Oh we are all in full christmas mode over here and life has been nothing but hustle and bustle for honestly since we went to italy last may life took off the minute we got home. But I am always trying to prioritize family time and I love traveling and get aways even if its just a few hour jaunt away I hope to give my kids many little trips like this as some of the best memories are made this way! In my childhood we couldn't afford to go on many fly away trips but we did plenty weekend get aways, I loved them all and one of my absolute favorite spots was Baker creek, it is a few hours away near lake louise. My favorite thing is it feels like you are in the middle of no where, which is true, the wifi was terrible, there is no tv and it was the perfect disconnect we needed, I did let the kids bring their Ipads mainly for the long drive up there but we had so much fun cooking in our little cabin that evening, we made a big batch of my favorite comfort food, spaghetti, we played lots of fun board games with the kids, except Ryder is still learning the concept, we have a fun pictionairy game but when its Ryder turn he always shouts out the picture he sees on the card haha we all find it pretty funny. The kids had bubble baths and enjoyed their loft where the big kids slept, it was also nice to be around some snow since Calgary is so brown right now the wintery snow and warm fire place sure brought in the Christmas spirit. I am so grateful for this special time with our family.
Well we have been exceptionally blessed with travel lately, its been so fun over the past few years that Andrew and I have got to go on a few just us trips (vegas,iceland,italy) and some family trips with the kids, after Italy I said next trip we have to take the kids because I felt so guilty leaving them...one problem, Andrew and I want to hit some further away countries, not just the states anymore...so we decided oh well our kids can deal with nearly ten hours of flying in the air and lay overs. I was extremely skeptical of this working out positively but Andrew assured me flying during the night would make the kids tired they would sleep and he was right!!! WHAT. I said it. Once my husband is right. The first flight was well right after trick or treating and the kids were too amped up to sleep to Toronto which was only 3.5 hours they kept them selves busy on their tables and chit chatting away, after the lay over in Toronto (which was 4 am our time) we grabbed "breakfast" then the 5 hour flight to Barbados the kids were so exhausted they all passed out, thank goodness and Andrew. Of course I didn't sleep a wink, i wish so badly I could on planes I just cant. We got there safe and sound and the way home the kids slept on BOTH flights, we couldn't have asked for better kids and flights both ways and the ways home were longer flights so I felt ridiculously thrilled they did so good...the only time we ran into trouble was going there in the Barbados airport the border control/passport line was SOOOOO long, at least 30 minutes wait and the kids were SO done by this point, the big kids were irritated but waited well but Ryder lost all senses, he screamed the entire line and I got lots of sad looks from other adults in line...and looks of pity lol. After all the hustle and bustle of airports and lines we finally got our car (VAN) and hit the road, it was SO weird driving on the other side of the road and literally every minute there being a traffic circle, everything in barbados is very British (it was settled by British) so it has a very different vibe than mexico or anywhere else "hot" ive ever been. My Favourite thing about Barbados is the beaches, every single one we went to was different. We traveled the whole island (it's only an hour drive from one end to the other), but on one end the beaches are white sand torquoise water and the other the sand was dark tan and blue water, and one beach was nearly pink sand and torquoise water, it's really cool how the scenary changes very quickly.
something else I thought was cool that I havent experienced beach wise (I've only experienced west coast beaches in bc, California and Mexico) but the sand was SOOOOO soft, if your a parent and have bough your kid the sandsalive kit they can play with, it feels just like that!! such squishy and soft, I could've sat in it and played all day, (what a fun sensory activity), not a single hard rock or pebble on the beaches near our house (bottom bay, and crane beach), it was so soft we just couldn't believe it!
where we stayed was near their "farm" land and kind of away from any touristy area, we wish we wouldve known that when we booked as we had to drive usually 30 minutes to any restaurant or place to get food. Over their farm land we saw lots of random chickens which walk everywhere even in the towns, tons of cows and goats as well. The other part of the island which is their jungle we literally saw a monkey cross the road, we all freaked out in the car and were excitedly screaming we saw a freaking monkey cross the road!! we couldn't believe it. there is also tons of signs for sea turtle crossings but sadly we didn't see any.
The one awesome thing about barbados is I always felt SUPER safe, never a bad vibe from anyone or any local, plus you can drink the water as the island has its only plumbing and filter so I didn't have to be paranoid about getting sick. downfalls of Barbados compared to somewhere like Mexico is that its really expensive, I told autumn we could get her hair braided on the beach and buy all her friends hand made bracelets but we didn't see anyone selling any, I think you need to make a decent wage in barbados to do well since food is so expensive and living that those kind of jobs aren't viable, unlike mexico. Also airbnb....I enjoyed airbnb so much in Italy it was perfect for andrew and I, but with Kids I think staying at a resort would have been a thousand times easier to have everything right there for us instead of driving around and searching for things, although we did feel like we got to see how life is like for locals and we saw more, I just think next vacay we will do something easy like a resort...although I am glad we explored more. as you can see pros and cons with both types of vacations. Now those are all the details I can remeber so enjoy the pictures!
I forgot to mention that we visited St Nicolas's Abbey (the beautiful building near the end of the gallery below) The Abbey was built in 1658 and was restored in 2006. We were lucky enough to meet the own during our tour. Surprisingly he is a Canadian. Having studied architecture at the university of Manitoba he began working in Barbados and when the Abbey went up for sale in 2006 he bought it. Its now a family run business. They produce a limited run of bouquet rum each year as well as rum syrup.
We had such a fun birthday for Miss Autumn last weekend, she had so many of her friends attend and it was a jam packed party! They all played in a huge gym, bouncy castle, parachute, and games, then opened presents and had cake! It was the easiest party I have ever hosted, lol which I love! less stress! We had a very happy birthday girl. I can't believe she is 6, she is so spunky and funny yet determined. I love this girls fiery personality we are so thankful she is apart of our family. We also had a fun time doing our annual tradition at the pumpkin patch, life has been so busy yet we are so lucky.
oh wow I have so much to be thankful for. This year has been a whirlwind and we have been non stop for months, both Andrew and I have burnt out for sure with multiple jobs, three kids and taking care of everything, in fact the message to slow down was ever apparent after we all got colds that seemed never ending then mine and Autumns turned out to be strep. Ok message clear, I need to take it easy. We finished our last wedding of the season this weekend and although I love photography and wedding season I welcome this break (after all the editing is done). we are So looking forward to our holiday to Barbados soon even though we have nothing prepapred at all lol. This weekend is our angels birthday coming up and we have mulitple children parties to attend before october is over, rest isnt yet but I have this incredible team of people in my life to support me, I have my health, my body and my loves by side. Some earth side some not, but yet im the luckiest girl on the planet. Wishing you all an incredible thanksgiving, our lives may not be perfect but yet there is so much to grateful for.