Yes, we are headed back South tomorrow! It has been a memorable and challenging two months. Although we were planning on staying here for a few more months, we are ready to get back to Texas and our friends and usual routines there.
The house we are staying at sold, so we will soon be homeless whether we are in Canada or in the States! We originally were planning on stopping by Washington and Oregon on our way home to see family, but we've decided to fly up for Thanksgiving instead of spending an extra 17 hours on the road....35 hours of drive time is enough! Our plan is to stay in a co-worker's apartment in Dallas for two weeks while they are out of town and then stay in a hotel for another 1 1/2 weeks until our house is available and our renting contract is up. We will be happy to give up our gypsy lifestyle by the end of October!
We weren't able to fit in all of the attractions on my list, but we did see quite a bit while we were in Canada. Besides our trips to Banff and the Gopher Hole Museum, we were able to take a short hike at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, visit the Calgary Zoo, the Calgary Corn Maze, the Telus Science Museum, a miniature train ride at Iron Horse Park, and a local fall festival. Jared and I were happy to find a few babysitters so that we could go to Calgary for a few date nights also! I hope that we can come visit again in a few years so that we can experience more Canadian attractions and go camping when the kids are a little bit older.
|Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. One and only family picture taken while we were in Canada!|
|So scared that one of the kids were going to jump in!|
|Julia striking a pose|
As we pack up and head out on our 35 hour trip back home, we reminence about our time here in Canada. There are definitely comforts back home that we miss, but here is a short list of things that we will miss here in Canada (in no particular order):
1. Tim Horton's
This coffee/donut joint needs to make it's way to Texas! Their "ice capps," or cappuccino frozen drinks are to die for and their donuts aren't too bad either. The drive through line winds out into the road even though this place has been open for years! Cheap too!
2. The Mountains
Although we didn't get to visit the mountains as much as I would have liked, it's nice just knowing that they are there! On clear days, we get a nice view of the Canadian Rockies just outside our window. I can't wait to come back and visit later when we can go camping, hiking, fishing and rafting with our kids.
3. The Weather
Yes, we did come at the perfect time of the year. We escaped 100+ degree days and enjoyed cooler days and 45 degree nights. We will miss sleeping with our windows open. We missed all of the cold weather and snow since Alberta experienced record high temperatures in September. We would have loved to experience a little bit of fun in the snow, but maybe we'll get lucky in Texas this winter.
4. Canadian Accents
I really enjoyed listening to people talk in Canada. It only took a few weeks to start saying and even emailing the word, "eh!" It is so functional....confirming what you just said, emphasizing your point, asking a question with one word, or just saying it for fun! It's a habit that's going to be hard to stop!
5. Lack of Political Campaign Commercials
It's funny that many Canadians that we met had an opinion about American politics. But, overall we loved the thought of missing all of the political commercials and talk in the States for this upcoming election. (I'm actually talking for myself, more than I am for Jared!) We still were able to see all of the debates and information, but were able to escape all of the slander! Too bad we have to come back before November!
There are also things we won't miss, like the indoor/outdoor shoe concept. I've never heard of this before coming to Canada. We were told to bring "indoor shoes" for school so that we could change the kids from their "dirty outdoor shoes" into "indoor shoes" before coming into the classroom. I'm sure this keeps the floors cleaner, but it's very difficult task to change their shoes while lugging all of the backpacks up several flights of stairs and chasing an 18 month old down a crowded hallway so that he doesn't keep going into the men's restroom or escaping into the preschool room!
We also look forward to small things, like driving in miles per hour instead of kilometers per hour, knowing the temperature in Fahrenheit, instead of Celsius, and wide open spaces (land is very expensive in Canada and all of the houses are packed closely together and are very narrow).
Altogether we had a good experience and are happy that we took advantage of the opportunity. We met some great people and made many memories!
|Face painting fun....mermaid & pirate|
|Best Buddies giving hugs before their first day of preschool!|
|Ready for school!|
|Had fun w/ friends at the zoo!|
|Calgary Corn Maze|
|Iron Horse Park....simulates train ride from Calgary to Vancouver|