Friday, July 29, 2011

Day Five: Drumheller and the Hoodoos.

Today was our semi-official last day of holidays. Technically, we get home tomorrow, but the entire day will be spent travelling so it is not really a vacation day. And I guess we are still on "holidays" after that because Mike has most of August off. But you knew what I meant. 

Mike took all three boys in the van this morning to wash it and vacuum it in Canmore while I cleaned our condo like a maniac. I had to vacuum, fold laundry, do dishes and pack up all of our stuff, food included. In all honesty, I enjoyed the work and I think it was because I was alone. There is also something satisfying about cleaning a place that actually looks beautiful when you're done instead of looking like a dump. Okay, I am exaggerating. Our house does not look like a dump, but it never looks beautiful. Not anymore. 

Anyway, we left our beautiful place at right around 11 a.m., local time again. Haha. I cried leaving the mountains. We just weren't there long enough. I wished we could have spent a whole week in that place, and I also wished I could have a couple of days there with just Mike. I did enjoy having the whole family there, but our boys make a huge mess everywhere and they are so loud that it is hard for me to relax. I was (and am even this moment) constantly worrying about disturbing the other people who are staying where we are, or that they are going to break something...etc. I also find that I worry the whole time about pushing them past their limits and I worry about whether they are enjoying themselves or not. I wished I could have a couple of days to just relax and breathe that incredible mountain air. I wanted to write, but Mike needed my laptop for his homework. So I took a few last pictures as we drove out.
This one was the view out my bedroom window this morning. I think I like the mountains best in the morning light. So beautiful. I hope I will never forget the smell of that air. I went on the balcony and sucked in as many deep breaths as I could before we left. 

This was taken from the van as we drove out.

These are the Three Sisters, we think, and this was also taken out my bedroom window in Canmore. 

One more shot of a mountain bathed in morning sunlight and shadows, taken on the drive east.

We did not plan to visit Drumheller, but we decided we might as well do something today rather than simply drive four hours to our hotel and then sit around all day. So we took the plunge and headed for Drumheller. We took several wrong turns, but we eventually got there. We didn't want to do the Royal Tyrell Museum, which is the major one with all the dinosaur skeletons and whatnot. I figured Cody would like it, but I suspected Jamie would be bored, and Micah was a sure bet to be upset and cause trouble. So instead we hit a place called Fossil World. It was much smaller than I was expecting, and initially I was disappointed, but in the end it was worth it for the fun they had on the play structure inside and the dinosaur toys they picked up in the gift shop. There was also a life-size T-Rex inside that was animated and it moved and sounded like a real dinosaur, as far as we can imagine anyway. Micah found it first and I saw Jamie pulling him back around the corner toward me with his (Jamie's) eyes wide open, saying, "Get back over here, Micah! It might eat you!" It was quite funny. Micah was delighted with the monstrous beast, and Jamie was not bothered by it once he figured out it was not real. But Cody was horrified and he is still asking why it sounded like that...etc. Sadly, I was unable to take a picture of it because they did not allow flash photography in the museum. (Boooo!!!) But Mike took video. I'm not sure whether I can post video here or not, but if I can I'll get Mike to help me when he gets back with our ice cream.

This Triceratops was standing outside the Fossil World entrance. There are dinosaurs everywhere in Drumheller.

An attempt, once again, at photographing all three boys at once. Cody only looked at the camera because of a lecture he got earlier from Mike. 

This dinosaur, a Brachiosaurus, I think, was also in the parking lot of Fossil World. I did not put a picture in here of the whole thing because its tail is very long and then the boys looked even further away.

Here are Jamie and Micah on the play structure. Micah just slid down that blue mat the whole time and was happy as can be. The other two went to the top and came down the big slide, but I couldn't take any pictures in there because of the no flash rule. Grrr. 

So after we finished letting the boys go crazy on the play structure, we took them to the gift store and they bought some dinosaurs to play with. Then we went to see the Hoodoos. That was my thing. I just really wanted to see them. I remember my aunt from Calgary telling us about them when we were little, but I don't think we ever went to see them, so we decided to do it this time around. Apparently, the word Hoodoos was derived from Voodoo. The Blackfoot and Cree people believed they were some kind of petrified giants who come to life at night and hurl rocks at intruders. Creepy, but I remember feeling way more creeped out as a kid when I heard about them. There is nothing creepy looking about them, but then again, they have now built walkways and staircases around them and it was crowded when we were there. Maybe if it looked wilder and less civilized I would find them much more ominous. I confess, they were much smaller in person than what I was imagining. We only stayed five or ten minutes because the boys were bored to tears, and it did not look like there was much to see. However, I suspect if one was to climb to the top of the "mountain" (or really large rocky hill, more accurately), there might be more to see on the other side. I will never know, as we did not do it and I'm not sure about the likelihood that I will ever visit the Hoodoos again. 

After that we buckled up and made the drive to Medicine Hat. We did stop at the Golden Arches in Brooks so the boys could have a little supper on their way to the hotel. When we arrived here they went swimming with Mike. Well, Cody and Jamie did. Micah stayed in the hotel room with me and played with his new toy Jeep, which he got for his birthday. Then Mike went to get ice cream for us all because we promised the boys when we were at Fossil World. Now they are bathed and in bed, but unfortunately, not one of them is asleep. And it is 9:49 p.m. our time. That is relevant now, seeing tomorrow they will be going to bed in our own home. I don't want them up until 10 p.m., but that may be the way things go because they will likely sleep in the van on the way there. Well, Jamie will anyway, and that always makes him stay awake really long at night. 
Cody and Jamie enjoying their McDonald's sundaes in the hotel.

I was naive enough to believe that Jamie was almost asleep about five minutes ago. Now all three of them are either talking or singing to themselves. This is going to be a long night. Mike and I can't even talk because we are all in the same dark room. Though Mike is watching football again, which is a source of contention for Cody. I guess I have the internet for company, so it will be a silent night. Other than the boys, ironically. I can't even read because we can't turn the lights off. 

So that's it for our vacation. I might update tomorrow when we get home, but more than likely I will just be unpacking and doing a lot of laundry and cleaning. I'm off for now.

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