Howdy, I got a little sidetracked for a few weeks there. On Tuesday 3rd July at 11pm, after a very eventful England Vs Colombia world cup match, I finally went into labour after the longest feeling pregnancy ever - 10 days early, so I can't complain. In just under 4 hours my contractions went from light cramps to full blown dinosaur sounds and at 2:45am we made a b-line for the car to head to the hospital. Trying not to wake the neighbours as I leaned in the car boot, biting a pillow through a contraction, this was by far one of my biggest challenges ever. Upon arrival at the hospital we were informed that I was fully dilated and ready to push! I was wheeled down to delivery pretty damn quickly. Barely any gas & air and a short time later, at 4:41am on 4th July 2018, I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen.

Just like Mummy, she was impatient and obviously wanted to arrive pronto. Since that moment we have been all consumed with everything milk, poo and sleep related. It has been an absolute whirlwind of chaos. We are unbelievably besotted with our Isabella and devoured by the stresses of our new life. It has been a difficult but amazing almost 4 weeks that I am certain will be a rollercoaster ride as we venture into life as a family. There have been tears of joy, tears of tiredness, tears of breastfeeding stress, tears of overwhelming love and an immeasurable amount of smiles filling our days. Words can't describe the love we feel when we stare at her.

As a result, the blog took a back seat once again. But I've managed to knock up another Canadian installment for you. I had hoped to finish my Canada segment before Izzy's arrival but best laid plans etc. I spend most of my days in my pants, having not eaten anything with nutrients, surrounded by bottles, draped in muslins with the most angelic looking little cherub on my lap fighting sleep. But I am taking these minutes as my own. I will try to keep up the blogging when I can but you may have to be patient while I find myself on this new journey.

Thanks - MTWP xxx

Crossing Time Zones

Next up on our Canadian tour, we were spending a couple of days driving across country through British Columbia to Alberta. Crossing into a new timezone as we went, you can opt to fly or go by train but we wanted to take in the fresh air and cruise along at our own pace.

Breakfast in Whistler began as most holiday breakfasts do, a plate full of randomness. Ham and cheese bagel with a side of peanut butter oreo waffle - as you do.

Driving over two days, there was lots for us to see and we used the gypsy guide where available to keep us company.

Every wilderness destination and viewpoint was filled with unmatchable scenery and fragrant woodland air. Each visit dripping with the fear that we'd bump into a bear. Especially the closer to Alberta we got. On the road, each pit stop was incredibly deserted and I can't deny that this played on my mind.

One stop we made was the glorious Bridal veil falls in Chilliwack. I do love a good waterfall afterall. Named because of its resemblance, it cascades 60 metres over smooth rock giving a veil like appearance. These falls freeze in the winter. Dangerous but pretty spectacular I'd imagine.

Another stop-off was at Harrison Hot Springs. This is a tiny little community based around Harrison Lake. It reminded me of small British seaside towns with fudge shops and galleries. Being just off-season, it was lovely and quiet and meant we could enjoy a casual stroll around without the tourist chaos.

We bumped into a local on our travels.

The lake itself was beautiful and so peaceful.

We were treated to a lovely rainbow show over the water. It reminded me of looking out over the sea to the surrounding lush mountains in Hawaii - minus the smell of coconuts and flowers.

An essential droning spot I'd say.

Most importantly, an aerial shot of us laying on the decking for good measure.

Like all the other drives so far, this journey has sooooo many stop points, viewpoints and things to see along the way. You could spend your entire trip just on one drive stopping at everything. We stopped at each place that took our fancy or when we needed rest or refreshment. Be sure to top up on fuel as and when you see a station!

The roads are fairly quiet, occasionally joined by the odd logger and fellow road trippers.

On our first night of this journey, we stayed at a fantastic airbnb in Kamloops. The views were amazing and the landscapes had transitioned into an almost desert-y sort of feel. The host of this airbnb, Bill, was so accommodating. We ended up sitting on the balcony into the night as the sun went down and the lights went on, taking in the view and learning much about Canadian culture. It was everything I had hoped we'd experience from a 'shared' airbnb that we hadn't quite experienced yet from our other shared stays.

One of the best things about a road trip is meeting the people and learning about their world.

We spied a rainstorm in the distance as the sun started to set.

I really can't stress enough the change in landscape as you make it to Kamloops. Something we just wouldn't have experienced if we'd flown.

Kamloops at night was breathtaking.

Back on the road next morning, the trees started filling out the surrounding mountains as we drove. The water began to turn the milky turquoise that all of our holiday research had promised us when we were back home and planning.

And just like that, the summer leg of our trip was over. As the mountains got bigger and trees denser, the tips became snow capped and the clouds became fluffier.

Packing for a September trip to Canada over such a grand scale of land can be difficult. I wore everything from flip flops to snow jacket on this trip!

Look at those colours.

Our next night we spent in a cheap motel in the deserted, roadside town of Golden. We chomped on overpriced, average tasting Maccy D's in our hotel room as we searched the internet for driving advice for what tomorrow had in store. As we were headed into Alberta and up to Jasper next day, the threat of a snow blizzard had us shaking in our boots.

We watched as the sun set on the lightly snow dusted wilderness.

The clouds grew thicker as the promise of snow secured its fate. As our eyelids grew heavy we slipped away into the land of slumber, just like children at Christmas, not knowing what tomorrow might have in store for us.


- MTWP xxx

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