Archive for July, 2009

29 Jul 2009

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

3 Brother’s Road Trip

3 Brother’s Road Trip

For my birthday this year, my brother-in-law Barry invited me to go on a motorbike ride to the Ponoka Vintage Motorcycle Rally along with his brother Ronny.  “Sounds good”, I thought, and the plans were made to be in Ponoka on the weekend of 25 & 26 July.

Except that, a couple of days before the event, Ronny had to cancel.  Since there were three registrations bought and paid for, we had to find another brother, and fast!  So we decided that the sensible thing to do would be to promote Brenda to Honorary Brother.  The ceremony was quick and fairly painless.

Brenda’s Mom and Dad were available to look after the kids, so away we went on our bikes early Saturday morning.  We met Barry in Innisfail and then had a big brunch at a restaurant in Red Deer.  We finally rolled into the Ponoka Stampede grounds just after noon.  A little too late to join the poker run, but that was OK, since the day was hot (32 °C) and that gave us plenty of time to check out the vintage bike show and shine, to ride down the road and see the classic car show and shine, and, most importantly to check into our hotel and cool off in the pool!

We had a fantastic steak dinner and then afterwards there was an “Engine Blow-up” 50/50 contest where some guy ran a poor old 2-stroke dirt bike at fulll throttle until the engine quit.   For $3 you could buy a ticket and guess how long the engine would run – some guy won $80 with his guess of 41 seconds.  I missed by miles, guessing 33 minutes.

Many of the motorcyclists attending the rally just stayed in tents at the stampede grounds, but we wimped out and stayed at the local Super 8.  However, we looked pretty smart about 5:00 am when there was a mighty crash of thunder and the skies opened up with a deluge of rain.  Thunder is definitely the sound of money well spend on indoor accommodations!  The rain lasted until just before we had to head back to the grounds for the mega-pancake-and-sausage breakfast.  The rest of the day was mixed sun and clouds with no more rain to be seen.

Brenda and I headed back home by late morning on the Sunday to relieve Opa and Oma – it was a great trip.  It was Brenda’s first real road trip and we covered about 500km in all.

No Comments »

17 Jul 2009

Posted by under Family

Shark Boy

Shark Boy

This morning we were up before 5:30 am to head down for the waterfront. Brenda had signed up for the kayak tour while Mark and I had been picked for the early morning fishing trip. Steven and Alyssa were too smart to get pulled into these kinds of early morning shenanigans and so they slept in and met up with us at breakfast time.

The kayaking tour was apparently quite nice, calm waters, bright sunshine and blue skies all around. Brenda saw quite a few seals and even a bald eagle perched on the shore. The pace was relaxed and Brenda thought it was a fine way to begin the day.

Mark and I had a great time fishing. We headed south to the east side of Tent Island where the 7 of us on the trip dropped our hooks. We must have been in a good location because we landed 2 fish (rock cod) within the first few minutes. After that someone caught something at regular enough intervals to be interesting but not too much to keep our guide from catching a few of his own. Mark actually had the biggest catch of the day – a mud shark about 18 or 20 inches long. He was very excited about that! I actually caught the largest rock cod of the day at about 3 lbs or therebouts. We were just out for the fun, so we tossed everything back. The oddest catch of the day wasn’t the jellyfish, or the starfish, but the 6 inch crab that our guide pulled up! It was fighting mad and not that easy to unhook, with its pincers snapping away like crazy.

The rest of the day was very full with loads of activities for all of us, the boys got a double tube ride around the bay pulled by the speedboat and I did some snorkeling while Brenda relaxed on the beach and Alyssa collected shells. In the evening there was an outdoor cafe time with cappuccinos, lattes and fancy hors d’oeuvres – what a great way to spend our last evening here.

No Comments »

15 Jul 2009

Posted by under Family,Mobile Blogpost (iphone)

Capernwray Harbour

We are more than halfway through our week here on Thetis Island, it is going by very quickly. The days are very full with activities for everyone in the family, the meals are great and the weather has been fine.
The kids have bee enjoying their group activities, both Steven and Mark are in the same group, so it has been neat to see them looking out for one another as they go through some of the team building challenges. Alyssa’s group is small, just 5 kids, and all girls – they are having great fun doing crafts and exploring the beach.
Brenda and I are enjoying the speakers, but the highlight of the week so far was last night’s gourmet 7 course meal. It was for the adults only lasting from 5:00 to 8:30 pm while the kids were fed and overseen by the staff. It was a great evening enjoyed as much by the kids as by us.
Today, we went as a family on a boat trip (a 3 hour tour!!) around the north end of Thetis and over to Valdes to drift along the cliffs. It was a pretty cool way to spend the afternoon.

Tomorrow we have a 6:00 am start to go fishing and kayaking.

No Comments »

13 Jul 2009

Posted by under Family,Mobile Blogpost (iphone)


This post was delayed a couple of days because the server crashed. Thanks to Sean’s Emergency IT Response Service Inc., we are back on the air.

Our two days in Victoria were really quite enjoyable. On Friday afternoon, we walked about the harbour front and saw a couple of buskers and just enjoyed the warm day. After a bit of discussion with the kids we decided to head for the Bug Zoo. Despite a bit of a dodgy start with the entrance being the gift shop and then seeing that the whole “zoo” was only about double the size of our living room, it turned out to be a really great place to visit. It turns out that you just don’t need a lot of space for bugs.What really made the experience a good one, was the enthusiastic commentary provided by the two ‘twenty-something’ guides. Both were young ladies that had an ability to grab some giant bug out of it’s cage, show it around, maintain their narrative and never flinch. The one girl was so good at her job that she got Brenda to hold a tarantula! We spent several hours there and the kids interest never flagged.

In the evening, we were able to catch up with some friends from our time in Australia. Back in 1997, Errol and Maria were a newlywed Canadian couple that we met as they spent about 8 months touring Australia and used our house as bit of a base from which to launch their various tours. After having lost touch in the last couple of years, Maria found me on Facebook and we were able to spend an evening with them and their two boys.

Saturday we had a slightly later start to the day, but the first thing we did was to walk a block to the BC Legislature in time to see the Emperor and Empress of Japan on part of their Canadian tour. Apparently, this is a pretty rare opportunity as the Emperor and Empress rarely make appearances in public.

The afternoon was spent on the waterfront again and we watched the buskers again. Steven was picked from the crowd to assist one of the performers and actually made $5 from a busker! We had lunch at the Olde Spaghetti Factory (one of the kids favourites on holiday) and then went to the Undersea Gardens in the Victoria harbour. This was the opposite of the Bug Zoo, it looked good from the outside but the actual exhibits were pretty second rate – not recommended!

In the evening we headed to our friends Keith and Pippa’s new place in Victoria for dinner and a visit. Keith and Pippa used to live in Chestermere, but moved to the coast last year, so it was good to see them again.

Today we slept late and then made our way up to Thetis Island, catching the ferry at 2:10 pm. That gave us plenty of time to settle in to our cottage at Capernwray Harbour and spent a little time exploring the beach before dinner. We are looking forward to the rest of the week here at Capernwray – it’s a beautiful spot and there are lots of great activities for the whole family.

No Comments »

Next »