kylie still wants to tell you all about the people we have seen in canada, but i just wanted to mention one in particular.

jarrid is a good friend on ours who just happens to be the manager of the bungee jumping outfit in west ed.

this is me!

thanks jarrid.
today we head to revelstoke to pick up niko!


snowshoeing OR it's nice to be back

in addition to being very busy visiting family, family and friends, i have been lucky enough to make it out to waterton park, an hour and 20 minutes drive from lethbridge, 2 times in the week we have been home. waterton is a small but beautiful national park where the rockies leap directly out of the alberta plains.

both days featured a concatenation of beautiful snow, blue skies and snowshoes.
on saturday my dad and i hiked up to crandell lake and explored the white expanse and the forest beyond. it was wonderfully crandelicious and i had a great time hanging out with my dad.

today my good friend colin and i hiked up the eastern saddle above cameron lake, ascended the ridge and reached the minor peak of mount carthew.

eventually the ridge became too steep for snowshoes and we had to kick steps to the top. the avalanche danger seemed fairly minimal and the top crust supported us some of the time. other times we were struggling up with our hands and feet and using an ice axe or hiking poles to keep from going backwards.

on the final pitch the views improved dramatically and the grade lessened considerably as well.
from the top we had a great view of cameron lake, the akamina pass and glacier national park in the states.
snow makes for fun downclimbs, especially when it is not too warm. we did some glissading, snowshoe skiing and running on the way down.

kylie spent the morning visiting colin's wife christine and their precocious kids, and the afternoon meeting other friends and family. i think she will tell you about all of our reunions shortly... in two days we head up to edmonton for the final leg of our journey before finally arriving home in chilliwack (with a stop in revelstoke to pick up niko of course)!


Big Girl (You are Beautiful!)

As some of you know I have quite the penchant for poppy tunes. Usually this causes embarassment, particularly when I post it for all the world to see. (Multiple times, #9 meets my poppy criteria. ) While we were in Israel I first heard this song and it hit all the right notes in my brain. ;) We then heard this song again in Europe as well as several more by the artist named Mika and I must say I feel like I have died and gone to pop heaven when I listen to all of his music. We weren't sure if he was popular or not in Canada but we haven't heard him here yet and according to my pop culture expert - my dad, he is not big here yet. (Yes it is odd that my father is my pop culture expert but he does teach high school.) So to help Mika on his trans-Atlantic journey I am posting this great video for all to see.

In other news, we have arrived safely back in Canada (how can you tell we are no longer travelling, instead of pictures of sites, I am posting videos) and in many ways we feel like nothing has changed. Lethbridge looks the same (shocking I know!) and we are finally getting over our jet lag today. In fact we are off for a run now. . . Here are some pictures for those of you who are already going through travel picture withdrawl. (We will post some of our families soon, we just have to take some that don't involve my brothers butt!)
In the plane on the way home. We got upgraded to Economy Plus because they didn't have seats for us together. We traded with the lady beside Marc and our big comfy seats with lots of leg room made the flight fly by. (Oh I am so witty.)

It has been a long four months travelling with one other person and I am starting to get aggravated by Marc. ;)

Oh Alberta how flat you are.

Marc decided he needed a new cut for a new country. It's growing on me but not on him. hee hee

Lastly we did not have a picture of Nick in our last post. Thanks so much for your hospitality you two!!!
Off for a run in the windy Lethbridge coulees.


A traveller's lament

Marc and I are heading home to Canada tomorrow after more than a year of being away. We both can't believe how quickly this year has gone and that our time away has come to an end. While we are both very happy to go home and see our families and friends and our DOG!!!!!!, we are also a bit sad about what the end of this trip means.

Whilst (they use that term a lot here in England, I think I like it as a bit of a change from while because two whiles in close approximation is quite enough thank you very much!) we have been both in Kenya and travelling we have learned a lot about ourselves as individuals as well as as a couple. (Like the fact that Marc REALLLLLLY REALLLLLLY likes green army pants. I knew he liked them before we left but now I realize how much he loves them. I think he has had a pair longer than we have been together. Sadly I thought the wearing of the army pants would be over when we got home but Marc just reminded me that he has three more pairs. UGH!!) I have learned that I can do a lot more things than I previously thought I could do, I can handle much more than I expected to be able to handle. Being in Kenya did not overwhelm me like I thought it would and instead brought out an adventerous side of me that I quite enjoy. Travelling in other countries really opened me up to other cultures and religions and ways of life and definitely made me realize the vastness and diversity of our planet while at the same time realizing how small the world really is and at the core we humans are all the same.

We have been very lucky to have been able to see so many countries and cultures on this trip and be completely free of schedules and responsibilities for the last four months. This is where the lament part comes in. (Yes I know all of you at home have been working since December and look at our blog and see us laying on the beach or traipsing up a mountain and inwardly groan because you wish you could not be at work and laying on a beach drinking a fun beach drink. So if you are a jealous type please stop here . . . ) Coming home means responsibility, it means schedule, it means REAL LIFE! And whilst (hee hee) real life also means seeing family and friends, it means a change in lifestyle that both Marc and I are a bit unsure of right now. We realize that you cannot travel forever and in fact it is a bit unhealthy but we are not sure how we will handle getting back into the swing of things. (What!!! I have to walk a dog! You take out the garbage, I took it out yesterday!) We know it will come with time but we may be a bit grumpy adjusting.

BUT, to end on a positive note .. we have most definitely had the trip of a lifetime!! We have seen and experienced sights, sounds, smells, tastes that I never knew existed and are coming back different but better people who have learned to appreciate other cultures as well as the amazing country of Canada that we live in.

See you tomorrow, the true north strong and free!!!


london is WICKED

we are currently staying with our friends diana and nick in london. diana is a mad scientist. we were privileged to visit her at her prestigious london lab.

after feeling signifigant solidarity with diana at work, kylie is thinking of taking up a career as a mad scientist as well. she is already half way there... now she just has to become a scientist. (note the other scientists; this lab is so prestigious that their hiring is limited purely to juvenile geniuses and midgets)

the closest of many lovely fields behind nick and diana's house.

yesterday we wandered around central london. kylie is already practicing for her new career.
thank you miss phillipines.

we spent the afternoon at the london science museum. seriously fun stuff and absolutely free. this was taken with a thermal camera. those are NOT my hand prints on kylie.
this is a representation of the amount of (mostly derelict) satellites currently orbiting the earth.
here is kylie looking slightly surprised at her somewhat lewd bubble.

a 6 second video featuring the creation of the above bubbles.

finally and most excitingly for kylie, last night we went to see the musical "wicked" in london's westend. it was, in a word, wicked. the singing and stagecraft was incredible, and the script, while departing signifigantly from the plot of the book by gregory maguire, was hilarious.
kylie anticipating.
i found this picture online that someone must have taken illegally from our exact seats! i am not big on musicals, but this one was seriously good.

this picture is for fraser. remember, roken is dodelijk.

nick and diana have been treating us very well, and we are excited about another 2 days with them. after that we will be back in lethbridge in 3 days!!! aaaaaaahhhh!!!!!


mister multiple miniscule molten motes

last night we arrived back in holland after a long weekend in sunndalsor, a small fjordial norwegian town, with our good friend fraser as our guide. it has been over a year since we have seen him and the four days in trondheim and three days in sunndalsor passed too quickly.

we embarked on a nice snowy hike on saturday to explore the fjord, as much as you can explore a 40km winding waterfilled rocky snow covered chasm in one day.

kylie, being the shortest one with the stretchiest pants, encountered some difficulties but pushed through it to survive without injury despite multiple falls.

after saying goodbye to fraser we caught the night train at one am, to arrive in oslo bright and early at 6:00 after a couple hours of sort of sleep in a train seat. with the help of a lot of coffee we had a look around oslo for the day before catching the late evening flight back to amsterdam.

this is the vikingskipshuset which houses 3 excavated viking longships that were used as tombs.

oslo is a beautiful city with numerous statues and monuments. they seem to have quite a fixation on nudity for such a cold country.

from the main chamber of olso´s radhus, or city hall, where the nobel peace prize is awarded every year.

norway has the strongest currency in the world and in oslo we bought our only restaurant meal in our entire time in the country. this is kylie´s $18 belgian waffle before she has even taken a bite. my meal was a bit more substantial but also substantially more expensive. we were thankful for the hospitality of fraser´s supervisor and family, as well as for our cabin kitchen in sundalsor where we made pasta and tikki masala and copious quantities of tea and hot chocolate.

now we are once again in soest but are heading to london tomorrow to see our friend diana. the final leg of our journey! in less than a week we will be back in canada. crazy! we are not yet ready to quit travelling but on the flip side we are excited about going home.


Who wouldn't love Belgium?

Belgium has very interesting, bright, multicolored and trippy modern architecture everywhere. It is an excellent mix of old (1300-1900) and new and is paralleled by the new, yet old (and awful!!!!) 80's fashions that are coming back into style.

This building gave a light show at night and would alternate between these lovely rainbow colours and a crazy purple lightshow. At the main square in city centre where we ate ice cream, waffles and chocolate. But wait . . . I am getting ahead of myself.
PLEASE PLEASE tell me that this is only the fasion in Europe and no one in Canada is wearing these absolutely ridiculous colours and outfits.
We walked through this park and were very perplexed by these trees. Our theory is that they have pruned the tree and then made the grid in between to encourage a two dimensional fence tree. We really want to see a picture of what it looks like in the summer. Any other ideas?
One of the best things about Belgium was the lovely and hospitable Germans who brought us right to the train station to see us off. This was on our last day with Sonja and Christian when we drove (210 km\hr!!) to a smaller town outside Koln to explore.

Lastly the main reason to love Belgium is the CHOCOLATE!!!! It is so tasty and creamy and just generally all around deliciously decadent. We ate A LOT of chocolate in our day and a half in Belguim along with our waffles and ice cream. Thankfully we have also been doing a lot of walking so we don't have anything to show for it yet!
Yes this is a store with large bowls of bulk chocolate, and this was only one of three sections!
We have arrived in Norway and have spent the day hanging out with Fraser!! We will keep you posted on our journeys in the land of ever changing weather. We experienced three separate blizzards and two lovely sunny days today!