May was beautiful. June was unsettled and so far July has been the same! It's nice for the garden because at least once a week it gets a really good soak. Everything is growing like crazy, including the weeds. The clover we planted instead of grass has grown quite well but the yellow clover that is growing amongst the white clover is a real pain. Maureen and Kelly have been over the patch several times pulling the nasty yellow stuff out.
All the families are growing up - geese, ducks, eagles. It appears that all 30 goslings survived. The heron family that returned to the nest on the pilings did not - now there is a seagull sitting on the nest. Both eaglets are huge and about ready to fledge.
Our big trip this time was a two week road trip to Saskatchewan for the Gillespie family reunion. This is on Larry's mother's side. There were 11 kids in the family of Marguerite and Duncan Gillespie. However we did find out that a certain aunt wasn't really an aunt so this made the number 12 and we also found out that one child was stillborn - so it was actually a family of 13. Only three remain ages 87, 83 & 82.
We caught the 8:40 am ferry from Langdale on June 26. We took Highway 1 through to Chase. We stopped for gas at Abbotsford Costco (131.9) and at Kamloops Costco (132.9). We had lunch at Fat Jack's in Boston Bar. Pretty good sandwiches! We stayed at the Chase Country Inn Motel. It's a nice little place, very clean. Maureen walked to the grocery store to see what they had. There's not much to choose from in Chase so we had dinner at Pete's Pizza. Larry had pizza and Maureen had chicken souvlaki. They had run out of tomatoes for the Greek salad so it was just cucumber, dressing and lots of feta cheese. The restaurant at the motel is closed Tuesday and Wednesday so we missed out on that. Free breakfast was offered the next morning. We stopped for lunch - our leftovers from the night before - at a roadside park in Golden.
There was lots of road construction both before and after Golden. Our next stop was Calgary arriving about 4:30. We stayed at the Courtyard Calgary Airport for two nights. We got gas at Costco for 120.9. We met friends Jim and Bobbi for lunch at Cattle Baron on the 28th. It was good catching up. We hadn't seen them since we were last in Palm Springs. We ate so much lunch that we had chips for dinner!
By 8:30 am on the 29th we were on the road. We ran into rain just outside of Calgary but not too much. We arrived in Regina late afternoon. Costco gas was 117.9. We stayed at the Marriott Hotel Saskatchewan for three nights.
The Marriott Hotel Saskatchewan is a historic hotel overlooking Victoria Park. The Hotel was the fourteenth hotel in a nationwide chain constructed and owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and opened in 1927. We had a gorgeous suite. One could almost live there it was so big! We walked/scooted to O'Hanlons Pub for dinner. It was less than a block away and right at the side of the park. There was a nice outdoor patio that actually spanned three different restaurants.
The 30th was the day for the reunion. We got to the Victoria Club, just down the street from our hotel, about 8:45 am to help set up. Throughout the day there was lots of visiting - with people neither of us had ever met, with people Larry hadn't seen for 50 years, and with people who we've seen off and on over the years. It was a really good time, well-organized. There were breakfast sandwiches and hash browns to start. Then a bunch of us drove out to Milestone, about 50 km away, to see where Marguerite (d. 1965) and Duncan Gillespie (d. 1940) are buried. We stopped at the school and saw the old school bell and bricks from the old school building. Then we went to the cemetery. We were told at the cemetery that when they went to bury Marguerite that the digger stopped as Duncan's coffin was buried incorrectly (too far left) so they had to dig a new hole. We then stopped at a coffee shop Mary's Place for coffee and a snack. Then back to the Victoria Club for more socializing. Then Doug, who organized everything, showed a Power Point presentation about the family with old photos and stories. Then there was an open mike for people to talk followed by a roast beef dinner and a dance with more food at 10 pm. It went very well and was very well organized. There were about 60 people present.
On July 1 (Happy Canada Day) we went out to the campground where cousin Doug and Sheila were staying and had a nice visit with them and some other cousins. After lunch we met Marsha and Sharon (also cousins) for drinks in the lounge in our hotel. Then it was out to Sherwood Forest for dinner with Larry's brother and sister-in-law. What a day! Finished it off with beautiful fireworks viewed from one of our windows at 10:30.
Next day before we headed out we met Larry's dad's cousin Gordon and his daughter Jen and three grandchildren (Chantal, Autumn and Elijah) for breakfast at Cora. Larry's brother and wife also joined us on their way out of town. While we were there Larry spotted another friend Jerry and his wife who used to be involved with Telus Mobility. We were on the road by noon and arrived in Estevan about 2:00. We drove around for a while, checking out old haunts, and had drinks with Bob (Jim's brother from Calgary) then checked into our hotel Western Star Suites. The hotel was only three years old and was very nice. We went to the Tower Cafe for dinner.
Breakfast was included and we found out that dinner was too if we wanted it. We wandered around a bit, stopping by to visit the son of people who used to live across from Larry in Estevan then met Jim Barnstable for lunch. Larry bought his Kawasaki motorcycle from Jim in 1971. We met another of Larry's cousins, Debbie Fowler, for a quick coffee in the afternoon. Happy Hour was at the Taphouse with Merv, Colleen, Bob and Don, teen and school friends of Larry. We enjoyed the free dinner at the hotel which was lasagna and garlic toast.
After breakfast on the 4th we met another couple Barry and Patty, who own the furniture store, for coffee. Larry and Patty's lockers were next to each other in 1969, that's how long it has been since he has seen her. They let us know that they winter at Johnson Ranch in Queen Creek, AZ. We were on the road about 10:45. It was quite windy the whole way to Saskatoon. We stayed at the Towne Place Suites by Marriott, a hotel that was only a year old in the midst of an area called Stonebridge, also very new. Lots of places to eat nearby. We went to Edo.
We have found in Saskatchewan that they put up signs for rest areas coming up, show an arrow when you get to it then abandon you to find something on your own. This happened a few times! Also we got caught up a couple of times in both Saskatchewan and Alberta where lunch is dinner and dinner is supper. You have to be very clear whether you mean noon or evening.
On the 5th we were on the road by 9:15 and it was already hot. Along the way, in Lloydminster, we stopped for fuel and lunch - we were able to have a cod burger at A&W - we're all sold out of them in Sechelt! We arrived in Edmonton about 4:00. We visited one Costco and loaded up on no-tax supplies. Then we went to another one for fuel. It wasn't far from our hotel, the Courtyard Edmonton West. We arranged to meet our dear friend Millie at Boston Pizza. It was a great visit!
On the 6th we were on the road by 9:30 and it was already 23 degrees. We stopped at Olympia restaurant in Hinton for lunch. It was so nice to see the mountains in the distance. We arrived in Blue River about 4:30. There is still not much in Blue River and based on reviews we chose to go to Husky for dinner - big mistake. It wasn't very good. We had breakfast in The Grill in our motel and it was really good - we should have gone there for dinner! It rained in the night so the air was fresh. We went as far as Merritt and met up with Aaron and Tonye who were coming through following their three-stop musical tour. It was a quick visit because during dinner at Boston Pizza they decided to head for home. They got home sometime after one am.
We caught the 2:20 ferry from Horseshoe Bay and got home by 4:00 on the 8th. It was nice to be home! We've seen quite a bit of wildlife on this trip, even though there are no photos to prove it. We saw elk, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain sheep, a bear and quite a few deer including two that ran right in front of us. When we got home, our eaglets are still in the nest and the garden has grown like crazy.
Till next time!