kids + travel = learning .. no matter how short or far the distance

I think the past year we’ve been here we’ve run out of places to go within driving distances of coming back home within a reasonable amount of time for school/work.  Which is really hard for a family that likes to travel and view the world … as much as they can on a very limited limited non-existent budget 🙂 I think that’s the biggest culture shock living in the middle of the country.  Before we had an abundance of places to go and people to see.  Here…well here not so much.

I remember last year a couple kids told me they hadn’t been out of Saskatchewan…ever.  While socio-economic and life factors may play a part for some – it still bowled me over.  Manitoba is literally an hour away.  Trust me – the sidekick and I do not have money.  However, the sidekick and I have always believed that the kid is learning things about life when we travel.  It took years and years to come up with the money to go to Australia, but the perspectives she gained from being in a new culture – priceless.  And I got to hold a koala – AWESOMENESS FOR ME!!!  Walking downtown Toronto and watching her give her own coins to a homeless man – priceless.  (Hopefully she continues to know she isn’t the center of the universe).  Even going through different neighbourhoods in different provinces she is learning about different standards of living.  We went to the Buffalo Zoo for $34 .. for the three of us .. and that included parking.  So many opportunities to learn.  Traveling is an education in itself. I think my dream would be if someone bankrolled me to travel for a year with the kid documenting everything.  We would both be in heaven … though the kid might not pass school if I home-schooled her.  …..  That could be a problem.

After staying near to the house since we’ve been back, the need to view the world was intense.  So we had an adventure, the kid and I.  The sidekick was not able to come.  We decided to head back to Minot, North Dakota.  We haven’t been there since last October.  Both of us love love love finding those cool items we don’t have in Canada.

The following pictures are not good for your health at all – but I imagine when it’s time for a treat I’m going to be very happy 🙂  Though walking the stuff off is gonna be a drag 😉

photo 4

I think I drooled in the aisle.

photo 3

The kid asked for a treat for dinner. We picked up Nacho Cheese and Cheese Pizza Gold fish Mac and Cheese.

photo 2

Drooling … We have healthy stuff too as you can tell by the walnut cranberry salad topper next to it 🙂

photo 1

Because who doesn’t want their mouth popping in the morning?

 

We window shopped.

photo 5

Wishing for cool expensive toys 😦 One day I told her – when she becomes a doctor or something 🙂

 

We went to an amazing restaurant called Mi Mexicana.

photo 3(1)

I wanted to steal the chairs. How totally cute?

photo 2(1)

Even the table was cool. I had my first chimichanga.  It was DELICIOUS!!  From the service to the decor – go.  It was superb.

 

We took a drive through the city, exploring places we hadn’t been.  We relaxed at the hotel.  A waterpark was attached to the hotel.  The waterpark was a little worn in.   No life guard was present, (a fact written on the wall), so it was a little chaotic with all the people not following my rules for safety.  But deep breaths to keep the anxiety down helped to make it a great time for us.

photo 4(1)

 

And when it was time to leave …. we got lost.  I thought it was a straight road from the border to Minot as I remembered going there.  Apparently not – there’s a road that breaks off somewhere to go back to the border.  I had no clue where we were.  A fact which had the kid laughing and taking out the GPS.  I am amused it didn’t rate highly on her take of the weekend.

A 4 hour drive enabled us to talk about things we hadn’t been able to in the rush of life.

We made it home.  The sidekick was waiting.

Travel – even if it’s to a new town by you.  Travel with your kids.  The time together is amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

Mommy won’t find me – in North Dakota

Our adventures continue south of the border today. We drove about 4 1/2 hours to Minot, North Dakota. I saw a gorgeous scene of cows in a field during the morning drive. The shadows from the morning sun was just breathtaking. I had excitedly told the imp to look out the window to which she deadpanned “it’s not like I’ve seen my last cow here”. Prairie living hasn’t totally agreed with her yet.

The border crossing was a small building and there was one car in front of us…my parents. Quite different from crossing in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The scenery in North Dakota was alright….kinda flat like Saskatchewan. The imp from the back seat took some lovely photos. With our sightseeing I would love to have an amazing camera. One day maybe :). It would be so cool to show you the beauty in what we see on our adventures.

20131019-211532.jpg

20131019-211556.jpg

We used to go to Buffalo all the time when we lived in Ontario. We are a family that likes to travel and experience new things. We have seen a lot of Saskatchewan, so it was brilliant to be able to go to somewhere we’ve never been.

We got to do some shopping, but I’ll be honest – it’s nothing at all like Buffalo. There was no Ollie’s or Big Lots. We found a couple of stores that had some good deals. Sadly with no cell phone coverage I didn’t take my mobile with me so no funny pics of the things we saw. Like the sign that said ‘scream until daddy stops for ice cream DQ’ . Thank gosh mom was driving cuz that didn’t happen.

Saw some fun things I would have loved to share with that phone. Like Pizza Ranch. A buffet of pizza. There was also chicken, potatoes, and salad – so you feel better about putting yourself into a carb induced euphoria. Definitely a different kind of experience. Dessert pizza for dessert.

We did find a cool place called Cherry Blossom where you make your own frozen yogurt. They had different kinds and then you put all your fixings on. Both the imp and I were in heaven.

20131019-221726.jpg

We then went back to our hotel. Where the imp told the sidekick “I bet mommy can’t find me.” And for a couple of seconds when I walked into the room I didn’t.

20131019-213712.jpg

20131019-213743.jpg

We then went to the hotels pool and water slide. Where we had a lovely time. I don’t get paid anything for my blogs when I write about stuff. These are just places we’ve been that we’ve had lovely times at. I highly recommend Sleep Inn in Minot. The water was a little to cold for me in one pool – but look at this!!! When’s the last time you were at a hotel with slides like this?

20131019-214044.jpg

20131019-214109.jpg

And then I caught the imp photo bombing us …. Sigh….Tweens….lol

20131019-214215.jpg

I watched oxygen. I know I don’t have this channel in Canada.

20131019-214315.jpg

Afterwards the imp watched nick and Disney. She likes American tv 🙂

Tomorrow is a continental breakfast and a stop over to walmart. Weekends like this are what life is all about. Family and enjoying this earth we all occupy. I can’t wait to save money for our next far away adventure 🙂