Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Canada - day 1 - June 26, 2010

What an exciting, fun, memorable, spiritual and exhausting week. I seriously took over a thousand pictures and I could write volumes but since no one wants to read a book I will try and keep this concise and only do a day at a time. I also don't have time to write too much and so I can only do one day at a time.

The adoption for Kira's second child, Landon, was final last month so she was then able to have her baby sealed to their family in the temple and also have him blessed in church. Of course we wanted to be a part of all that so we planned a trip to
Canada. Since we would be driving right through Utah we also invited any of our kids who could
make it to come with us. Brandon is interning in Utah for the summer and between work and studying for the patent bar he couldn't make it but Serene and her girls could. Ben is interning in Mexico City for the summer so he wasn't able to make it and Sharley couldn't make it either. Trevor was working so he was out but Alycia was able to get the time off from her work and summer classes so she is up for the trip and of course Sarah came. The day before we left Brandon figured he had made sufficient progress
in his work and studying that he could come after all. As it turned out we have eight seat belts in
the van and eight people were coming so it was one full van especially with two car seats. While it did get intense once or twice no one killed each other and we are all still on speaking terms. The drive was long but very much worth the trip.

With the girls we stopped often to let them unwind and so Serene could nurse the baby and although this made the trip longer it also made it bearable. We left San Diego late on Friday, June 25th because we helped out Alex Jafek with his
Eagle Scout project. We owe Alex big time because he's tutored Sarah in math all year and while I'm sure he enjoyed the tutoring her he still helped her turn what was looking like it might be an "F" into a "B". He has also helped her a lot through some other tough times so we were more than happy to help him with his Eagle Project.

The drive to Utah was uneventful since we had an entire van for just the three of us but once we arrived in Utah it got a bit dicey. Luckily we had a cool car top carrier that we could use to throw all of the luggage up on top. It did drop my gas mileage from 25 mpg to 20 mpg but there was
no other way to get everyones luggage to come along with us.

I had almost forgotten just how beautiful the Rockies are. Driving through Montana reminded me just how much I loved growing up in the mountains. I do miss those mountains but I do not miss the Alberta weather.

Arriving at the border was another experience. It was kind of strange to see the Canadian Flag everywhere but as we were approaching the border someone remembered that Brandon's last minute decision to join us happened so quickly
that he wasn't able to get his passport which was in Malibu. We were all hoping that they wouldn't keep him at the border while we went on without him. The customs agent did seem quite perturbed but didn't give us any trouble.

After crossing the border we still had another four hours of driving before we pulled into Calgary at somewhere around midnight. Kira was very surprised to see Brandon and his presence also messed up all her plans. She had beds laid out all over the house and each bed had towels, wash clothes and water bottles neatly folded for each of the guests. She even had a candy on each
pillow. Unfortunately for Brandon, he didn't have a bed or a candy. He ended up on a couch somewhere. I was in the basement so I'm not sure where he slept. Kira also had a big pile of food downstairs for all of us to munch on at our own pace. She was well prepared for us and her preparation made everything even better. We were all very excited for the week. We were also very ready for that comfortable looking bed.


Justin, Kira and Evan said...

I did not know that Brandon didn't have his passport!!! SCARY

Lisa said...

It was a great trip!!

Ben Leavitt said...

Jelous... :( I alos think it is funny for that week all the Leavitts (excluding the in laws) were outside of the U.S.

Lynn said...

Ah yes....welcome to friendly Canada. Hee Hee. I think there would have been NO way of entering the USA for us if we forgot a passport. (Kidding of course. But who knows.) Just glad it all worked out for you. I am amazed that you all were able to fit into that van with car seats luggage and all. Great job!

Lisa said...

oh, the other reason Trevor couldn't come is that he is taking an LSAT class right now. It doesn't make sense to pay that kind of money for a class and then miss several of them.

Peter and Mandy said...

Wow that's a lot of people stuck in one car!