We've been here two weeks, and done some pottering around. I don't mind the place, and the relatives are nice, but it would be much easier if we could just pop over briefly every six months or so, rather than having to trek what feels like forever to get here (and back) and then stay for ages to justify the expenditure of time, energy and money.
The weather has been okay - there have been some quite nice days. Balance this with the fact that we've experienced two hail storms (one with hail as big as a 10c piece - Australian sized, not Canadian), there has been sufficiently bad flooding in at least one of the towns we've visited to require evacuation of residents (possibly more - some of this happened in the day or two after we arrived, and I was a little on the vague side for a few days), and it is supposed to be summer, that isn't as good as it could be.
We've been wandering back and forth between Calgary (which I hope everyone reading this has heard of) and Rimbey (which I doubt many of the Australians reading this would have heard of, except from me and mine). Although only about a 2 1/2 hour trip, assuming no good reasons for interupting the trip (of which we have had many), it is pretty gruelling, as child number three, being 15 months old and of the no longer naps for that long and wants to get out and explore that pretty world outside the window variety, has a tendency to be difficult to keep entertained. We've been timing it okay, so we at least get an hour or so peace while she (and sometimes one of the others) sleeps.
Tourist wise, we've been to the dinosaur museum at Drumheller, some of us went to a science centre/museum in Calgary while some of the rest of us went shopping for important items to replace things left at home (like shoes for aforementioned small child - managed to only bring the slippers she wore on the plane). Several of us went along to the local park in Rimbey for the Canada day celebration - 'free' cake! with icecream! We've been out to one of the local lakes, but I fell asleep on the way, and didn't wake up until everyone else had had enough and were ready to leave, so didn't really get much out of the experience.
I was going to make the foolish statement that today had been quiet, but when I reflect, I realise that this is not even an inaccurate generalisation, but a complete lie. Baby and I went to the local farmer's market this morning, which is quite the social event for some sections of town. Between mother-in-law(ish) and I, we bought about 2kg cherries for $15... and this is early in the season. Oddly, apricots are also a price I'd be willing to pay, but the plums and other stone fruit I've seen have been way more than I would pay, while still being cheaper than the fruits I would! Oddly, bananas are the other fruit that is excessively cheap ($1.30 a kg. in the supermarket. standard price). While at the farmer's market, encountered a friend - the wife of one of the cousins - and arranged for her and her nine-year-old to come over once they had finished their errands in town. Also had Art's brother and partner arrive around lunch time (up from Calgary), so the house was quite full. Friend and son left when dinner started being prepared, Art's parents left just after dinner (they are staying at their new 'condo', so as to give us space), and brother and partner left some time after that (also staying at condo). Then, getting the baby to sleep (mostly Art's job), and fiddling about on the computer, and it's pretty much bedtime. I've not adapted to the time-zone well - I keep wanting to sleep in to well after nine in the morning, but other than that, life is pretty good.
Plans from now? Expect to go canoeing tomorrow, and we'll see where from there. The last week that we are in Canada will be spent in Calgary and environs, but other than that we haven't much in the way of firm plans.