Thursday, August 7, 2014

to manitoba and back...

When July came to an end, we were still on the road...returning from a trip to Manitoba.  We seem to have made that trek quite often in recent years!  Now that we are back at home...and in the groove of things once again...I'll share a few memories and moments from our time away.

We had company in our motor home for the trip east.  Though the younger grands had all come camping with us the previous week...the oldest two decided they would like to hitch a ride to Manitoba with us...and call that their camping trip for the year.  And what a fun time we had!  Our first stop was in Jasper...where we did a little exploring and had ice-cream.

The following day we interrupted our road trip to spend a day at West Edmonton Mall.  Time disappears quickly in the North America's largest mall!  The girls did some shopping...we watched the sea lion show...had a nice lunch together and called it a good day.  Even Grandpa!

As for all those hours in the motor home...we spent them well.  Emme and Spencer decided that Monopoly was a good game for the road...since it takes 'forever' to finish a game.  So we three buckled into the seat belts at the nook and played hours and hours of Monopoly (the 2010 Canadian edition).  We even had Monopoly fruit snacks to eat while we played.  Grandpa put in his 'two cents worth' from the driver's seat on occasion...but for the most part he (and GPS Jane) took care of the driving.  The girls are quite skilled (should I say ruthless?) when it comes to acquiring, developing and mortgaging properties.  I think I need to be on their team next time...not in competition!  And they even managed to catch up on their sleep as we rolled through the prairies. It was a good road trip!

We rolled by mile after mile of yellow canola fields...and just before we reached our destination in Carberry, Manitoba we noticed the crop of choice was potatoes.

We passed by the Harte elevator (surrounded by a healthy field of potatoes)...

...and pulled into my sister and brother-in-law's farmyard.  We had arrived...along with a few others!  It was a family reunion...a long time in the planning. Some came by car, some flew...some brought their RV or tent.  We spent a long weekend at Jim and Kathy's...who together with their family had planned the entire event...including bringing in extra trailers and washrooms and organizing all the food.  There were close to close to 50 of dad, all of his children and most of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Here he is...surrounded by his grands and great-grands.  Unfortunately, we never thought to take group photos until a few had already left! 

Though it is a dairy operation we were at...if you know my know he will have a whole lot more than just cows!  Think 'Old MacDonald's Farm'.  There are pigs, and goats, turkeys and all kinds of fowl.  And the chicks that hatched while we were there were a hit with all the kids.

As were the dogs...both the farmyard dogs and the dogs that arrived for the reunion!  My grands threatened to take Molly (the white Jack Russell Terrier) home with them.

Though there were no ponies for the kiddos to ride...Nikko was about the right size for my twin grand-nephews. 

Giant bubbles were a good source of entertainment once again!

It seems the American cousins brought along their guns...and all the would-be sharp shooters had a chance to try their hand at downing the clay pigeons. Even a few of the girls got in on the fun.

Evenings were spent around the campfire.  Not just any campfire...but a Manitoba sized one! 

Every day, Jim brought in a fresh supply of firewood from the 'back forty'...enough fuel to keep the fire going until tomorrow!  In the evening we told stories...and heard tales...and played Baerg Family Jeopardy.  (And warded off mosquitoes and flies.)  

The sun takes a long time to set in the prairies...and midnight usually arrived before we knew it.  It was a good time for four generations to be together!

One morning, I saw princess Nola (grand niece) head off to her grandparent's tent.  She thought it was high time they were up...but when all was quiet inside...she sat down to wait.  It made for a great picture!  And here are a few more of my favorite scenes...

The cattle wading in the backyard pond...a pond that was bigger than ever due to the heavy rains in Manitoba this summer.

Kathy's flower gardens with the elevator in the distance...taken the morning we left.

Once again...we all went our separate ways.  Some to Texas, some to Iowa...others to Alberta and British Columbia. Thanks to Jim and Kathy and family (especially Gillian) for all your hard work in making this happen! 

Our homeward bound trip was somewhat quieter, and a whole lot less entertaining...since we parted ways with our two passengers.  Emme and Spencer flew home from Manitoba with their mom and dad...and we were left on our own.  No more Beach Boys more Monopoly more giggles!

Before we left for home...we made a wee detour to meet up with some good friends in Portage la Prairie.  We had lunch together...for hours...and chatted face-to-face rather than on-line as we usually do.  It was another reunion of sorts!  Thanks Char and Betty...for taking the time and effort to make that happen.

From there it was westward...and homeward.  Slowly!

Past the golden fields of canola in southern Saskatchewan... well as the occasional blue flax seed field.  The Canadian prairies have a beauty all their own!

On July 31st we passed through Alberta...

...and celebrated our anniversary with a lovely dinner at a restaurant recommended to us by a local.

July came to an end...and we were still on our road trip.  We spent the last few days at Halcyon Hot Springs...a jewel in the Kootenay region of British Columbia.  I'll share that adventure another time!

So there you have Manitoba and back in the summer of 2014!



  1. Judy, thanks for taking us along on your trip. Your photos are superb as always, and your travelogue is so interesting! I can see that a great time was had by all. I enjoy seeing the beauty of Canada through your trips. I tell Dan after every travel post, "we just have to go to Canada... soon!"

  2. What a fantastic reunion!! You send us the best "post-cards" Judy - I SO enjoy reading about your travels and adventures. Happy anniversary to you two!

  3. What a marvellous family reunion. You will have so many memories to share.

  4. Judy, that was a wonderful vacation for you. Your photos are beautiful. I love the 'Manitoba size bonfire'! What a fabulous family reunion on a beautiful farm! All the best, Pam

  5. What a great and varied trip. How wonderful to have the property for you all to be together on and the energy to put together an event like this! Grand photo of the patriarch and all the kids!
    Love that bon fire pit!

  6. Hi Judy, What a wonderful trip and family reunion. Haven't been to one this size in about 14 yrs-we had family in Tennessee and this is what it looked like too. Loved seeing all your photos. Beautiful country isn't it.
    Have a great weekend.

  7. What an absolutely wonderful time! I love the enormous fire pit with the family sitting around. Even though it's a lot of work for the sponsoring family the rewards are enormous for everyone who comes. I bet your Dad was thrilled with it all!
    Beautiful farm pictures too.

  8. No one weaves a travel tale as well as you do, Judy! I very much enjoyed seeing those beautiful plains. Your sister and her husband have a beautiful property as well. The family photos tell it all and your father plays his role as patriarch with a grin that can't be beat.

  9. You two really know how to make the most of your summers. You are building such special memories with your Grands. Family reunions are wonderful and such a great way for family members to reconnect and make new memories. Thanks for sharing your travels with those of us who stick closer to home. I enjoyed your trip pictures!

  10. Oh, Judy!!! I loved every single word and photo!!! What a beautiful trip and what an amazing time you had!!! Loved the pictures of family enjoying each other. I loved it ALL!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.....

  11. What a wonderful get together with your family in Manitoba. Everything about this post is delightful - the trip with the girls (even losing at Monopoly), the tenting, gathering round the fire, and the trip home across our beautiful country.

  12. What a wonderful family reunion this was, Judy! Your Dad looked so happy and proud with many of his children and grandchildren in that photo. Your sister's farm looked delightful and so did your photos of the journey each way. I'm sure your grand girls enjoyed their one way ride with you and grand dad--thye are beautiful girls!

  13. What a fun and full vacation you had. Gorgeous photos along the roads, at the farm, and fun family pics. Emme and Spencer are at such a fun age and I can imagine they brought lots of entertainment along. Smiling at grandpa enjoying and mall and chimed in from the drivers seat every so often....I can see him smiling to himself up there:) I so enjoyed your memories and moments. Welcome home.

  14. The family reunion seems to have had all the right ingredients - even a princess in the family! Lucky twins to hitch a ride with you - and luck you to be making those memories.

  15. Judy, what a lovely setting for a family reunion! It looks like a great time. Your pictures are beautiful. I thought the flax field was a lake! Dairymary

  16. Memories that deserve to be kept in a jewel box they are so precious. Judy you write so beautifully I can feel the wonderfulness of the beauty inside and outside of your motor home. Of course I am jealous of the robust size of the family grouped together at the reunion. A reunion with my parents would be nine of us including in-laws. Sigh. On the other hand folks around here often have thirty grands and reunions number over a hundred easily. How ever do they keep track of everyone's names?

  17. Wow! Hats off to those who planned this family reunion! How special that you could all be together
    to catch up on the old and get to know newer family members better. You capture the trip and the gathering beautifully with your photos and words.

  18. Catching up with you via this blog, is always an extra special treat for me! Today, I enjoyed seeing your exceptionally planned and carried out, family reunion. Wow! I can't imagine all that your brother and his wife, did to make it all happen for you. The pictures were so interesting to me! Your dad must have been thrilled to have had that privilege. One of my favorite pictures, is the one of the little one waiting outside her grandparent's tent. I like the activity of the huge bubbles.

    The picture of you and Elmer, celebrating your anniversary, is so good! I wish you two many more
    joys in the years ahead. I enjoyed this visit with you today. Always, I do.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson