Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Monday, June 7, 2021
We enjoyed the fall trip to Dinosaur so much we decided we wanted to spend a night or two by the hoodoos. Through determination and perseverance normally only seen when scoring concert tickets, we were able to secure the very last campsite for the dates we wanted.
Saturday promised to be a beautiful day, but first we had to get out the door! Camp-car-packing Tetris plus grouchy teens and tweens who would have preferred a weekend on the couch meant tempers ran medium-high. But on the road we got, and after a relatively uneventful drive (although we did see a fox sauntering across a field, as well as many examples of future delicious Alberta steaks enjoying their best lives on pasture) made our way to the camp site. We all went into default mode with the kids getting their tent up then inflating everyone's mattresses, pitching pillows and sleeping bags into the right places while Terry and I figured out the new tent. The hammer went back and forth as everyone worked to pound the stakes in. By the time everything was up and staked it was lunch time!
After lunch the kids had the commandment to do some hiking then they can read, play, or whatever else. Alex took off like a rocket, Zoltan decided he'd rather stay with the adults. And exploring we went. Our goals were to climb hoodoos, take pictures, and - for Terry and me - get enough steps for our different step challenge teams to not be embarrassments. We each ended the day around 18,000 so I guess we succeeded. We also played a heated game of animal, vegetable, mineral where each of us managed the stump the other two. Zoltan's mineral was molybdenum, which just goes to show you that there is real education to be found in childrens' literature.
Over dinner the first night, we were discussing the major exciting features of the new tent and Alex mentioned the large entryway so I supplied the correct word "vestibule" but she didn't hear me correctly and though I said "vegetable" so now there is a "vegetable" half open to the world just outside the sleeping part of our tent.
The second day we were all sleep-deprived because camping is loud and light. We checked out a different section of hoodoos as well as the canoe launch in case we ever wanted to come back for a float. We cooked hot dogs for lunch and with the value of hindsight cooked food was probably not the best idea for the hottest day ever (around 75 degrees Fahrenheit). In the afternoon we could barely stay comfortable laying in the shade. Then Terry had a brilliant idea: the concession stand. Dinosaur Park actually has a concession stand, cafe, and in non-COVID times a whole little museum.
We wandered over and everyone got various ice creams but I got a Slushie. Totally refreshing!
We saw numerous mule deer - a couple coming close to our campsite. We saw a robin's nest relatively low in a tree, low enough I could see the robin sitting on the eggs - the little head poking just above the edge of the nest. We saw a parent bird make many trips in and out of a hole in the tree by our camp site and when we got close we could hear the "cheep" of baby birds. No prairie dogs, which we have consistently seen in the mountains and never in the prairie.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 2021
One of the birthday coupons the kids got last year was dessert for dinner. Zoltan used his on something relatively mundane. Alex, on the other hand, came up with this gem.
She and Zoltan each made cakes.
She made the chocolate and graham cracker cakes. Zoltan made a plain white cake. He made chocolate chiffon frosting. She made marshmallow frosting. It consumed 2 containers of Fluff and still the "marshmallow" flavor got lost in "frosting" flavor. Next time it needs less butter and powdered sugar.
She stacked and frosted the layers. She decorated the top and sides (Zoltan helped made some of the design decisions).
This thing is both amazing and terrifying. Our slices were about 1/16 each and it was too much. I was impressed how it all came together. The graham cracker cake is the same recipe our chef friend had used when making Alex's birthday cake 3 years ago in Frankfurt and I doubted that Alex could pull off something as moist and flavorful. I was wrong.
* Note: Terry had nothing to do with these photos
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Thursday, May 20, 2021
This is what it is like to raise children.
The Scene: just after lunch, at Zoltan's room
Me: Zoltan, go downstairs and put away the mac and cheese.
Zoltan: I didn't leave it out.
Me: Then who did? Nobody else had any.
Zoltan: It's not out.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
May is a challenging time for hiking in Alberta. With the thawing a number of trails are avalanche risks. Other trails are still closed for the winter season. Others are newly closed due to awakening bears. Some are too muddy or still icy. And yet others are simply too steep for our family to tackle (this one has nothing to do with the season).