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.

Mountain Driving

Driving through the Rocky Mountains is always a beautiful drive. Last weekend was no different. We were lucky enough to drive home from Alberta and see the sunset over the mountains.

We travelled back the same way we came in- through Jasper National Park. Both Jasper and Banff are beautiful drives. In fact, both towns are nice to take a quick stop in to look around.

This time of year was neat because the rivers, lakes and waterfalls were starting to thaw. The mix of ice and water made it seem like there was life trickling back into existence.

I would recommend the drive any time instead of flying. Take your time and view the natural wonder this world has to offer.

Initial Thoughts on Grande Prairie

We rolled into Grande Prairie in the late evening after A Day of Driving. We checked into our hotel and the front desk clerk asked us questions about why we were here in town. “Are you visiting family? Is it for work?… No one comes here for vacation.” Even though he was friendly about it- it got me thinking, what is it that this town has to offer? Besides a liquor store on every corner instead of a Starbucks.

We have arrived at the tail end of winter, so there really isn’t much, um, greenery. All the sand and salt from the roads are off to the sides. At least I can see the roads now which is good because there are a ton of potholes and no visible street lines. So if you think it’s a double lane, it may only be a shoulder. Seems everyone drives in the middle.

The cars on the roads are super filthy. And there is a dust haze that floats at eye level. So I stare out at the gorgeous blue skies. Grande Prairie has that. Blues skies that go on forever with little fluffy clouds in them. Just like the song by ORB only this is Alberta not Arizona.

So first impressions of Grande Prairie are fairly unimpressive. But I’m still excited to be here for our son. Which makes my brain hurt. Best of luck to him and the rest of the BC Team at the CANWEST Speed Skating competition!

Driving Day

Today we embarked on a 12 hour road trip from our home to Grande Prairie, Alberta. It started off with us being an hour behind schedule. No big deal- I was able to... ahem... make up the time while driving.

We whipped through Kamloops with a quick stop for gas. Then off to Jasper for a late lunch and of course- trains. Plus amazing beer and food! We had nachos and Wild Boar Steam Buns all at the Jasper Brewing. I highly recommend the Boar and “Jasper the Bear Ale”.

It was a beautiful day to drive through the mountains from British Columbia to Alberta. We watched the sun set and the sky change colours. Absolutely stunning.

Now it’s time to unwind in the hotel room and mentally prepare for the next couple of days. A quick dip in the pool and finish my blog is a great way to end a 12 hour drive.

Calgary

‘Cause Alberta doesn’t suck, but Calgary does…

Every time I think of Calgary, this song lyric pops into my mind.  It’s the final line in a song from a brief tv show in the early 90’s on CBC titled “Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie”.  

I’m not a fan of our neighbourly province.  However, we are here in town for the Calgary Expo. The best reason to head into Alberta.  It’s the sixth year we have driven to this convention. I really don’t know any other reason to cross the Rocky Mountains.  The views through the mountains are beautiful though.


I love Calgary. It is one of my favorite cities in Canada. I love driving around it. I love the people here.  It’s a big city with a small town feel. Even the high rises aren’t that tall. We are staying at my first Airbnb. It’s a lovely corner apartment on the outskirts of Calgary. The view of the city is worth the cost. What we are paying here for five nights is what we would have paid for two nights in a hotel. So far, so good!


I don’t think that the Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie were right. Perhaps the song was sarcasm. Because Calgary is the only place in Alberta that doesn’t suck.

Expansion

The spring convention season ended and we had one summer show this year. This fall, there are only two shows we are confirmed for. The last convention we did this spring was Calgary Expo and it’s also our favorite convention (also happens to be the first big convention we ever did; prior to this one we did smaller venues) and we don’t want to drop it from our shows. One of the hardest parts about doing the same convention repeatedly is the worry that the market will get bored with our products. The other issue is the economy and there’s not much we can do about that.  But Alberta has always given us a warm welcome and the people we have met over the years are fantastic.


Running a home business is tough at the best of times.  You can have really good sales for a couple of months, then nothing for half a year.  My wife has a fairly successful Etsy Shop and her website is getting more traffic flow lately as well.  Her online sales are the majority of her business which helps keep initial costs down.  We do however enjoy traveling to different conventions to showcase her products to more people.  Costs of doing a con is much higher, but for 3 or 4 days the sales pay for everything surrounding the convention.  From table/booth costs to hotel and travel costs.  Doing an extended weekend push is worthwhile.  Conventions drive sales to my wife’s website as well.  

Doing the regular circuit is great.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, we get a lot of returning customers and people who specifically search us down.  That’s a wonderful feeling.  It also makes us want to add more shows each year.  We have only been doing the West Coast of North America for the past few years.  After talking with other vendors and artists, we think it is time to expand further east and south.

A photo of our daughter courtesy Edmonton Expo.

But in the meantime, look for my wife and daughter at Edmonton Expo this weekend.  She will be there selling her hats and hair clips.  This Convention is run by the same people who do our favorite one in the spring, and it is guaranteed to have some amazing guests and vendors.

Don’t worry East Coast!  We are coming your way soon enough!