Friday, 28 December 2007

15/12/2007 - 27/12/2007 - Kaleden and Apex

Well it's been a while since I've had a chance to update our Blog - but it's 8:00am on the 27th and it's only Jesse and myself that are awake - where to start. I'm not even going to try and record everything in date order.

Let's see we have made a few trips up to Kelowna to get the Eames's and the Elfords all set-up for the slopes.

I'll just let you know a few of the stories that we have to tell about our trips up to the snow.
  • On one of the first days for the Eames's they decided to take the leisurely Grandfather trail back down the mountain (first mistake), they let Simone lead (second mistake), the Grandfather trail had just opened up and from what they tell us it was definitely premature. Half way down they made a wrong turn and ended up on the road - a couple of kilometres from their destination and Simone and the kids just couldn't walk anymore so Tony hails down a large ute and they all jump in the back (yep it's about -10) and hitch a lift back to the village.

  • Tony, Simmy, Maddy and I were sitting in the coffee shop at the bottom of the T-Bar whilst the other Eames children were out having a lesson. The instructor was about to take Billy up the T-Bar, and everyone who has hopped on a T-Bar before knows that you don't sit on it, you just let it pull / push you up. Well the first thing that Billy does is try to sit down - well he's not going down alone - so down comes the instructor.

  • Another good T-Bar story was one about Simmy trying to teach Jesse how to ride the T-Bar. The liftee puts the T-Bar under Jesse's bottom (Jesse being the youngest at 6 years of age) and of course the T-Bar ends up around Simmy's ankle's and takes her out like she has been tackled by a Front Row forward - she goes straight up in the air and lands flat on her back - with Jesse following suit. Well as if I wasn't in stitches already, Jesse then gets up and starts yelling at Simmy for not doing it right - I've just about wet myself.

  • Dave's first trip up the 3 seater chair lift is with Billy. Dave is trying to do the right thing and help Billy off the lift first (forgetting that you don't have much time to get off this lift). Well he's got Billy off nice and safely, but forgets to get off himself so starts heading back down the mountain - well he's not going down the mountain on the lift. So he jumps about 10 feet off the lift into some nice powder snow - let me say there was certainly a puff that went up.

  • The Elford's have picked it up right from where they left it last year. Lukey is really carving it up and having some great stacks. Karleigh wasn't too well for the first couple of days but has come good and is back on the snow boarding as good as usual. Louie is always the one who likes to get the technic down pat and is coming down the mountain with style. This is the first time that I've seen Dom (Luke's friend) board and he looks to be having a good time. It really is fantastic having everyone out on the mountain - laughing at every ones mishaps.

The Eames's and I went to an Ice Hockey game whilst Dave picked up the Elford's from the airport - the trip was a lot better than our last 8 hour trip from Vancouver, they got home in about 5 1/2 - much to Dave's relief the weather was a lot kinder with the snow storms happening.

My cooking skills have been put to the test with now having to cook for 13 people. Everyone is pitching in and so far no one has ended up with food poisoning. Though Tony does look like he has had Botox which has gone terribly wrong. The whole left side of his face is really swollen (he thinks it is his teeth), he went to the hospital on Boxing Day to find out it was going to cost $850 Canadian dollars just to see a doctor, he spoke to a nurse who told him which tablets to get - so he's been taking some drugs and visited the dentist at around 11:00, apparently he has an infection and it looks like he will need root canal surgery next week once all the swelling and infection has gone down.

Christmas day was fantastic, we all woke up at around 7:00 (to a white Christmas day), we opened our presents and then we had our typical ham and eggs for breakfast. Some of the family went out in the yard (filled with snow) and tossed around a football. Luke, Dom and Louise all went for a little snooze whilst the Eames kids played with their new toys and Karleigh, Simmy and I started on a late lunch / early dinner. Karleigh was the only one that had any experience with cooking a Turkey so she got the job of preparing the Turkey. I'll let the pictures tell the full story - but all I can say is that I think the Roast Turkey etc was delicious and a huge hit - thanks to Simmy and Karleigh. Our landlord Tony and Lisa came over in the afternoon for a bit of Christmas Cheer and got to meet the whole clan. And then just to top off a perfect day we received some snow in the afternoon.

On boxing day Louise and Ashley caught the bus to Kelowna to hit the boxing day sales whilst the rest of us hit the slopes. Dave and I are just loving being out on the slopes and we love the fact that we have the families here to enjoy it with us. Bobbie, Brant, Karin, Mike, Hayden, Lisa and Peter all came over for Chili and a Bun and a few drinks - we had a really great night.

Today I'm staying home and doing a bit of housework and getting myself organised - Simmy has taken Tony to the Dentist and is doing the grocery shopping - whilst the Eames kids stay home with me.

So far no one has been able to build a decent snowman and the woodpeckers are going into hiding.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

08/12/2007 - 14/12/2007 Kaleden Eames's arrival

08/12/2007 - Today Bobbie and Brant took us Christmas Tree Hunting (I'm finally going to get my real Christmas Tree) so off we went. We drove up some beaten up old dirt track for miles and miles (Deliverance Country) to Brant's secret hiding place looking for our Christmas Trees, we were out in the middle of no where, it was freezing cold and not from lack of trying we didn't find one. We were surrounded by "Charlie Brown Christmas Trees". As usual Bobbie came through for us and served us up some Hot Chocolate for our trip down to the Christmas Tree Farm at Summerland. Here you pay $40, pick us your saw and off you go. It took Dave and I a little bit longer to pick out our tree, okay it was probably me Dave was Happy to cut down any old Charlie Brown looking tree. So after we'd picked our tree out we then had to get it into the car, get it home and get it out of the car - maybe I should of picked a bit smaller tree. It was really another great adventure.

09/12/2007 - Dave is out in the yard with Tony and crew splitting the last of the Fir trees (and yep for the first time since they were last out there, it's snowing again) it really is quite hard labour. Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) I'm unable to get out there, I've been ordered to stay inside (bugger), so I'll get the lunch. After the crew had finished and cleaned up Tony came in for a drink or two.

You wont believe how wonderful the people over here are. Tony has offered us his Ford Explorer (7 seater) to use while we have the Elford and Eames visitors. This will save us hiring another car for that period of time. - we can't believe how generous Lisa and Tony have been. They are truly wonderful people.

10/12/2007 - We headed up the mountain so Dave could get some more practice in before the families arrive. My shoulder is still not right, so I'm left to wander around and drink coffee (it's early in the day). The Canadian Aerial team were practicing so I walked up one the runs and watched for about an hour or so to see what skills I could incorporate into my snow boarding - it really is amazing they get so high and are so skillful. When we got home we decided to set the Christmas Tree up inside, so that I can start decorating it. Well it certainly was a lot easier said than done, Dave really did have a bit of a struggle on his hand to get the tree up straight. So when he said I could decorate off I went, he then decided that he needed to make it more secure (it was leaning a bit forward) well he struggled for a while and during the struggle he managed to remove about half the decorations. Well after a couple of hours the tree was up and all decorated.

11/12/2007 - 13/12/2007 - Not much has been happening for the last couple of days - Dave has been trying to get up the mountain each morning to get some boarding in (I'm hoping to be back on the slopes soon - it's really frustrating me not being able to board) and we've just been trying to get things in order for when all our guests arrive - we are so looking forward to seeing all the family.

14/12/2007 - The day started off really well, Dave and I left Kaleden (in separate cars) at about 10:30am, it was snowing quiet heavily so we took it really easy - the scenery was once again absolutely breathtaking - it was a really beautiful drive. First stop was to have a bite to eat so about 1:30pm we stopped at Hope. Second stop at Port Coquitlam was to drop off a table and a chair for Tony W (the least we could do after he has lent us his car). The traffic was really heavy, but we thought that we had left plenty of time to get to the airport at 6:00pm (the crew were due to land at 5:45pm) - WRONG. So at about 4:30pm we set the navigation system for the airport and headed off. The navigation system was telling us that it would take approx. 1 hour 20 minutes - perfect. Mmm - well the traffic didn't get any better, than we heard on the radio why - there was an emergency landing at the airport so they had closed 3 bridges. It was also raining heavily and there were accidents everywhere - so after running through the car park etc. we arrived at the airport at around 7:00pm - thank goodness the Eames's hadn't walked through customs - so we were very relieved. Well we all piled into the cars and off we went, it was raining quiet heavily but we travelling pretty well. We stopped off at Chilliwack for a feed and then set off again for home at around 9:00pm - expecting about a 4 1/2 hour drive - WRONG again. It had and was still snowing very heavily, so not only could we not see very well the roads were really treacherous and in some places was about a foot deep - needless to say we were all getting very tired but the kids were really well behaved. Well after the Eames's had been travelling for 39 hours and Dave and I driving for 16 1/2 hours we arrived home at around 3:30am (I don't think Dave has ever been the driver after midnight -that's the shift that I tend to get). So after the bags etc were unloaded from the car and it's 4:00am what do you do - of course you start the fire, open up some Kokanees, relax and let the kids run around in the snow... The kids and Simmy and I went to bed not soon after - I think Dave and Tony finished at around 5:30am.
It's now 10:30am on 15/12/2007 - I've been awake since 7:30 and still no one up to play with - I'm giving them until 11:00 and then that's it..... The good thing about all the snow last night is that we have a couple of good inches of snow cover all over the yard - so it's looking really beautiful.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

30/11/2007 - 06/12/2007

30/11/2007 - Today we went into town and did a bit of shopping. After arriving home and having a hot tub we drove up to Westbank (about a 45 min drive) with Peter and Lisa to watch the Vees play. The game went in to extra time and unfortunately we lost, but it was a great game and a good night out. Lisa told us that they are expecting their coldest winter in 15 years (which is great if we get snow).

01/12/2007 - We are heading up the mountain. We had some more snow overnight so we are really looking forward to the snow boarding. The drive up the mountain with the snow in the trees is just breath taking I don't think we will ever get sick of this scenery. When we get up the top we look at the temperature gauge on the car it is reading -17 degrees and that's at the bottom of the mountain in the car park (okay some of the enthusiasm is starting to dwindle). We get out of the car and get all our gear on and head on over, to our disappointment it's only the T-Bar and the magic carpet that are open. We were hoping that the lifts would be open - oh well. So up the T-Bar we go and we have a good run down (there are a few more people here than last week) and it really is cold up the top. We decided that after one run we needed coffee, so off to the Last Tracks Coffee Shop. After enjoying our coffee we went to the Beginners Slope with the magic carpet where we practiced our switch riding for an hour or so and then decided we needed more coffee. After that we called it quits and headed home.

After arriving home we headed of to another Ice Hockey game between two old rivals - The Vees and the Vernon Vipers. Well what a game, there were more fights than .......... at one stage every one of the 5 players on the Ice were involved in a one on one fight. All players were sent to one side whilst the referees tried to make a few decisions. The only things left on the ice were the players gloves, sticks and the goalies. It really is amazing how all the spectators and players on the bench encourage the fighting. Also, at the beginning of the evening our program number was also called out (with about another 14) so down to the rink I went, the prize this time was a bit more enticing than my 72 fruit bars it was a diamond ring valued at around $600.00. This time they put 15 jewellery boxes around the rink and each contestant had to go onto the ice and stand behind a box, then they played some music whilst the contestants went around the rink, when the music stopped you had to stand next to the box nearest to you, they did this about 3 times before they told all contestants to open the box in front of them - unfortunately I wasn't the winner, but it is all a great experience.

02/12/2007 - Sunday is a working day for The Big Fella and I - we have offered to help Tony and a couple of his friends splinter the wood, they have purchased to sell. They bought $1,500 of Fir Tree Logs, they've been cut into small logs and now need to be splintered. The temperature is around -9 and snowing (probably not the best conditions but hey we have already agreed to help and the splitter has been hired). The work is quiet strenuous but also rewarding we work until about 4:30pm and then decide to call it quits. To start the day we had Tony, Mike, Don , Dave and myself all at it. They finally let me in control of some machinery, I got the job of controlling the splitting machine whilst the others took turns in stacking, handling and splitting the wood. Dan (Tony's housemate) arrives after lunch and gets straight into helping with the work - after about 1/2 hour Dan is now working with a T-Shirt on - remember it's snowing and about -9 degrees. We have got through about 2/3 of the wood so it looks like we might be at it again next Sunday, the yard and the house is looking really beautiful with all the snow around the yard etc it is covered in about 15cm of snow. After cleaning up we went over to Bobbie and Brants for another wonderful dinner - they really are the hostesses with the mostess. We had another beautiful 3 course meal and got to meet a lovely couple Rusty and Heather who are both skiers.

03/12/2007 - Well as the weather channel advised the unusual warm rain has appeared. It's gone from -9 degrees yesterday to a plus 9 today. All the snow has melted, and sadly our snowman is melting. This weather is expected to continue until Wednesday. It doesn't look like the Big Fella is going to get out of bed for to long today - he really is struggling to walk, the manual labour really took it out of his body yesterday - he was really putting in the hard work.
04/12/2007 - Today we headed up the mountain, a bit unsure of what to expect, we had a lot of rain overnight. To our relief the mountain really hadn't suffered, they had lost a little amount of snow but not much at all. The T-Bar and the carpet were going, so up we went to the T-Bar. It was just like having your own private mountain - at one stage on the T-Bar run there was only 1 person and when we did go over to the carpet there wasn't anyone else there except for Dave and I - it was great.
05/12/2007 - Once again we headed up to Apex. The snow on the T-Bar was still in good shape. Unfortunately I wasn't, I was practicing my switch and I caught an edge and landed on the point of my shoulder (ouch). So to Dave's disappointment we had to leave, he was really getting into, we both wanted to get as much practice in as we could before our families arrive. Dave thinks he has got Luke and Tony covered. Lisa was doing very well she probably only has Billy and Jesse covered now.
06/12/2007 - After a very restless night's sleep we decided to have a day at home. I was pretty useless as my right arm and shoulder is still pretty painful and I don't have much movement. So Dave is the nurse /cook for the day - I don't think he is having a lot of fun, he keeps talking about going up the mountain tomorrow, and that I should go up with him and watch the Canadian Ski Team doing their Aerials (I think the real reason is there is a coffee shop there which means he wont have to prepare my meals / coffee - it's only been one day.)