Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Long and Thanks for the Brisket!

After spending a long weekend away visiting with family and friends, it's back to business. But before that, I'll just tell you a little something of my weekend....... As is the case with long weekends here, there is the opportunity to take the long drive to Calgary to visit Gramma M. The drive is beautiful, certainly, and I am equally certain that we do not really take the appropriate time to enjoy it. Amazingly enough, people from all over the world travel here to see this scenery and beautiful mountains while I, in my car am silently cursing the time they are adding to my drive. In my defense, I have made this drive close to 50 times, so 100 times if you count both directions. Above is a photo of the Columbia Icefields. The glacier is the white triangular patch smack in the middle of the photo. This trip at least, we did stop to take a few pictures.
We had a nice visit and got to see lots of people. Ike had just the best time playing at Matthews farm with Matt and CJ. See above photo. I have a feeling that there were some moments of play that it is best I did not witness. It would appear that C.J had the common sense not to try crawl through the big pipe, but alas my kid did not. Fortunately Matt was able to mount a rescue attempt and Ike is none the worse for the wear. Matt's mom and dad made the yummiest beef brisket in their smoker for dinner and Matt shared with us his new recipe for baked oatmeal which he had tried out that day. So, we are going to share one of Ike's favourite recipes with Matt . It's an easy Sloppy Joes recipe that Ike has made quite a few times and he really likes it! I like it the best when made with smoked paprika which is getting easier to find in the grocery store now.

On the return drive, we stopped in Jasper for a bite to eat as it is the halfway point in our trip. Ike has been learning about Totem Poles in class and is fairly certain that he can discern the story in the totem from his brief exposure in class. Who am I to argue....... his guess is more educated than mine. Ike also scored a souvenir totem from a gift shop earlier in the trip at Saskatchewan River Crossing. Man things are expensive in the Parks! Just to use the highway through it costs almost $20 now. You need to purchase a park day pass, and there is no smaller fee for those who would be just driving through. This, by the way, is a full 100% increase over the amount charged just 10 years ago when we began making these trips. Arguing the fact that there should be a separate fee for those just driving though and not staying in the Parks with the Parks Canada representative did not prove helpful. It would appear that Parks Canada over pays its employees if they think $20 is a good deal to just drive through a park.

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