Travelling to Canada by Leslie

Yesterday was a travel day to Canada. We were up at 3 am for an 8 am flight to Calgary. The airport and flight went off without a hitch, we did long term parking and were at the airport early enough to miss the lines. The kids were great on the flight, Quinn slept for a few hours and Milo was watching the TV quietly and contentedly the whole flight. We arrived in Calgary and my sister Jill picked us up, drove us to get our rental car and then we had lunch at the Farmer's Market with her. We drove down to the historic town of Nanton, and visited the Museum of Miniatures, the Bomber Museum and an epic candy store. More on those later.

We stayed at my sister Tracy's place for the night and were the first guests in her new guest room! What an honor. The Alberta landscape is again calming my soul with wide open fields, big skies and beautiful canola crops in bloom. The header picture of my blog, with that beautiful yellow color, is a canola field. I hope to be able to capture a few new pictures today on our drive to my parent's place.

I feel like I am now a fairly good traveller with the kids, we packed light this time and each of them are big enough to carry their own backpacks. We bring a few toys, some cuddly animals, snacks and earphones that fit over their ears for the plane. Did you know that you are not allowed to wear the big earphones over your ears during take off and landing? Only the earbud style are allowed. 

We debated about bringing the stroller, as Quinn is almost old enough not to need it, but I'm glad that we had it in the airport. If he decides he doesn't want to walk, it's a nightmare if we have to carry him because he is so big. I do look forward to the day when we can bring even less! I remember the first time we packed for a trip and I swear I brought every single thing that we might possibly need. Diapers alone would take up half the suitcase. I love that things like travelling get so much easier as they get older.

Life List: Spa Day with my Sister by Leslie

When I set my five goals for the year at Camp Mighty, I choose an item off my life list that I hadn't intended to pursue this year. Before our big life listing lunch I had highlighted ten items that I thought I could achieve this year and I was going to select five from that list during lunch. For some reason, "Spa Weekend with my Sister" jump out at me during lunch even though it wasn't highlighted and I added it to my list of five on a whim. When I stood up to read my five items in front of the group, I started to cry as I read this item. And dammit! I didn't want to cry. I was already nervous, and now here I was sobbing in front of the group about how I missed my sister and I just wanted to spend some time alone with her, without my kids around.

It surprised me, the intensity of my emotion about it. Lisa Congdon patted me on the shoulder and Laurie White was nodding her head. People understood that feeling, of missing a sister, and I knew it was time to make an effort to spend some time with Jill. When I called her after Camp Mighty I told her that I wanted to go to Iceland with her. She says I said Japan. She's probably right. To spend a week alone with her exploring a foreign country would be awesome! But also totally unrealistic. I knew that, but I wanted her to know that if we had all the money and time in the world, that is what we would be doing.

We talked and decided that it would be more realistic to plan a day at a spa, either here in New York when she visited us, or there, in Calgary when we visited them. When my parent's decided to move, it became the perfect opportunity to plan a trip just for me, to spend time with her and to help my parent's move.

So, that's the back story. 

We got up early and drove to Banff, a beautiful resort town in the Rocky Mountains just an hour and a half from Calgary, to make it feel a little more like a vacation. The morning was cold and a little rainy, but the mountains were as beautiful as ever. We walked around a little (I'm planning to do a Photo Walk Friday about Banff), we had lunch and a glass of wine together and then we checked in at the spa for a 3.5 hour treatment package.

I've never been at the spa that long, and I spent more money than I'm usually comfortable with, but it was totally worth it to open my eyes during our dual massage and look over and see my sister laying there too. A big grin spread across my face and I just felt so content knowing we were there together. We sipped a delicious caramel tea while getting a pedicure and took mini naps during our facials. It was lovely and relaxing and it made a little happy place in my brain that I can visit again when I miss her.

The day was filled with stories, laughing, hand holding and hugs. We sat on the same side of the table at lunch like we were on a date, because we were. Sisters are great. We didn't really have a deep emotional break through or anything, it was just nice to be with her and talk about things without being interrupted. I wish she could come to all the conferences and retreats that I've been going to. I wish we lived in the same city. There is nothing like a sister, but I will have to be content with visits and time together once or twice a year. Maybe one day we can take an epic trip together, that would be really amazing. Or maybe I can convince her to join me on a retreat sometime. But whatever happens, I know I've got her in my life and I am grateful for her love and positive attitude.

I should also add that I have another sister, my new sister Tracy, and I have a life list item for her too. She has never been to New York and I hope she visits me sometime so that I can show her around the city. She says that she doesn't want me to take her to the top of anything, but I'm sure she would enjoy a little window shopping on Madison Avenue or a nice dinner out somewhere. I'll figure something out. When I was in Canada, Jill and I also visited with her and her adorable kids in their new home. It was so great to see her again. This was only my second time visiting with her, but it's just so comfortable. We made lunch together in the kitchen and I'm so happy that I now have TWO sisters. More love for me.

Do you have sisters? Do you spend quality time with them?