A week at play in the greatest city on earth

My original plan: Put the house on the market in early Spring. Sell. Spend most of the summer in Utah and Canada.

What happened: Didn’t move until the 11th hour before school started. Endured a lot of stress but also extra time with wonderful Colorado friends.

And Canada. What would I do without my annual trip home for the summer? We usually spend most of July in Calgary and at the Lakehouse in B.C. Due to our unknown schedule, my family accommodated bumping the Lakehouse back a week so the kids and I could come. Jamie, unfortunately, stayed in Denver to hold down the fort. You know, the one that wasn’t selling.

A major factor in making this trip happen is my mom’s MS has grown from bad to worse and I know this would likely be the last time she could travel. Not only has her physical condition deteriorated but mentally as well and it’s so difficult to see my beautiful mother barely coherent. That said, I’m so grateful for her lucid moments and the time we got to spend with the family.

Every year, my dad has a family reunion for his side of the family and every year, I’ve missed it due to the timing. So, this time around I was delighted to become reacquainted with them. Pat and Jane had everyone over for a glorious dinner where they cooked pizzas in their new pizza oven.

I have only one cousin on my dad’s side of the family (and just one on my mom’s) so it was awesomely fun to meet my cousin Richard for the first time. Shamefully, I didn’t get a picture of him but he just got his PhD and was in town competing in the Ironman. So, pretty much he takes after me in every way.

Calgary is the best city in the world and despite rain when we first arrived, we had a blast at the Calgary Stampede with my bestie Stacey. As a favor to her, I didn’t take any pictures (you’re welcome, dearie) but I present unto you Bode. With Beaver Balls. You can’t make this (Canadian) stuff up.

Beaver Balls. Yes, that’s a thing.

Bode braved his first upside-down ride, the Brain Drain.

Despite three years of coaxing them, Hadley still refuses to do it and that’s the good thing about her. No amount of bribery or pressure will make her do something she doesn’t want to do. That’s also the bad thing about her.

Usually my dad and I go on daily bike rides through Fish Creek Provincial Park but this year, I didn’t bring my bike, he didn’t have time to borrow my brother Pat’s and so we just went on a lot of individual bike rides including my annual 30 miler.

Bow River

I’ve long told the kids life is too short to live somewhere ugly. Growing up in Calgary set the bar incredibly high.

Usually we celebrate Bode’s birthday at the Lakehouse but since we bumped it back a week, Jane threw a wonderful 10th birthday soiree at her house with pizza and a movie in their awesome home theater.

We went on lots of walks with the dogs to the playground and Grandma came along for one of our adventures.

Not even 24 hours after my brother Jade and his boys arrived, the cops came knocking on our door. A neighbor busted the kids for golf carting in the gully.

The infamous gully


Jade and I introduced our little American offspring to the wonders of 5-pin bowling, followed by My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe.

And, of course, the hallowed MUD PITS. My niece Emily came along for the first time and was a wonderful sport despite slipping down the mountainside and landing in a tree. Never a dull moment, I tell ya!


Hadley and Jade: Tough mudders

We cleaned off in Fish Creek and played for a while before walking to Annie’s for ice cream.

All in all, we had a fabulous week with my dad’s siblings and the rest of our family. I stayed behind an extra day with my dad in Calgary while he wrapped the family reunion and to help him with the 9-hour drive to Vernon. Bode drove over with Jade while Hadley rode with the girls. The boys won for this stopover at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park.

Canada wins for lack of ugliness but the boys lose for those expressions.


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