Going-to-the Sun-Road

September 15th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

It doesn’t matter how many times we travel Going-to-the-Sun road over Logan Pass it never fails to amaze me by how spectacular it is.  We have gone over the pass at least 8 times this year and many more times over the years.   I have many memories as a child of going for a Sunday afternoon drive, to the top of Logan Pass or sometimes a little further to the “weeping wall” to see if it was weeping.  My mother was always nervous  driving so close to the edge of the cliff, so my memories are not only of the beautiful scenery, but also of my mother gripping the dashboard and crying  “JAY….JAY….”.   Sometimes my Grandmother Ras. would come with us and so we had two nervous nellies gripping and crying “JAY…JAY… “.  I’m pretty sure that my dad enjoyed making them yell.   I remember on one occasion, stopping along the cliff and a small black bear coming right up to our half open window  and standing on his back legs so he could see in (what were my parents thinking),   Another time I remember driving to the top of the pass and walking down past the closed road to watch the forest fire just below, scarily close.   Later my memories are with our kids and travelling over the pass with the sliding door to the van open (what were we, thinking) to enjoy the full view.  Other memories include travelling caravan style, with CB radios, with Mom and Dad (Bert & Ernie), the Wynders (Oscar the grouch), and us (Cookie Monster).   We would stop for a picnic once we reached the other side at Lake McDonald, and then throw rocks into the lake.  This summer has added to the memories, a completely heart broken, weeping wall in early summer, but somewhat consoled as summer continued, the beautiful wild flowers, the mountain goats, the mountain sheep, the moose, the deer, the three little adorable bear cubs, the many waterfalls, and of course the beautiful mountains.   Even with the construction stops, the expensive price of the pass, the annoying, slow moving tourists, a husband that traffic permitting,  (later at night), turns into a race car driver, I gotta say that I really really, love this road.






These were taken August 15th.  Luckily it was just a temporary taste of winter.



Bears, Bears, Bears

August 13th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

I don’t think that it is a secret that I am a little crazy about bears.  I love bears; teddy bears, wooden bears, Jeff Fleming bears, Boyds bears, pretty much any bear.  Tonight I went to bear heaven.  We were travelling over Logan Pass and at our second construction stop there was a flagman standing on the mountain side at 9:30 at night.  I made the comment that I would be a little worried about bears, standing there all by myself, but then thought that probably the noise of the jack hammer would probably scare away any wildlife.  We started on our way again and not even a half mile down the road we could see these tumbling little shadows crossing on the road ahead of us.  It was 3 little, black, bear cubs. They were SO CUTE!  One little guy stopped right in the middle of the road and just looked at us for almost 2 minutes.  He was only about 18 inches tall and so adorable.  The other two disappeared over the side of the cliff and one of them climbed a tree just a few feet away from us and sat and looked at us.  I was digging with one hand in the back for camera, but sadly I couldn’t get it in time, so no pictures.  We didn’t ever see the Mother bear, but somehow I don’t think she would have been too keen on me adding her little cubs to my collection.  Oh well I guess I will just have to go into the bear store tomorrow to get my bear fix.


February 25th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

What with the strong accent of most people here and then mix in all their different expressions, sometimes it was hard to tell what people were trying to say.  I compiled a list of the different sayings that are kind of interesting and fun.  Most of them are fairly easy but there are some that might trick you.

Hired Car – The clerk at the first place that we checked into asked if we had a hired car, Tim and John looked at each other and said sort of to each other “It’s not the high”.  I thought he asked “Did you hide the car?” and I am thinking, what the heck?  Just remember that we hadn’t slept for many hours and the clerk did have a strong accent.

Round about –

G’ Day Mate –  Yes everyone actually says that all the time.

How ya going? –

No worries – most of the time with a mate on the end.

Just having a browse? –

Brekky – we really saw this on a sign

Roadhouse –

Bottle shop –

18 dollars 40 –

Bicky –

Trolley –

A fair few –

Bathers –

Lay by –

Mossie –

Relos –

Sun baking –

They all sound way cooler said with a thick Aussie accent.

There were also some road signs that we found that were different.

Give way –

Overtaking lane –

NO BELTS, NO BRAINS –   (This one made me think of you Kenny)

Stop, Revive, Survive.  These signs were about every 10 kms. and they said you should do this every 2 hours of driving.  They had safety cameras that checked speed and fatigue.  Not sure how it worked but they are pretty serious about safety on the highways here.

Random experiences.

February 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

I just had a few things that I wanted to remember, that didn’t fit anywhere or I forgot to put them in the appropriate spot.

After landing in Sydney airport we were informed to stay seated with our seat belts on.  The flight attendants then opened all the over head bins and then went through and sprayed all of our suitcases, which of course meant we were also sprayed.  We were informed this was to comply with Australian immigration to kill any bad things that we might have sticking to us.  That is, of course my very loose translation. Tell me how welcome that makes you feel after flying for 16 hours, traveling for 24 hours and being up for 36 hours, just to get to their bloody country and then to be sprayed like an unwelcome bug.  It didn’t make you all warm and fuzzy all over.

Back to our church experience in Coffs Harbour.  We were having a great lesson in R.S. when this wacko lady (the wife of one of the Branch Presidency councillors) pipes up and says “Do you think that the saints knew when they arrived into the Salt Lake Valley that someday  American Idol would one day come to S.L.C. ”  The teacher just smiled and went back to her lesson, but the really scary thing was, there were quite a few of the other ladies that were really impressed with the comment.

At Whitehaven Beach, there were a couple of other boat tour groups there at the same time as we were.  One of the other groups stinger suits were bright canary yellow, complete with hoods and mittens.  Imagine how a rather largish gentlemen in the shape of a big white whale with a slouchy tummy would look dressed head to toe in a skin tight canary yellow stinger suit. It was really quite hillarious.  I don’t think the stinger suit had to be stinger proof, because it just scared the poor little stinger senseless, seeing the giant yellow man floating toward them.  We were very grateful we had used another tour company.

As we were going through security at Proserpine Airport, which is only a little two gate airport, John was randomly called over and scanned for explosive residue.  Imagine the security dudes face when John’s computer and bag  came up positive.  The poor little fuddy duddy tests again, and again it comes up positive.  The rest of us are all cleared and get to sit back and watch the show, and since it is such a small airport the waiting area is just 3 feet away from John.  Again the little man tests the computer and bag and again it comes up positive, by this time he is getting very flustered.  He decides to run the computer and the bag through the x-ray machine again and nothing shows up, so another test is in order.  Getting more and more flustered he calls over another equally competent security dude who’s look says “Golly I just don’t know, I’ve never seen this before, I’m really glad you are dealing with this and not me.”  Anyway they decide they should look it up in a book and when that doesn’t help, they call the girl over from the airline check-in.  The decision is, you guessed it, another test.  This last test comes back negative and fuddy duddy man is much relieved, as is probably John by this time.  I don’t think by the last test John was finding this quite as amusing as the rest of the peanut gallery.

Lots of great memories, lots of laughs.

Coffs Harbour

February 21st, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

Memories from Coffs Harbour

-The resort grounds were absolutely beautiful.  One of the gardeners told Tim that there were over 40 kinds of hibiscus alone growing there.

-Torrential rains.

-Our experience at church was more than memorable, it was more like a quaint family reunion than Sunday School.  I can now understand how the church in remoter corners of the world than this, can get so off course, but it was certainly the friendliest branch (ward) that I have been too.  One of the ladies that introduced herself actually knew people in our ward at home; how weird is that.

-Sunday afternoon going up to the “Look at Me Now Headland”, (yes that is it’s real name) to see some kangaroos.  As we entered the reserve we saw a bunch of kangaroos off in the distance and were excitied.  We continued up the path and then we really saw kangaroos; there were lots of them and right by the path.  We might not have dared go by them after reading the warning sign, had we not seen another couple coming toward us, go right by them and neither the kangaroos, or the people even noticed.  It was fun to see them so close in the wild.

-Torrential rains

-Stopping at a roadside banana stand made out of an old T.V. back in the hills.  It was an honor system with a long tube to drop your money into.  The banana eaters in the group claimed they were the best banana’s ever.

-Did I mention torrential rains.

_Spending way more time at the shops than we wanted to because of the torrential rains.

_Being beaten at tennis, but at least in a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay In Coffs Harbour, but were glad to leave the rain behind as we headed north to Brisbane to catch a flight to Airlie Beach and sunshine.

I’ve found a new love.

February 12th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

How fun was it to have a whole suitcase full of clothes to choose from Monday morning, although unfortunately they were still only my clothes.  We drove out of Sydney in the rain and headed up the coast, chugging along on the wrong side of the road.  Although we say Koala bear and kangaroo warning signs just like the deer ones at home we didn’t see any on the first leg of our trip.   John spotted a dead Roo on the side of the road but somehow that wasn’t exactly how I wanted to see my first wild Roo.   We stopped for lunch in a little town called Buhladelah (try saying that one).  It was this funny little restaurant, in a funny little town, but it was very good.  Needing to get my diet coke fix we went into the grocery store a to get pop and treats.  Lori came out with this box of cookie’s that we all tried and I had my new addiction “Tim Tams”.   I hustled my little self back into the store and bought my own personal supply which I grudgingly shared with Tim.

We arrived in Coffs Harbour and after much circling, and discussing, and map reading, we found our hotel and happily settled into our new digs.  We have a two bedroom villa with our own enclosed courtyard.  The pool and tennis courts are right on the beach so we can hear the surf pounding in as John and Lori pound us in tennis (we have to practice before the next trip).  Anyway we are here for the next couple of days relaxing and enjoying the sun.

Adventures in Sydney

February 11th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

Somehow when the airline said my suitcase would be arriving on the next flight, I had figured: the flight gets in at 10:30, suitcase clears customs, gets delivered, so should maybe arrive about 1 o’clock or so.   Tim somehow had neglected to tell me that they deliver late afternoon only.  Monday morning I donned my newly purchased Target shirt, my funny little exercise pants, and my hot runners and we set off to discover downtown Sydney.  We decided to take the train, so as not to worry about traffic and parking.  The train had two levels, which was kind of cool.  I was a little disappointed with the Opera House, because it wasn’t white and sparkly like all the pictures show it, and was also smaller than I had envisioned it, but was still cool.  I think that we are going to try to see either “The Magic Flute” or ” Madame Butterfly”  when we get back to Sydney.  The hike up the bridge was rather hard and very expensive, but very worth it (just kidding of course.)  Our cousin Court had suggested that we take the ferry to Manly beach and so we decided to do just that.  It was kind of neat to see the Opera house and the bridge from the water.  It is actually quite a long trip down the harbour and around a point but lots to see along the way.   Manly beach had quite a few tourist type stores and of course the beach, which we checked out before heading back on the ferry.  Back downtown we decided to check out this Australian Opal Cutting Store that I had picked up a brochure about earlier.   We got there to find it was up the elevator to the 3rd floor, which had 3 of us ready to turn around, but I was able to convince them to keep going.  When the elevator door opened we were confronted with a barred door with a bell to ring to enter.  This just about deterred us again, but  I appealed to their sense of adventure and we rang the bell.   Inside are a bunch of tables and chairs and then a barred room with a bunch of shelves. We were escorted to a table, feeling rather out our element and asked what we were looking for.  We (me) said we weren’t really looking for anything just wanted to check it out.  We are all laughing and feeling silly, but the guy thought we were funny and proceeded to give us a little lesson on the different kinds of opals, and where they are mined.  Finding out that they weren’t too expensive we let our new friend go into the locked room and bring out a bunch of trays of opal jewelery.   Needless to say I am now the proud owner of an opal necklace.

When we got back to the hotel and my suitcase still hadn’t arrived, I had two options; I could burst into tears which really isn’t me, or I could start to cuss which really is me, but I did neither.  This was even more traumatic because we were going out to meet the cousins that I hadn’t seen for 20 or so years, and I only had my “no suitcase” outfit.  Tim took one look at my face and immediately got on the phone. After 30 minutes on hold he found that my suitcase had arrived in Sydney but still hadn’t cleared customs, but would be sent out for delivery at 7 o’clock.   We were supposed to be at the cousins party at 6 o’clock, so you guessed it, I went as the frumpy little relation from Canada.   Despite my outfit we had a great time, but it sure made me wish that I had made the trip while Macky was still here.

Late and Lost

February 10th, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

The trip to Vancouver was quick an uneventful.  We arrived a bit late but that was all good because we were supposed to have a 6 hour lay over.  When we finally arrived  at the international departure area, we were much dismayed to see that our flight to Australia was delayed an hour, now leaving at 12:45 am, so we now had 7 hours to wait.  We had a very leisurely supper, and then wandered down to a part of the airport that was kind of shut down for the night, lights dimmed and hardly anyone around, it felt very Terminalish,  I kept expecting Tom Hanks to appear. Some of our group really thought they were in the movie and stretched out and had a nice little sleep.   When we finally got on board the plane and took off, it was so stinkin late that it made a lot easier to actually sleep.   We had just gotten nicely asleep, when they served beverages, and then “chicken or beef” dinner.  That is like at 4 in the morning, who the heck wants chicken or beef then, oh right one of us did eat.  The flight wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I watched 3 and a half movies, 2 TV shows and read for quite awhile.  We arrived in Sydney at 10:30, Sunday morning, 4:30 Calgary time, to a very hot and humid day.   While clearing customs, we were informed in a very cool accent, that Air Canada had not done our visa’s correctly.  It apparently happens quite a lot and so they were able to quickly fix us up and send us to wait, and wait , and wait for our luggage.  After everyone had picked up their luggage and left one blue suitcase had still not arrived.  The baggage claim people calmly told us that it was left in Vancouver, but would be put on that evening’s flight, arriving the next morning.  Guess who’s suitcase it was, thats right IT WAS MINE!  I had actually packed a few essential items in my carryon, like makeup, clean underwear and a funny little pair of exercise pants, so it was not completely disastrous.

I have to say that driving on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road is really weird, but we made it to the hotel without major problems, just a few navigational miscues.  We checked out the mall next door to see if I could find some help for my meager wardrobe, but everything was very expensive.   The worst part was not having my sandals.  After shopping we came back and were all trying hard not to crash but it was only about 6:00 pm so decided to go check out the beach.  After more backwards and navigational problems we got to Bondi  Beach, apparently a fairly famous beach.  There were alot of people still there on a Sunday evening.   Our lack of sleep, and our old time zone finally caught with us about 9:00 and we toddled off to bed, so we would be ready for new adventures tomorrow.

My Mother Moment

October 28th, 2008 | Posted in Uncategorized by Lorna

I have been hearing a few “subtle” comments lately;  eg: “You know Mom, if you are going to have a blog, you actually have to write something,” so I have been waiting for some earth shattering experience or even a little tremor would have made me happy.   We were able to attend Jamie’s debut as director of her children’s choir Sunday afternoon, and that’s where I found my moment.  Sitting in the church as the choir members entered, wearing the same little tartan outfits that Jamie wore as a member of the same choir many years ago, was surprisingly touching.  The real moment came though, as Jamie followed the choir in.  Here was this tall, beautiful, composed, and confident young woman conducting the choir and it was my little girl.  I think that I was the proudest mother in the room and there were a lot of mothers in that room.  Ya, ya, I know that pride is supposed to be a bad thing, but I think that, “mother’s moment pride” is different.  I actually think that it is a reward, for the “other” mother moments, when we wish that the earth would just open and swallow us up.  Anyway, Jamie, thanks for giving me one of the good moments; you made me very proud.  Love ya.

My entry into the blogging world

October 12th, 2008 | Posted in Me by Lorna

I decided that I wanted to set up a blog for when we go to Australia for all my fans out there.  Lahni and Joel got me set up and now I just have to provide the words of wisdom, and that is why this is so short.  Stay tuned in case I come up with something profound in the future.