Category Archives: let’s go

truth be told, i’ve never been a “car person”. as long as a vehicle can get me from point a to point b, i’ve been pretty indifferent about all of the details. that said, we’ve been considering a pickup truck for a while — mostly for the extra cargo space and towing capacity required when camping with five people — so when ford approached us to participate in their #fordoutdoors program the same week we were planning our camping trip to southern alberta, the answer was easy; sign us up!

because of the mental and physical health boosting power of spending time outdoors, ford is encouraging canadians to escape the city this summer and get outside to reap the benefits for their health and well being. for a family who spent much of our summers outside rain or shine, this is messaging we can get behind.

the first thing mark and i did when we got on the road in “our” new f-150 was try out the built in active motion seat massage feature. remember what i said above about not being a car person?! turns out i just hadn’t ridden in a vehicle with cooling massaging seats for a six hour road trip before 🤣

having never travelled in a full sized truck before, the kids were super happy in the spacious back seat, with ample room for the bazillion toys and books they deem necessary for every road trip. and considering it has a two hour battery life, being able to charge her ancient ipod herself in the back seat entertainment centre was especially exciting for lila.

while comfort was obviously a highlight for me, there are also a lot of safety features that made me enjoy the ride. typically mark does all of the trailer towing on our camping adventures (while i’m constantly handing the kids the book or water or toy they dropped, haha) but with the extra control of the adaptive cruise and lane keeping system, i felt more than confident enough to take the driver’s seat to get out of the city.

one of many other features that makes towing extra simple with the f-150, is the blis (blind spot information system) that notifies you not only of vehicles travelling in the truck’s blind spot, but those in range of the trailer as well. i really didn’t think driving a different vehicle would make much difference, but the features included in this truck honestly took away so much of the stress of pulling a trailer for me.

we usually toss the kids’ bikes into the trailer while heading out on camping trips, so it was great to have the additional cargo space to keep the associated dirt away from our beds and in the truck box; but let’s be serious here, the highlight for me was definitely having the extra room to transfer all of our floaties and paddle boards to the water for an epic float down the milk river.

(if you’re ever camping in the writing-on-stone area, ten thumbs up from the hankis for the paddle and float from weir bridge to the campground!)

honest review, the ford f-150 was such a comfortable way to explore the beautiful views across our province AND to get back home safely just in time for bedtime. i have the distinct feeling i’ll be seriously missing the built in massage on our next road trip.

while we did partner with ford canada for this blog post, all thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own.

this one is definitely going to be a new annual tradition!! we loved going apple picking at attracted 2 apples! we headed out pretty late in the season but there were still plenty of apples  to pick from and the kids had a blast collecting and sampling their fruit. we’ll definitely be back!

i grew up in a cozy town of 75,000, nestled between two rivers, hundreds of lakes and thousands of evergreen trees. i spent much of my childhood in my backyard tobogganing through the trees in the winter, and my summers on the lake at our family cabin. as soon as i graduated high school, i did what many do and got out of my hometown as quickly as i possibly could.

we head back every year to visit my in laws, and the family cabin that’s now a highlight of my own kids’ summers, but rarely do we venture into town to explore, so when i was presented with the opportunity to visit prince george with a group of edmonton bloggers, i jumped at the chance to play tourist in my own hometown.

central mountain air has just launched the first direct flight from edmonton to prince george, which is exciting for anyone looking to visit the area and especially awesome for a family like us who have friends and in laws in pg that we can now reach in under two hours (instead of having to make the eight hour trek through the mountains every single time)! the group i travelled with (kelsy, diana, sandy, karlie and phil) hopped on our plane early one thursday morning, and enjoyed a quick and quiet hour in the air (flying child free is something i don’t get to experience very often — i even got to read a book!).

upon arriving in prince george, our food and drink fest commenced almost immediately upon landing. from fresh squeezed lemonade and breakfast, to pizza and pimm’s and the most amazing charcuterie board i’ve ever seen, to wine and more charcuterie at a vineyard, to beer sampling at a brewery, and topped off with an amazing dinner, we certainly did not go hungry (or thirsty) all day long.

our first stop was at ooh chocolat where i was tempted by the dozens of delicious desserts but settled for a(n amazing fresh squeezed) lemonade and a quick snack (knowing how many other stops were to come on the day’s itinerary, i had to pace myself), before we headed over to check out the local art gallery and head out on a walking tour of the downtown core. i’ll definitely be making a trip back to this cafe to treat the kids on our next trip west! the two rivers art gallery was a gorgeous space filled with natural light and greenery and the kids’ art classes that were going on in the maker lab as we passed through looked amazing and definitely worth checking out for anyone in the area!

next up was our downtown tour. the city has placed information plaquards on several street corners with history of the area and stories about specific buildings (turns out there have been a A LOT of fires in pg’s downtown core) and our tour guide did an awesome job of keeping it entertaining. as a former resident, it was pretty neat to hear the history of the streets i was driven down for the first half of my life, and as a creative, i loved seeing the public art being commissioned in various spaces downtown. being a large group of bloggers and photographers, there were (of course) a handful of detours for photos along the route.

following our tour, we took on the most impressive charcuterie board i’ve ever seen and enjoyed some cocktails and pizza at betulla burning. i know the kids will love watching their pizzas cook in the wood burning stove and the novelty of cutting their pizzas with scissors(!) so i’m definitely adding this stop to our intinerary next time we travel to bc.

after lunch, we checked into our rooms and then headed back out to check out some more attractions. northern lights estate winery is the northern most winery in british columbia and they create fruit wines from blueberries, apples, rhubarb and a variety of other fruits. there we were treated to a tour of the orchards and facilities and a private wine tasting. my personal favourite was the heritage haskap wine, a rich blend of haskap and blueberries. clearly this called for another photo shoot, and florals were the attire of choice 😉

next stop, because we hadn’t had enough to eat or drink yet (ha!), it was time to check out pacific western brewing for a tour. so many of the beers that i remember my dad drinking as a child are brewed here, but my beverage of choice during this visit was (unexpectedly) a root beer vodka drink — it tasted just like pop, which could perhaps be a bit problematic on a hot summer afternoon at the lake…

we capped off the night with an amazing dinner at north 54 (while i may not be a food photographer i can attest that the miso scallops were one of the most delicious things i’ve ever eaten!!), my first slot machine experience at the casino attached to our hotel (spoiler: i won nothing), and an early bedtime.

after breakfast on day two (even though i didn’t order it myself, i’m going to go ahead and highly recommend this MASSIVE cinnamon bun from hummus brothers) we headed out for a hike at one my personal favourite attractions in the prince george area, the ancient forest. the only inland temperate rainforest in the world, the ancient forest boasts thousand year old trees AND waterfalls and the accessible boardwalk ensures that everybody can enjoy the experience, be it on foot, pushing a stroller, or in a wheelchair. it’s absolutely stunning and of course, more photos ensued.

one last meal, a quick goodbye to mister pg and we were on our way back to the airport to head home. a quick hour in the air and we all made it back home, one adventure and six friends richer.

big thanks to tourism prince george and central mountain air for hosting us, i can’t wait to show my family some of the new gems i was able to check out on our next trip to prince george!

coleisfivecole, you are now a whole hand old and i can barely believe it. i remember your squishy little newborn self and the day you were born so vividly, and yet here you are now, scaling the badlands and looking like a big kid. you’re such an awesome little man, and i’m so glad i get to be your momma.

we spent a may weekend at a yurt in pigeon lake provincial park — i didn’t take many photos of the actual yurt as we were too busy out exploring, but it was a fantastic experience and would definitely be a great intro trip for anyone who wants to give camping a try but isn’t quite ready to pitch a tent. the kids especially loved the giant bunk bed, the beach and playground, and of course, the campground ice cream shoppe!


ps. i’ve been waiting to share this so it would coincide with some info from my pal kelsy who has just launched an awesome kids’ travel blog — go check out her post for a ton of info about their yurting adventure and exploring with little ones!

redwood-forest-fairy-doors-surreyone of the kids’ favourite stops on our whirlwind tour of alberta, british columbia and washington over spring break, was this amazing fairyland in the middle of a redwood forest in surrey, bc. the paths are full of little fairy doors in tree trunks and houses hanging from branches, and through their eyes, it was a pretty magical little spot. next time we go we’ll definitely be painting up some tiny houses to leave behind.

this is what eight hours of midway perfection looks like. rides, hot dogs, sno cones, visiting the exhibition, baby naps, prizes won by daddy, mini donuts and cotton candy. we followed it up with a couple of long baths 😉 it was a very good day.

thank you to telus for inviting us to k days 2014! we loved checking out the world of wonder exhibit and even won a prize in the canada trivia game 🙂 i’m giving out two free passes over on instagram — contest closes july 24 at noon!