|In front of Castle Mountain|
The boys, Dustin, and I drove to Banff last Tuesday with his parents which was a fun filled 17 hours in extremely close quarters with uncomfortable kids. William cycled between eating, sleeping and crying the whole trip and Theo spent the whole time asking "why?". I am glad we were spared the "are we there yet?", but answering questions about why everything is the way it is can be more than tiresome. The drive is fairly boring, since you travel through the topographically mind numbing prairies for 16 hours, but you do get to drive through fantastically named Canadian cities like Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat.
|Theo with magnifying glass in hand|
We finally arrived in Banff where Dustin's sister and her boyfriend and Dustin's brother and wife joined us. We spent three days there and I wish I could have spent every waking moment hiking, but half of the company we were with was not too pleased at the prospect. The weather was marvellous the whole time. We did spend one full day hiking Marble Canyon and the Paint Pots which are around an area of forest that burned a few years ago from a lightning strike. Theo absolutely adores hiking and was happily darting up and down the trails asking why every living and non-living thing was placed where it was. We also saw a grizzly bear rooting around in the dirt on one of the trails, which I am sure made the whole trip worthwhile to my father in law.
|William drooling his way through the mountains|
On the 29th Dustin and I had to drive into Calgary for his JET pre-departure orientation. While Dustin was in his orientation, I was hoping to get William his American citizenship papers since Calgary is the closest U.S. consulate to Winnipeg. Unfortunately, after waiting for 3 hours with two squirmy bored kids and still no service I finally gave up and left. I suppose it is not the first time have been disappointed with my country. We also celebrated our wedding anniversary in Banff by going out to the Bison which is an insanely good restaurant if anyone is planning a trip there in the future. The next morning we dropped Dustin off at the airport and said our goodbyes until the 24th of August when we will be joining him in Japan. Theo took it really well and seems pretty secure in the fact that we will be seeing Papa again pretty soon.
|Parting is such sweet sorrow|
After Dustin left we attended his cousin Lorel's wedding. We finally set off back to Manitoba on Sunday evening. The drive back was pretty much the same as the one there, with William slipping into his cycle again and Theo being exhaustingly inquisitive, but we all arrived safe and relatively sane last night. I could have easily spent another two weeks in Banff wandering around the park, but it was nice to have even a few days with the family before we leave. I am really hoping that the next few weeks are so busy for Dustin and I that we won't even have time to miss each other!