Day #7: Ft St John, BC to Drayton Valley, AB

While we were sitting in traffic and waiting for some road construction, Will took a video out of our sunroof. The clouds and sun were just beautiful, but I was saying something "personal" and looked over and noticed him videoing. I squeaked, "Are you recording?" and he had just began to record, when he answered "yes, I am now." All Ellie heard was him say "yes" and in this video you can hear her giggling and telling him that he's gonna be in trouble now and that he'll have to re-record it. I love her laugh. It seems to change from year to year. My nephew Ethan really doesn't like one of her laughs, but I think when we see them soon, he'll be pleasantly surprised that she doesn't do that crazy sinister laugh anymore :).

We hated to leave our cush hotel with the waterslide but we have found a new thing to take our minds off of it. This thing is called a "timbit" and it is otherwise known in Alabama as a donut hole, and is sold at Tim Horton's. I had never heard of this franchise until we got to Whitehorse but they are in every city in Canada, I think. Even Garret, who doesn't like to eat sweets, has cravings for the apple fritter Timbits. I can't believe I am about to type these words but their coffee is even better than Cracker Barrel!! So we grabbed coffee and timbits and hit the road. About an hour later we found ourselves in Dawson Creek, British Columbia where the Alaska Highway officially begins. We made it to Mile 0 of one highway but still very far from where we will end our roadtrip. You can see that Will was trying very hard to get all of us and the sign in the picture. We didn't stop again until we got to Beaverlodge. It's a tiny little town just West of Grand Prairie that appears to be one strip wide, but it has a huge beaver sculpture and some town informational boards. One trip through here, I sat the kids on the beaver and got a really cut picture. When I got home, I noticed a sign in the corner of the pic that said very clearly, "Do not sit on the beaver." Oops! We all gathered under it this time for a not so good pic but it's all I had to post. We also visited their Beaverlodge Cultural Center and got way more info than I dreamed we would. Also, they have an art gallery in there with some BEAUTIFUL local art.

We pushed down the road without stopping much at all. We have a cooler full of sandwich foods and snacks and so every time we stop to potty, we grab a snack and don't stop for scheduled lunches. That, along with the fact that the kids are old enough to decide and tell me when they need something, makes this trip so much easier than the other ones. I love my children but I'll be honest, I'm not a "toddler lover" like some women. I love children for their hearts and souls but I don't really "love" to be responsible for little kids, near as much as I am enjoying my kids at their ages now. I spent years waiting for them to grow up some, and now I am not in a hurry anymore. I absolutely LOVE the relationships we have right now, and the fun times together.

Drayton Valley is on the outskirts of Edmonton. I drove through Edmonton with my momma once, looking for t-shirts to give grandbabies, and I won't ever do that again. They had no road signs and so we circled it once too many times, and got sidetracked, and turned around. This time I sidestepped it and it worked out better. We drove through some beautiful farmland and saw country that we would have missed on the highway. Weaving south and east, we made it to our room with A&W for supper and we all did our own thing while Will had an online meeting for a couple of hours. Our dirty clothes are piling up but nobody felt like dealing with that today. Instead, I celebrated my "free time" with the very last chocolate chip cookie that had been given us by my sweet friend Linda. On the day the movers came, she brought over a huge bag of fist-sized cookies, individually wrapped, for our roadtrip. We ate them all except this one that I stashed in my car door pocket (because all moms know that if you don't hide food, you won't get any). While I ate it, I remembered all of my friends in Delta and all of the precious things they did for us since we got there, and as we were leaving.

In all today, we drove 386 miles and were in the car for 9 hours.