A Travellerspoint blog

July 2015

Drumheller, A Side Trip

A visit to the museum in Drumheller

semi-overcast 65 °F

We tried to leave Banff early as we had a 4-hour drive to Drumheller, where there is a fabulous Dinosaur museum. It was highly recommended that we visit there.

We drove to the museum via Hwy 9 which is a beautiful drive in itself. Many brilliant yellow fields of safflowers. I really wanted to shoot some photos, but we thought we’d better get to the museum. But for those who read this blog and want to make this drive, plan extra time in order to shoot some great photos.

The museum is amazing. There are interactive displays that kids can do. One that Zaya loved was touch screen where a dinosaur is outlined then parts are jumbled together in a corner. You must touch and drag each part to the outline and when it is placed correctly the screen lights up. Zaya was so excited to build a dinosaur correctly.

There are some living animals like some huge cockroaches maybe 2-1/2” long and a soft-shelled turtle, the type of which was in existence millions of years ago.

The museum has many educational opportunities. We missed many of them by arriving in the afternoon. They offer chances to make casts of fossils and hear stories. For older kids, they can dig for fossils and the one we did was to hike to look for fossils.

We went on a 1-1/2 hour walk with 2 stops thru the Badlands. The path is dirt and some areas a little steep but not difficult. The walk isn’t long at all. The first stop was in a flat semi-circular area at one of the hoodoos. Fossils and rocks have washed down and are strewn about the ground. The guide pointed out fossils, iron-ore rocks, glacial erratic, sandstone and petrified wood. Then the kids were encouraged to bring rocks to her to identify. We then went and saw a semi-exposed dinosaur for our 2nd stop.

Fortunately, the museum is open until 9pm so there was no rush to leave. We wondered thru the timelines of the eons, viewing the various animals alive during those times. Your text to link here...

Posted by Miss Chris 08:27 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving canada rv dinosaurs grandkids drumheller Comments (0)

High Tea Fit for a Princess

High Tea at the Banff Springs Hotel

sunny 65 °F

We thought we’d have a lunchIMG_20150714_163831762.jpgIMG_201507..4736867_HDR.jpgIMG_201507..0850127_HDR.jpgIMG_201507..3602626_HDR.jpgtime picnic at a vista point, across the street, from the campground. We packed up our smoked salmon, dips, crackers and wine in our picnic backpack. We hiked over to the vista and were going to sit down on the chairs when it started raining. When the drops really started dropping we turned around and went back to the RV for an inside picnic. Of course, the sun came out and was bright while we had our inside picnic.

The whole lunch idea was a big mistake as we’d booked a reservation for Tea, but we didn’t want to be starving when we had our High Tea.

We dressed up, Zaya in the best dress she had with a pretty pink sweater. She had me brush her hair and put it into braids.

We got to the Banff Springs Hotel just at 3pm but were told that there wasn’t a reservation for us after all and that they were booked. Well that was the wrong answer! I told them that we had come into the hotel and made our reservation and we were now there to have tea. I was firm but did not have to demand to see the manager. After many apologies, we were seated with a nice window view.

Our mistake in eating lunch became apparent very soon. After our selection and sniffs of tea, we were brought small sandwiches and scones. The selections were brought on the 3-tiered servers. I had my own gluten free selections. Dale and Zaya shared theirs, but peanut butter and jam sandwiches were made for Zaya. Some of the sandwiches included: smoked salmon with capers, cucumber and radish, boiled egg, curry, ham and brie.

We didn’t stuff because we knew that we’d be getting a selection of desserts. There was one of each for Dale and Zaya; opera cakes, cream-filled cookies, other petite fours, and lime cheesecakes. I had hand-made marshmallow, brownie with a crispy rice crust topped with chocolate mousse, chocolate covered strawberry, another chocolate cake and cream filled cookies.

Fortunately, what we couldn’t eat they packed up for us to take. We still have desserts waiting to be finished.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:57 Archived in Canada Tagged travel picnic grandkids high_tea banff_springs_hotel Comments (0)

Made it to Banff

sunny 75 °F

IMG_20150714_110210305.jpgIMG_201507..5903225_HDR.jpgThe truck was finished on Sunday late afternoon, we stowed our belongings, hitched up and left Vancouver. We only got a couple of hours down the road when we stopped for the night, but at least we got down the road.

A little about Dale’s adventures: we got a text about 9a.m. from the mechanic saying that work on our truck had started at 8:30am. After breakfast, Dale got a taxi and went to the shop. Dale was feeling like the mechanic didn’t know what he was doing and was quite anxious. Dale walked down the street and another mechanic appeared. That mechanic told Dale that he did help out the ones repairing our truck before but refused to do that any longer.

The mechanic ended up going to the shop and helping, bringing in proper tools and giving advice when needed. Dale also had to help with repairs.

Needless to say, we were a little concerned when we started out on Canada Hwy 1 to cross over the mountains but the truck ran fine. Not a drop leaked out.

We arrived in Banff late afternoon, got a campsite at Tunnel Mountain, changed clothes and rushed off to the Banff Springs Hotel for Tea. We arrived only to realize that the time had changed and it was an hour later so it was actually dinner time. We made a reservation for High Tea on Tues at 3pm.

With dinner in mind, we found Eddie’s Burger where we had Alberta grass-fed beef burgers. Yum.

Posted by Miss Chris 22:31 Archived in Canada Tagged banff camping outdoors family_travel grandkids_travel Comments (0)

Adventures and Mis-Adventures in Vancouver

Broken down in Vancouver

overcast 75 °F

We were in Vancouver on our way to Alaska, with our older grandkids, about 4 years ago. We’d stopped in Stanley Park and stumbled upon the area with the Totem Poles. We thought that it would be a good place to bring Zaya this time, hence the stop in Vancouver.

We crossed the border into Canada after much scrutinizing of the papers for Zaya and Twinkle. Thank goodness for Google as we found a campground just north of Stanley Park.

After parking the RV we quick packed up a lunch and some wine then drove down to Stanley Park and found the totem poles. The totem poles are made by different tribes then installed in the park. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/story.html?id=a7458795-e135-431a-80be-38b23093b629

Zaya was enthralled by the totem poles, walking up and touching the ones available to touch. We took photos, walked around to see the views across the bay to the north and to the south.

We had to check out our campsite by 11a.m. and of course we were not ready at all. We rushed to get the RV battened down.

I’d gone into the office to ask if there was any recommendation for good smoked salmon and an employee told me about another employee, a Native, who also makes smoked Indian Candy. He gave the guy a call and the guy said he’d bring some Indian Candy over for us.

We’d about given up and was starting out to leave when the guy with the salmon came arrived. We didn’t have any Canadian cash so he was going to wait while we got cash. Then the guy working at the RV Park noticed water dripping quickly from the truck and was immediately concerned that we were not going to make it to Banff, an 8-hour drive.

The Native drove me to the nearby bank so I could get cash, but he could not exchange the fish until we were back on Indian ground. Dale, in the meantime, started looking seriously for the leak.

I returned back to the RV and truck where Dale had no luck in finding the leak and it was pouring rainIMG_201507..5941487_HDR.jpgIMG_201507..3818221_HDR.jpgIMG_20150710_190005307.jpg. I then googled a repair person nearby and found 1 open. The mechanic told me to get the truck right over and maybe they could still get us on the road.

We arranged to leave our RV in the front drive of the park, which is the place we’d pulled to when we saw the guy with the salmon.
We took the truck and drove to the garage. There we learned it was the water pump and that they would attempt to replace it still.

Unfortunately, the truck was not repaired and we have spent the night in a driveway. But we are self-contained so even though we could not extend the slide out, we still could make dinner and sleep.

We hope that the truck is done soon and we can continue on down the road to Banff.

In the meantime, we hang out at the pool, walked to Whole Foods and shopped, stopped at Starbucks for a break on the way back to the RV Park.

I’ll maybe read a book, something I haven’t done in months.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:22 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver camping outdoors family_travel grandkids_travel Comments (0)

Seattle with Cousins

A couple of days in Seattle

sunny 90 °F

We’ve spent most of the last two days in Seattle with Dale’s cousin and his wife. We try to stop when we are in the area, usually passing thru to Canada.

Dale and his cousin were close as young boys and remain good friends even though they see each other only once every few years. They haven’t grown apart and share interests like cars.

Norman and Marty were at a baseball game when we arrived but had left the driveway empty for us to drop our RV. We dropped the RV and the dog then went into Seattle. We did the typical touristy stuff like Pikes Fish Market and the original Starbucks. http://www.visitseattle.org/things-to-do/sightseeing/pike-place-market/

Pikes Market consists of a covered area in which businesses operate, much like a farmers market. Farmers sell fruits and flowers. The cherries are in season and we found some organic which made a great snack. Bought flowers for Marty and a stuffed lizard for Zaya.

There are several fish markets,IMG_20150709_122911207.jpgBFB03410D9F7EA90D9E4E663128F0B84.jpg but the best one is located at the end. There are a couple of employees behind a counter then fish on ice just beyond the counter. There are employees in front of the fish counters. When someone orders a fish to take home the employee throws it to the guys working behind the counter with lots of shouts. It is quite a show.

There is also a fake monkfish which has a wire that runs under the ice to the rear. Employees will move the wire making the fish jump. Quite funny to watch people’s faces.

We finally met up with Norman and Marty, arriving at their house just moments before them. We picked up their 7-year old granddaughter and girls got along right away.

Thurs, the 6 of us piled into the truck, drove onto the ferry, and went over to Bainbridge Island. I’m not sure if this was Zaya’s first ferry ride, but she was so excited. She and her new friend/cousin ran around exploring the ferry.

After lunch, we drive back to the ferry for the ride back to Seattle.

One of our son Nate’s friends thought that Nate was in Seattle as I’ve been tagging Zaya’s photos for him to see. The friend asked if Nate would come to his new restaurant. Well, since Nate couldn’t go then we went in his place. http://www.eatatporkchop.com/ Porkchop & Co. What a great little place and fun to meet some of our son’s friends. And a great way to finish a visit to Seattle.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:59 Archived in USA Tagged seattle family_travel grandkids_travel ferry_ride bainsbridge_island Comments (0)

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