Bucking our usual tradition of staying home for Christmas, this year we packed everything up and headed north for something I haven't had since I was a very small child; a truly white Christmas in Calgary, Alberta. If you're not sure what I mean, look at these shots from the 12 hour drive there:
I snapped this near Salmon Arm, BC. It was snowing really hard, although the road appeared to be sorta bare.
This one is from Roger's Pass. We stopped briefly at the summit for a bathroom break, and it was there that I discovered why heated toilet seats were invented. BRRRRR! Us poor (read: wimpy) coastal folk are not used to temperatures below zero.
Jake had never seen so much snow, or such cold temperatures, and we ventured out past T and J's house for a little walk where we encountered some mule deer wandering around. Deer are a common sight around T and J's house; once J was home by himself and looked outside the downstairs window only to find a huge buck with it's nose to the glass staring back at him-along with 20 other deer!
The deer we encountered were camera shy, and while I attempted to take photos Jake slid down the hills (well, roads actually) on a crazy carpet.
I stood at the top of the road and watched for cars, while Jake ran up and down the hill. He spent most of the time in the ditch just rolling around in the snow, amazed at how deep it was.
Wipe out! Geez, this snow looks great. Wonder what it tastes like?
We braved the crowds at the local mall, had a great dinner at our favorite restaurant, checked out Christmas lights, and discovered the addictive powers of J's Xbox 360 and this game. We also learned that T rocks at making a turkey dinner, which Jake is still talking about. Fortunately, she was kind enough to let me have the recipes and gave me permission to post them!
Christmas morning was fun, too. Stockings, a little chocolate and some pancakes for breakfast, then presents.
Jake's latest love is anything to do with China, and he was totally thrilled with a Chinese paint set complete with rice paper and some really beautiful ink sticks. I bought it from this amazing art store in Vancouver.
Jake's big gift was a welder, which Hubs picked out. We hadn't planned on buying this, but the price was right! It also took up a great deal of the space in the trunk and we had to get a little creative about packing the car for the ride home.
Hey, did I also happen to mention that our hosts own Great Danes? Five of them? There was enough love, tail wagging, sloppy kisses and cold noses for everyone. This is a picture of London, the baby of the bunch. Hubs, Jake and I fell in love with her sweet personality and agreed that if we had a big farm, we'd want to take her home. Not that T would let us, of course, because this baby is a show dog.
Six days flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to venture on the cold and snowy roads home.
Now we're home with an empty fridge (Jake is lamenting that the turkey leftovers are in Calgary), no Christmas goodies or decorations, and a driveway with about a foot of snow in it. We pulled up to the house and had to break out the shovel just to get in the driveway. In fact, Jake was sent out this morning to finish the job. I just might make some more gingerbread, butter tarts, and pick up a Christmas cake for Hubs.
Besides, it's not really over yet. New Years is looming on the horizon!
Watch my Flickr Photo stream for more photos.....