Thursday, July 23, 2009

Family Reunion

Last week we traveled up to Calgary, Alberta for the McMurray family reunion. I was looking so forward to going up to Canada and spending time with family, vacationing, relaxing, being away from work, etc. I was actually so excited that I was concerned I would end up being disappointed, that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. Thankfully I was wrong. I was not disappointed at all. The trip went way beyond my expectations, seriously!!!! I cannot think of anything I would have changed. Even the hours and hours in the car just added to the experience.
I wish I could write about everything we did, everywhere we went, everyone and everything we saw, but I can't. I really liked what Tiffany did with her entry, so I am going to do the same. I am going to put down some of the highlights of the trip, but I am going to do it day by day. WARNING: it's long, but totally worth it.

DAY 1: Saturday, July 11th (full day driving with Jess, Justin and Avery)

1. Stopping in Lima, Montana (said like the beans) for lunch because we had passed all the big cities and entered TINY town territory. Really, we stopped in two other towns first and decided against them cause they were way too small and had NOTHING.
2. Jogging in Great Falls with Ben. I love just being new places and doing everyday things.

DAY 2: Sunday, July 12th

1. Ben speaking to the Filipinos at Subway in Lethbridge. Alberta seems to have lots of Filipinos. Maybe we could fit in there:)
2. Arriving at the reunion at Eric and Tina's and seeing cousins that I have not seen in years.
3. Hearing my mom tell stories about my Grandpa McMurray and what a great father he was.
4. Hanging out with Jordan and Melissa at our quaint little Bed and Breakfast.

DAY 3: Monday, July 13th

1. Dave (owner of the Bed and Breakfast) saying his "AWESOME" prayer over breakfast in his very thick Canadian accent.
2. The Alberta honey on the homemade bread at breakfast.....oh the honey!!!
3. Going to beautiful Lake Sundance, setting up games, only to be rained out and end up at the local Church Building.
4. Being caught by my Grandma in the middle of eating a grape before lunch was ready (the cardinal sin).
5. Napping all afternoon!!
6. The talent show, especially Jayna's rap!!!
8. Convincing Jess and Justin to come to Harry Potter at midnight the next night. I never thought they would do it and was so glad they decided to.

Day 4: Tuesday, July 14th

1. The Alberta honey...again! It definitely deserves to be on the list twice.
2. Elbow Falls in the rain. So beautiful. It almost has me convinced I could live in Oregon some day.
3. Eating lunch at Bragg Creek with Ben, Jordan, Melissa, Kristen, Nolan, Aiden and Regan.
4. Melissa's bucket list!
5. Visiting my friend Tanya and her family. It's been a VERY long time.
6. Sitting around the campfire, sharing memories of Grandpa and just remembering times together when we were younger.
7. Standing in line for Harry Potter (thanks Spence and Michelle). I especially enjoyed the time we had to spend with Travis and Robin. It was fun to get to know them better.

Day 5: Wednesday, July 15th

1. Coras breakfast....I have NEVER seen crepes so big! My favorite part of breakfast was actually taking my niece, Addy, and just getting to be with her.
2. Not the drive to Banff.....expecting 1.5 hours, ended up being over 3! Yikes. It was worth it though.
3. Lake Louise.........the pictures don't even do it justice. It was more than beautiful.
4. The most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen, arched right over the town of Banff.
5. Dinner at The Spaghetti Factory. I think it was just nice to take a break and eat what I wanted. (too much dieting lately)
6. Walking around Banff with Ben, buying fudge and our matching CANADA jackets.

Day 6: Thursday, July 16th

1. Stopping to go to the bathroom at the gas station in some tiny town town and Ben and Justin both having to go outside behind the building.
2. Meeting Ryan Scott and his adorable family in Waterton. Ryan and I were in the same MTC district and have been great friends ever since. This was the first time I have seen him in 8 years.
3. Looking through the telescope at Cameron Lake and yelling "I see a bear". Oh I got some great reactions.
4. Actually seeing 2 bears only 10 minutes later as we were leaving the park.
5. The two Elk we saw outside of the park. It was just as the sun was going down and they were just standing there, looking majestic.
6. Seeing my mom and dad packed into a tiny hot tub with like 10 other people, haha!
7. The Cardston Temple.
8. French Fries with gravy at Dairy Queen.

Day 7: Friday, July 17th

1. Turning around at the Canadian Border to go to the Duty Free store and having the Border Guard (is that what they are called?) YELLLL at Ben out the window.
2. Having to stop on the road to let a BEAR CUB cross.
3. Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier Park: WOW! Scary if you are afraid of heights, but totally worth it.
4. Stopping to let Justin fish and just putting my feet in the cold river water.
5. Dill Pickle Potatoe Chips
6. Driving thru very scenic towns in Montana.
7. Eating at Outback after our long day

Day 8: Saturday, July 18th

1. Uh.....the long drive!! (not)
2. Avery singing "Shssshh Girl, Shut your lips" :)
3. Getting home and finding out we were locked out, haha!
4. Being home, out of a car.

Honestly, I don't even know if I included everything I wanted to. This was such a GREAT experience, an awesome vacation and such a great break. Thank you to our Canadian family. It was so good to see everyone. We missed those of our family and others that weren't there and can't wait for everyone to be at the next one.


Amy Sue said...

How beautiful! Glad you had a great time!

Steve & Alli said...

I love all the highlights from everyone's trip up and back, makes me kinda sad that I didn't have to travel! We were so happy to see you and Ben- Steve was especially happy to spend quote "quality time" with Ben.

.the palsky's. said...

hahahaha. i love the parts about avery singing "shush girl. shut your lips" you saw way more animials than travis and i do whenever we go down to southern alberta. did it take you 3 hours to get to banff from calgary?? i hope not..because that's only a 45 min drive. it's usually 3 from our place.

Carmen said...

Yes Robin, it took 3 hours from Calgary to Banff. Well, technically to Lake Louise. It was quite an experience:) And Allison, Ben enjoyed his time with Steve too. We should do it more often!!

Amy said...

What a fabulous trip!!! Glad you had such a nice time.

Beautiful photos!

Valerie Mom said...

Great way to journal your trip. It really was a great experience. Thanks for posting your great pictures. I think I'm overusing the word great but it truly was.