A vacation...at last!

We started out to Lethbridge on Thursday, needing to get to the passport office in Calgary before 4:30.  Ron was stressed and speeding and ALMOST got a ticket, but the guy in front of him slowed down, and Ron followed, and the guy in front got the ticket...thank you guy, you really made our day, sorry about yours!

We made it to Calgary, got the passports and even had time to stop and visit Michelle and Scott.  It was great talking to them and hearing how they are doing.  And a great big thanks to Scott for finding Ron a road bike so Ron can start riding to work in Sept.  He is going to stop driving and start walking/riding.  The other catch will be the weather, as he HATES snow and cold.  Umm, no Alberta boy here!!
We had a busy day Friday helping Ra get ready for college and finishing up our banking but managed to get in some swimming with some of the grandkids at the outdoor pool. That was a lot of fun!
We went out for dinner with a lot of the kids that night at the firestone, and aside from Ron being pretty sick, it was a great night.  We transferred our table to the outside patio later on and stayed visiting there for a long time.  The younger three kids usually get left out of date night things, so they were happy to be included.
Saturday morning, JD, Jawn and Matt all got up early and hiked down Red Rock Canyon for a few hours. From their stories, it sounded great!  Unfortunately, sometime either then or later, Matt hurt his ankle and by the end of the day, it was swollen and he couldn't put any weight on it.
We were all supposed to meet up in Waterton at 11:30, but Ron was really sick and feeling terrible all night. It took a long time to get things moving and I was pretty frustrated that we were so late...1pm!
I kept telling myself that I would ruin the whole day instead of just the morning if I didn't calm down.  I drove because Ron was just not up to it, and I didn't want to have to give directions.
We got there and Ron and Ra and Samuel headed down Red Rock Canyon.  They got a long ways and really enjoyed the hike.  I stayed and waited for the rest of the gang; pretty soon they came back from the trail which they had all hiked together.  I had a good visit with them and we even had a lunch break before Matt, Katie and family, and Michelle and Scott headed to town to go to the spray park.  Crystal, JD, Clare, Veronica, the boys and myself all started down Red Rock.  We went slowly and enjoyed the scenery- it is breathtaking!
image from http://canada-keller.com/waterton/  : 
When we got part way, Elizabeth and Pete met us...I felt badly that they had waited at the town site for almost an hour because that is where we were supposed to be at that time. But they were patient with us and were able to join us partway down the canyon.  I think Elizabeth was grateful that she didn't have to go far with Brosie as she was pretty stressed at the danger level for such a little girl!  Elizabeth would only let Pete hold Brosie and it was neat to see them work as a little family...warms my heart!

We all headed to town and met up at the ice-cream store...after more confusion over which store!! In line, Ron was asked if this was a club or something. Of course, the guy was surprised to learn that it was just our family!!  After everyone got some ice-cream it was off to the lake. Again, a mix-up and the group split with part going to one beach and part to another.  I drove around, called around and was finally able to get everyone together.  I was so excited to finally have everyone in one spot- insert a long sigh here- but Michelle was anxious to get on her way back to Calgary so our few minutes together were just that....minutes!
The rest of us enjoyed some time at the beach...which was very windy!!
I will upload more pictures later....!
After some time at the beach, we went to Cardston to check on Mom's house (it made it through the hail storm of Thursday without any damage) and went to have dinner.  Most places were closed, and the pizza place had a 40 minute wait.  So we said good-bye to Matt and Katie and headed back to Lethbridge.
We had a meal at Fat Burger and ended our day.
Sunday church was spent with Crystal and JD and then Rachel drove Samuel to Aunt Cathie's and picked up Grandma to drive together back to Lacombe.
Ron and I said good-bye to everyone and headed to Montana.  The weather was great, the scenery very diverse...and beautiful and we arrived in Butte around 8:30pm.

The hotel where we stayed was built in 1923 and modeled after the Hotel Astor in New York City. It has had such guests as Charles Lindbergh 1927, Harry Truman 1956, and  Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy 1959.
The entrance way is STUNNING!!  The rooms are still heated by steam and opening and shutting the
windows, but with added air conditioners.  They are quite small but full of character.  It has been fun!!

You could just stop in on your way through Butte and see the hotel without having to stay there and probably get the full effect!!
Anyways, enough for today, love to all our family for making this possible for us to do!!
And we are looking forward to visiting with more family soon!!