All of a sudden, Ontario has become very, very cold and incredibly snowy.

I eagerly await the first snow fall of winter. I love the first dusting, but it is the first blanket that does it for me. There’s something about the quietness and serenity that accompanies that first covering that makes it magical and almost fantastical.

The Canadian is often amused by my ability to just know that it snowed. For me, it’s like the pressure changes, the sound of the world outside adjusts and the magic just seeps in. Admittedly, the snow quickly becomes a burden, an irritation and a chore, but it’s that first moment that makes me excited.

When it snowed a few weeks ago, I woke up at 3 a.m. and watched it fall. I tried taking some photos but failed in the low lighting. Rather than figuring out how to get a good photograph, I decided to enjoy the moment. It was definitely worth the early wake up.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been really struggling to express myself in a way that works for me. I feel that I am at a turning point. Having never been particularly good at setting goals and having a mission, I feel lost and without direction.

There have been lots of very positive experiences over the last month.

  • My Etsy shop and card sales have been amazing. The support of my friends, family and online connections has been amazing, the amount of custom cards and interest has been exciting and validating.
  • I have spent the last few weeks building networks and connecting with some brilliant people in my (newish) community. Developing these links has been rewarding and energising. It was shocking to realise how reserved and reclusive I’d become, pushing myself to get out of my shell and challenge myself has been one of the best things about the last few weeks.
  • Travelling. I love travelling, and I’ve done a lot of that recently. Enjoying the delights of everywhere from Kingston to Leeds: finding a renewed pleasure in driving, singing at the top of my lungs and generally being busy.
  • Reflecting.
  • Word of the Day. I have been playing word of the day and it has surprised me how much the experience has entertained me.

Saying all this, I’m going to be taking the next few weeks to hibernate from blogging. It’ll be quiet around here while I spend time with my sister, my family and The Canadian. I am lucky to have so much love and inspiration in my life. I find that sometimes I become so involved with the online world that I forget to look outside of it, find inspiration, connect and live life outside of the computer screen.

I am wishing you all the best of holidays, Christmas and wintry season. December is my favourite month and I hope that you manage to feel some of the December magic!

See you in 2014!

converse shoes against leaves

birch discs being cut

composting leaves in black bags

shovel against the mud

the lemonhive birch wood pile

Winter is right around the corner. I am starting to feel the cold and the other day, The Canadian woke me up when he was scraping ice off the car. Ok, so the noise woke me up, but feeling sad that his day had started so badly kept me awake. We’ve recently had some trees chopped down in the back garden. Just in time too, as they were pretty unstable and last week saw some vicious winds that blew over our fence (!), I’d hate to have seen what it would have done to the weak trees had they still been standing.

We have a whole pile of leaves that we’ve been bagging up for composting. Apparently black bags allow leaves to compost slowly, not sure how true this is but since we have a 6′ pile of leaves in the back garden, I’m willing to give it a go.

The Canadian kindly made discs of birch for me to practice painting on, but in the meantime, I have to figure out how to cure them properly. I found a microwave method but I’m a bit wary about putting wood in the oven let alone the microwave! Does anyone have any tips? I do not have a wood kiln and do not fancy waiting up to 18 months for them to get a 12% water/air balance. They’re about 1-2cm depth by 6cm x 8cm. So far, I’ve popped them into brown paper bags and left them in a warm place, apparently this will help.

Even if I don’t get any answers, I really enjoyed myself doing things in the garden. It’s a big deal for me to put myself at risk of spider contact. All you arachnophobes will know what I’m sayin!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.

Which is great.

But, how do Canadians celebrate the day?

I still don’t really know the answer to this question and I’m on my third year in the country!

The first year, we spent it with some of The Canadian’s friends. I’d been in the country some 3 weeks, so it was all pretty new to me.

The following year, The Canadian and I were preparing for his deployment. He left 2 days later. We had fun making a big thanksgiving meal for friends who were also in Edmonton. It was really fun, but somewhat tinged with sadness for the two of us.

Last year, we spent time with The Canadian’s mum, but having just moved into our first house some 14 days earlier, we were not particularly focused on thanksgiving.

So, this year celebrates my fourth thanksgiving.

I have no idea how to celebrate it. Canadians seem to enjoy sitting around and eating food together. After that, it seems pretty much like a ‘anything goes’, similar to the way that people around the globe celebrate Christmas.

I’m really not one for sitting around and discussing everything that I’m grateful for. I find it awkward and uncomfortable, which is odd, because I’ve never had a problem expressing love and gratitude through writing. I try to express gratitude throughout the year, but it is nice to have a day dedicated to it, unlike in the UK, where Thanksgiving doesn’t really ‘happen’.

In an attempt to try to appropriate the day to work for my little family (including the cats and, in the spirit of the day, I’ll also include the bloomin’ ladybirds that seem to have taken residence in my house!), I decided to start my own mini traditions. By starting my own traditions I develop my own warm, cosy and happy feelings about the day. This would be fantastic because quite often I just don’t get excited about thanksgiving, it’s just not a big deal to me, even though I desperately want it to be.

{Initially, we’d planned to go to my mother in law’s home for Thanksgiving but The Canadian is not well today, so instead, we are going to watch Disney films and eat left over curry…and visit the paint store. Yup, because making our home exciting makes us excited!}

Having decided to mindfully enjoy my experiences here, I am going to list some of the more positive aspects of my life, especially the ones that make me feel most thankful, because apparently that’s what you do, or am I mixing it up with the American traditions?! Either way…here goes:

  • I am thankful that I decided to travel first class on 26th October 2008 (just saying)
  • I am grateful for the amazing support of my parents and mother-in-law during 2011-2012, that was a particularly rough period and without that support I would have been so alone.

 

  • I am overjoyed that I have friends and family that I love. Friends and family around the globe, on different continents, countries and cities, with different religions, social outlooks, passions and purposes. I have friends in Prescott, Kingston, Edmonton, Heidelberg, Leeds, Manchester, Tripoli… that is amazing. If you had told me that I would have friends all over the globe when I was little, I just wouldn’t have believed you, it’s truly magical and baffling but I am genuinely grateful for those friendships. Especially the ones that pushed me to stay in touch when I was going through dark periods in my life. I feel truly loved by my friends and my family and I am so grateful for that love.
  • Although I am sometimes sad that I don’t have a tight knit circle of friends that I see regularly and often, I know that this is because I have travelled and moved pretty consistently since I was 22. I have been lucky to have the ability to reside in two different countries, when some people are not safe to reside in any.

 

  • I am grateful that this year, I am able to eat. It’s a small thing to me but it’s a big deal to so many people around the globe.

 

  • My mum used to always disagree with me. I hated it, but in a different light, it made me comfortable disagreeing with other people and being ok with it. Although, mum, you can stop now… I’ve learnt my lesson! AGREE WITH ME, always.

 

  • I’m thankful my mother in law is not typical. I enjoy that she’s a secret hippy at heart, although she will likely disagree with this

 

  • I’d like to express my gratitude to two friends in particular. There was my childhood friend, the one who exposed me to a different way of the world, before the world became anti-anything different. She was and continues to be amazing. We were so different but we were the best of friends. Thank you for your patience with me during those incredibly difficult moments. Oh, and that time that I fell in the mud and you totally made it ok because you were confident where I was not. Secondly, to the friend I met at university. The one who grew with me and who never judged me. The one that offers to pay for me come back to England and will have rants with me about everything possible, send me chocolate and tell me when I’m being ridiculous. She also sends me very practical advice when I’m panicking, like ‘maybe a bath will help’. See, sensible because baths help everything. I am grateful for all of the beautiful people in my life, but the two of you are really amazing.
  • Finally, I am grateful for The Canadian. I don’t often talk of him on here, but he’s always there. Sometimes, he’ll just tell me to go and do something creative. Other times, he’ll sit and listen to me as I tearfully explain that I feel lost/miss home/miss British Christmas. Then there are the times he’ll drive around Edmonton searching for a duck and will reluctantly happily pay $80 for an organic, freerange, tiny duck so that I will have a bit of a England at Christmas. He will happily attend appointments I set up and have long discussions as I rearrange our entire finances. He will listen to my big plans for renovation and set up a Pinterest board to make sure that we can both stay up to date with what my plans are. Generally, he’s pretty cool and I am grateful for his affection and presence in my life.

Are you celebrating thanksgiving? How do you celebrate it? How do you get that ‘thanksgiving’ feeling?

It can be so difficult deciding what to take on a road trip. Especially, if, like us, you have a small car.

There were a few things that really helped us with this trip.

Smartphone Apps + Websites for Long Car Journeys

Gasbuddy

Gasbuddy has an app and a website, so if you have internet access you will be able to figure out when to stop for fuel. Buying gas on our journey would have been far more expensive if we hadn’t found this app. Fuel prices vary from street-to-street in Canada and knowing where the nearest, cheapest fuel was really helped us stick to budget. It can be annoying when you fill up, only to find it .20c less per litre 10 km down the road!

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor potentially prevented food poisoning and bedbugs during our trip. It was far from perfect, as consumer reviews can sometimes be skewed; everyone has different standards. One persons ‘too expensive for what you get’ meal is another persons ‘ahh, bliss, I was desperate for this type of meal/environment etc’. Still, if you’re able to read between the lines and you’re working within a budget, this is a brilliant app/website to visit. There are reviews on hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and even take out chains across Canada.

Audible

We signed up for the trial version and downloaded a few audio books. On a 9 day, 6 hours of driving per day, road trip, conversation and attention can dry up. It was nice to have a little distraction on occasion. If we did more driving, we’d definitely sign up for the membership too. I’d recommend any Terry Pratchett novel and Tina Fey’s BossyPants. Best stories ever for ridiculously long road trips.

Packing

Clothes

Let’s face it. You’re probably not going to do much laundry on a 9 day road trip. Maaaybe if it was longer, you would. Maaaybe you will. Anyway, bring enough clothes so that you have layered outfits for 3-4 days. You want to make sure that you have a raincoat, sandals, walking shoes. You do not need jewellery and you do not need fancy make up. Be simple. It saves space and time.

Bedding

This probably sounds weird, but bring a pillow, and a throw (if there’s room). We did this because I really like my own pillow and we couldn’t be sure that the hotel standards would be suitable. We have stayed in quite a few fancy schmancy hotels (can you say the Fairmont?) in the middle of winter, only to discover that they had no spare blankets and no hot water bottles because of this, the throw was a must. Plus, it makes snuggly car sleeping possible (more on this later!).

Food and ‘Stuff’

We bought 2 books each. My camera and 2 lenses. And a whole heap of other ‘stuff’ (this is because we were waiting 2 months before moving into our new house, and wouldn’t have access to any of our stuff in Ontario), including military gear and dress uniforms. There was a lot! But, we also brought an icebox with us and bought fruit and water at road side stops. We bought bread, plastic cutlery and jam for emergency sandwiches and snacks.

Planning for Large Road Trips

If it’s more than just you, decide whether the trip is an A-B journey or a road trip where the destination signifies the end of a mini adventure. Once you and your driving buddy are on the same page, it really will make for a smoother journey. We decided to take our time, to take an alternate route and how many days would be spent in each province. The Canadian had travelled through Canada before, so he had some insight into speed restrictions (Ontario) and any other issues that could impede our journey plans.

Are we there yet?

We had a rough idea of how many nights would be spent in each province. Our goal was to spend more time in Ontario than in SK or MB (we’d already visited those places), so, by the end of each evening, we would sit down and review the map, we’d pull out the TripAdvisor and try to find a good hotel and goal. We would book the hotel the night before and then we knew where we had to be at the end of the day. After that, we would see if there were any ‘must see’ places along the way, if not, then we would just drive with a vague, flexible plan of where we would eat at lunch time and maybe dinner.

Sleeping

Yes, road trips are long. They can be boring. And, at some point you get tired. We heard of many stories of non-stop driving for 72 hours etc. This, for us, was not right. We like our sleep! We’re also poor drivers when we’re tired. We decided that we would, for the most part, keep each other company during the drive. Especially, if we were driving through the night on dark country roads. In the mornings, we allowed the other to sleep in the car, if needed, but at night, the extra attention from the passenger was helpful.

I loved our trip but there are so many things I would do differently next time. I’d ensure that there were more snacks and that I was more mindful of time. I’d plan dinner and meals more firmly. There’s only so many times you can eat burgers in dodgy looking take outs. But overall it was a great experience.

What are your suggestions for keeping your sanity during a road trip?

I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
How to Find Great Photo Opportunities on Road Trips
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

Successfully documenting a road trip doesn’t have to be hard work. With some planning and a little exploring you can really have fun with it. Taking photos on a long car journey can be your first step toward creating an art journal, collecting your own textures for editing, developing travel journals + photo albums and tracking experiences. It’s so much fun to be able to review details of adventures long after the memories begin to fade.

I loved travelling across Canada. It’s the biggest car adventure I’ve undertaken and I enjoyed myself so much. I’m so happy that I decided to photograph the entire trip. The Canadian and I rarely go on holiday, so when we were posted from Edmonton to Ottawa, we decided that it was going to be fun. We’d been told by many people that the drive could be completed in 3 straight days of driving but, for us, that wouldn’t have been as safe, beneficial or as enjoyable as the time we took to smell the roses, photograph and explore areas of the country we’d never have the opportunity to see again.

Undoubtedly, the greatest part of the trip was spending time with my Canadian but, I’m not going to lie, seeing Canada and improving my photography skills were definitely up there on my list of enjoyment. 3,000+ km later and I had learnt a lot about finding great photo opportunities and improving my way of documenting our travels while road tripping it.

Here are my top tips:

1. Plan your trip

Planning your road tip, breaks and the time you have each day to take photographs can really help bring things together. If you know that you will be stopping in Town X for lunch and that you have an hour, you could plan to see the towns tourist attraction, have a picnic by a remote lake or visit a small market. Planning your photo breaks saves time and makes the experience enjoyable.

2. Wander

 Leave the highway. Study the map before you travel and look for unusual place names. Some of the best experiences and photo opportunities can be found in those remote places.

3. Document Enjoyment

Take photos of the things you enjoy, capture images that sum up your mood or the mood of the journey on that day. Don’t take photos for the sake of taking photos.

4. Practice your Photo Techniques

I took a camera manual with me. I know how to pick ’em, huh? When The Canadian drove, I read my book and learnt new techniques, compositions or settings that I would try out. Learning how to manipulate shutter speed, adjust composition and learn more about my camera was fun.

5. Use the Car

Take photos in the car, use the rear view mirror, the side mirror and the driver. There are so many options, but remember to be safe. Don’t distract the driver!

6. Be Real

Remember to document the things that make the trip real. Document the mess of travelling, the hotel rooms, the food. Your road trip is yours. It adds up and documenting all of it, including the little things makes a big difference.

7. Road Signs

Road signs make great photo opportunities on long journeys. The road trip was really long and we went through many towns. If for no other reasons, taking pictures of road signs can help divide your images into location points. This is particularly useful on a long road trip when you have no option of downloading your images to a computer.

8. Take Landscape Photos

Learn to take landscape photographs, especially of scenery that you love. They make great backdrops for written text in journals and blogs.

9. Review!

Review your photos often. Better yet, upload your photos to your computer, cloud or wherever you decide to store them and do it every evening. If you can’t upload then at least review your images in the camera. On our road trip I found so many photo opportunities that I had over 1k images by the time we reached Ontario! Far too many. It took an hour to go through and delete blurry, duplicate and imperfect images. If I’d have done this every evening it would have made my life easier.

10. Write

Take a notebook with you and write. It might not seem like a big deal but road trips are a great way to make big plans and goals. Conversations on long journeys are great and the experiences you have are rich. Don’t miss out on documenting those experiences. Having text to go with your photographs can really help bring a journal together.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the moment. Photographs are great but if you don’t enjoy yourself then it becomes a bit pointless. Taking photos of everyday only has meaning if you enjoyed the moment. 

Canada is a beautiful country, but there are also some serious risks to wandering off, always be aware of wildlife, especially bears and other dangerous creatures. Polar bears, for instance, are not going to pose nicely, no matter how great your camera is.

I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Tips for Successful Road Trips
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

We have been in Ontario for an entire year! (well, just over). Toward the end of 2012, we decided to purchase and live in Prescott, Ontario. A tiny town situated on the St. Lawrence river, across from the equally quaint town of Ogdensberg, NY. Small town living took some getting used to, as neither of us had experienced it prior to this.

However, it has been such an exciting experience and we have done so much. Living in a small town, although not always as idyllic as we had (naively) hoped, has provided us the leisure to enjoy each others company, to be away from The Canadian’s job and to develop our relationship, setting the foundation for our growth individually and as a couple. It’s just small changes, like developing a garden, planning to decorate, filling in the big gaping pool in our back garden and just generally making plans and enjoying each others’ company, but to us they are precious.

 

lake superior on a hiking trail
Ontario Facts:
Provincial Flower: White Trillium
Provincial Bird: Great Northern Loon
Provincial Tree: Eastern White Pine
Ontario was by far the most visually pleasing province to drive through. The reduced speed limits, although annoying (and difficult to stick to) at first, allowed for better enjoyment of the scenery.
welcome to Ontario

turtle lake, ONadvanced hiking trail, ON, between wawa and sault saint mariecross canada road trip ONTARIOkakabeka falls Road Trip Ontario

We stopped more often and enjoyed the rock, trees, water and richness of Ontario.
When our road trip brought us to Lake Superior I couldn’t comprehend that it was a lake and not an ocean. Even today, knowing that it is a lake (I had to check by looking it up), I’m still not sure of the ‘lakeness’ of Lake Superior. Surely it should be classed as an ocean?! Beyond this small bafflement, the rest of the journey was brilliant, much of my time was spent looking out for further glimpses of Lake Superior.
We travelled from Fort Frances to Thunder Bay and then onwards to Wawa. From Wawa we pushed ourselves to Petawawa, where we collapsed and spent a slow afternoon with Amanda and her family, who were posted here a few years ago.
From there, we braved the Queensway in Ottawa, during rush hour, and promptly became lost on the side roads of the city.

Some 3 hours later, we made it to Prescott, where my mother-in-law took us out for even more restaurant food. Although some what tired of restaurant food over the 9 days of travel, the restaurants in Prescott offered far better food than the falafel burgers of Nipissing or the dodgy burgers of Sudbury. instagram road trip canada

If you’re on a road trip that takes you through northern Ontario, stop in Wawa and see the world’s biggest goose statue, Lake Wawa and Magpie falls. Stop at Kakabeka falls and when in Thunder Bay, drop down and drive through the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, which is the first real experience of Lake Superior, it is a bit of a circular trip but a pleasant drive, nonetheless.
Between Thunder Bay and Wawa, we left the beaten trail and headed for Turtle Lake Landing. Beyond having great photo opportunities, it provided great amusement. It was a ridiculously long drive down dirt roads and steep hills and a lot of judgement from locals who did not approve of our little hatchback, apparently these roads were for trucks only (eek!). Thank goodness we were able to make it back up the hill, I don’t think I could have stood the embarrassment of having to ask for help pushing it up the steep inclines!
Between Wawa and Sault St Marie, there is a hiking trail of …an advanced nature. It’s worth pulling over for, because, well: chipmunks. There are also some historical cave and wall drawings accompanying stories of sea monsters. It was only after finishing the hike and scaling the rock face above a very turbulent Lake Superior that we discovered that it was an ‘Advanced Hiking Trail Only’. Still, we managed it and enjoyed it, the photo opportunities were amazing and it was one of the biggest joys of the road trip. I also learnt that converse, designer skinny jeans and hiking are not the best of combinations!
Finally, be prepared for unpredictable weather on the roads of northern Ontario. Or, in fact, anywhere in Canada. Our road trip was blessed with fantastic weather, however, there were moments when we had to pull over on the highway because the rain was pounding and making visibility impossible.
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Ontario
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

Manitoba Facts:
Provincial Flower: Prairie Crocus
Provincial Bird: Great Gray Owl
Provincial Tree: White Spruce

 

We arrived late into Manitoba. Having visited Manitoba in the winter of 2010, we hadn’t planned to spend much time in the province during our cross-country road trip. The day we arrived, we were met with thunder and heavy rain. After settling into the hotel, we went out for dinner at a rather posh restaurant and relaxed for the first time on our journey.
The next day, we met up with The Canadian’s old school friend and enjoyed an afternoon with him before exploring some of the downtown delights of Winnipeg.
Before crossing the provincial border for our Ontario section of our road trip, we stopped in Falcon Park and enjoyed the last of the flat land and rolling clouds. The weather was beautiful and provided a fitting day to say goodbye to the prairies.
If you’re in Winnipeg on your road trip, or any visit for that matter, be sure to drop by the Winnipeg zoo, which is fantastic. We visited that in the dead of winter, and minus the -40 C cold, we had a fantastic time, as a bonus all the sensible visitors had stayed away so we had the park to ourselves. Other things to do in Winnipeg, when you’re short of time and looking for ‘free’ or cheap days, include visiting the British sweetie shop, Candy Mountain, located in an old train carriage in “The Forks”. The Forks also houses a mall, which is definitely worth a wander.
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Manitoba
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

Saskatchewan Facts:
Provincial Flower: Western Red Lily
Provincial Bird: Sharp-Tailed Grouse
Provincial Tree: White Birch

We didn’t take the Trans-Canada Highway all the way from Edmonton, as most people would if they were embarking on a road trip across the country, instead we entered Saskatchewan from the south. We were heading for Regina when we found an information centre, which made us aware that a winery was a 40 minutes drive in the wrong direction. Having never been to a winery before, I persuaded The Canadian that it would be a good idea to take a detour, so we headed to Maple Creek.

The Canadian still insists that the mead was his best experience in Saskatchewan to date. We bought bottles of mead and white wine, enjoyed a walk around the vineyard and ate a fantastic lunch. We even saw wild deer, which, to a city girl like me, was exciting!

The drive through southern Saskatchewan was amazing. It looked almost untouched in places. I drove this stretch so there aren’t many photos of this province, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it was breathtaking. For a while, it was boring, flat, farms then all of a sudden the scenery melted into large dusty hills and winding roads, with sporadic placements of blue water in valleys, surrounded by low trees. This area of Saskatchewan was reminiscent of something from a film. The Canadian was delighted when we stumbled across a remote T-Rex museum in Eastend, SK. He wasn’t so delighted when I bought him a t-shirt that was too (!) geeky for his tastes.

Our journey through Saskatchewan was against the background noise of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” and Terry Pratchett’s “Witches Abroad“. I cannot over recommend having an audio book or two for a long distance road trip. Especially for road trips across Canada. Although there really is some beauty to be found in this country, some of the driving can be particularly arduous, and having some distraction for 9 hour days of driving can be a useful tool.
The audiobooks really added to the richness of our road trip and, as an added bonus, they made up for the grumpy moment that came from me needing a chocolate break, only to pull into a convenience store that turned out to be the “Corner Gas” set just north of Weyburn. For those of you not familiar, this was a big Canadian TV show set around a petrol station, honestly, the premise of the show surpasses my description! Needless to say, they didn’t sell chocolate.

Saskatchewan was a thoroughly enjoyable drive. I’d recommend exploring the vineyard just east of Maple Creek, enjoying the drive around Eastend (and even visiting the museum!), enjoying the massive horizons and the fantastic cloud formations, and visiting “Rumors” cafe in Assiniboia, which was definitely a great place to stop, albeit rather remote.

Where are you favourite places in Saskatchewan?

I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Saskatchewan
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

road trip alberta lake louise

Alberta Facts: 
Provincial Flower: Wild Rose
Provincial Bird: Great Horned Owl
Provincial Tree: Lodge Pine Tree

 

For 2 years, we lived in Edmonton, Alberta. Our first house was home to many exciting firsts. We experienced condo living (boo!), living next to dreadful neighbours, and a whole host of military induced experiences (including a deployment).
Giggling on the bathroom floor after eating too many gummy bears is one of my best memories, as was the road trip around Alberta, after the Canadian returned from Afghanistan. Although, The Canadian will probably argue that the time I fostered 1 cat and 8 kittens for 6 weeks was up there on the list of memories (sorry!).
Leaving Edmonton was bittersweet, we had made some amazing friends and great connections. We were close to mountains and had may a great time exploring the smaller towns of Alberta. However, we were ready to move on, having found Alberta too restrictive for our own personal tastes, we desperately wanted to be posted to Ontario. We decided to drive to Ottawa and kept our road trip to within Canada. Often people decide to drive the U.S., however, this was my first time to explore Canada properly and I didn’t want to to turn down the opportunity to see my new country in its entirety.
military move from Alberta to Ontario
Alberta collagedrumheller alberta road trip
Alberta is a beautiful province, filled with absolutely breathtaking scenery (don’t worry, there’s also a lot of bland scenery to balance it out!). If you’re ever in Alberta, be sure to visit Calgary zoo, drive the Iceland Parkway, explore the trails surrounding Lake Louise and Jasper, have a photograph taken outside the world’s largest dinosaur structure in Drumheller, visit the hoodoos and generally get lost amongst the great expanse of fields and greenery (in the summer!). I would recommend an Alberta road trip to anyone who wanted to see natural beauty.
Where would be your ‘go to’ places in Alberta? Do you have any ‘must dos’ for road trips that keep you from divorcing?
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Alberta
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities