Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vacation part 3

So we left my grandmas house and headed to Fort Edmonton Park which is in the heart of Edmonton. I figured we would do all the stuff that visitors should do. Fort Edmonton park has different areas from different Eras We started by heading to the 1920’s midway (the carnival type rides) Libby rode the carousel and loved it. I am glad Marshall took the turn with her I got sick trying to get pictures.

We then took the train to the “fort” area of the park. And she walked around and saw all the different buildings in the fort (it was pretty boring).

So we headed to the 1885 street. We didn’t get very far and she saw the little pony ride. And she wanted to ride. So we got her tickets and she rode the pony. She looked so big. The last time we tried to ride them she got freaked out and this time she had a blast. We then took a ride in the stage coach (I got motion sickness) but she had a lot of fun riding.

We headed to the 1905 street where we had an old fashion picture taken. It was a joke to try and get her into the shop. But once there she was super excited to put on a Princess dress for the pictures but boy we had a good taking it off.

We didn’t carry cash around (I know so not like me) but none of the shops took visa it was either cash or MasterCard. And the one place that took visa (the photo shop) had a broken machine so I wasted a ton of time trying to find money to pay for the stupid picture. But we finally figured it out.

We tried to buy an ice-cream and drink but the only took cash so we had a not so happy child because we told her we were going to get a treat and had to walk out of 3 different shops because we had no cash.

We took the street car from the 1905 street to the 1920 street and then headed out of the park because it was closing. By the end of the day we had worn out our toddler and done more walking than I am used to and was ready to find a nice couch and just relax.



Trip tally:
Fort Edmonton Park to Fort Saskatchewan 50 min

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hooper Family Canada Vacation Part 2

Monday may 30th: We got up nice and early (thanks to the sun), and headed out on our long journey to Cherry Grove Alberta Canada

We took the less driven highway. There was literally nothing there. Not really any towns and if there was a town there was no place to stop and eat or go to the bathroom. It was a vast wilderness of nothing. We drove that for hours and hours and hours. Libby did not sleep at all that day.

Libby didn’t make a peep except when her movie was over. I do think that she watched Mary Poppins, two times that day.

This sign made us laugh.   Marshalls quote "they aren't sure what else is at this rest area, Hence the question mark"

We stopped at the only place to eat on highway 36 and used their restrooms. Libby went into the stall and saw the women’s feet in the stall next to us. She said “oh no mom, it’s a monster” I quickly tried to explain that they were just someone’s feet and shoes. So she finished using the potty and we were leaving the stall at the same time the women next to us was. Libby looked at her and then turned to me and said” it’ not a monster it’s Grandma”. The 40 year old women walked out very quickly. I hope she wasn’t upset but I couldn’t stop laughing.

We picked a nice unoccupied area to eat in the restaurant. She ran around and played. Still not eating more than a couple of bites of my garlic toast.

 These are pictures of the vast nothingness that we drove.  no trees, people, farms animals.  But lots of little pump jacks.

Then we got back in our bug stained car and drove.

I wish that we had taken a picture of the colony of bugs that we destroyed on our front bumper and windshield. I hope that it was helpful to all those living in the area, anything we can do to help decrease the mosquito population we were glad to do.

The closer we got to cherry grove the more excited I got. I felt like a little kid again and saw the tree line in my memory and just wanted to be there. When we came around the bend in cherry grove and turned down Grandmas Street….It was calming to finally be there.

The house sits at the base of a nice hill. It’s quiet and was surrounded at one time with just empty fields. Now houses are there. It’s still quiet. It was the calming I had been looking for. I remember growing up having cousins all there to greet you. The smell of bread or hot buns baking. It was always a pleasant place to be. I knew going, that it would be lacking these things. But to my surprise I was greeted by all of them. Tiffany was there visiting grandma. She was the first face I saw, next was grandma and then the smell of hot baked bread. AHHHHHHHHH I love memories.

Time seems to change the things we remember. People grow up, get older and so do homes. Everything has to change life continues. Grandmas’ never changing home has had a nice well deserved “facelift” new floors, new walls, new paint, new appliances, and new closets. But the same love and feeling of home is still there.

We ate dinner with tiffany and grandma, Ron and Diane. We saw Tim and carol. It was nice to just have time to chat with everyone. We put Libby to bed at 8:00pm because I knew she needed it. The Sun up at grandmas didn’t set until 11pm and was up at 4am so 8 were pretty light. She cried a bit and I went in to talk to her. She said “mommy turn off the lights I can’t sleep”

The next day we got up and fixed breakfast and headed on a walk to the nearby park.

After park time we took Libby into town to see the boats. The 15 min drive made for a nice 10 min nap for Libby. The lake we saw is called “Cold Lake” it is aptly named Ron says because about the first 3-4 feet are ok in temp. But anything below that 4 feet mark gets to be pretty cold. We ate lunch at a pizza place and then did some grocery shopping. We made it home for Libby’s First Nap of the trip. She slept well from 1:10-4:45 when I woke her up. This gave grandma and I time to sit and relax together.

Rosa Lavern Stonehockers is an amazing women born 91 years ago (I think) she walk over 600 miles with a wagon as a child to where she lives now. She bore and raised 9 children. She was a hard working woman. She amazes me evey time I hear stories about her life. But like time has a habit of doing she is growing old and tired. She has been ill the past few weeks. She is a fighting woman. And has come a great way since she first became ill. Her communication is not well and she had a difficult time remember things and speaking. She gets frustrated and unhappy that she can’t speak. But she is still there and still fighting. I know that each day is a bit better.

So the time that I got to spend with her meant the world to me. When Libby woke up we sat next to grandma and read her a book colored her pictures and little just played next to her. I don’t know when the next time will be that I get to see my grandma. But the time I got to spend with her was well worth the hours or driving, screaming child, sleepless nights. I love you Grandma and Pray each day that your voice comes back.

Libby Picked dandelions for Grandma and Aunt Diane. It was fun to see her just roam in the yard like I did years ago. She would come in the house and say “where’s everybody” the best part was that we were all sitting right in front of her.

That night we put her to bed but didn’t realize that she didn’t go to sleep. She found a pen and paper on the desk and drew all over it she colored it completely and when there was nowhere else to draw she made dots all over her knees (she was in footie PJ, so they were nice and blue). She then colored her a mustache and drew on her blow up bed. When we got her up the next morning she said “look I made a mustache”.  The pen and paper were neatly placed where she had found them.

We tried to give her a shower for the first time. I think it must have sounded like WW3 by the screams coming from the bathroom.

We got up early the next morning to make the trip to Edmonton by lunch time. We got to say our “goodbyes” and “Love you’s”. That was the hardest part of my trip. I don’t know when I will see my grandma again. Having to say goodbye was heart wrenching. I cried all the way to Bonneville.

Trip Tally
Lethbridge to cherry grove- 8:00am- 4:45pm 8.75 hours
Cherry grove to Esso (Marshall only) 2 hour trip
Cherry grove to cold Lake- 15 min to the dock
Cherry grove to Edmonton- 9-12:45 - 3.75

12.75 hours ---marshall had 2 extra hours making his total 14.5 hours

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hooper Family Canada Vacation Part 1

I decided that I need to do our vacation in parts because we did so much and I took notes this time so I could remember. So here it is

Friday may 27th: We got up and going Friday morning a bit early so we could do a few things without Libby’s help. I had her packed on Wednesday. I was half packed and Marshall had nothing packed. I thought it would be a good idea to pack a small overnight bag for the 1 night stays in the hotel. I should have looked better at my vacation plan. We would be staying at everyone’s house 1 night. So my pack light ended up being packed an extra bag for no reason. Marshall had to mow the lawn and pack the car I cleaned the house.

The plan was to leave at 12 noon. We pulled out of the garage at 12 noon and then fueled up, ate lunch and got Marshalls mug filled. While sitting the sonic parking lot Libby says to us “Ok, I’m ready to go home” Not even 2 miles from home if only she understood that it would be another 3200 miles before she would see home again.

We got her a nice chicken strip meal and we had onion rings she wanted one and to make her happy I obliged she took a bite and said “I love my cheese sticks” she was eating an onion ring and we just laughed at her.

Marshall and I sat in the front and opted to see how far we could get before having to turn on the DVD player for her. We spent the next 2 hours watching her baby “Blast off” and fly into the air. I was glad she was being creative.

We were glad to be on our way the plan was to be to butte MT at about7:30-8:00 I was sure that we would be just fine. As we came to Tremonton Marshall asked me if we were supposed to exit. We didn’t remember that if we wanted to stay on I-15 we exited toward Pocatello. So we stayed on the freeway…. And hour later I looked at the GPS and realized that we were way off course. We were headed west toward twin falls and we were not happy campers because now we had to find a road to get us back to I-15 After driving for 15 more min we found an exit….It was closed so we drove another 5 miles and found a place to turn around. Marshall was mad I was frustrated because I was navigating, and it was getting close to dinner time and we were an hour from Pocatello (where there was food). So when we reached Pocatello we decided that we were going to eat at Texas Roadhouse because we deserved it. My question is why is it men don’t worry what they look like but it is always when I look like crap that they want to eat at a nice place. So I went in looking like a scrounge. Good thing I fit in.

So to the story of our vacation experiences, we can’t go anywhere without getting lost!!!

We took a nice car break and ran around Lowes; they tried to sell us a bathroom sink that was crystal blue. It was only $400 it was discounted from $3200. To bad ;-)

When we finally made it to butte, it was 10:00 Libby had yet to nap and she didn’t want to settle down. So our long day ended with a whining child and us playing words with friends until we fell asleep.

Saturday may 28th: We got up and Libby went to breakfast in her PJ, all the patrons of the breakfast cafĂ© said she looked cute. We tried to swim in the indoor pool but it was freezing and the hot tub wasn’t that warm. She was scared of the bubbles. So we hopped in the car and drove out of town. We left at about 10:30-11. We stopped for lunch in Helena. I had no clue where we were and while sitting in a subway asked a couple what town we were in. They looked irritated and disgusted that we didn’t know where we were. OHHHHH WELL. So then we drove and drove some more. And made it to the boarder at about 4:00 our drive should have been 737 miles we made it in 827 only 100 miles out of the way the night before.

We planned to spend the evening with Greg Erin, nelson, Joanne, Andrea, John and were so glad when we finally made it to Lethbridge. What a nice time we hade. My vacation plan was to see my extended family and then do some fun activities for Libby. Their home did both of those things. We stayed the first 2 nights in Lethbridge with my cousin Greg and his wife Erin. They had a nice BBQ with all our family in the area. So Nelson and Joanne, Andrea and John came and we all enjoyed seeing each other and talking. The kids ran around and played. there were 5 little girls under 5 running around.

It was really glad that we got to see my family. Some days I wish that we could have more opportunities to spend time with them. It makes me a bit sad to say that we don’t know when we will be able to go up again. But I am grateful for the time we got to spend with each of them.

That night we stayed up way to late talking with Greg and Erin after everyone left. I always like my conversations with Erin she always says it the way I wish I could. I never know how to say things just right and Erin always does and I am grateful.

When we went to bed we found that our little munchkin was still awake…..OHHHHHHH that was the start of our not sleeping 10 day trip.

Sunday May 29th: We woke up nice and early thanks to the sun coming up at about 5:00am and it went down after 10:00pm. We had a nice breakfast with Greg and Erin. They have a whipped cream maker (a cool kitchen toy). The kids all got whipped cream sprayed in their mouths. All except our little chicken, Libby.

After Breakfast we headed to cardston to see Loya and Andrea.

We went to Andrea’s ward for sacrament meeting. Ever tried taking a 2 ½ year old, who has been sitting in a car for 2 days, and try to get them to be reverent for 1 hour? I don’t suggest trying. After pretending like we got anything out of that meeting we headed to see Loya across town.

Loya is wheeler chair bound and we haven’t seen her in a while. It was nice to see her. The last time Libby saw Loya was 2 years ago. It does however make me a bit sad for my dad because he has something similar and I know we pray often that it will go away. And that he won’t get as bad as Loya.
She gave Libby a little stuffed animal named Millie the Moose. She also let us play with the laughing dog.

(if i can get the video to upload I will put it here)

After spending time with Loya we headed to Andrea's for lunch. She has a beautiful home that her husband has done a great job renovating. I want her Kitchen BAD. It was large and wonderful. Lunch was great and having a great conversation with Andrea was nice. Andrea has 3 little girls and Libby is between the 2 older girls. It was nice to have little friends that Libby could play with. Andrea is also a great photographer. She took some wonderful pictures of Libby as soon as Libby started smiling.

After lunch we headed back to Lethbridge and had dinner with Erin’s family. After dinner Nelsons daughter and her husband stopped in from Rexburg. So we had unexpected family, that is always nice.

While driving between Lethbridge and Cardston there was a calf (baby cow) walking on the wrong side of the fence and down the road. Libby Saw it a ways off and said in a growly voice “Cows Get out” she was not happy to see it wasn’t where it should be.

Libby did take a nap in these 3 days she fell aslep at 10am sunday morning 15 min from Cardston.  so yes in the 16 hours of driving she took a 15 min nap on the shortest drive we had.

Trip (hour) Talley:
Utah-Butte 1:00-9:50 pm -9 hours
 Butte-Lethbridge 11-4:30- 5.5 hours
Lethbridge-Cardston 45-45 – 1.5 hours

dont worry this was only the first 3 days of our trip You will get to see lots more!!