Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Places We Visited This Summer (not in any particular order)

10. Our Very Own Backyard - Sophie and I spent a great deal of time in our backyard this summer and it continues to be a popular destination. We even hosted a number of pool parties where everyone had a great time.
Chealsea, Emily and Sophie in our backyard
9. Riley Park - We met up with Candace and Clara a few times this summer at Riley Park. Sophie really enjoys pools and the water so this was right up her alley. It is a great wading pool for the little ones.  There is also a park nearby.  A perfect destination for any hot summer's day.
Sophie and Clara having a snack 
8. Red Deer - My Uncle Jack and Aunt Kathy from Vancouver were visiting my parents and grandparents in Red Deer at the beginning of August.  So despite the fact that Sophie is a terrible traveler in the car (doesn`t sleep and just cries 'Out!' while trying to escape her carseat), we headed to Red Deer for the night.  We had a wonderful dinner and Sophie refused to go to bed so I got to stay up late and enjoy dessert with everyone else.  Sophie loved Pepere's garden; there were deer, rabbits, cats, dogs and gnomes for her to look at and touch.  At one point she had half the garden creatures in a pile in the middle of the yard.  I am sure it took my Dad a while to put everything back where it needed to go.
I had to sit in the back of the car on the way there and back, singing songs and playing with Sophie so that she would remain relatively happy during the car ride.  After this trip, we went and bought a dvd player that attaches to the seat of the car.  Just one more thing we said we would never do as parents!
Pepere and Sophie taking a walk
7. Bow Valley Campground - This summer we spent two weekends at Bow Vally Campground.  Our first trip out for the year was with our good friends, Scott, Lori and their 2 and a half year old son, Nixon (Sophie calls him cute! ).  Sophie loved playing with Nixon.  The following weekend we headed back for my cousin's yearly group camping trip.  We had great weather and wonderful company for both weekends.
Sophie and Nixon having baths camping style
6. Calgary Zoo - We got season passes for the zoo and went three times over the summer. Every time we went, there were new animals to see or a new playground to discover. It is easy to spend a couple of hours there and not run out of things to do. And we still haven't had a chance to visit all the animals. Luckily, it is somewhere we can visit into the fall and winter as many exhibits are indoors.
Sophie and Clara at the zoo
5. Westward Ho - Nana and Papa were camping out at Westward Ho this summer so we all headed to Olds for breakfast with Warren, Ave, Ally, Grace, Nana and Papa, then after a brief nap, we spent the rest of the day at the campground.  There is a river that runs through the campground that is popular for floaters.  Hunter and Papa took the inflatable boat and floated down the river while the rest of us set up on the beach.  The water was warm enough for Sophie to want to go in.  Later, we went back to Nana and Papa's campsite for a family dinner before heading home.  Despite her brief nap and long day, Sophie refused to fall asleep in the car on the way home.  She did sleep fairly well that night though. 
Dinner at Nana and Papa`s campsite

4. Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park - At the beginning of summer, Ryan, Sophie and I went on a short hike in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.  We brought the carrier along thinking there was no way Sophie would walk the whole 2 kms but she did.  It took us a LONG time to finish since there were many, many rocks we needed to stop for, observe and pick up.  We also looked at butterflies, flowers and anything else worth stopping for along the way.
Sophie and Mom hiking
3. Mount Kidd Campground - We did the Van Orman family reunion camping trip at Mount Kidd again this year.  What a great campground!  There are parks, tennis courts, open fields, an amphitheatre and a wading pool for the little ones.  The weather wasn`t as nice as we had hoped so we only spent a chilly half hour in the pool all weekend.  The rain came and went but we managed to keep entertained and we had a wonderful time visiting with family.  We did miss Jordan, Cyd, Gus and Janae.  Hopefully they will be able to join us next year.
Sophie and Dad at the pool
2. Old MacDonald Farm and Campground - Despite the rocky start to our weekend (had to turn around fifteen minutes into our 2 and a half our trip to get Nunu, couldn't find the campground, dead battery when we arrived, discovered a split tire on the trailer that Ryan had to replace), we ended up having a wonderful weekend.  We knew this was a great campground for kids with the petting zoo, neat three and four wheeled bikes for rent, the beach and the many, many parks at this campground.  They also have hay rides, a train, a farmer's market Saturday mornings and so much more.  Sophie loved that there were so many kids and dogs for her to meet, pet and hug (both the kids and the dogs).  She also enjoyed spending time with her Mamie and Pepere.
Such a good little hippie we are raising - Sophie hugging a tree

1. Butterfield Acres - Sophie's favourite place to visit this summer was Butterfield Acres.  This farm has rabbits, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, ponies, donkeys, ducks, emus, roosters, hens, chicks, and turkeys.  It beats the zoo because you can go into most pens and pet the animals.  Sophie loved the rabbits and goats but didn't really enjoy the pigs.  When we would visit that pen, she would gently push the pigs away with her feet.  We got a season pass for the two of us and we keep going back for more.
Sophie giving the goats some love or is it the other way around?
To see all our summer pictures, click here and here.