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FYI... There are no rats in Edmonton – or in all of Alberta for that matter.

I think you’re all fucked in the head. We’re ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’ll need plastic surgeory to remove our godamn smiles. You’ll be whistling ‘Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah’ out of you’re assholes! I gotta be crazy! I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!
Clark Griswold

So in the morning I emptied the dishwasher put the dishes away, swept the floor, cleaned up the counters, wrote a note on the chalk board, and tried to leave the space as clean as it was before hurricane Honeybear and SydneyBean swept through lol and then we were off!

That QE2 highway is Cray Cray! It's like an American freeway, everybody's going 140, the road has huge potholes and there are oil tankers flying by you on either side! It was probably the scariest of all the driving of the whole trip lol

When we got to Edmonton we made a very important stop. When HBear was in preschool two years ago she met a little friend, Dani. Lucky for me her mother was one of the nicest ladies I've ever met. She was the first woman to talk to me here, she was the first woman to ask my name, she was the first person I met that I enjoyed seeing every second day at the school doors :) and she was my 1st friend here to grab me all up in a hug when my Mom died.

While we were celebrating SweetPea's birthday, they were busy moving from Penticton to Edmonton :( we were lucky enough to be their first guests and bring them a little housewarming gift!  And they had a poop load of BC cherries which was awesome because I couldn't find any in Alberta for under $5.99 a pound whaaaatttt? Lol

I cannot believe I did not take a picture of the girls but I didn't want overstay our welcome, they WERE in the middle of a move, there was stuff everywhere and I didn't want to be a pain and ask for a picture, but this is a one of my favorite pictures of the girls from HBear's birthday party when she turned four :)

Our next stop was my Uncle and Aunt's house in Spruce Grove! My Uncle is, for the lack of a better word, loud haha. It shocked me but SBean went directly to him. and sat on his lap as I unpacked the van!

I really am blessed to have such a wonderful family! In Calgary I was able to see Ninja's Aunts, I was able to see my Uncle and Aunt and all of my cousins on three separate occasions. They came to Cochrane twice and we went to Calgary once. Here in Spruce Grove, my cousin even drove in from Edmonton to see me and the kids... truly blessed :)

Now, I'm not picking on my Sis but their house is very, for the lack of a better word, quiet lol. HBear and SBean fit right in in at this house of commotion! Within minutes sprinklers had been set up, chalk was out, bubbles were being blown, snacks were out, drinks were out, pizza was ordered and my kids were quiet compared to the 4 dogs running around the yard!

My cousins kids Grace and Ben with my 2 :)
Hey, whatcha got there?
Fruit Loops? Can I have some?
Back off little girl, these are MY Loops! LOL HILARIOUS!!!!

We had a great time! The only bad thing was I left my shampoo, conditioner and face wash in the shower :(... not that big of a deal, right? WRONG LOL *story to come*

The next day we gave big hugs and great big thank you's for the hospitality of my Aunt and Uncle and we were off to the big city...


Honestly, I almost cried in relief when I finally saw him. 

I felt like a weight had been lifted. I felt like things would be somewhat sane agian, I felt like I had to pee... but this time I didn't have to park and drag in 2 kids. Nope I could just go pee!!!! It's the small things :)

We drove into Edmonton and picked up our Niece Cass :) We gave our SIL a free day! We hadn't been to Edmonton since Aaron's Celebration of Life and wanted to give her a day to herself :)

We took the train to the Street Performer Festival downtown! It was the girl's first train ride! Of course I used a train all by myself in Seoul so I thought it would be a breeze. 1 train? No problem. OMG. First we missed the train because we didn't realize we were at the end of the line and that both tracks went the same way!!! LOL Duh! Everybody must have thought we were crazy when we didn't board LOL Of course I asked a lady how we should validate our tickets and she showed me. 

Yeah so we bought a round trip pass. The 1st ticket had the validation already on it so we of course stamped the other one LOL meaning that when security came on to check our tickets on the way back... ours were invalid and expired! Seriously? I blamed the fact that we are from a small city. *Groan*

The cranes working on the new arena!!!!!!

When we got downtown the first tent taught circus tricks :)

Then we headed to the food trucks! I was kind of disappointed :( There weren't food trucks as much as hotdog vendors and fried foods carts. I couldn't find 1 type of sandwich, pita, wrap, or salad. It was a hot day and I really wanted an iced cap but had to settle for disgustingly sweet Dr Pepper :(

From there we saw a Pirate Show and played in the kids area!

I had never been downtown and I thought it was awesome! City Hall has a free pool! Seriously? It was a great day :)

We watched a funny PogoStick performance,

and a hiphop/native culture infused dance!

We went back to my BIL and SIL's around dinner. She made an amazing Standing Rib Roast, Kale Salad, Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus. MMMMMMmmmmmmmm!

We had a fabulous visit with them :) It has only been 4 months since Aaron passed but they seem to be doing some "healthy" healing. It was so nice to talk to them and have them actually laugh... it was the easiest I have ever seen them. Or at least in the past 5 years. They bought motorcycles. My BIL said "We have been locked in hospital rooms for the past 5 years and now we just want to be free!" 

I can only hope that they find the freedom they are looking for :)

HBear and Cass had a sleepover :) They didn't actually sleep until after midnight but they stayed in the room and were quiet. They get along so well. HBear is a HUGE fan of her big cousin. She pretty much idolizes her lol. When we first arrived she ran right past Auntie T and right to Cass LOL. 

For 12, she is an amazingly creative girl. She draws very well and expresses so much through her doodles. She mentioned art school to me a few times... perhaps in the future she will expand her knowledge and her talent will blossom even further :)

The next morning we were up early for the long drive home. Someone was VERY sad to leave :(

We saw lots of wildlife through Jasper. We saw a moose swimming in a crystal clear mountain lake. Or I should say, we saw the antlers of a moose swimming in a lake LOL Man are they HUGE! The ridiculous part was people were getting out of their cars and standing 1 foot away from him!!! Seriously? Do you think he is too big to move fast? Do you think he couldn't get out of the lake fast enough to get you? Silly people! We also saw many deer and a black bear!

We stopped a few times but the drive is already around 13 hours so we just tried to keep on going :)

On the border between Alberta and BC HBear stood in 2 places at once :)

Alas... our journey has come to an end. I took a selfie to show you, I made it! I came out the other side... in 1 piece! It was a tough one but I got over the fear, spanked my anxieties and somewhat handled the children LOL Well, I didn't do any physical harm to either of them :) so THAT should count for something... right? LOL :)

But don't think my story ends there... oh no! Over the next few days I will share the FUN of coming home from a... difficult vacation to this...


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