Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saskatchewan Legislature

Sam and Rachel had good naps at the hotel and I caught up on some blogging. It felt good to begin the catching up process. After his nap, Sam went swimming at the hotel with Dave. He had a blast! Then we went to The Mongolie Grill for supper. Sam surprised us by showing how he could use chopsticks!

After supper we went to the Saskatchewan Legislature. It was a fairly cool tour and we were the only ones on it. The Leg was built using 38 different kinds of marble, with only one type coming from Canada, Quebec to be specific. The wood carving was all done by one person. He was 17 and it took him four years. And the dome, like the Alberta one, is actually higher outside and the lighting you see inside is florescent.

This is where the government actually sits in session. And Sam has really gotten the hang of these cardboard cutouts. I think he looks sooo cute here!

The Saskatchewan Legislature has one of the biggest landscaped grounds in the world, according to my dad. We only saw a small piece of them!

After the tour, Sam received a helium balloon. Since we really don't like him having balloons we convinced him to let it go once we were outside. It was such a clear night we could see it float away forever -- well, okay, for about ten minutes though. It was amazing.

This is a statue of The Queen. This horse was presented to her by the RCMP in 1969 and it was raised in Saskatchewan. Supposedly The Queen rode this horse until 1987. I didn't know that and thought it was pretty amazing! And beside her is Sam showing off some of the beautiful flowers on the grounds.

RCMP museum

Today was a busy day. We started the day by getting gas at Canadian Tire. Fortunately, Regina is an easy city to navigate. Then we headed off to the RCMP museum.

It took us about ten minutes just to get in the door because Sam was so intrigued by the moose and the bear. He even wanted to hold the bear's hand, which he is doing in this picture. We ended up buying him an RCMP bear at the gift shop which he seems to love.

To be honest, I didn't find the museum all that intriguing. Maybe if I'd had time to read everything I would have felt differently about it but with two small children there just wasn't time. And there wasn't a ton of stuff to look at. In the middle of the museum were the different forms of transportation the RCMP have used through the years.

I thought Sam looked cute in this cutout! And then there were the hats to try on, as modeled by Sam and Dave in the pictures below:

After we had toured the museum we went on a tour of the Depot. That was very interesting. One thing we found out is that ALL of the RCMP officers in Canada come here for training. They receive $500 a week and all of their expenses are paid. Once they have completed the 24 week training they can be posted to anywhere in Canada and the tour guide was very clear that this means ANY WHERE. And it doesn't sound like you get much of a choice.

This is the Cenotaph with names of RCMP officers who have been killed and also the parade grounds. The public is not allowed to walk on the parade square which I thought was very interesting.

This the chapel. The multi-faith chapel can be used for weddings, baptisms or funerals. The stained window of the women was donated to honour the wives of RCMP officers in 1973. Women have only been accepted to the force since 1974. Most of the chapel windows were paid for by the donation from a woman in England of her estate. The woman had never been to Canada and seemed to have no connection whatsoever with the RCMP. Interesting...

Below is the drill hall. RCMP trainees (or cadets, as they're referred to) earn various pieces of their uniform as they learn to march in unison. They start off in sweats and runners. Then they earn their boots and the stripe on their pants. Eventually they also earn their hats and their red serge coats. Many regiments are in various stages of their training at the same time. One thing I found really interesting is that the reason that recruits get yelled at during their training is to teach them how to keep their cool when out in "real life."

The fire hydrants in the depot were all painted like RCMP officers and a lot of the sidewalk blocks had this little RCMP emblem on them.

When we got back to the hotel, the staff had made the bed up and tucked Sam's stuffed animals in, which I thought was really cute!

Drive to Regina and IPSCO Wildlife Park

Since I'm now caught up within a few days I'll start giving my posts "real" names again. This post is for last Monday, July 25. I finally got to sleep in after three days of getting up early and out the door as quickly as possible to get places. Uncle Vic dropped in as we were eating breakfast and so by the time we got out the door it was 11:00. Oh well. We didn't have to be anywhere at any specific time.

Mom and Dad suggested stopping at Penny's or Peggy's (they couldn't remember which it was) in Chamberlain for lunch. It was a pretty neat place and I had grilled cheese and a salad and Dave had a bison burger. We took a picture of this sign to help Mom and Dad remember the name!

And Rachel enjoyed the chance to just lie around and kick a bit!

Then we drove the rest of the way to Regina, with a brief stop in Lumsden so I could show Dave around where Auntie Myrna, Uncle Reg, Ward, Ray and Krista used to live. Sadly, we couldn't find their old house but Auntie Myrna told me the following Saturday that I was on the right street. Oh well. At least Dave got to see Lumsden. We found our hotel and then headed out to the IPSCO (or Ervuz as it's called now) Wildlife Park.

It turns out that this is where Auntie Myrna used to take us swimming at the IPSCO pool. Sam enjoyed running around after the geese and kept wanting to "touch and kiss them." We convinced him that was a "bad idea" and he was content to just walk after them. He was so cute to watch.

They also some other wildlife there but the geese were definitely Sam's favourite part!

Sam spent a lot of time riding on Daddy's shoulders.

This chair was a great place for a family picture!

And one more picture of Sam doing his favourite thing!

Saturday, July 23-Sunday, July 24, 2011

This past weekend was the Lehn reunion, which is my Grandma Krahn's side of the family. Since it was happening at Shekinah and since us being out of the house meant that Dave would have the chance to do a lot of work, we decided to go. It was an interesting weekend :)

On Saturday after supper Rachel got a door prize for being the youngest attendee of the reunion -- some awesome pink onesies, some cards and a Scentsy thing. I still have to figure out what to do with it! Sam also got a door prize of two splash balls, two splash footballs and a splash frisbee, plus some plastic catchers. He LOVED it and spent a lot of time playing with them.

The best part of the weekend, for me, was the auction on Saturday night with the proceeds going to cancer research. Uncle Vic was the auctioneer and he was pretty funny! I bought Dutch Blitz and a picture of Grandma Krahn dressed up as her sister's "boyfriend." I wanted to get the picture of Grandpa tying Grandma's shoes on their wedding day but Grandma wanted it so I decided not to bid against her.

There was also a piece of crochet done by Great-Grandma Lehn but again I decided not to bid on it because one of her granddaughters was. There were some stupid things people brought to the auction but there were also some really beautiful things. Aunt Louise had knit a pair of mittens which Dad was going to buy for Sam, after Aunt Louise pointed out that they fir him perfectly, but he stopped bidding after Aunt Theresa bid $100 for them. Dad said $99 was his limit!

Uncle Vic got Sam to bid a couple of times by saying, "Opa's #1!" and then Sam would put his hand in the air! So Opa bought a few things he wasn't planning on getting :) But at the end, Sam said, "Uncle Vic's #1!" and Uncle Vic was stuck with an old chair for $50 so the joke was on him. Ha ha ha!!!

Sunday morning there was a worship service which I was really looking forward to but it was disappointing so I felt very homesick for Waterloo North. We came home after lunch because we were all exhausted and Dave and I got ready to go to Regina and Moose Jaw, at least as much as we could.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This morning Mom, Dad, Rachel, Sam and I drove to Rosthern to visit Grandma Ewert. Sadly, she was busy with getting her bath and her hair done so I wasn't able to take any pictures :( We did take a few minutes to visit with Harry though :) One thing Mom pointed out is that everyone was interested in Rachel and Sam. I don't think they get many young people visiting at Pineview. Or at old age homes in general.

One thing I noticed is that Grandma sure can move, considering she's 104 years old. Wow!

For lunch we went to Laird and visited with Auntie Myrna. We had really good vegetable soup and Dad fixed Auntie Myrna's clock. Auntie Myrna brought up a bird book she had which has bird calls as a part of it. When you press the right number you can hear the bird's call. Sam LOVED it and Auntie Myrna even let him borrow it for awhile.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today, we stopped by the train museum beside the highway leading from Saskatoon to Rob and Ellen's. We have driven by it many times, and weren't quite sure what to make of it -- at first glance, it looked like it might be just a collection of old train cars that one could go and look at. However, when we actually took the time to check it out, we were very pleasantly surprised.

First, we were met by a friendly museum guide, who took us on a trip down the rails on a "jigger", or small rail car used to make repairs.

Everyone had a good time riding the jigger.

Once we got to the end of the line, we were able to look around an old railway station that had been restored.

But first, Sam had to take a seat on a nearby passenger car

On our way into the train station, Natasha noticed this helpful sign

Sam, Dave and Natasha taking turns as conductors.

The baggage room in the train station

Some lilies outside the train station

Once we left the train station, it was time to check out the many, many trains that were ready and waiting to be explored.

Sam checking out the power plant car

The dining portion of another car

A Saskatoon Transit trolley car

There was also plenty of opportunity to just wander around, and check out the sights...

Checking out the tracks

Operating the switches, levers, and signals

Having a chat on and old-fashioned telephone

A view south towards Rob and Ellen's, Pike Lake, and beyond

Sam driving yet another train.
Dave liked the picture on the right because of its striking similarity to a certain Tragically Hip album.

One last view down the tracks, towards all the sights we had just seen.

All in all, we had a great time, and were very glad that we stopped by!