Okay! Sorry about the random photos, totally out of order and with no explanations for a few hours this afternoon! It's very hard to get anything done around here, and I wanted to give you our trip in a nutshell (with over 40 photos, apparently! It never seems like that many when I take them, until I go to upload them to blogger. jeepers.)
Also, when I do a post with a bunch of photos I have to publish them to remember what order I put them in, to comment appropriately.
Last week was so gorgeous I took some nice fall photos, in our yard and at the park. The boys helped me rake the leaves in our yard into a pile and I took some pics--Riley was unimpressed with lying in the leaf pile, so there is only one cute pic of him in it, and he looks scared! I remember doing the fall leaf photo with Ayden while he was in the stroller, so maybe I'll try again tomorrow.
Here are our park photos; Riley's first time on a swing--not impressed--but super cute as Ayden and Matthew fought over who got to push him, and then in typical style for both of them, Ayden pushed gently for 5 whole minutes and when it was Matthew's turn he hung off the swing, jerked it up and down, and was narrowly intercepted attempting to twist the swing around itself and let it go. He wasn't allowed to push anymore after that.
I don't usually post plans to go away on trips until afterwards unless Brent stays behind, because then no one is home at our house and who knows what 'robbers' might be reading my blog? A bit weird, but we all have our quirks.
So this past Thursday evening we packed up the kids in a rented minivan and travelled to Mackenzie to visit Brian (Brent's brother), Billie (Brian's wife), and Ella (Amazing Niece), and Indy (dog).
Here's a map of BC so we can all see how far away Mackenzie is from Langley:
So it takes a normal vehicle with adults in it about 10 hours to get to Mackenzie. It took us two days.
We left Thursday afternoon--we aimed to leave at 3 and made it out of town at 4:30. It was dark pretty quickly so I didn't any photos that night. We drove all the way to Quesnel that night, where we had made reservations at a hotel. Okay, a few tips. (1) don't pick the cheapest hotel in town just because it is cheap
(2) don't pick said hotel because it is cheap and advertises a continental breakfast. A plateful of cookies and some dry cereal with no milk in sight, in the lobby of the MOtel parading as a HOtel does not a continental breakfast make. We opted for Denny's after one look at the cookies and dry cereal.
(3) Quesnel has some nice hotels. Stay there.
(4) Skip any hotels named "Super 8" in Quesnel.
The big boys were so excited about going to see Ella that they did not fall asleep in the car until about 11.
Then they woke up and Matthew was so excited about the hotel he could hardly talk and he was spinning like a top in his bed. When Riley woke up and discovered we were not at home, he started to scream. He didn't stop until I put him in the Baby Bjorn (thank you GOD for whoever invented the Bjorn, that I own one, and that we brought it with us) and walked around the parking lot of the hotel for half an hour in the dark, at minus four degrees, in my pyjamas, at midnight. Guess how gently I eased him out of that Bjorn once he fell asleep? It took me a full fifteen minutes! Holy cow.
The next morning we drove to Dennys and Ayden looked at the nice, classy Sandman attached to the restaurant and declared, "We should have stayed HERE!"
We heartily agreed!
Live and learn! Too funny.
We saw a few sights North of Quesnel that were funny enough to make us yell; pull over!, or turn around I need a photo of that one!, or did you see that!
My favourite sights included the entire town of Stoner, a sign near Red Rock Lake advertising "Taxidermist and gift shop" where one presumes one can get figurines for one's fireplace mantle, and a stuffed bear in life size?
Precious Moments mixed with Cougars and Moose?
I also loved the names of these three towns:
Horsefly (what kind of bugs do you think live in Horsefly?)
Hixon (any Hicks in Hixon, you think?)
Just North of Quesnel there is this sign:
And directly behind it, this bale of hay:
In Hixon, it has been determined that naming things is too time consuming, so they just call things what they are (it helps when you're the only business in town offering this particular service);
This sign struck me as a bit didactic:
The best burgers for 2,000 miles
we also offer
non alcoholic spirits (what are those?)
I've seen a car and truck wash, but a car and DOG wash? These people know their clients:
McLeese Lake Resort
God Bless You
McLeese Lake Resort
Maybe it took so long because this guy was driving?
Mackenzie is a gorgeous little town! We loved it. We went to the school playground, walked around town, went skating, went to an indoor playground at the rec centre, visited one of my blog buddies (hi Dawn!) for coffee Saturday evening, went to church, visited the World's Largest Tree Crusher, played Lord of The Rings Monopoly, and generally tried our hardest to mess up Brian and Billie's nice house. We had a wonderful time.
This is actually Riley rolling over for the first time, from back to front. I got the process on film but didn't get the end result~he really was all the way over! He did it again tonight. Smart boy!
The trip back was LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. It took us thirteen and a half hours with pit stops and food stops and general miles travelled. The blue trays are from Michael's, they are handy for eating and holding DVD players and playing on, but can be a pain in the ass because they don't fold up for storage. The boys use them on road trips and in the living room for family pizza and movie nights (Louise asked!).
BIG MISTAKE trying to fit the return trip into one day! Live and learn again. Breaking the trip up into two days is much more manageable, especially for Riley. He just couldn't handle the carseat at anymore from hour 9 onwards...and we had to get back because Brent had to work the next morning at 6. Next time we'll book off an extra day of work and break up the home trip.
Renting a van was fabulous! Way more room, but you only need room like that on a long trip so it was great to return it when we were done! But I literally had to throw things at the boys when they wanted them (I got that back when Ayden said, "Here mommy, I'm all done with this!" and he tossed a big block of legos at me and whacked me in the head with them!), and had to undo my seatbelt every time Riley spat out his soother. So, good and bad.
Love my Matrix.
Whew! Love my house! Great to go on a trip, and great to return home!
xo to you all.
Congrats to those of you who read to the end of this post.