17 Years Old

Our oldest daughter turned 17 yesterday. With it came another turning point into adulthood and a fantastic dinner with some friends of ours.

Starting off the day, she wanted a piercing through the cartilage on the upper part of both ears. So we stopped at a place in Calgary called Tribal Expression. The store was clean; the staff were professional and courteous. They also offered a reference to a piercing location near our home- one province over- which eased my mind a bit more.

During the process I still got to be “Daddy” as she wanted to hold my hand while getting the piercings done. That made me feel good inside. Plus, our daughter is happy with her new hoops she got installed for her birthday. Oh, and I was $148 lighter in my bank account.

Afterwards, we stopped at the nearby Starbucks in order to get the very “Instagram Worthy” Tie Dyed Frappuccino. This gave my girls a chance to share pics online and have a good bonding moment while I recovered from the cost and noticeable perforations that are now in my daughter’s ear lobes.

Later in the evening we meet up with some old friends in Calgary at a restaurant called Gorilla Whale. There were hugs and stories to be shared as we all tried our best to contain our excitement of meeting up again. We love these two and they have been long standing friends of ours since we first started going to conventions.

Not only was the company great, but the food at the restaurant was a fantastic mix of Japanese and Western creativity. I opted for the Godzilla burger- which contained wagyu beef, foie gras and unagi. (Cow, duck liver, and eel). The food was awesome and reasonably priced-ish. (I think I’ve spent more money on a regular excursion for sushi at our regular joint.)

All-in-all it was a good day of our daughter experiencing the joys of adulthood. Treating yo’self, sending time with old friends, and enjoying a night out at a fancier restaurant than usual. I hope she continues to enjoy and experience life to its fullest.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Random!

Calgary Zoo

Just like Drumheller, it’s been close to ten years since we’ve been to the Calgary Zoo. It’s my favorite Zoo in Canada. (But my favorite that I’ve been to in the world is Ueno Zoo in Tokyo). The Calgary Zoo is up there as an amazing place to visit animals from around the world. The Zoo employees also mention after every sale or interaction- “Thank you for supporting wildlife preservation” which made me happy.

As you walk into the Calgary Zoo, the Penguin Exhibit is immediately to your left. When we first came here ten years ago- it was under construction and I vowed to return in order to see it. I’m glad I did. The Zoo has made an incredible interior enclosure that is temperature controlled where you have to walk into an Air Lock to keep it cool. (Also, I think I have an affection towards birds that I never knew about. I get giddy and excited when, in the past, I have met penguins, owls and rescued birds from inside our home.)

After the penguins, we wandered the first half of the Zoo, where we saw tons of animals native to western Canada. Then we were off to “Africa” for more exotic experiences. We had fun along the way making silly poses and making bad puns about the animals.

Since we started our Calgary Zoo experience at opening, we were able to pause for a moment to feed our own beasts. My wife and I sprung for a brunch in the Zoo for the five of us- and we stuffed ourselves silly. The food and service was well worth the extra splurge.

After brunch, we entered into the Zoo’s Butterfly pavilion. We were lucky enough to have a couple moths and butterflies hang out on our hands long enough for some photos. There was one that didn’t mind traveling between each of us, and our son passed it gently on to another visitor. It was serene inside the exhibit and well worth the wait to have a unique butterfly experience.

After the butterflies, it was off to the “Panda Passage” for more cuteness overload. We love these bears. so much so that we had to but some cute panda stuff from the gift shops.

Our day was super successful with a ton of great memories made. We took far too many pictures for me to share here as well. We saw so many animals in fantastic environments. Not cages- but enclosures replicated after their “homes”. All of the staff were knowledgeable about the animals they were near and the zoo was well kept. From what I could see, I think these animals are treated like royalty.

Make sure if you make it to Calgary- you visit the Calgary Zoo. You won’t be disappointed. Especially if you love the animals!

Royal Tyrrell Museum

While in Drumheller, we had to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Actually, it was the main reason we came to Drumheller, even though the day before we had a good time farting around the Hoodoos.

The Museum is educational, well laid out and overwhelming! There is so much to see and learn. Even out around the museum is more of the Badlands. We took a “Dino Site Tour” early in the morning and hiked out to learn about the processes involved in searching for clues to the past.

Once the tour was over, we went into the museum again and enjoyed the interactive exhibits. Lots of information and cool sights. So many exhibits and information overload.

Seeing the dinosaurs and all those fossils in one place is so worth the visit to the museum. I was like a kid again, goofing around taking selfies. Trying my best to share my version of the dinosaur’s expressions and emotions. Not too bad.

We broke up our visit to the Museum with a departure up the road to check out the Small Church and Horse Thief Canyon. It was so hot outside that we needed to cut those visits short in order to enjoy the AC in the car.

Our last activity at the museum was for the two youngest to assemble a Velociraptor. Once that was completed, we were off to the hotel to rehydrate. We ended the day with a fried chicken picnic and a cool down at the water park. A great adventure full of education and fun.

AND DINOSAURS!

Royal Tyrrell Museum

While in Drumheller, we had to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Actually, it was the main reason we came to Drumheller, even though the day before we had a good time farting around the Hoodoos.

The Museum is educational, well laid out and overwhelming! There is so much to see and learn. Even out around the museum is more of the Badlands. We took a “Dino Site Tour” early in the morning and hiked out to learn about the processes involved in searching for clues to the past.

Once the tour was over, we went into the museum again and enjoyed the interactive exhibits. Lots of information and cool sights. So many exhibits and information overload.

Seeing the dinosaurs and all those fossils in one place is so worth the visit to the museum. I was like a kid again, goofing around taking selfies. Trying my best to share my version of the dinosaur’s expressions and emotions. Not too bad.

We broke up our visit to the Museum with a departure up the road to check out the Small Church and Horse Thief Canyon. It was so hot outside that we needed to cut those visits short in order to enjoy the AC in the car.

Our last activity at the museum was for the two youngest to assemble a Velociraptor. Once that was completed, we were off to the hotel to rehydrate. We ended the day with a fried chicken picnic and a cool down at the water park. A great adventure full of education and fun.

AND DINOSAURS!

Drumheller

This afternoon, we made it to Drumheller, Alberta. The journey was through the mountains and past farmer’s fields.

We stopped for gas partway through and the kids were visited by Prairie Dogs. So they fed them some bread pieces. Then it was on to Dinosaurs!

Drumheller loves their dinosaurs. There are Dino statues everywhere. Including the “World’s Largest Dinosaur”. This town is a Dinosaur lovers haven. But there’s more to check out than just fake reptilian creatures.

The Hoodoos in the Badlands are breathtaking. It was neat to wander around the land formations. Respecting the natural beauty is paramount in order to keep this place attractive.

Up the road from the Hoodoos is a town called “Wayne” with a population of 29. We stopped at the “Last Chance Saloon” for a bite to eat. We were treated like family which was awesome. Inside was one of the most unique attractions I have ever seen. (I used their write up, because why not). The “Band Box” was an old school animatronic puppet show while 1940’s music played.

Click to see: Band Box Video

So far Drumheller is a neat little town. Next is a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and really get our Dinosaur knowledge upgraded! Check out what our adventures will be tomorrow.

Revel-STOKED!

We left our home early in the morning and drove six hours up to Revelstoke, BC. It wasn’t really the destination we were pushing for. But it was just a stop along the way during our journey towards Alberta. So we decided to make it as much fun as possible!

We booked a cabin with a private hot tub for our overnight accommodations. Ballin’! I mean, honestly- a Mountain backdrop and our own hot tub in a cabin? Totally spoiled ourselves- on a budget… Check out Glacier House Resort for your own cabin if you find yourself wandering through Revelstoke.

What do you do when in Revelstoke, BC? Try the Mountain Pipe Coaster of course! Down a mountain at 42km/h without a helmet? Sign me up! It was a ton of fun. Plus we went up the gondola a few times for fun (that was included in the price of the Coaster). Check out the video my wife made (ignore her cursing , but enjoy her cackling!)

After the run down the mountain, my wife and I went to sample some beers at Mount Begbie Brewery. We found three that we enjoyed. The kids shared a snack with us of nachos. A perfect dinner snack before heading back to the cabin.

After filling our growlers, we went back to the cabin and watched the sunset as we relaxed in the hot tub. We popped a cheap sparkling wine and toasted one another for our 18 years of chaos- I mean marriage. Mixing booze and hot water after a day in the sun- my wife and I were done. Sleep was calling upon us. Our kids were also pooped.

All-in-all a great day. On to our next adventure!

Queen + Adam Lambert

Yesterday for our 18th Anniversary, my wife and I took the kids to see the Queen + Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour. Since I’ve always been a huge Queen fan, and the show was on our Anniversary, we had to check it out.

I haven’t been to a concert since my wife and I married. So spending $1000 on tickets was a shock to the bank account when we bought the tickets back in December. But as a coworker said to me, it’s the experience that the kids will remember for a lifetime. And she was right.

The show was amazing. Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen still rock after all these decades. Adam Lambert was an excellent addition to the group. While he is still no Freddy Mercury- Adam Lambert is a showman all unto his own and respected the group’s iconic style.

Here’s a clip of how the show began:

Because this was Queen- the crowd singing along with almost every song was astounding. Myself and family included. From Radio Gaga to the encore of We Will Rock You– the venue was energized. My favorite part was singing Bohemian Rhapsody with the crowd.

We left the show with ears ringing and hearts pounding. I loved the experience and would easily wait another 18 years if I could see a concert like that again.

18 Years

Today I celebrate 18 years of marriage to my wife. It has been an amazing journey. With far more ups than downs.

I have loved every moment. Even that time when she stabbed me in the face with her finger nails and tried to apologize acting all sweet and cute.

Or the time she thought I was taking a selfie and wanted to show that she brushes her teeth- so I took a selfie with her.

I love that ten years ago, we went on our first family trip to Disneyland. I never knew that an inner child was a real thing until I saw my wife gushing with pleasure and excitement as we wandered the parks. This also started a continuous desire to return as often as possible to Disneyland. Whenever we are having rough emotional patches- we talk about previous trips and future plans of traveling to those Magical Lands.

Through 18 years of marriage, we have created and cultivated a beautiful family. Our three kids have been a source of pride for us both. We love to joke and laugh with them. Our kids have become extensions of our personalities- sharing love into this world the same way my wife and I do.

Our love for one another has grown tremendously strong over the years. I’m lucky to have such a great partner. She is as crazy as I am. She even lets the crazy loose more when I’m around.

May our journey together not be restricted to just these first 18 years of marriage. We have a bond that I feel will last a lifetime.

Happy 18th Anniversary Lee-Anne! I love you with all my heart.

Sincerely,

Josef

Rice Krispies

Once in a while people hear something different than what is being said. This is most common in songs. There are plenty of “misheard” song lyrics out there. Some are a lot of fun and I try and use those instead of the original version.

Sometimes people just aren’t paying attention when they are spoken to causing a miscommunication between both parties. This happened between my wife and I recently. In a rather amusing sort of way.

The other night I was sitting on the couch with her as we were watching tv. We often share statements of love and adoration with each other- more so when one of us needs a little emotional pick up. That night was no different. I looked towards her and spoke some kind words. I said, “You’re sexy.” What she heard however was, “Rice Krispies.”

I became thoroughly amused by this and have now gone on to say “Rice Krispies” as a response when she says something kind to me. This new phrase may run its course in due time, or it could end up a staple in our banter towards one another. Who knows.

But for now I still think she’s “Rice Krispies” and will continue to tell her this.

Continuous Commute

Commuting alone has its advantages.

I commute 56.9 km from my home to work and the same for the return. It takes about 45 minutes on average each way. I’m lucky in the sense that I usually miss the bumper to bumper driving because of my start and end times at work. Usually.

I don’t mind this commute. I listen to the daily news report on the radio as I drive. It also clears my head after a day of working. This allows me to devote my time to my family when I arrive at home.

Mornings like today are spectacular to drive home in after a night shift. I get to enjoy the sun peering over the trees and casting a light onto my destination- my home. My neighborhood lights up with activity as well. Birds, rabbits and squirrels darting around the streets. As if my drive home has turned me into a Disney Princess and the small woodland critters are greeting me on my journey home.

Or else I’m just really tired and need to get some sleep and stop tripping out. At least I made it home alive…