CANADA HOLIDAY - DEC 04 to JAN 05|
This christmas to ensure we got some 'real' snow, we flew off to the other side of the world to British Columbia in Canada.
For those who don't know, Juliet has relatives who live out in the middle of nowhere in Nothern Canada!
A brief stop off on the way to stretch our legs, just outside of Vancouver (actually several hours travel - but that's not far out there!) - no sign of winter here!
FORT ST JAMES
First off, it was birthday time when we arrived after travelling for days! Both Harry and Dave have birthdays just before Christmas.
Pam & Gayle then popped in for a vist before heading south for xmas and to give us instructions on how to use the snow mobile, visit their wilderness Cabin and err...knitting!
This was the view every morning from the lounge window out onto the local river - stunning! We also played about on the frozen river edge, Juliet's aunt Toni's house can be seen just above her head on the other side!
Here we are out at the semi frozen lake in Fort St James - and no, Paul & Byron can't walk on water!
Extremely mild (for them) as you can see - we were thinking this cold winter stuff was all talk! However, then we got some more snow, and it all got a bit cold!
Here's evidence of the cold (that's minus twenty centigrade folks!) and everyone having lots of fun in the garden. [CLICK FOR SHORT MOVIE WITH SOUND! (3MB)]
Here we have Judith & Dave in the all action downhill sledding!
To top it off, we also did some cross country skiing - which was fun, if not a little hard work! Well actually Paul didn't - he spent his time zooming around and around on a snow-mobile, pulling Harry behind in a sledge.
We stayed at Gayle's hunting lodge overnight, on our own in the middle of nowhere - with literally not another human being for miles around - oh and no running water either! First photo shows us all kitted out with thermals etc - nervously thinking we may never be seen again! [CLICK FOR SHORT MOVIE WITH SOUND! (6MB)]
Having got ourselves some water out of the lake, we zoomed round the frozen lake on Gayles snowmobile which was lots of fun, then as tradition states, spent the evening drinking lots of alcohol!
We went on an adventure (with the gun just in case!) to check out the island - here we found some old moose antlers stuck deep in the ice.
We were then rescued the next day by explorers Harry & Dave!
So, having survived the wilderness, we made it back intact, just in time for christmas!
Christmas morning was very exciting with two young boys running around and the snow coming down heavily - a perfect christmas!
Things didn't run too smoothly though, as Christmas dinner was cooking at Toni's before a power cut meant the food had to be rushed accross in the car (-15 outside) and put in the oven at Judith's! Harry is demonstating the Christmas dinner table set seconds before!
VALEMOUNT & THE ROCKIES
As our present from Toni, a trip to Valemount in the Rockies was organised, with a stop off on the way at Prince George to meet up with Byrons brother's family. Picture shows Toni learning how to use her new diabetic kit...
At Valemount, we played lots of games of Carassonne (our present to Judith & Byron) and generally ate lots (Juliet won't ever forget the size of the pancakes!) and looked at the stunning views (spot the animals in the field).
Having celebrated new year in Valemount, we took a day trip to Jasper to have an afternoon crash course in snowboarding. Now this all seemed like a good idea, but just before the end of the day, a trip to Jasper A&E was in order to fix Juliets broken right arm - oops!
Once plastered, we headed back to Vancouver to catch the flight home :-(
Byron drove us though the stunning Rocky mountains and stopped at lots of coffee places! Finally we made it to Vancouver with enough time to check out a couple of downtown shops before flying out.