie and I have had Internet in while have been here, so it has been difficult to get a chance to update.  We have spent a few days in the mountains and a lot of time hanging out with my family.  Unfortunately, the weather has not been ideal the whole time that we have been here.  It has been raining off and on the whole time that we have been here, and it even snowed while we were in the mountains.  Although we have had some lucky days, where the rain has stopped just long enough for us to take in the beautiful sites and take a few pictures.

We have been to the mountains twice, went up in the Calgary Tower, went to the bird sanctuary, and like I said we have spent time with my family, having dinner and seeing the sights.  While we were out we have seen lots of deer, all kinds of birds, 3 elk, 3 coyotes, lots of chipmunks (Alvin, Theodore, and Simon), and Bighorn sheep with babies too.  I am sure that we will see more and I will continue to keep tally marks in the book I am carrying with us.
Well I should go, we are about to go to Elbow Falls and have a picnic with my Auntie Deb, Grandma, Auntie Trish, Cousin Amy, Uncle Doug, Auntie Marilyn, and Cousin Bradey.  It is a nice place to picnic and take pictures of the falls.  We plan on heading for the mountains tomorrow and spending a few days in Jasper and Banff.  Hopefully we will have Internet at the hotels and I will post some more, until then…

Fun in the Airport

Well, we made it to the airport with time to spare, thanks to Grandpa.  When we were getting out of the car we got a little wet, it had just started to pour when we were getting out.  We went through check-in with no problem and also through security without any issues either, which is quite a feat with all of our electronics.  They pushed us along and didn’t search any of our bags, we didn’t even get patted down, I guess we don’t look too dangerous.

I was surprised by the usually very pretty Orlando Airport, we joked about the cost cutting measures taken to the extreme.  There are no ceilings, the polls are wrapped in garbage bags and it has a wonderful fragrance of funk, take a look at the pictures to see for yourself.  The last picture is of Jamie, already on his lap top (but not working) as we wait for our flight to start boarding.

Our bags are packed, eh

Well our bags are packed and we are ready to go, aside from putting the computers in, and we are on our way to Canada!  Woohoo!  I haven’t been back to see the fam in three years and my native born Florida husband has never been  to Canada, what a shame.  It’s a good thing that he married a Canadian, I will show him some Canadian culture if it kills me.  

We will be gone for 2 weeks (to Calgary, Alberta), I am not sure that Jamie will know what to do with 2 weeks of no work, but I am sure that we/he will manage.  We will be enjoying all of the sights, hanging out with my family, hiking in the mountains, taking a ton of pictures, enjoying some Alberta Beef and good Canadian beer.  What could be better?  I will keep you posted (pun intended) on our travels, until next time… 

Summer is finally here!!!

Summer is finally here- woohoo!!!!  I have finished school, I do not have to be up before the crack of dawn and I have no real obligations for about two months. What could be better than that? Jamie and I kicked off the summer by going for a boat ride, it was almost dusk and absolutely beautiful. Our friend Mickey purchased a boat yesterday so we were able to share in the first time boat owners joy by taking a ride, wind in our hair and all that jazz.  Jamie rode the tube and we just plain enjoyed the evening.  There could have been no better way to kick off the summer.

When Jamie and I moved to the new house we brought my Papasan chair over from Mom’s house.  Since then the the kitties have been in heaven. They have enjoyed sharing the chair with me or with each other, it is a pretty good chair to cuddle in. They really are cute when they share the chair to take a cat nap.  Sigh…what a life.