Calgary: My Home and Native Land

Bode and I have just returned from a 3,000-mile roadtrip that covered two countries and 8 states–and that’s not including the 4-day jaunt I did out to California for BlogHer while the kids stayed behind with Grandma in Salt Lake City.

Can you say whirlwind?

What made this trip particularly taxing was Jamie usually drives at least one leg of it with me but he flew in and out of Vernon, B.C. to save time so that meant I spent 50+ hours driving with the kids.

Hadley is staying in Utah for another week with Grandma and they’ll all be driving out here next week for Bode’s baptism and then school starts the following week.

Can you say whirlwind? (Sensing a theme here?)

We had a great time in my hometown Calgary and I only wish we could have stayed longer. For six blissful days, we played in the mud pits, played and biked in Fish Creek Provincial Park, terrorized the neighborhood on the golf carts and raided the Bulk Barn’s 4,000 bulk products. My mom was generous and let the kids have at it and she paid for a lot of food.

Me: “I can’t believe we spent almost $100 in candy!”

Cousin Connor: “Is that so wrong?”

For my mom’s birthday, she requested we go to Peter’s Drive-in, an iconic eatery infamous for their shakes.

Hadley, Bode, Jaxson, Connor and Grandma

One of the reasons we go to Calgary in early-July is so we can hit the Calgary Stampede. This ten-day event bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.

The entire city comes to life. Everyone dresses western, parties and there are literally hundreds of free stampede pancake breakfasts setup in parking lots all over the city (SCORE!) For the third year in a row, my friend Stacey and I volunteered serving dinner at the Stampede Roundup.

My sister-in-law Jane’s family was visiting from Washington so we had to hit the midway and finally quit 11 hours later.
Stampede is alllll about the food. While we opted out of the popular scorpion pizza (ewww!) we ate a lot of tasty fare.
How do you say red velvet mini doughnuts covered in cream cheese in Calgarian?  You say OHHHHH YEAH.

I wish we could have stayed in Calgary for a month but our next stop was Vernon, British Columbia. Located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, this bread basket of Western Canada has hundreds of orchards, fruit stands and glorious lakes. I drove it for the first time in years last summer and I had not realized we needed to go through infamous Banff National Park to get there. This year, I resolved to make at least one detour to glacially-fed Moraine Lake nestled in the Valley of Ten Peaks.

Since we had a long drive, my only intention was to hop out, take a few pictures with the kids and be on our way.

Like that is going to happen in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

“We have to hike up the Rock Pile,” Hadley insisted, pointing to the popular interpretive trail leading up, up, up.

And how those views were worth it.

My new favorite picture

An hour later, we dragged ourselves away, vowing to spend some quality time in this stupendous place next summer.

Gotta tell you, sometimes I miss the Motherland so much it hurts.

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