Tuesday, October 9

another canadian adventure - jasper national park: day 1

You may recall in 2017 Joe and I travelled to Banff National Park and a very small section of Yoho in the Canadian Rockies.  Banff, Yoho and Jasper are all reasonably close together.  One could spend weeks and even months there and still feel like exploration would never end.  Only a short time after coming home from Banff, Joe said, "I want to go back, I feel like we barely scratched the surface".  I agreed.  It made it quite easy to decide where we wanted to go for 2018.  That is how Jasper National Park unfolded.

Jasper was a bit of an adventure to get to.  Joe and I seem to like to travel to 'complicated' places, but it's always worth it!

3am wakeup call for our 6 am flight
2 hour flight to Toronto, Canada
2 hour layover (no direct flights)
4 hour flight to Edmonton, Canada
Pickup rental car
3.5+ hour drive to Jasper

Made for a VERRRRY long day... 

Note: As always our travel journey is a mix of cellphone photos and my DSLR.  With travel photos, I do edit minimally as we tend to make way too many photos.  With the combination of cameras we capped at 1021 photos.  Now you may understand why it takes me so long to blog about our adventures!  AND well it's technically busy season for me.

We didn't make many photos on day 1, as you probably noticed our travel to get to Jasper was quite the haul.  But our first stop inside the park was a beautiful overlook of mountains and the Athabasca River.  The water gets me every single time...  so beautiful.

Roche Ronde, Roche De Smet and Pyramid

As we continued our drive on the Yellowhead Highway, there was a 'traffic jam'.  Elk were grazing on the side of the road: two males, some females and few young ones.  One of the males was absolutely huge.  As I don't own a zoom lens I had to wait until they moved closer or take what I could get of the elk as they walked by.  (please kick me if I don't purchase one before our next adventure as I complain every time about not having zoom lens and having to bring a few primes and swap them out quickly to make photos... it can be frustrating... first world problem - yes yes.) The largest of the two males started walking fairly close to our car and was able to capture some pretty incredible photos of him.

Smaller of the two male elk

a few of the females and young

At one point the large male made eye contact and some sort of elk call.  That was when I told Joe, "I think it's time to go".

larger of the two male elk

Love the tongue! 

Required photo by the entrance to Jasper

NOTE: I will NEVER hear the end of the time we didn't stop at the Napa Valley sign in 2008.  That was 10 years ago and by golly if we ever go back to Napa we are going to take 20 pictures by that sign so I don't have to hear about it ever again.

We arrived at Patricia Lake Bungalows quite late in the afternoon.  We made a  quick walk to the dock of Patricia Lake (literally in our backyard) just to check it out (and touch the water of course) before unpacking and heading to the grocery store.  

PS - I would HIGHLY recommend staying at the Patricia Lake Bungalows.  We stayed in The Grove suite.

Tuesday, August 28

Asheville + Black Mountains

For our 10th wedding anniversary we made a quick trip to the mountains to celebrate.  Typically we make our big travels in the cooler months, but we felt like we should just escape for a short weekend as it was a big anniversary.

I believe the last time we were in Asheville was for our first anniversary.  It was fun to go back to the Biltmore and reminisce, but also since we had finished watching Downton Abby this summer it gave us a much different perspective on what life at the Biltmore may have actually been like.

I made a friend AND what better way to photograph my 10 year anniversary gift (my new anniversary ring!)

The following day Joe wanted to do a little hiking to prepare for our next big adventure.  So we headed to Black Mountain North Carolina.  We only hiked up 3.5 miles to a waterfall (to photograph of course) and then we decided to start our descent as the weather was starting to look quite iffy.  Good thing we did as Joe ended up getting a migraine near mile 6.  It is a reminder of how thankful I am for modern medicine!  Some migraine medicine, a little shut eye, chick-fil-a and a few hours later he was almost as good as new.

Love that handsome man of mine!

Tuesday, August 14

Surf City

It's been almost 6 months since I last posted here.  Life has been busy, but also not.  This past 2 years we haven't adventured quite as frequent as we use to (local small trips), but for good reason.  Work has been busy for the pair of us and Joe is close to finishing grad school  This summer Joe has obtained his first degree (MHA) and with 7 more classes remaining he will obtain his second degree (MBA) at the end of next summer.  I am so proud of him!!

A few weeks ago we made our annual family vacation to Surf City.  While we were there we didn't have the best weather, but did make for some amazing pictures.  With the weather the way it was, I didn't want to bring out the good camera - so instead I used my trusty iPhone (no editing whatsoever).

Joe and I usually wake up every morning early to watch the sunrise.  We never had a true sunrise on this trip, but the storm clouds were possibly better.

Lot's of shell collecting!  Joe may have even purchased a special shell collecting bag this trip.

The best seashell hunter around.

No sunset any night for us...

The next morning was quite iffy as you will see the rain in the distance for some of the photos.  We did get poured at one point (enough to have to change clothes) and went back to the house.  Then made a return trip for another long walk past the pier.

We made friends.