Alberta Trip 2018 – As Planned By An Eleven-Year-Old

Trip to BC, Rockies, Alberta, Drumheller, West Ed Mall

 

Trip to BC, Rockies, Alberta, Drumheller, West Ed Mall
This planning a trip to Alberta is serious business!

The-Youngest Made Plans for Our Trip

Unlike his brother, The-Youngest looked at the google map we printed out, and then planned out what to do.

First stop, Oliver.

See Grandpa and Grandma. 5-hour drive to get there, so, download movies. Lots of movies. And bring something to play in the car with his brother. A good card game. Arrange ice tea and candy at top of food bag for easy access. Keep a bag of chips near feet for late afternoon snacks.

Remember to look for Ogopogo. 

When we arrive, it’ll be at night. Right. Not much to do at night. Talk with adults as needed. Sneak away to watch TV if possible. Take brother’s music out of his bag and move it to mom’s bag.

******

 

Trip to Alberta
The plan is put into effect. On the road to Cranbrook, the Rockies, Calgary, Drumheller, and the West Edmonton Mall.

The next day, Sunday,

Visit with other grandparents, endure another 5-hour drive. Presort snacks by sugar content. 

Begin the campaign to see the Calgary Tower.  Talk to mom about how unscary it really is.

Watch more movies. Arrive in exciting Cranbrook.  Try not to sigh heavily when Joe starts talking about the history of Cranbrook.

Continue to point out how awesome Calgary would look from the top of the tower. Swim in pool. 

If weather bad, bug brother until he snaps. If good weather, bug brother until he snaps.

******

Monday, sleep in, endure 3-hour drive to Calgary. Start by eating pancakes. Look at the mountains. Try to see a bear. Or a unicorn. No, no unicorns. Sheep. Find some sheep on the side of mountains, yeah, that would be cool. Or a cougar chasing a hitchhiker. Assign the job of keeping an eye out for neat stuff to Joe and mom.

Arrive at the zoo, see pandas, snakes, elephants, and alpacas. Alpacas are cool. Eat popcorn. Point at Calgary Tower a lot. Try not to look embarrassed as Joe reads all the plaques and sings “I can talk to the animals.” Make sure to not let mom hang with the pandas too long. If it were up to her, we might be staring at them for hours and saying, ‘awwww, aren’t they cute?” a lot.

Hope that my campaign to see the Calgary Tower is successful. If so, visit the tower. If not, rethink manipulation strategies. 

Try not to look bored when we go to see where Joe grew up. It’s a big thing for him. Don’t mention it’s not a big thing for me.

At the hotel, swim in the pool. Eat at Mr. Mikes so we can play board games and eat. Stay up as late as I can. No reason, but staying up late is cool. Take all of my brother’s pillows while he sleeps and hide them in the bathroom.

******

Tuesday, a big day. Get up early with Joe and see the tank museum. Joe likes tanks and no one else has any interest, so go with Joe so he doesn’t feel bad. Climb on a tank. And under one. And stick fingers in all the tankie holes.

Drive out to Drumheller. Run through the museum at top speed. Finish in 10 minutes. Take a selfie with a dinosaur. Ignore Joe’s joke about being a dinosaur or meeting a dinosaur or having one as a next door neighbour. Read no more than 1 plaque. Sit and play games because the museum has wi-fi. Avoid getting all interested in dinosaurs since that’s way too close to learning stuff. Eat a hot dog. Finish off chips in the car.

Endure yet another long drive. Plan out nerf war strategies. Review guns brought. Recount nerf bullets. Roll eyes every time Joe remarks on how straight the roads are. Try to see a buffalo. 

Get mom to talk about her friend and how many nerf guns her kids have.

Arrive at mom’s friend’s place. Say hi. Play nerf wars until 2 am. Try not to win every time -That makes people not want to play with me. Try not to gloat and giggle and point at the losers – That seems to make people really, really not want to play with me.

Food unnecessary. Nerf wars will feed me. Hide my brother’s underwear somewhere. 

******

West Edmonton Mall
St.Maria pirate vessel in the West Edmonton Mall. It’s the largest shopping mall in North America and the tenth largest in the world.

Wednesday, West Ed Mall. 9am-10pm. Waterslides. Rides. Free pop. Eat hamburgers. Eat Fries. Drink slushies. Refer to specific 4-page waterslide plan made a month, ago. Refer to specific 2-page ride plan made at the same time. Do not deviate from the plan. Try to eat my weight in pizza.

Mom will not be there. She’ll be off with her friend, ‘catching up’ which totally means drinking. Joe will look after us so look for opportunities. “No, Joe, you said you’d buy me a t-shirt, don’t you remember?” or “Wait, Joe, I know that zip-line costs a lot, but wouldn’t it make a good topic for a blog?” or, “Joe, if you buy me this new controller, we can play games together and that’s fun, right?”

Should be easy pickings.

The goal, come back sore, exhausted and feeling like I need to throw up. At night, take all the laces out of my brother’s shoes.

******

Thursday. Get up. Visit with mom’s friend, again. Talk to adults if needed, but if it can be avoided, even better. Remember to thank moms’ friend for breakfast. Remember not to complain if it’s something that tastes terrible – like anything with vegetables, fruit or healthy meats.

Watch more videos on the drive back to BC and tell mom about nerf wars, the West Ed Mall, and playing the Smash-up card game. Ignore pleas to stop. Ignore anyone saying they’ve heard all this yesterday. Poke brother a lot.

Try not to look afraid in freaky cabin we’re staying at. Keep nerf gun close. Keep it loaded. Keep brother closer to doors and windows so bears, ghosts or rabid unicorns will eat him first. 

*****

Friday, long drive, again. Watch last of my movies. Eat last of snack supplies. Avoid asking how much longer will it be? Avoid talking about last report card. Avoid talking about the trip ending.

Plan the next trip. Harrison. Plan sleepover with friends and next nerf-war battles. Plan which Youtube videos to watch over summer. Interrupt brother whenever he wants to talk about Liszt, Beethoven, Wagner, Rachmaninov, or any composers. In fact, interrupt him whenever he talks. 

When home, log on to the internet and see what Logan Paul is up to. Ignore Joe yelling at me to stop watching that freaking moron.

Go to bed only after being asked 12 times.

Remember to thank Mom and Joe for taking me on the trip. Give mom a big hug. She’s the best.

******

And that’s about it.

Too bad it didn’t turn out the way he planned.

Why An Alberta Adventure? 2018

Alberta travel

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Alberta travel
Alberta – Did you know Alberta hosts an annual testicle festival?

The Great Alberta Adventure – Day -1

Why? Why Alberta?

Being on-call for work,  the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World can’t get a ton of time off, but this year, she managed to get nearly a week. Not quite a whole week, but 6 days. Hard to do Europe in 6 days. Hard to even do Disney World in 6 days. Or Hawaii.

So we planned to see a place the boys had never been. Alberta.

Not as many leaning towers there. No spectacular seaside resorts. No cities with gangster tours. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to see.

First and foremost, many of our peeps are out that way. The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World’s parents live in Oliver and Osoyoos, and her bestest bestie had settled in Stony Plain (near Edmonton), which (coming from Calgary) is like someone choosing to live in a smelly basement rather than a penthouse suite. I mean, who could really like Edmonton? It’s either too hot or too cold. There are far too many mosquitoes, and their hockey team cheats. A lot. And looks funny.

Alberta travel
The road to Alberta lies this way ->

But aside from Edmonton, we’ll see the incredible Rockies, Drumheller with all its dinosaurs, the Calgary Zoo, the various monuments erected to celebrate my years in Calgary, and up north, near the polar bears and Santa’s hut, Edmonton’s famous mall.

Anyway, so, yeah, lots of reasons to head east. And all doable in 6 days.

No planes, no trains, just one automobile. 30 hours driving, all told.

So a plan was made by the Prettiest-Girl-in-the-World and me, a balance between play-it-by-ear and making sure we have a place to stay each night.

I think we arrived at a good balance. No specific times, like at 8:24 we get up, peeing will happen from 8:24-8:27, handwashing from 8:27-8:28, then getting dressed from 8:28… nor nothing too generalized – like we’ll drive until we find something then do something then do something different and then come home.

We tried to lock down the key things, like the Calgary Zoo and since we have to actually book an appointment to see his majesty the panda, we had to be at the panda pavilion at 3:45, but what time we actually arrive at the zoo, well, we’ll play it by ear.

As well, we booked all our hotels so we wouldn’t have to search for a place to stay at the last minute. We could park our bags, take a nap, check out FB, Twitter, Instagram, youtube, and all things internetie, and chillax at the pool while deciding what’s most important.

The Rockies, the prairies, Drumheller, Calgary, Edmonton… there’s a lot to see
But no sooner had we made our generalized plan than The-Youngest took over. The oldest, even right now, still doesn’t quite know what we’re doing even though we’ve told him 10 times, spent an evening showing him our plans on a map and even made a colorful file folder he could consult at any time.

Touring Alberta, Calgary, Drumheller, West Edmonton Mall
The Rockies, the prairies, Drumheller, Calgary, Edmonton… there’s a lot to see

But The-Youngest, well, bless him, he loves to plan. It’s part of the trip for him. It’s the anticipation. It’s ‘see what others have done.’ It’s imagining himself doing all sorts of cool things.

So, come read the next post and see how an 11-year-old mind works.

How much do you plan for your adventures?