hells_half_acre: (Default)
We got to the Okanagan (specifically Kelowna) way earlier than expected on Tuesday, so we checked into the cheapest hotel we could find early, and looked over some Visitor's Guides.

We ended up going on a tour of Mission Hill winery (seriously cool place). We hadn't eaten all day, and Susie is such a small girl, that the wine tasting ended up leaving her quite tipsy. It made for a very hilarious dinner. The next day we woke up early and went horseback riding! It was so much fun. The coolest thing was that we got to the stables and discovered that they were run by a bunch of Germans! Yay German! I was too shy to let on that I spoke German (because it's so rusty now it's embarrassing), but Susie outed me, so I basically just told them in German that my German was horrible...and messed up the grammar for that sentence, so I certainly got the point across.

After that, it was lunch, and then just a sleepy drive down the rest of the Okanagan, before hopping on Highway 3 to Vancouver.

So now I'm in Vancouver!! My new home! Sadly, my room isn't going to be vacated until Sept. 1st, so I'm currently camped out on a camping mat on the floor of my Susan's room. So it'll be a couple of days until I'm able to unpack and go buy furniture.

I'm very excited to be here finally. Moving always makes me optimistic for the future! :-)
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
Tonight we are in Golden, British Columbia. Still on Mountain Time, and a good deal of distance away from Vancouver, but at least in the right province! The hotels here are a little over-priced. Thankfully, after sending Susie as a runner into about 5 hotels, we found a cheap motel a little ways out of town.

This morning though, we woke up in Jasper and went on the Maligne Lake boat cruise. Seriously gorgeous stuff. It was a beautiful day for it too, sunny with only a few little clouds. Then we drove out of the park, stopping briefly at the Athabasca Falls on the way.

The highway to Golden is CRAZY! Haha, totally what I expected for a mountain highway - runaway ramps, and hills that either burnout your brakes or leave you going 120km/h without touching the gas.

It took us 4 tries to find a place to eat in Golden. The first place was closed, the second place had such lousy service that we walked out before ordering, the third place had a very limited expensive menu...so, if you ever find yourself in Golden, B.C., just eat at the Timbermill and save yourself the trouble of trying other places.

Tomorrow we head down to the Okanagan Valley. Yay mountain deserts!
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
So, yesterday we made it to Calgary - across prairies, with a short stop to see the badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park (awesome!). Susie's reaction: "This is the craziest thing I've ever seen!" (we don't get many badlands in Canada).

We got to Calgary where we were staying with a friend of mine. She wasn't home yet though, so Susie and I went and played pool at a pool hall around the corner. Susie kicked my ass as usual. Then we played an intense game of air hockey. It was so intense that I accidentally hyper-extended my right elbow, and now I can't straighten my arm. Oops.

Then today we drove INTO THE MOUNTAINS! Man! They just come up out of nowhere. Prairie, prairie, prairie, MOUNTAINS! We stopped for a touristy lunch in Banff, then made our way for touristy photos at Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. My favorite part of tourist locations is the foreign languages. I'm especially excited when I hear German (which I did today!) and the rest of the time I just play 'Name that Language!' I'm not bad with Europe, but my really I can only pick Mandarin and Japanese out of the Asian languages.

Anyway, the mountains are GORGEOUS! And the Columbian Icefield BLOWS MY MIND!

Tonight we are staying in Jasper. It's expensive, but you get a lot for your money, and that's really all that matters. Tomorrow we are doing the boat tour of Maligne Lake, then hopefully getting to Revelstoke.

Quote of the day:
Susie: "Christ on an Octopus!! These mountains are crazy!"
hells_half_acre: (Default)
Tonight we are in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ah, the prairies! So flat! Yet suddenly there is the Qu'Appelle Valley, which is gorgeous.

Tomorrow we head into Alberta, perhaps stopping in Calgary to see a friend or two, perhaps going on to Banff. We are making excellent time, and so far having a good time.

Some funny lines:

How to tell you've been on the road for a long time:
Susie: I really like this hotel! I should remember it in case I'm here in the future! ... where are we?

*Susie and I see a transport truck with Alberta plates*
Me: He'll beat us though.
Susie: Really? How do you know?
Me: Because truckers sleep on the road.
Susie: Well I hope they don't...
Me: I mean at the side of the road.
Susie: Oh yeah...I guess they don't get a motel room before 8pm so that they can watch "So You Think You Can Dance"....
Me: Haha, well, maybe they do, but I doubt it!
hells_half_acre: (Default)
We made it to Winnipeg! Where we had a beer with a friend of mine who just moved here last week. Yay! It was a rainy day, but we made awesome time. The alternative route from Thunder Bay to Kenora was a brilliant move on our part - I was practically the only car on the road!

I don't have that many funny stories for today. We didn't stop many places. I uploaded the Harry Potter audiobook on my iPod and then laughed at Susie as she continually fell asleep while listening to it.

Tomorrow it's Saskatchewan time! Hotels/Motels are much more affordable in this part of the country too.

hells_half_acre: (Default)
So, yesterday felt like the never-ending driving day! Man, it takes forever to get to Superior, but once you do, it's AWESOME.

Anyway, so, yesterday I was sure that the Big Nickle was something you could see a good distance off, but apparently I was wrong. You can see it a good distance off when you are coming from the WEST, but when you are coming from the East, it's easy to miss...especially if you think you have to go through town to get to it.

Still, we made it to the Nickle. Back in the day, you just pulled up, stumbled over some rocks, and took a picture with a giant Nickle and went home. Now, though, they charge you 4 bucks for parking..there is a bricked pathway and a fence around the Nickle, a playground and a building where you can go underground and talk about Mining. I sort of miss the days where it felt more like someone just put a random big Nickle on a rocky hill and that was it.

We stayed in Batchewana Bay at the Salzburger Hof, which serves German/Austrian food. Yay! We met up with my Dad there, which is why I didn't have time for interneting...though they did have internet. The room Susan and I were in was really nice...with a sunken seperate bedroom. I slept on the pull-out, so Susie and I actually had separate rooms for the night.

Tonight we stopped at the Agawa Crafts place - which we always stopped at as kids. It was smaller on the outside than we remembered, yet oddly the same size on the inside. We stopped again 200m down the road at Pancake Bay. Later we also stopped at Old Woman Bay. Old Woman Bay is by far my favorite Bay on Lake Superior.

We ate dinner in Nipigon at the very ordinary time of 6pm, and were able to get a hotel room in Thunder Bay around 8:30!

Tomorrow we are hoping to make it out of Ontario, but we are taking the southern route, rather than the northern one. So...11 not 17. Basically we are taking the bottom two sides of the triangle instead of the hypotenuse. Apparently it's a good way to avoid transport trucks, and according to Google Maps, it's only a half hour longer. We'll see! It'll be an adventure.
hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)

I'm moving to Vancouver! Did I mention that? I'm currently driving across the country. It is Day 1 of our trip!

We didn't make it as far as I had planned. There was an accident on highway 17 just east of Mattawa with a possible fatality. That meant  they had to close down the highway to launch an investigation. Of course, this being Canada, the closest detour was 150kms behind us.

We stopped at 10pm in North Bay (we had probably only been an hour away from it at 3:30pm when we had to turn around on the 17, but alas.) and are staying at the Sunset Inn (REALLY nice rooms) for $109 (more expensive than I would have liked, but they have wireless, free DVDs, and complimentary tea and freshly baked muffins in the morning...and the Super 8 was full, and was probably just as much).

Tomorrow we are getting up at 9am (foregoing my sleeping-in plan) and driving to Sudbury to see the Big Nickle! Yay! Childhood memories will be enjoyed by all.

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