A walk in the (amusement) park

Kids, we missed the Calgary Stampede this year. That was partly intentional, to be honest. Yes, it was the 100th anniversary, and Choo Choo was old enough to actually do some of the things there, but … well, it was kind of crazy this year, and maybe the 101th anniversary won’t be quite so crazy. And you’ll be older, and slightly more … how can I put this? … controllable.
That said, you both like rides, Monkey especially. (We found that out last year.) So denying you two a trip to an amusement park, especially during what’s turning out to be Calgary’s best summer in a long time, is just plain criminal. So with Mommy’s acquired coupons, we packed you up, dragged out Grandpa, and all headed to Calaway Park.
In a word? “WHEEEEEEEE!”
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Monkey's First Stampede

Perhaps the title’s a bit misleading, Monkey, but I suspect this will be the first Stampede you actually remember. And you have reason to remember it, too. You’ve listened to marching bands, eaten pancakes, ridden rollercoasters, and even seen a future King.
Not bad for only a little over 48 hours, eh?
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Torches and waterslides

Well, Monkey, it’d been over a month since the last time you swam in a pool, and I thought it high time we went for a swim. In fact, it was so overdue that I felt it was also a good time to go for a Surprise Weekend. And that’s a big deal, because it’s been almost a year and a half since our last one.
Why so long? It’s been a number of things. First, I worked a lot, and too hard. It wore me down and I was almost always too tired to do things that we should have done. It’s a poor excuse, Monkey, and I’m sorry that it’s all I have to offer. Second, doing things in Costa Rica was always just that much harder than it really needed to be, at least when planning for us. You can only go to Arenal so many times, and getting to the coast never seemed to be as easy for us as it was for others. After a while, we planned all of our weekends, rather than letting one of us surprise the rest.
Needless to say, I wanted to change things up a bit.
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Diversions at Parque Diversiones

Well, Kiddo, today was a really fun day!
Plans don’t always go according to plan, but there are those times when one plan ends up giving who new plans that are possibly even more fun than the original ones. I’d like to think today was like that, largely because we got to go somewhere fun, and I got to spend nearly the whole day with you! (Except for, y’know, when you were sleeping.)
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Día del Padre en Costa Rica

Hey kiddo,
Today was Father’s Day. Not just here in Costa Rica, but in many other places around the world. Today was a special day in many ways, notably in that you and I got to spend a lot of time together (sadly, something we don’t get most days), and that you gave me a wonderful present: a photo of you, and a nicely-coloured picture of your favourite Sesame Street character — Elmo! (Even if Mommy had to help you. A lot.)
You also gave me another wonderful gift: sleep. You let us sleep in a bit instead of getting us all up for 6:00 (or earlier).
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Surprise weekend at Bow Lake

Surprise weekends are a good thing. Especially if you have a good place to go.
We have no standing rule that says we have to go anywhere, though. Although the “rules” (such as they are) suggest that staying at home is an option, we have yet to actually do that. This weekend was no different.
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Adventures in Mongolia

We’re back in Ulaan Baatar after a few days out in the Mongolian wilderness. It’s a brief return — we hit the #24 train to Beijing at 8:00 tomorrow morning. (It’s about 21:30 right now, as I’m writing this.)
Without question, Mongolia has been the highlight of this adventure. Unless something really spectacular comes up that somehow manages to sway us (which I doubt will happen), then Mongolia will be the thing on the trip. Also without question, we would heartily recommend coming to Mongolia (and soon, before the rest of the world discovers how cool this country is) and signing up with Nomadic Journeys. They take far too good care of you.
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BC Vacation: Fairmont Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park

There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of lawnmowers. Rousing, yet entirely annoying.
We started the day off with a mom saver. This is generally a breakfast meal, though I suppose you could just as easily use a version of one for any meal of the day. The breakfast one we had consists of eggs, cubed bread, cream cheese (cubed, or something similar), some spices, and thrown in the oven to cook for 45 minutes. Throw on some maple syrup on top, and it’s pretty tasty. There’s also a ham and cheese version that I’m dying to try some time.
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