Camp NaNoWriMo Ends – A Late Update

Ignoring the fact that this update is just a few days late I figured I’d give you the final breakdown of how my July Camp NaNoWriMo experience went.

I think I set an all time record low in word count this year.

But you know what, that’s okay because I was super busy and I know from past experience that I am far less successful during Camp NaNoWriMo than NaNoWriMo. So how badly did I do?

Well remember the last two updates where I said I was sitting at 2303 words? Yup, that would also be the word count I finished with. Do I wish I had written more? Of course! But I got other stuff done during the month so in the end July was a productive month even if my writing was a bit lackluster.

Results will be much better during the November NaNoWriMo to be sure. And now I must scamper, I’m off to vacation land for the next two weeks so hopefully September will see this blog getting a bit more attention again.

Vacation Wrap Up

As many of you know at the beginning of the month I headed out to Calgary with my husband and son to spend our two week vacation seeing the sites and hitting up the Calgary Stampede. It didn’t exactly go as planned. I posted about it during the vacation how several things went wrong in the first few days. I had thought it would get better from there but apparently it had to get worse before it got better.

After the kid got sick on the way there and forced us to pretty much spend two days in the hotel room we finally thought we had a break. He was feeling better so we decided to hit up a few stores within walking distance of the hotel. It all started out fine that day but very quickly dissolved into more unpleasantness. It was apparently my turn to get sick, and not just sick but I’m talking really sick. The go to the hospital for several hours it was that bad sick. Yeah, I was far from impressed. After several hours and tests the doctors figured it was a really nasty infection I was fighting and told me to take it easy for a few days. That was not what I wanted to hear, especially since the Stampede started in only a few days. Well turns out I had no choice in the matter, whatever it was knocked me flat on my butt and had me trapped in the hotel room for nearly five days.

So while I was stuck with no energy and no desire to do anything the boys spent a lot of time together doing things I had wanted to do but was unable to. They went to several pancake breakfasts. They went to the new science center and spent a whopping eight hours there – needless to say that day I was exceptionally bored. They hit up the pool in the hotel each day. They even went to the Bass Pro Shop.

Now that may not sound like a fun place to go unless you are into fishing but apparently that is not the case. Calgary is home to the largest Bass Pro Shop in Canada and from what we heard from several people it was something everyone should check out if they have the chance. I didn’t get to see it, but apparently it was downright enormous. There was a plane hanging from the ceiling, huge tanks filled with large fish and more aisles of stuff than you can imagine. The boy each got a toy stuffed fish from there, hubby bought a rainbow trout while our son picked up a catfish.

After spending far too much time in the hotel room I was finally sick and tired of it. Even though I wasn’t fully recovered I forced myself to go out to have some fun. These trips were somewhat short due to my lack of energy but at least I was finally doing things. And it was a good thing too as the Stampede was upon us. I opted not to go see the parade, planning to save what little energy I had for the main event, so the boys went to see it on their own. The rodeo was great though our son didn’t really want to stay for it, it is quite long after all. The highlight of the day for him was sitting in the helicopter that the army had set up there.

The second day at the Stampede was spent dodging the heat by sticking to the shade, sitting down lots to drink and spending a lot of time at the indoor attractions. By the time the chuck wagon races were set to start I was beat. After a few races the child wanted to go and I was more than willing to allow that, leaving my husband behind to watch the remainder of the races and the grandstand show.

With our two scheduled days at the Stampede out of the way we were free to do what we wanted when we wanted. So it was time to head out to the Royal Tyrrell Museum so the boy could check out all the dinosaur fossils and get a friend for Dippy (that would be his stuffed dinosaur we bought him four years ago there). The strangest thing happened when we got there, our son the boy who lives and breaths dinosaurs was scared of the displays. We had never expected that. Needless to say we made it through the museum in record time. He did end up getting a friend for Dippy before we left.

Just down the road from the museum was a new place that we decided to hit up. This place had several activities that kids could do that related to dinosaurs so we figured it would be a good place to stop after the museum. The boy could collect small rocks, dig for and keep a fossil and play on their small playground. He certainly enjoyed it.

Digging for fossils.

He was having a great time, but then as all things went this vacation something bad had to happen. After taking his turn digging for fossils we rounded the corner and ran into this.

That would be the animatronic T-rex that they had. It was pretty big too, about the size of a juvenile T-rex. At first the boy wasn’t too scared. The it moved and started making noise. That’s when I was dragged towards the exit at a near run. Turns out he’s not only afraid of fossils but downright petrified of moving dinosaurs. And this is the kid who watches Jurrasic Park on a nearly weekly basis. Guess it’s a whole new ballpark when you see them up close and personal.

As our vacation came towards the end we decided to hit up the Stampede one last time to play some games and get some fudge. You can’t leave the Stampede without having bought fudge! To add to the fun that day the boy participated in the children’s tractor pull. Though he didn’t win he had tons of fun and got a ribbon for participating.

It was a pretty impressive feat. Not only was he one of the youngest kids to join in but the trailer they had to pull weighted 250 pounds, plus he was given an additional 50 pounds of weight on top of that. He made it about ten feet before he couldn’t petal any more. That’s pretty darn good for a five year old. After that we hit up the nearby agri-discovery center and he was able to milk a cow (a fake cow of course).

The last thing we did on our final day was hit up the mall down the road one last time. It would be our last chance for some good shopping for quite some time. A trip the toy store was in order, where everyone walked out with something, I got a really great looking stuffed rhino, the boy got another stuffed animal and oddly enough my husband bought himself a stuffed lobster. No we don’t have an obsession with stuffed animals!

The drive home was long and boring. The highlight of it was stopping in Thunder Bay so we could see the new Ice Age movie. Once again we were glad to have the DVD player in the truck to entertain the boy, our MP3 players to entertain ourselves and our home to greet us when we got there. The boy also slept plenty on the drive which helped pass the time and boredom for him.

For those of you wondering, yes that is a stuffed squid that the child is holding while taking a nap, along with his catfish beside him. Not the most standard stuffed animals but it’s what he wanted and he has loved them ever since.¬†And so this wraps up our vacation to Calgary, it had it’s good moments but sadly it also had a lot of bad moments. In the end it came to an end and that is the saddest part of it all.

Now it’s time to return to life as normal, the post vacation funk has come and gone leaving me with a list of things to do and whole lot of books to read. Did I mention used book stores are dangerous? Well they are, I came home with a box full of books from this trip, and it was a pretty big box too. Time to get reading and reviewing!

The End of The Vacation

Just a small update today as I have much unpacking and laundry to do. My vacation has come and gone. I’m sad that it’s over as I really didn’t get the opportunity to do as many things as I had wanted to, but at the same time I’m glad to be home. In the next day or two I should be posting a overview of my vacation, though it might not be as impressive as I had originally hoped for, and then I’ll be playing catch up with some book reviews I did not have a chance to post before leaving.

Also I’m working on plans for my August Camp NaNoWriMo novel. Here’s hoping this one is more successful than Junes version. Are you participating in August’s Camp NaNoWriMo?

This Is Not The Vacation I Was Looking For

Calgary, I had been looking forward to coming here for nearly a year. We had come here on vacation last year, in fact this is the third trip we have made out here in the last four years. I really love it. Though normally we would fly out here after dropping the child off at the grandparents. This year we decided to not only bring him along but to drive all the way out here. It would be a long, horribly long drive but it would mean not being restricted by luggage on the plane and we wouldn’t need to rent a car either.

Luckily we have a DVD player in the truck so the boy would be somewhat entertained for the approximate 28 hours we would be stuck in the truck over two days. It went relatively fast the first day, hitting our stop destination in what seemed like only a few hours. The second day was agonizing. Not only were we driving across the entire width of the prairies, but the child ended up getting sick as well. We figured it was motion sickness. So for the fifteen or so hours stuck in the truck that day was filled with moans of the child, him refusing to eat or drink, and the occasional puke stop.

He’s actually asleep in this picture. It was probably the saving grace for this part of the trip that he slept so much, otherwise we probably would have had to break up the drive into another extra day which honestly would have been terrible.

So needless to say the first full day we were here was stuck in the hotel room. It was boring, the hotel has a few things to offer but obviously it was either myself or my husband that could go, not together, since one of us had to stay with the sickling. Yesterday the boy claimed to be feeling better and wanted to go to the zoo, I honestly knew he wasn’t better but was desperate enough to get out of the hotel I agreed to go. It started off fine, got to see a few animals he was really hoping to see, like the Penguins.

He had seen the giraffe’s, which apparently are his current favorite animal. We got to see a tiger nice and close for once, the last time we’ve been there they were always too far away to see very well.

By this time we had been there just over an hour and the boy was starting to have enough. His stomach was bothering him again and his legs were broken according to him. We let him go on the merry-go-round, though there was little enthusiasm to be found in him at that point.

So after this we decided to call it quits. While we would have liked to see more we had the child going downhill. The other thing against us this trip was that there was a lot of rain recently so several sections of the zoo were closed due to a bit of flooding. So not quite the zoo trip we had hoped for. We did stop off at the gift shop on our way out though and picked up a few things there.

Once again we found ourselves in the hotel. Well I decided that because my husband went to see a movie by himself the previous night while I stayed with the boy I would treat myself to something. So I headed down the road and hit up a used book store I had found. I did the smart thing scoping out several used book stores before even heading out to Calgary. I was like a kid in a candy store. The store was called Fair’s Fair, not a name I would ever imagine for a book store and in fact if I had been simply driving past it I might not have even known it was a bookstore if it hadn’t have been for the giant word ‘Books’ on the side of the building.

Look at all those books! And that’s just a single shelf in the store that had easily thirty of more shelves like that. In fact it was probably closer to fifty shelves in that store. It was hard to keep track of how many rows of books there were because I was too distracted by gleefully pulling books off the shelf to buy. I came prepared and brought a list of books I wanted to get. Between two of their locations I managed to get a large chunk of that list, in fact there are only seven books remaining on that list, and there are still three other locations of this store for me to visit.

Since I still have over a week before we leave I have plenty of time to hit up the other locations of Fair’s Fair along with the other used bookstores around here. Gotta pace myself after all.And because we haven’t had enough things go wrong so far we also had to take the truck in to the dealership. Why? Well it was making an odd sound wile driving. Turns out it was a pretty significant thing that needs to be fixed right away. Because of this we are without out truck for a large portion of the day and we will be out about six hundred dollars as well. Can I get a break already?

So, while this vacation has been a bit of a wash I’m still happy to be here and hoping it gets better in the coming days, especially since the Stampede starts on Friday.

Vacation In A Notebook!

It’s that time of year again. The time when I escape this little town and head off on wild and crazy adventures. This year we are, once again, going to the Calgary Stampede. As such most of my time will be spend checking out the sights, sounds and not the mention the cowboys of Calgary and thus won’t be posting as regularly as I have been. I hope to get a few posts in to update you on how the vacation is going and posting some of the many pictures I know I will be taking.

Look forward to this vacation but also to coming back and reporting on all the fun we had as well as posting several book reviews that are still currently being worked on, and perhaps a few new ones if I get a chance to read during vacation. And let’s face it, there are plenty of book stores in Calgary for me to lose my time and money to. Also to those Canadians out there I’d like to say Happy Canada’s Day (even if it is a bit early)!

Last but not least, a small update on my Camp NaNoWriMo. Well it didn’t quite go as intended, but with all the distractions and prep for this upcoming trip, plus good weather for once, I found it hard to dedicate the time for it. Perhaps Augusts version will go better. In the end I wrote just shy of thirty thousand words. So while it was a decent effort it was a bit short. Cant win them all right?

All These Things

Ah this weekend was a busy one. So much so that I am only just getting around to talking about it now. Of course this week itself is also proving incredibly busy since I leave for a two week vacation in a few days and most of my time is currently spend scrambling to get things done.

On Saturday I headed out for a day to myself, which by the way is not entirely fun when I spend eight hours in the truck to do so. My goal was to do some semi last minute pre-vacation shopping and see the new Pixar movie Brave. The shopping I don’t care about, I never liked shopping so the details are vague at best. But oh man, Brave was an amazing movie!

Ignoring the fact that I was the only person in the theater that did not have a child with them, I was totally excited about seeing this movie. When I first saw a teaser for it about a year ago I knew that it would be good. The CG was amazing, the story was great and the characters I just absolutely loved. I won’t go into details because I would hate to ruin it for people who haven’t seen it yet, and trust me I hate when spoilers are given out. All I can say is if you haven’t already went to see it then go do so now. You will not be disappointed, and if you do find yourself disappointed, well then shame on you.

Now I did make a quick stop at the use bookstore after the movie. A dangerous place to visit after my last experience, but luck was on my husbands wallet side as pretty much all the books I was hoping to get they didn’t have in stock. It was a sad time for me. However, I didn’t walk out empty handed, because honestly I knew there would be something worth picking up. So I ended up leaving the store with two books, Anything for Billy and Buffalo Girls both by Larry McMurtry.

With that trip out of the way we spend a few hours on Monday canoeing and fishing. That was the bargain I struck with my husband, I got to see Brave and he would take us fishing. I’m not a fan of fishing, even less so eating fish, but I was willing to go because our son wanted to go. It was the perfect weather to go as well. Once we drove out to the lake we put the canoe in the water and while we were getting ready our son saw something.

Curious I went over to see what the fuss was. Turned out it was hundreds of tadpoles. He was pretty darn excited about seeing them, and I can understand why, I loved tadpoles as a kid and often took some home in a bucket to watch grow into frogs before releasing them back where they came from.

After satisfying the need to watch tadpoles for quite some time we finally got in the canoe, paddled out and we started fishing. The first cast brought in nothing. The second one got my husband all excited. He felt a tug and was proud to have caught a fish so quickly.

Yeah, not quite the fish he had thought it would be. This was now the new trend in our fishing, cast the line, reel it in, remove plant material from hook, try again. I don’t know if there were no fish in that lake or we just had terrible luck but plants were the only thing we caught that day. Of course our son didn’t seem to mind, he had fun even without catching fish.

The best part of it came after we left the lake. We headed home, put away the canoe and supplies then went for a short walk. We ended up at the doughnut shop and came home with these:

Oh yeah, that is one delicious doughnut. It was certainly the perfect end to the day. So stuffed with all that deliciousness I remembered something and cringed. I’ve been completely neglecting my Camp NaNoWriMo novel. I am normally very diligent about working on my novels but this month has been full of distracts that I have not been able to ignore. So while I panic about not reading my word count goal I am also glad for some of the distractions. Perhaps with some miracle I will reach fifty thousand words before the end of the month, though with a trip looming this weekend and lots of packing and prep still to do I don’t know if I should get my hopes up.

May The Fourth Be With You!

Today is May fourth and that means it is Star Wars day! The day of the year where Star Wars fans from across the universe celebrate their love of Star Wars. In celebration of Star Wars Day, I am spotting my Star Wars T-shirt, drinking my Dr Pepper out of a giant Star Wars cup, listening to the Star Wars soundtracks for all six movies and most importantly Playing Star Wars: The Old Republic all day long.

Yes, I realize the last one isn’t anything new, I play SW:TOR all the time regardless of what day it is. But it is fitting to play a Star Wars video game on Star Wars Day. So my fellow Star Wars fans, and those who may not care for Star Wars that much (shame on you), what are you doing to celebrate Star Wars day?

Also, on a completely unrelated note. Does anyone else dislike the new WordPress layout? Or is it just me?