Jason was in charge of directions to Alberta, and figuring out how to get to my cousin’s home. I am so thankful for technology, and being able to get directions off our cell phones. We got a bit turned about a couple times when trying to find a gas station, or we missed an exit some how. At one point we had also texted my cousin and she told us what exit to take when she found out where we were at. If she hadn’t, we may have taken a bit longer to get to their place as our directions had us going to a whole other exit.
It was so nice to see my cousin and her family again. It had been a few years since I had seen her kids, and it was their first time meeting Evie. She took to them right away, and it may have help they have a big back yard she got to run around and play in after a crazy long car ride.
We slept in the following day, and decided to beat the heat and go check out West Edmonton Mall. Jason had been there when he was a kid, and in high school. That mall is huge! I was a bit shocked to walk in and see a skating rink right away, and then Jason showed me the areas where they have the water park, and all the large rides. It definitely seems like more of a destination to bring older kids to. We didn’t go on any of the rides or into the water park. We enjoyed the air conditioning and walked around window shopping.
We only stayed two full days in Alberta because of our time restraints with driving and all of that, on our last morning there we got to meet up with the lovely ladies behind buddhiBaby, Candyce and Harmony, for coffee. We went to Java Mama in St. Albert. We were warned that we need to bring or wear socks. We understood once we got there why. You sign in at the counter, and can place an order for coffee and or snacks, and then you head in and take your shoes off and make sure you have socks on. This place is seriously brilliant. They have a play area with a built in baby gate around it, there are even little windows in the “baby gate” that is more like a mini wall with doors, so that you can see your little one playing when sitting and they can see you. Any ways back to buddhibaby… Candyce and Harmony are two of the sweetest ladies. They have built their own business after meeting during prenatal yoga, and it has become this wonderful company. They put together unique gift boxes that are geared towards those expecting, new moms, and new borns, and even unique ones for bath time or a teething baby. If you are looking for a unique gift for a new mom, these are absolutely lovely. They have done all the hard work in finding incredible products that contain perfect items. There are even many Canadian made items! If you have never heard of them before, be sure to follow them on Facebook, there is something special that is going to be launched soon and I got a sneak peak! I told them that I want to preorder it so that I get it right away! We had a really great time hanging out with them, and talking about everything from what we go through when pregnant, to kiddos fighting sleep and why we do what we do blogging and business wise.
It was so good to see my family in Alberta. My cousin there is more like another big sister to me, so getting to visit and see her whole family was great. I am so thankful they let us invade for a few days. Evie was showered with love by everyone, and we could tell she really looked up to her older cousins there. So much so that she learned two names, saying “Kurt” and “Luke”, we couldn’t believe it. They all spoiled us, and blessed us with a place to stay and food to eat.
My favourite memory from the trip there is seeing Evie run around the Woodlands Water Play Park. It’s one of the biggest zero-depth water play parks I’ve seen. While there were lots of there cooling down on the hot day, there was plenty of room for everyone to play in the water park. We found a bench and were able to set up there with our picnic lunch. The kids all took off to play in the park. Evie was running all of the place enjoying the water, and following her cousins. The look of joy on her face is one I will never forget.
We are already hoping to go back in the future, though next time we will probably fly and maybe rent a car to cut down on travel time there and so that we can enjoy more of Alberta. We started our trip back the next day, and while we aimed to leave early we took our time so that we could say goodbye to our family before leaving. I teared up once in the car. It was a great trip, a needed one.