March 14, 2009

Sunday lunch with Uncle Pauls & Judy Maldaner We ate a quick breakfast at Uncle Paul's Sunday morning then went along with them to church at Stirling Mennonite.  Their minister, Delbert Birky brought a very good sermon on "Indecision".  We enjoyed visiting with the folks there then came back to Uncle Pauls for a wonderful dinner spread.  Hot rolls, baked chicken thighs, mashed potatoes, corn, salad and chocolate trifle.  Wow!  Judy Maldaner, the mother of one of Ina Sue's dear friends was there to share the meal with us.  What good times visiting with family & friends!  We didn't make it up from the dinner table until after 4:00.  We quickly packed up our stuff and after saying our goodbyes headed up the road toward Banff.  We were so thankful for the time we were able to spend with Uncle Pauls.  They were wonderful hosts and a wonderful family.
Uncle Paul & Aunt Lula, Edward, Amber & Anthony The trip up to Banff should have taken about 3 1/2 hours but Google maps told us to go southeast on a road instead of northeast.  When things didn't work out right we backtracked and tried again.  Still no success.  We ended up blundering around for about 1/2 hour before I just looked at the map and decided to head up to another exit.  After another half hour we got to the road we were planning to take to the interstate only to find it blocked off.  We ended up driving the whole way back to where the whole boondoggle started and actually going northwest instead of southeast and everything went fine from there on.  We finally got to our lodge in Banff around 11:30.  We were both very tired but our lodge seems to be very nice and the bed slept so good!
Dinner on the back porch at Grandma's We woke up Monday morning to a very overcast and frigidly cold day.  It was around -25 degrees Celsius when we got up and never got warmer then -17.  We decided that it was just too cold to go skiing today.  We drove down to Canmore around 10:00 and did some grocery shopping for breakfast and snacks.  We also stopped at a store and bought me some long johns. 
Our lodge where we stayed for three days in Banff We relaxed and read in our hotel room for much of the rest of the day.  We did drive up to Lake Louise in the afternoon and scouted out the ski lodge.  We also walked out to the actual Lake Louise (frozen over of course) and looked at an ice castle that was built on it. (somewhat disappointing..)  The air was so cold that any portion of your body or face exposed quickly started to go numb.  We came back to Banff and ate supper at the "Balkan Restaurant"  It was a Greek/Mediterranean restaurant that we both enjoyed.  We did a little shopping afterward but nearly froze before we got back to our car.
My wife looks remarkably like Sir Edmund Hillary...:) It was supposed to warm up a little on Tuesday but when we woke up it was -29 degrees Cel.  The sun was out bright though and we hoped it would warm up.  We went to a ski shop in Banff and bought balaclavas for both of us.  The balaclava was skin tight and covered our heads and necks with just a hole for the eyes.  We drove up to Lake Louise in time for the half-day skiing that started at 12:30.  We had a great time.  It was cold but with our gear it really wasn't bad at all and the scenery and day was spectacular.  The ski slopes were phenomenal and we certainly didn't get to ski them all.  The slopes closed at 4:00 and we drove back Chillis for supper.  I had a delicious plate of ribs and Ina Sue had a salad.  After we got back to the lodge I ran through two loads of wash while Ina Sue rested.
The view from the top of the mountain. Wednesday was our last full day in Alberta.  We ate a quick breakfast at the "Keg" (the hotel's very nice restaurant) then packed all of our stuff up and checked out of the Caribou Lodge.  We drove up to Lake Louise and got there about an hour ahead of time so we just kept driving up through the Rockies.  We actually drove about 30 miles into British Columbia before turning around and coming back.  Our 2nd half day of skiing was even funner than the first and we hated when the ski lifts closed at 4:00.  We drove directly from the slopes down to Calgary where I had the Calgary Marriot lined up for the night (Priceline).  We did stop and get a sub at Subway.  Our hotel room was on the 6'th floor with a lovely view of downtown Calgary.  Quite lovely.  We had a relaxing evening and night.
After a wonderful afternoon of skiing. Thursday morning we got up at 5:00 in order to get to the Calgary airport in time.  We were there an hour before flight time but the check-in clerk told us to go ahead and get in another line for re-booking.  Evidently because of the customs involved in the international flight they want you to get there two hours ahead of flight time.  We were thankful that they were able and willing though to get us on a slightly later flight that routed through Denver.  It did give us an extra hour or so to relax before the flight. 
Grandma making breakfast for her grandchildren. Our flights to Denver and then on to Atlanta were pretty uneventful and we got in to Atlanta at 6:00.  We drove over to Dads and were so glad to see the rest of our family again.  Dad & Mom said they did really well so we were pleased.  They seemed to be happy to see us too.  By the time we got back to Govan it was almost 11:00.  We unpacked the car and left everything sitting in the back room while we went to bed.
The View from our Hotel window in Calgary It was back to the old routine again on Friday.  I headed off to a very hectic day at work.  Ina Sue spent the day unpacking, washing clothes, and taking care of the children.  After I got home from work we quickly got ready and went to church for the spring program by Barnwell Christian School.  They had gave a wonderful program focussed on Jesus' death and resurrection.  There was a carry-in snack afterward and lots of fellowship.
Leaving the land of snow & ice Saturday was a nice day with our family all together again.  It was overcast and drizzly outside.  Between the showers I did get the front yard mowed and some plants transplanted.  I made us razorback cornbread and tomato soup for a brunch.  Savannah and I took the minivan to Denmark to wash it and get gas while the other children and Ina Sue took their naps.  Ina Sue made us asparagus/ham pizza and cole slaw for supper.  After I bathed the children and Ina Sue vacuumed the house we had a fairly relaxing evening.