A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Miss Chris

2 Days in Victoria

sunny 80 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2019 #2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

I have become negligent in my blogging so now must catch up.

A few years ago we took Zaya for tea at the Banff Springs Hotel. She loved it so much that we thought it might be fun to have high-tea in Victoria with the 4 grandkids. We love Victoria anyway, so it seemed a good fit.

We really wanted to have tea in the Empress, as that is probably the equivalent to the Banff Springs. Alas, there were no reservations available and we were forced to look elsewhere for our high-tea. We found several recommended in Google so, Sunday afternoon, we started out, kids dressed in their camping finest.

We went to the highest recommended but it was closed, as was the 2nd. Finally, we found a tea house, in Chinatown, that was open and ready for the 6 of us. Kids didn’t know that there was any place better, they were completely impressed with their china teacups and tiered trays of little sandwiches and desserts. They thought that this was a buffet of food.
The following day we went to the Royal Museum where downstairs the exhibit of the Mayas was most interactive. Small samples were made to match the original and had signs saying “please touch”. Kids would touch and look at the originals with a new understanding.

Upstairs, the kids thoroughly enjoyed the natural history area, fascinated with a mastodon, seals and other animals before their eyes. They panned for gold, and with the help of a docent, found a gold nugget! https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/visit/exhibitions/modern-history-gallery
The Grand Hotel was visited over and over, with plans of where to stay and where to shop. They wanted to get on the train but it wouldn’t stop, so we spent lots of time there while they tried to buy tickets in their imagination. We spent the entire day at the museum, many times going over the same exhibits, they couldn’t get enough.
To finish off the day, kids discovered their beloved Maple Syrup lollipops at the museum gift shop.

The Royal Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Victoria!

Posted by Miss Chris 20:08 Archived in Canada Tagged victoria road_trip travel canada camping living rv family_travel high_tea rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 royal_museum Comments (0)

Grand kids Trip Part B

From Idaho to Oregon City to Canada

semi-overcast 70 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2019 #2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Because Lucian and Sequoia’s school started earlier than the other kids we had to get them back sooner. We planned to meet Justin in Twin Falls, Idaho and give him the boys. Then we were to meet Bekki’s parents in Boise where we would pick up Emilio. Then onto Oregon City where we would pick up Zoey and Fynn, arriving in Canada after that. All of this, we anticipated, was a 2-day drive.

As we were preparing to leave Yellowstone we realized that the water pump in the RV had gone out. Fortunately, Dale has switched these out before, and there was a large RV store in Twin Falls. We told Justin to meet us at the shop where we bought the new pump. We all ate lunch in the RV, gave Justin his boys and we went our separate ways after Dale installed the new one.
We made it to Oregon City by Saturday mid-morning, meeting Clayton and Jen at the park. They brought pizza and a ton of food for our trip. Jen always makes sure that everyone has lots of food.

Kids played while Dale and I repacked the RV for this 2nd part of the grandkids trip. I made sure that passports and consent letters were all together, along with all of my immigration paperwork.
6 hours later we were at the Canada border. We thought that it would be best to go over at the Peace Arch, even though it was so busy, with over 1-hour wait. I already knew I’d need to go thru 2 interviews so it was no surprise to go into the immigration office after going thru the border check.
The immigration interview can be difficult, at least according to info from the various websites. But, I’d watched an interview with an immigration attorney so was quite prepared. My interview was quite easy and the officer was really nice and helpful. She did ask again if I’d ever been convicted of a crime anywhere in the world, this is after going thru 2 FBI checks. I answered no, she signed my immigration papers and welcomed me to Canada as a new permanent resident! All of the years of planning and work, it really happened!

Our next huge concern was getting over to Vancouver Island. We had an hour drive to the ferry and were certain we’d miss the last one to Victoria. Sure enough, when we got to the ferry building the last ferry to Victoria, we did see, however, that there was still a ferry to Nanaimo. This meant a 1-1/2 hour drive down to Victoria, but we’d keep our campsite and could still do what we wanted to do in Victoria.

We got onto the ferry to Nanaimo. Poor kids were so tired and fell sound asleep. Our big mistake was not taking them into the truck to sleep, instead, we let them sleep in the lounge. Then trying to wake the kids, get them into the truck and get off the ferry quickly was a real challenge.
We made it to Victoria by 2 am, set up our RV and fell into bed.

Posted by Miss Chris 18:52 Archived in Canada Tagged road_trip travel canada camping living rv family_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 Comments (0)

Yellowstone Day 2

Yellowstone and Bear Feeding time

semi-overcast 75 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2019 #2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

The plan for today was made around the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, as we needed to be there for the 3:30 pm food hiding session. This worked out well as we always take the grandkids out for 1 nice breakfast so we headed to Yellowstone for breakfast at the Old Faithful Inn.

Grandkids were on their best behavior, sitting up straight, napkins on the lap, using the flatware properly, no elbows on the table. Each kid acted as the etiquette police on the others.
From breakfast 2 kids got their Jr. Ranger badges then watched Old Faithful and finished off with ice cream, this time from the Old Faithful Inn. We sat on the balcony eating our ice cream as we did with the older grandkids many years ago. After one last eruption from Old Faithful, we had to get back to West Yellowstone for the bears.
The bear feeding does not include giving food directly to the bears. The staff clears the bears out of the enclosure, into another separate cage. The bears are separated from the kids and staff by 3-200 lb metal doors.

The outdoor enclosure is quite large. There is a ditch between the visitors and the bear habitat. Then after an area of grass, there are rocks, not large rocks but probably up to 1’ in diameter. The rocks are piled up several feet deep, in the area about 4’ across and 60’ long. Behind the rocks are plants and grass.

The bears were cleared out of the enclosure and then kids, in a line, followed the staff into the main enclosure. Kids were given apples to throw into a pond. Then each kid was given a bucket with special food that kids described looking like dog food. They were told to bury the food under the rocks, with bigger kids helping the smaller ones when they finished.

Our 3 kids were most interested in trying to make it as difficult as possible for the bear to find the food. This meant finding the heaviest rocks to pile on the food. Sequoia and Zaya worked together while Lucian worked alone. They were certain that the bear would not find or access their food quickly.
Kids were let out of the enclosure and we all stood on a viewing deck to watch as one bear came out. The bear went straight to Lucian’s cache, tossing the rocks aside as if they were pebbles. She found the food and stuffed it down. Then she went to Zaya and Sequoias, again tossing the rocks aside with little to no effort. The kids couldn’t believe it, they’d worked so hard to hide everything but the bear, with no effort, found everything.
We visited the wolves and raptors once more, then, said goodbye to Yellowstone.

We did not encounter wild animals inside of Yellowstone, but Dale and I were fine with that. The animals can cause huge delays and with grandkids, we were concerned about safety. The Discovery Center gave them a wildlife experience in a safe environment.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:50 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv yellowstone family_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 west_yellowstone grizzly_&_wolf_discovery_center Comments (0)

Yellowstone Day 1

We started at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center and ended in Yellowstone

sunny 72 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2019 #2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

We did not wake up early, rarely do on these trips, but, figured we’d make it to everything in the two days we had in the area.

We started at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org because it was close by and we wanted to see what was offered. The kids had to visit the animals right away and we signed the kids up for the Bear food hiding for 3:30 on Thursday. The wolf pups were out so we were all happy to see them. We drove on to Yellowstone.
The kids mainly wanted to see Old Faithful so that is where we headed. On the way to Old Faithful there are plenty of areas of fumaroles, kids went wild seeing them. The wildflowers with the fumaroles in the background were so beautiful.

We finally made it to Old Faithful and Dale dropped us off at the Visitor’s Center. While Dale parked we picked up the Jr. Ranger books and headed out to see Old Faithful Erupt. As we waited, a ranger came along and gave a talk on the Super Volcano, Old Faithful, and the local environment. He told us why people should stay out of the roped-off areas; ie: the crust has taken several hundred years to form and the water has various minerals in it.
Kids looked out for rule offenders and started warning people after the ranger talk; “the water is dangerous” “don’t damage the crust”. Finally, I told them to just let the rangers get after people, there were too many disregarding the signs. But kids were still discussing between themselves when someone would disobey the signs.

We bought ice cream and 4 of us sat down on logs out of the sun. Lucian didn’t join us as he found a table with 1 chair for himself inside the lodge.

On the way back to the RV we took a leisurely walk around the Lower Geyser Basin. There are several geysers located close together that erupt at the same time, mud pots and beautiful pools of water. I had a wonderful time shooting photos and kids were amazed by the sights.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:00 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv outdoors family_travel yellowstone_national_park rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra Comments (0)

Locked Out But Lucked Out

Locking ourselves out of our truck led to an encounter that would lead to an amazing adventure

sunny 70 °F
View Grandkids Trip 2019 #2 on Miss Chris's travel map.

We had a 14-hour drive to West Yellowstone, our next stop, and had paid for a campsite that we couldn’t cancel. But, after letting kids swim on Monday morning, shopping at Trader Joe’s and Costco, we got a late start. That meant driving not so far as we’d hoped on Monday and arriving later on Tuesday.

We finally got into West Yellowstone just before the RV park office closed on Tuesday. I ran into the office with my wallet while Dale stayed in the truck with the kids.
As luck would have it, Dale let kids out to play at the playground next to the office and he then got out of the truck. A bag of mixed nuts fell out of his door so he went to retrieve it and as he did that, shut his door which promptly locked all doors. This, of course, meant that both sets of keys were locked inside.

We called AAA right away and they said they would send someone out. The office also suggested calling the local police as they might provide some help. The office gave us bottles of water and offered to get us dinner if we would need it.

After we waited for nearly 45 minutes with no response from AAA I called them to see what we could find out. Then after waiting another 15 minutes on hold we gave up and called the local police who recommended a local (1/2 hour away) locksmith.

I called the locksmith and he said he would come right away. By this time it was getting dark and cold. We could see our sweatshirts thru the windows.

The locksmith came within ½ hour and opened the door for us. We chatted as he worked and he said that this was his evening job, he worked at a non-profit animal rescue center during the day. As we walked to his truck he reminded us of the rescue center and said that the kids would enjoy it. He gave us a brochure and went on his way.

We got into the truck with the kids and I looked at the brochure. There were bears, wolfs and birds to be seen. There was a bear feeding time in which kids could participate in hiding the food. All of this 2-blocks away from our campsite and we would have missed out if we would not have met the locksmith.

Posted by Miss Chris 08:21 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv family_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 west_yellowstone Comments (0)

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