Not a TANGLE! (Travel Theme Challenge)

The Travel Theme from Ailsa this week over at Where’s My Backpack? is… TANGLE!

Whilst going through my Polar Bear photos I happened upon some photographs given to us following our visit last year to Blue Sky Expeditions at Churchill, Manitoba. This one in particular ideal for this challenge.

A Tangle of Dogs... NOT!

Having to harness six excited dogs to a sled, there was inevitably a TANGLE or two before everything was set to go but what bliss once we set sail. This is my Miss Twelve (we had a birthday on the week-end) and I sitting back enjoying our sled ride!

The lack of snow I think is evident which meant our sled had wheels but there were absolutely NO complaints from us as this made the ride so much more enjoyable. 🙂

Without wheels going over the compacted snow/ice in a sled can only be likened to a Ferrari attempting to go over the speed-bumps at a shopping centre – you close your eyes and hope for the best!


It’s Monday, what can I say but…

Holiday, what holiday???

Since returning last week, besides all the obvious washing and general house-keeping, changing car tires and keeping appointments, one child has had a school play and a birthday, the other has been throwing up and fighting fevers. Life’s wheels just haven’t stopped turning… oh the joys!

Little wonder yesterday I woke up feeling like I’d hit the wall – much like a bug hitting a car’s windscreen!

Splattered bug on a windscreen - hit a wall lately?Which thus led me to this quote which rather piqued my interest.

Mosquito Effectiveness FramedIt’s rather true isn’t it? We’re all in this together, every job is important no matter how insignificant others might think it is.

So many jobs are much like me at my house with my washing, cooking, picking-up after others, blah, blah, blah. No one notices me doing it on a daily basis but when it’s not done, oh my, watch out, it’s certainly noticed then isn’t it? Each and every task is a contribution! 🙂

Goodness, I hate this feeling of fog in my head, it’s as if my eyes are going to bulge out like one of those stress toys. Seriously… “mum, how much longer?”



Cross-Country Skiing!

How beautiful is this backdrop for Master Twelve’s first-ever cross country-skiing adventure?

Cross Country Skiing Beginnings - how gorgeous is this?!

For the first time in history we were the first to arrive but this gave us a chance to at least get the fire in the lodge started to take the chill out of the air. Plus we were able check on the amenities for the day – his and her trees – just like when I was growing up, lol! (Actually, if you walked a litter further there was a shed but where’s the fun in that?! 🙂 )

Pick a tree, any tree, lol!

The Cadets spent the entire afternoon being instructed in the art of cross-country skiing and skating. How chuffed were we when we returned to the lodge later that afternoon to see the other Cadets but not ours because… he’d gone back out… what?

Master Twelve was out with the instructor having a one-on-one who, by the way, was VERY impressed at how hard he worked during the day, listening then applying whatever was being taught. Yet again, my heart runneth over!

Cross-country skiing - what a fabulous success!!!

His red-cheeks almost match the red on his t-shirt don’t you think?!

What a way to spend the afternoon!

Thank you Kitimat Cadets for offering the team this wonderful opportunity! Master Twelve had the BEST time and is very keen to go out again. The question now is… “mum, how much longer?”

Downward flowing frozen water…

AKA, a waterfall, lol!:)

I was so absorbed with the river on Saturday, it wasn’t until I was back in the car after one of my stops, looking to see what traffic was coming behind me that I noticed this directly across from.

Long waterfalls on the side of the road

What is it about icicles that make them so darn appealing?

Frozen drips - with or without color - still wonderful!

Whether they are in black and white or simply in muted colors – frozen waterfalls are always beautiful.

A moment truly frozen in time

To think I almost missed this, funny how fate steps in at just the right time on occasion. Other times you are left wondering…  “mum, how much longer?”

The beauty of one!!!

Can you believe it, we are now in our THIRD day of snow!

Something we once took so much for granted his now almost a treat. And yes, I have shoveled the drive-way and slid around the streets MORE than once in the last couple of days yet STILL call snow a treat so down from your high-horse people, okay? Lol, seriously though, after just two days this is my front deck! 🙂

HOW much snow did we have in two days???

Incredulity as I drove home on Saturday in the sunshine after dropping Master Twelve at his Marksmanship Zone Competition in Terrace, you would NEVER have expected the weather we are currently having. Since I was alone Saturday for my return to Kitimat, I took this opportunity to stop for a photo or two by the river.

Watching the flowing ice through the trees - glorious!

This first stop however was my favorite – it was so quiet and peaceful!

Debris of all sorts in the flowing water

The sun may have been shining but it was bitterly cold however it didn’t deter me from stopping FOUR times. Sadly seeing the size of the ice chunks in the river did nothing to warm me either trust me!

Would you like ice with that???

But how cool is this old tree-house – what a view there must be from up there! 🙂

House with a view - how cool is this?!

The water was flowing quickly yet was so clear seeing the river-bed below was no trouble at all.

What crystal clear flowing water - how beautiful!

What a glorious afternoon it was taking photographs although I do wonder if anyone noticed how I would be opening one door when was already open, then racing around to ensure that first door was still open before closing the second door. There was NO WAY I was going to be locked out of my car in that bone-chilling wind. Each time I did this I found myself asking… “mum, how much longer?” 😉

Big plans for the week-end?

I know I have… there are soooo many questions that require answers and I plan to get them all!

Will Lady Mary endure her new roles as both first-time mother and a widow with the grace she’s always shown? The legacy she has consistently protected so vehemently is now hers, or is it?  Then there’s Robert and Cora, what’s their reaction? Will Lady Edith finally find a “proper” path? Will Branson ever really be family? As for the Dowager Countess Violet’s thoughts on all this, HA!

What a week-end - jealous?!

So, as I clutch Season 4 of Downton Abbey to my breast ensuring we have a good stack of logs for the fire-place given the forecast for cold, cold weather over the next few days, I’ll order take-out and bunker down.

With the sound of bells ringing in the air, Mrs Hughes please stop nattering to Bates, I need my coffee. Well a girl can dream can’t she, lol, and as for my answers… “mum, how much longer?”

Magnificent Mountain Ranges!

Driving around Terrace last week-end, the clouds would occasionally part allowing the sun to shine through, treating us to this most beautiful scene. The snow-capped mountains in the distance were just glorious.

Snow-capped Mountains in the Distance

Yet, as I attempted to capture this moment, Mother Nature was only too eager to remind me how quickly it can change. Within minutes of this first capture the clouds, like fingers across my lens, began their slow return.

It all changes in a matter of moments

This “now you see it, now you don’t” attitude from Mother Nature explains why I’m often left asking… “mum, how much longer?”

Looking over Estonia!

Mere contemplation and reminiscing has had me here for hours looking through the photographs I took whilst in Estonia. What can I say, I’m still pinching myself that I was actually there, it all feels like such a dream. What an incredible start to the new year, I feel so blessed!

Anyhoo, with the clock ticking I’d best post something,  ANYTHING before I discover its tomorrow and I’m looking for TWO days of photos, ahhh. My problem? Simply the fact my notebook has gone wandering so I’m unable to “contain” my thoughts, something very necessary for me to remain on track, lol!

And speaking of tracks, what a track it was to get up to one of the viewing areas of the Old City of Tallinn but it was so worth it when presented with this. With the light snow that had fallen overnight and still falling, it only added to the “fairy-tale” mystic of this bewitching city with its many church spires and old-world towers.

Looking over Estonia!

It’s not until you are looking over the Old City that you appreciate how close to the water you are, especially when you see so many ferries just over there!

Looking over Estonia Water-ways - beautiful!

Whilst walking the cobble-stone streets of Tallinn it felt surreal and even now, looking at some of these photos, it still seems all very surreal.

Looking over Estonia - we were just down there but it wasn't a case of simply walking up some stairs!

 So many photographs, so many memories but so many friends who assisted me with this opportunity to be with my husband in such an amazing environment. How can I, when will I ever be able to thank you all… “mum, how much longer?”

First glimpses of Tallinn, Estonia!

Hubby had had meetings unexpectedly in Tallinn just prior to Christmas then was asked to return again in the new year. Since he was going to be there longer and with a hotel room already booked, he suggested that perhaps I’d like to join him once his business in Scandinavia concluded.

Honestly I didn’t think he was serious hence it was a mad scramble making arrangements for the children who, for the first time EVER, would not be joining us. Once the bank balance was consulted, my flights were confirmed on his way to the airport, lol!

Finally with children secured and three flights behind me, I arrived into Tallinn under the cloak of darkness last Tuesday evening so come Wednesday morning, having been awake since 4am, I was more than ready for some quick sight-seeing before Hubby left for his meetings. With our hotel located in the Medieval Old Town there was something to be seen everywhere you looked.

Almost beside our hotel was Saint Olaf’s Church. It dates back to 1267 with its current form taking shape in the 16th Century. Between 1549 to 1625 this church was known as the tallest building in the World! Plus, the story is that during Soviet times, the KGB used this tall spire for radio communications.

Saint Olaf's Church

Walking down the street with its cobble-stones, it wasn’t hard to feel as if we’d been transported back in time. Reval as Tallinn was originally known as, became “the” spot in the 13th-Century for traders who helped shape this city with this unique beauty we see now, completely enclosed within its own city wall!

Walking down Pikk Street... OUR street!

Then turning the corner to the Town Square it was if Christmas had arrived again when we saw the city’s Christmas Tree still on display and better yet, the Christmas Markets still in place. How’s this for fate though, little did we know after we went back that afternoon after they’d opened the markets, this was their LAST day!

Town Square with Christmas Markets

Tallinn’s Old City is simply beautiful with its old world charm and wonderful coffee shops. There’s so much to show you that it will take days, if not weeks so be warned. For a change it may be YOU instead of my children declaring… “mum, how much longer?”

A picture is worth a 1,000 words!

When we eventually landed last night without any mishap, retrieved our luggage and hired a car, I visited the wash-room knowing it was going to be at least another hour before we’d be home.

I honestly didn’t think I was gone that long but this is what greeted me when I existed. There was not a single person in the terminal. How funny is THAT after all the terminals we’d been in over the last week with all those people, lol!

Just me and all my friends!!!

Fortunately the weather was kind to us with it being a very good drive home but still, it was an hour.  As it’s been said many times over, a picture is worth a thousand words so when we were finally walking through our front door a little past midnight last night, this pretty much summed up how we felt. Note the saying!

This is EXACTLY how tired I felt walking through the door last night!

That was at least until Miss Ten came crashing into our arms and like a miracle, both Hubby and I were awake as anyone two people could possibly be as Miss Ten gave us over a week’s supply of cuddles, making up for our time away. My Darling Girl didn’t let go of me for over an hour – how special did I feel?! 🙂

Master Twelve gave it his best shot falling asleep though just as we landed, still in his cadets uniform, as he was when he crawled into bed with me this morning. Even though he’s now at middle school and almost at eye level with me, it’s still more than a tad nice when he comes in for a cuddle of a morning. It’s good.

Almost as good as how much one can fit into their cabin luggage. Please note my candle holding pottery houses (that’s our Estonian hotel – The Three Sisters by the way) which arrived in one piece. Yes, applause is more than acceptable – instructions will follow in due course, lol!

What's in YOUR cabin luggage???

Someone once remarked to me in the most snooty of tones as to how could I possibly NOT know how much luggage I’d bring back with me from holidays. Huh? Perhaps if I was doing the conventional holiday I’d know but really, how often does the Average Jo go to Estonia, lol?! 😉

But for now it’s back into reality at full throttle with my fifth load of washing just completed with three more loads at least waiting for me, bags unpacked, two children upstairs completely hyper following a day at home with their mum, and my mind racing as to what meals I’ll be preparing for the next few days.

Holiday, what holiday, it’s nothing but a blur… “mum, how much longer?”