Mewhorts Abroad

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Victoria Day is in May here, so we joined our friends Derek and Sarah in Canmore for a relaxing weekend. We weren't able to leave until after Clarissa's ballet (the exam was coming up). That made for a relaxed drive though, as most of the traffic had already gone. It was the final ski weekend of the season, and we liked it so much we begged our way back for the beginning of July!

Family Spring Picnic

Spring finally arrived in May, and the family (minus David in Ft. McMurray) headed out to the park for some fun in the sun! The geese and ducks were out on the ice, and they didn't seem all that hungry when Clarissa and Sophia offered them food. It wasn't shorts weather, but as everyone was saying, it wasn't snowing either!

Easter Bunny Arrives!

The Easter Bunny found Sophia and Ashlyn at Auntie Randi and Uncle Doug's house early (6:15 am) Easter morning. I'm not sure this will become a tradition... There was much chocolate and some fun times, with lamb for dinner!

Winter Field Trips

Well, I didn't manage to keep up with posting, but better late than never... In February I was out with the University students looking for life under the ice. There was life (some Chara in the jar), but lots of snow and ice too! We had some fun (see the snowman?) and got our data, and no one fell in (usually it's me that has that issue!).
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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Let it snow...

We've had a very "normal" winter this year, so that included snow for Christmas and hoar frost over the holidays. That's where the frost builds up on the everything and frosts it... Very pretty and probably interesting to those who don't have this kind of climate! The background of the collage is a chain link fence and Clarissa was showing off snowflakes on her black mitten...

Christmas '07

It was good to be with family at Christmas, we were priviledged to have Doug's dad, Jim, our friends Michael (whom we met in Malaysia) and Kevin join us for Christmas Eve dinner at my brother Craig's house. My whole family attended, including brother David from Vancouver Island. Ashlyn (with Max, oops I mean Doug) had learned to close her eyes until after the flash... We went on to open one gift each, Sophia became Scary Sophia of the Seven Seas and Ashlyn was benched for high sticking before we all headed off to sleep so Santa could arrive.
Christmas morning started out slow, with stockings and reading, but once Uncle David, Tanya, Granny and Poppa arrived and the Wii was opened, it got more crazy and fun was had by all!


By Halloween we were into winter clothes, but no snow thank goodness. Clarissa was a vampire princess and Miranda went as the corpse bride, but found it necessary to wear a hoody to stay warm. The first house in the picture is ours, the second is our neighbor's on our west side (you can see the side of our house).

Home again, home again...

This was the state of the house, and it took considerable work to get things cleaned, sorted, repaired and organized. I was blessed that the children were willing to do so much for me, like making dinner and cleaning up while I was painting in a frenzy. We got the master bedroom, the basement and our family room painted before Doug landed at the end of Sept. Here's the family room, now with a red feature wall!

Road trip with Sophia!

In what some may consider a questionable decision, two weeks after arriving home (August 23rd) I volunteered to drive to Jasper to pick up my girls on a camping trip with my parents. I took along my niece, Sophia, who was not quite three at that point. We did very well together and had a nice 24 hours before all four of us drove home to Edmonton. For those no familiar with the distance involved, it is a four drive each way not counting pit stops including a memorable dinner with Sophia covered in spaghetti sauce. (No, I didn't go for a psychiatric exam, although in retrospect perhaps I should have...)

The trip home, 6 mo. ago...

Well, I'll start with an apology for how long it's taken to get around to this... We were catapulted into home repairs, work and school very quickly and just now are we starting to catch our breath. As you can see, our 12 hours in Hawaii was nice. We drove around for six hours or so and we managed to catch too much sun and not enough sleep (Miranda was passed out on the tile floor of the Honolulu airport once my jet lag/ lack of sleep caught up with me and we returned early to the airport).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mission Beach

Hi Everyone, we ended up in the jungle for this school break, escaping the cold temperatures in Melbourne for the warmth of Queensland (highs of 25, lows of 12, vs. highs of 13 and lows of 5). We were lucky enough to avoid crocodiles, and see the cassowary, green tree frog, electric blue Ulysses butterfly, Great Barrier Reef and lots of really big spiders! We also journeyed into the outback to see lava tubes, but didn't get a tour because we didn't think to book ahead! Typical us... It was a real treat to stay at Bingal Bay and the most relaxing time we've had in a long time. Once we were back in Melbourne we packed up everything that wouldn't fit into our luggage and sent it on to Canada (slow boat, 6-8 weeks travel time). So we're counting down our last month in Australia and feeling sad to go, but happy to head for home.
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lots of real life days...

Life is certainly bombing along, we blinked and it was June! I've got three weeks of work left, and it's 7 weeks until we fly home. Crazy. 
We had a long weekend for Doug's Birthday (41) and our anniversary (#17), so we went out to the Grampians and down to the end of the Mornington Penninsula (forgot my camera that trip). Our friend Paul moved in with us that weekend (pictured with Doug and Jasmeet as part of the pink party hat club). We did some more real life things and then this weekend celebrated Clarissa's first birthday outside of Canada! Not much new to report, we are slowly going through our stuff to prepare for the shippers and looking forward to being home, but not to saying goodbye to our friends here and living without Doug.
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tassie, yet again!

  Doug's Dad (Jim) and I wandered off to Tasmania for three days. We managed to see some new country and revisit enough of the old that I didn't get completely lost driving. We started the trip with Port Arthur and some of the sights on the way down, like the tesselated pavement (pictured with Jim). We then enjoyed a very nice B&B with a lovely beach that we only saw one other person on! The next day we checked out the Tasmanian Devil, and got caught in a downpour. We then drove up the east coast and saw the spikey bridge, enjoyed a beach walk at Coles Harbour (sign of three weeks of living with us, Dad didn't even complain!). The nest day we did a scenic route through the centre of Tassie and had a lovely lunch with my Dad's cousins, Gwen and Rubean and then it was time to fly back. I'd go again in a minute...
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Gold Coast

  The Gold Coast of Australia really reminded those of us who had visited Florida of that state. There were more ways to take your money than you could count, and we certainly enjoyed many of them. Clarissa and I did Wet n' Wild (I think I aged 10 years on some of those rides!), while Doug and Miranda visited Movieworld and Seaworld. My parents and Doug's Dad made it to a wildlife sanctuary during the first theme park day, and there was horseback riding for the girls and I while a 4x4 trip happened for the rest of our party. We also did a bus tour of Tropical Fruit World (Miranda holding a giant Avacado, esp. for Emily!)and Springbrook National Park. On the way we met some rosellas and you can see Clarissa with a silly galah. At this point we said goodbye to my Mom and Dad, as they'll be heading home soon from Brisbane. The rest of us headed back to Melbourne, tired but ready to come back and ignore the commercial end and lounge on the beach.
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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Great Ocean Road...

Well, we spent Thursday at Ballarat (I took mercy on everyone and decided more pictures were not needed!). That evening we found Doug on a street corner outside the train station and had dinner with our friend Jasmeet, and then met him the next morning for breakfast. We then headed for the ocean, and overnighted in Warranbool. The next day, it was the ocean in all it's glory! ~ I really didn't mean to cut my head off while I walked on the beach, guess the drive is catching up with me. Our next post will be in a week or so after we hit the Gold Coast... Warm weather again, we hope!
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Melbourne Zoo, again...

We didn't realize that Grandpa loved zoos, so that made a wonderful Tuesday! Monday was lunch at Docklands (we introduced Grandpa to the local prices, his colour did return eventually!). The zoo was a good trip, the tiger cubs have grown a lot, the wombats were out and busy, the carousal was running, many birds were hanging out... And the lions were actually awake and walked around! We went home for a rest in the afternoon and took Wednesday off, to prepare for Ballarat and the Great Ocean Road...
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Grandpa Mewhort Arrives!

Jim arrived on the 31st of March, and the trip seemed to have gone relatively well. Relatively for someone who hasn't been travelling for awhile, well meaning he arrived! We dragged Grandpa out to the Melbourne Flower and Garden show, where we toured the Royal Melbourne Exibition Building and found a mermaid and a garden design we all thought was pretty wonderful. While we were here, Doug and Miranda where at the FINA swimming championships. Grandpa is discovering what we've learned: Life without a vehicle involves a lot of walking!
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Dance Mom!

We just finished our first term of dance, and we're loving it! Clarissa is in ballet twice a week, and Miranda is in musical theatre. I get to wash clothes, orginize snacks, wash feet and do hair... Life just keeps getting better! Seriously though, it is fun and it's a wonderful school, Dance Precinct. We got to see the girls doing lessons at the end of first term, March 27th and 29th.
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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tasmania, Part 2

  The fun continued... I found a hat I like, we met wombats and Tasmanian devils up close and personal, we walked above the forest canopy and explored a wonderful cave system (we thought it was quite beautiful, and we've started to have seen a few!). We dined at the waterfront and saw a tall ship on the dock (not pictured). It was sad to leave and we wished we'd had more time! Oh, and Miranda managed to turn her 14th birthday into a three day event, so it was amply celebrated.
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Tasmania Part 1

We found another wonderful vacation destination: Tasmania was Awesome! We hiked into one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Wineglass Bay (background shot). We thought it was pretty fine, but my calves complained for days after the hike over the mountain and then back (following my goat daughter who travels at mach 10). We enjoyed some good food, dinner was cleaned while we waited at the Oyster bar, and it's pretty much the land of roses (the ones in the picture are at our hotel) and wine (which we sampled whenever we could). That was the first day...