A Week With The Little Ones

A week ago Thursday we flew out to Calgary to spend a week with our youngest son and his family, and once again we had a great time with lots of warm squeezy hugs from our two youngest grandchildren.  Oh and bonus for me, since Mother’s Day fell into our stay, I also got a few extra hugs out of our baby boy 😀

Leaving Kelowna and yucky weather behind!

Landing in Calgary, looks nicer but still not spring weather

On Saturday hubby helped our son put some additional shelves in their new RV while our daughter-in-law and I shared a bottle of Prosecco and the grandchildren snuggled into their bunks with their tablets.  It was so roomy in the new RV and we were having fun so we decided to order pizza.  I placed the order and made a note to have it delivered to the RV parked in front of the house, you should have seen the grin on the delivery drivers face when he walked up to the RV with our pizza!

On Sunday I was treated to a Mother’s Day pedicure with our daughter-in-law, her mother and our granddaughter … yup a fun time was had by all!  Our son, with a little help from hubby, made a great dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and veggies.  There may also have been a few mimosa’s consumed 🙂

The rest of our time was spent watching the grandkids play soccer, walking them to school, and on the last day, when it finally warmed up a bit, we were able to get out for a walk and play time in the park.

They have some really nice walking trails around their house.

We had another great week in Calgary and it was sad saying goodbye on Thursday but I sure am looking forward to their week at the campground in August.

Until next time …

Back In Our Winter Home

Last Sunday we went off to get our fourth COVID test in two weeks, checked in for our flight, packed up our suitcase and then enjoyed our last evening with our son and family … all the while sitting on pins and needles every time our phone made a noise saying an email had come in. Fortunately, none of those emails where from the airline.  Monday morning we had our final snuggles and although we were sad to give up the snuggles we were looking forward to warmer weather and our own bed.

Just as we were leaving for the airport, we got a notice that the flight was delayed by an hour. Well, I guess the good part is we weren’t already on our way to the airport so we didn’t have to spend an extra hour in the airport with our masks on.

Brr, doesn’t it look cold out there!

We were surprised at how quiet the Calgary airport was, every time we have been there it has been a hopping place.  As we approached our departure time we were informed of another half hour delay to allow the crew to clear customs.

Finally they called pre boarding and priority boarding and it appeared our row was a priority boarding row so off we went. We showed our ID and boarding passes, cleared through the gate and made it through the door towards the plane when we were all called back and told we could not board and they were not sure why 😦  Great, we were pretty sure this is where the flight was going to get cancelled but fortunately after fifteen minutes we were allowed to board. We had another delay as we went through de-icing but finally two hours and ten minutes late the plane left the ground and we were on our way back to our winter home.

De-icing the plane

I just like this picture 🙂

We really enjoyed our time with family for the past two weeks but are so happy to be back in warmer weather with sunny blue skies and green, not white, grass 🙂

Our grandson added a picture by his sister and a tree that he made to our suitcase, so now we have fridge art!

Until next time …

Hmm That Wasn’t The Plan

Yesterday was our last full day in chilly Airdrie, Alberta and also our last full day of snuggles.  We were going to miss the snuggles, not the chill and while we have heard that it is cooler in Yuma right now, 15C/59F is still much better than -30C/-22F!

We checked in for our flight yesterday afternoon, went for our COVID tests around dinner time yesterday … we were both negative, came home for snuggles and then we put the grandkids to bed (their parents had popped next door for a drink with the neighbours), poured ourselves a drink and settled in for some TV.  I was going downstairs to start packing our suitcase when hubby received an email saying our flight had been cancelled 😦

The only picture I have taken recently and only to show a friend how little snow we had … it’s too cold for snow!

While we weren’t totally surprised because many airlines have been cancelling flights, we were annoyed that we had already paid $80.00 for our COVID tests which would no longer be any good, and we now had to spend time on the phone trying to get a new flight.  It took 2 hours and 36 minutes but just before midnight we were rebooked on the next available flight, which isn’t until Monday.

Hubby did ask the fellow he was talking to if the airline was going to cover the cost of $80.00 for new COVID tests but was told that question would have to be sent up the chain of command and we should call back the next day to see what the answer was.  Hmm another two and a half hours on the phone … yuck … so imagine our surprise when the phone rang at 1:45 a.m. and we were told that yes they would cover the additional $80.00 🙂  Okay I didn’t really want to be woken up at 1:45 a.m. when we had just fallen asleep, but I do appreciate that the fellow made the effort to look into it and to call us back.

So now we are here for another three days, not the end of the world as our son has a very comfortable guest room and they not in any hurry for us to leave … at least that is what they are politely telling us 😀

I was looking forward to getting back into my morning walks, which haven’t happened here because of the cold and lack of warm clothing, but tomorrow it looks like it will warm up to -9C/16F and my boots, gloves, winter jacket, and a borrowed hat should keep me warm enough for an outside walk.  Well that is the plan, we will see what happens.

Our five year old grandson told hubby this morning that it was going to be a sad New Years because the world is sick 😦  Let’s all do our best to heal the world … do your part, get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands.

We wish you all the very happiest New Years Eve, stay safe and stay warm.  Let’s hope and pray that 2022 will settle into a more normal year than the last two!

Until next time …

A Cold Crisp Walk

Last night we all bundled up and went out to check out the Christmas lights in our son’s neighbourhood.  Remember all those warm clothes we packed?  We had most of them on and we were both still a little chilly but it was still fun to go out and see all the decorations.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera and had to take these with my cell phone.

Our granddaughter rode in the wagon all bundled up in her snow pants and winter jacket, covered up with a blanket, and drinking hot chocolate while daddy and grandpa pulled her along.  She invited me to join her in the wagon and boy do I wish I would have fit 😀

I love the feel of this neighbourhood, there were lots of people out walking and everyone is so friendly.  There are some pretty impressive hockey rinks around the pond and people go to a lot of work to maintain them and make them accessible for everyone in the neighbourhood to use.

It wasn’t a really long walk but we all came home in a very festive mood 🙂

Until next time …

A New Road and a New Airport

Our flight yesterday left from Mesa/Gateway Airport rather than Sky Harbour in Phoenix and because we were headed to Mesa, AZ instead of Phoenix, AZ we were able to take a new road.

Lots of pretty Saguaro

At Gila Bend we stayed on Hwy 238 instead of turning onto Hwy 85 up to I-10 and it was a much prettier drive.

The first picture made it look like it was a busy road but this is what we had most of the way.

This route takes us on a diagonal from Gila Bend to the airport and it took us right through Chandler, AZ which we both thought is a very pretty city.  If we were going to live in the Phoenix area, Chandler may be the place.

We were really impressed with the long term parking at the airport, it was well maintained and had a great shuttle service.  I didn’t take a picture of the outside of the shuttle bus but trust me it was a pretty high end classy black bus.

The airport itself was a bit of a disappointment from what I had read.  We were a little early to check in so we were hoping to get a tea or coffee but there was nothing but gates.  I’m not sure what I was reading but it was definitely a different airport!

For those of you wondering, we had to show our vaccine passports and negative COVID tests when we were checking in and they also made sure we had completed the ArriveCan app but that whole process didn’t take very long.

Going through security at the airport was quick and easy with our Nexus cards. There was a long line up but we were able to go through the pre-screened lined and it took no time at all.

Once we cleared security, we stopped at OHSO Brewery for dinner and to kill some time since our trip to the airport, check-in, and clearing security went much faster than we expected.

We decided not to pay the fee for seats and took the seats that were assigned to us, two middle seats in the same. It was a three hour flight so it was really no big deal if we couldn’t sit together and odds were we would be able to change that once we were on the plane and sure enough that is what happen. We were on a fairly new 737 and the plane was less than half full. In fact, we were the only two in our row, hubby in the center seat on the left side and me in the center seat on the right side, so once we took off we had no problem changing seats and sitting together for the rest of the trip.

It was very festive seeing all the Christmas lights when we took off out of Phoenix.

When we arrived in Canada we were again able to bypass the long line through customs because of our NEXUS cards.  We completed our declaration at one of the kiosks, where handed two sheets about COVID protocols and sent on our way … easy peasy.

We arrived at our son’s place just after 11:00 p.m. and were greeted with a very inviting place to stay but that is another blog.  Now I have to try and get some sleep because I have been warned that our grandchildren plan to wake us up as soon as they get up 🙂

Until next time …

Oh My Gosh The Jello Wiggled

So last night we had decided that $3,000 and sixteen hour flights both ways plus a PCR test on our way home to Canada and a Rapid Antigen test on our way back to Yuma just wasn’t in the cards for us, so we were not going home for Christmas.  We have a large credit with Westjet because we had to cancel our flights from Kelowna to Calgary last Christmas so we looked into using our credit this year, but the only flights we could get were very pricey and had long layovers making a three hour flight into a sixteen hour flight.  I tried to get my head around doing the prudent thing and staying in Yuma for Christmas but I was sad.  We had to stay at home by ourselves last year because of COVID and travel restrictions so I was really sad that we would have to do that again this year.  But then I got the great idea to forget about our Westjet credit and I checked Flair Airlines for flights home and guess what?  We can fly from Phoenix, Arizona to Calgary, Alberta and spend Christmas with our youngest son and his family for less than $400.00 USD return for the two of us.  We will still have to do all the COVID testing but it is much easier for us to justify it when our flights are so cheap … so we are going to spend Christmas with our son, daughter-in-law, and two young grandchildren … and I am once again a happy camper … I know it’s all about me 😀  Actually it isn’t all about me cause hubby is happy as well and our son and family are very excited we are coming, so I guess it’s all about all of us and that is okay.

Hmm this is new to me, a fifth-wheel tag along.

I just had to share my happy news with all of you 🙂  Oh, and the wind finally died down this afternoon, but not until after taking a toll on my new plants.

This guy came out the worst from the wind.

Until next time …

Happy Thanksgiving … Yup I Know I’m Late 🙂

I hope all of our Canadian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a busy six days over the long weekend which is why I am late with my wishes.

Last Thursday we packed up our truck and headed to Airdrie, Alberta to spend Thanksgiving with our youngest son and his family.  It was raining and dark when we pulled out around 6:30 a.m. but the rain stopped shortly after we got on the road and the drive was pleasant for the first three hours … and then we hit Revelstoke, B.C.

We drove through snow, fog, and dark skies for an hour but once we arrived in Golden, B.C. it eased up a bit and the sky began to brighten.

While it was nice that the weather looked to be improving, it wasn’t nice that Highway 1 was closed just past Golden for major construction.  That meant we had to take a detour that added an hour and a half to our drive 😦  On the up side the drive from Radium, B.C. back up to Highway 1 was a new road to us and had some very pretty scenery … along with blue skies.

Almost nine hours later we arrived at our son’s place and spent a great weekend visiting and enjoying snuggles with our grandchildren.

There may have been a few bottles of wine consumed during our visit but this one was fun!  It’s hard to tell from the picture but this wine is sparkling and shimmers in the glass … it looked way better than it tasted but it was good enough for us to finish the bottle 🙂

Yesterday we loaded the truck once again and headed home.  It was a very cold morning and hubby had to scrape the windshield, which is the first time he has had to do that in a lot of years!

Even though it was cold, we had clear blue skies and were treated to pretty snow capped mountain views as we left Alberta and crossed back into B.C.

We left our son’s place early so that we could get through the Kicking Horse Pass on Highway 1 before noon, when once again the highway would close and vehicles would be forced to take the hour and a half detour.

It was nice to have a shorter drive home 😀

It was a great trip home and we enjoyed a break in the drive at the Giant Cedars Boardwalk … but more about that in another blog.

I’m sure the news last night about the US land border opening in early November was a blessing for a lot of snowbirds!  We have a few balls in the air but at this point hope to still have a commercial driver take our truck and Maxx across the border on October 27th and we will fly.

Until next time …

OMG … Breakfast Pizza!!!

I thought this blog would be all about sunrise pictures and maybe a few others of our travels to Calgary today to spent Thanksgiving with our son and his family … but nope they are not the highlight. Oh you are still going to get sunrise pictures of course 😀 But let’s start at the beginning … We left the park at 6:30 and headed north on Westside Road rather than driving through Kelowna, Lake Country, and Vernon. Westside Road is considered the most dangerous road in BC and while they have done some work on it, it needs a lot more … but hubby is a good driver and I kept my eye out for deer and mountain sheep so we made it to the end safely, and in doing so missed all the traffic in the cities. Theoretically it should have saved us ten minutes but we lost that time for picture stops, but then that is what travelling is all about for Years ago we used to spend weekends camping at the city run RV park in Enderby, a little more than an hour north of Kelowna, and those weekends would always include a walk to Sutherland Bakery or Sutherland Ice Cream. Over the years I had forgotten about the great donuts and ice cream until a friend reminded me … thanks Delma 🙂

I like the angle on this picture 🙂

She had also told me they had a maple bacon donut which was really good and our son loves bacon so we figured a stop was in order to pick up an assortment of donuts to take with us.

From the left, a jelly log topped by two Cronuts (my new favourite donut, a cross between a croissant and a donut), kit kat donut, and two maple bacon donuts. The only one we have tried so far is the cronut so maybe my favourite will change 🙂

As we got to the till to pay I saw, and smelt, the most delicious pizza, but come on it’s 8:00 in the morning, we can’t have pizza … or can we … yes we can … it’s breakfast pizza … who knew there was such a thing … not me! We both knew right away that we had to have a piece and it was delicious. With a layer of salsa topped with ham, bacon, eggs, pepper, onions, cheese and probably a bunch of other yummy ingredients, it was beyond delicious and the best part was it wasn’t greasy.

I almost forgot to get a picture cause it was to good to stop eating 🙂

The rest of the trip was good although filled with road construction, which is the way of life when the weather is actually good enough to drive the Rogers Pass. That is why I prefer to fly but we had a truck full of Christmas presents to take with us so it made sense to drive this time … that and COVID. But then again if we hadn’t driven we never would have found breakfast pizza!

Until next time …

We Are Home 🙂

We arrived at our daughter’s place around 4:30 p.m. PST yesterday afternoon and we were exhausted. We left hubby’s cousin’s place just before 6:00 a.m. PST and arrived home ten and a half hours later … a really long day for basically a normally three hour flight.

Usually we can get a direct flight from Phoenix, AZ to Kelowna, BC but this year, maybe because of the whole MAXX 8 issue, all the flights, from airports around Yuma, ended up having a stop either in Seattle, WA or Vancouver, B.C. or Calgary, AB.

Snow in Calgary … it was dark by the time we arrived home but we do have about the same amount of snow on the ground at our daughter’s house 🙂

We ended up with the absolute worst seats on our three hour flight from Palm Springs to Calgary, AB. We were the second to last row on the plane, in an aisle seat across from each other… constantly dealing with people lining up for the washroom and bumping and prodding us so they could get by, I even had one guy grind his private parts into my shoulder so the flight attendant could get by … at least I’m choosing to believe it was because he had to let the flight attendant by.

We don’t spend money to get pre-assigned seats so we had no expectation of great seats but we travel with WestJet all the time, and since I have set my preferences, we have always been assigned a window and a middle seat. I know there are people who prefer the aisle seats but we don’t because of the sometimes constant up and down to let seatmates out. We were willing to suffer through it this time, because again we didn’t spend the money to get better seats, but I’m am concerned about our return flight. WestJet usually assigns the same seats back as you had in the beginning and I don’t want to have the same experience on our way back to Palm Springs … we may have to fork out some extra money for better seats 😦

And to top it off when we arrived in Calgary and were impressed with the International terminal and the domestic terminal only to have our flight gate change to a gate down in the bowels of the airport! Seriously they need to make their customers feel like they are better than an after thought barrack out on the tarmac … and our flight was delayed an hour so we got to spend more time in the bowels of the airport!

This picture is for our neighbours in Yuma, their house is down their on the shores of Kalamalka Lake.

All was forgotten, okay apparently it wasn’t since I wrote about it, once we arrived at our daughters and received those warm squeezy hugs from excited grandchildren who were out the door in a flash when we arrived 🙂

After a great dinner I went with our daughter and family to the ice rink in downtown Kelowna to enjoy some hot chocolate and Christmas caroling.   I even won two free adult tickets to one of our movie theatres because of my new sparkling Christmas hat! I think our grandson’s help me win that since I had given them each a hat as well … sorry I forgot to take pictures of the hats.

The spirit bear

And then we head home for a visit and some much needed sleep!

Until next time …