More kiddos.

I tried out my friend Audrey’s studio lights…let’s just say I have a lot to learn.  But here are a couple that turned out alright.

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Oh Canada! (part deux)

We had the opportunity to rent bikes and bike around the town of Banff.  It was fun for Scott and I.  Katie and Rachel were getting tired and given the trailer we put them in, they started to get cranky.  Otherwise, we had fun looking for the eagle’s nest that they told us about at the bike store.  (We never saw it, though).

After we left Banff National Park, we drove to Calgary to see the zoo.  It was really neat.  They had lots of baby animals…we loved seeing the elephant and the gorilla.  Scott and I liked listening to the presentations and learning random facts about different animals.  (Did you know the elephant was pregnant for 22 months before giving birth to a 300+ pound baby?  And that “baby” at eleven months weighed over 900 pounds?)

However, Katie and Rachel were only interested in moving on to see more animals.  They didn’t care much about listening to the presentation.  At the elephant presentation, Katie kept repeating, “I want to see more animals…I want to see more animals.”

The flamingos were one of Katie’s favorites…because they were her favorite color, pink.

After Calgary, we spent the night in Cardston while on our way to Waterton.  We saw the temple and otherwise just relaxed, swimming in the hotel pool and going out to the farm where Scott’s mom was raised.

In Waterton, we rode some bikes called surreys.  Katie and Rachel sat up front in the basket.  They squealed with glee the whole time.  They liked pointing out all the deer that were plentiful there.

Our last activity before we left was canoeing on Cameron Lake.  It is located right on the border of the US and Canada and we tried to paddle all the way to the US side before we had to return our canoe before its one hour time limit expired.  I don’t think we quite made it to the US side.  The mountain in the background below is on the US side of the border.

On our way home, we drove through Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Highway.  It is only open in the summer time–that road would be treacherous in the winter.  The side of the road falls into a deep canyon.  However, it has great views of the mountains.  We stopped at the top to hike and let the girls see the snow in July.

We drove through Idaho Falls and Pocatello and stopped to see Scott’s best friend and his family and my sister and her family.  After leaving Pocatello, we were more than ready to get home.  But we had a great time!

Canada, eh?

For almost two weeks in July, we went to Canada–specifically Banff, Calgary, Cardston, and Waterton–with most of Scott’s family.  We had a great time!  I say that with some surprise because I was really not looking forward to the two days in the car to get there and the two days in the car to come back with a three year old and a two year old.  The thought of spending all that time in the car (approximately 14 hours of driving time alone) and coming up with things to do for my girls was dampening my excitement of going to Banff, a place I had never been, but had been told of its beauty.

However, we survived the car rides and the girls actually did very well.  They were mostly entertained with the activities and surprises that I brought them.  Car sickness was contained to two minor incidents (and only one was on the long drive…the other was just before getting on the freeway leaving Banff).

The rest of the trip was awesome.  Banff is really as beautiful as they say.  This picture was taken at the top of the Gondola in Banff.  (click to see it bigger)

Riding to the top of the gondola was fun.  Katie loved it and had her face pressed to the outside the whole time.

Rachel was quite a bit more scared–as evidenced by the nervous look on her face and her finger in her mouth–a sure sign of fright.

But we wore her out so much hiking around the top of the mountain that her nervousness didn’t keep her from going to sleep on the way down.

We spent the nights camping in our little tent…our family is almost getting too big for it.  We weren’t far from the train tracks and could hear the trains every time they came by.  Katie and Rachel loved to listen for them and every time they heard a train whistle, would shout, “Choo choo, all aboard!”

One time, we were lucky to be down near the tracks and saw the train pass by.

We also took them up to walk on the tracks (don’t worry, there was no train coming…we even showed them how to put their ear to the tracks and listen for one.)

Once again, Rachel was nervous when I made her stand on the tracks so I could take a picture of her.  The whole time I was taking the picture, she kept repeating, “I don’t want the train to bump me off.  I don’t want the train to bump me off.”

Our campsite also was located near a small creek.  The girls loved throwing rocks in it and playing near it and just getting dirty.  (The first two are of Katie and her cousin Molly).

While camping, we of course had to have smores.  Here’s Katie eating hers.

And we went hiking.

We also went to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine, two of Banff’s signature lakes.  Here we are at Lake Louise:

And here I am with the girls at Lake Moraine:

That’s all for this post.  Another day, I will finish the rest of our trip–this post is getting way too long!