Tag Archives: family

Saskatchewan Road Trip

Before last week, I had never really been to Saskatchewan. I’d been to Lloydminster (a town/city that straddles both Alberta and Saskatchewan), but that’s not really Saskatchewan.  Why were we in Saskatchewan, you ask? Well, at Mr. Bean’s brother’s wedding, one of his uncles invited us to his retirement from being a teacher/principal party. “Once I hand my keys in at noon, the party starts!” Who doesn’t want to be at a party like that?

The Bessborough Hotel on the South Saskatchewan River

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip as we left on Wednesday and had to be back before Sunday. It made me very glad that we both drive! The first day we drove to Saskatoon, where we went to this Japanese restaurant in the Bessborough Hotel that cooked our food on a grill right in front of us. It was ridiculously warm (32C or 90F – warm enough for me, okay?), so we got ice cream and wandered along the river and through the University of Saskatchewan. I was highly entertained that they have their own farm and a poultry science building, but I guess that’s a uni with an agriculture program for you.

The UofS’s campus is SOO much nicer than the UofC’s. I think I said this about 5 times while we wandered through the campus, so by the fourth and fifth times Mr. Bean told me “no, you haven’t mentioned that at all!”. They have nice field stone buildings that all match and make sense – that definitely cannot be said of the UofC!

Both Mr. Bean’s parents went to the UofS and I always find it quite entertaining to hear about all the hijinks FIL Bean got up to in engineering school. Apparently there are these mushrooms that are outside the arts building, which unfortunately has to be next to both the engineering and agricultural buildings. One year, the engineers built an “arts fairy” among the mushrooms and burnt it in effigy. Things have definitely changed since then as we were not allowed to do anything remotely close to that while I was in school! (Probably because the university got fed up and disallowed such activities when some engineers burnt ERTW (Engineers Rule The World) with HCl on the hill by the prairie chicken at the UofC. Silly people spoiling it for everyone.)

I heart trees.

The next day we headed out to the town that Mr. Bean’s aunt and uncle live in. We basically hung around and ate (too much) food for most of the day. It had its especially hilarious moments, like when some people from Mr. Bean’s uncle’s church decided to serenade him with a “retirement song.”

We also gifted him with some teacher’s scotch – appropriate, don’t you think?

Partway through the evening, we decided to go with my in-laws to see if we could take photos of the sunset by a bridge that crossed the North Saskatchewan River (remember it from my bike trip?)

We didn’t quite make it there in time, but we got some really nice sunset photos along the way.

I stepped out of the car after we crossed the bridge to take a photo without bug spray. Big mistake. I think in the 30 seconds I was out of the car, I got at least 3 – 4 mosquito bites and let another 5 mosquitoes into the car. Urgh.

In case you haven’t guessed, I seriously LOVE taking photos at night. The moment it was dark, out came my tripod and I completely ignored everyone to take photos.

I took some dusk photos initially as I remember the instructor of my night and low light photography course saying that it takes a long time for things to actually become dark on the prairies because there are no mountains blocking the light of the sun just over the horizon.

The above is my “red, white and blue” SOOC photo for this week’s Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit.

A while later I went out again to take some photos before the red left the sky, and to my surprise and delight, the northern lights came out! It’s funny because I was asking Mr. Bean what the probability of seeing the northern lights would be earlier in the day, so it’s like God answered a prayer that I didn’t even know that I had!

There are some really neat things in Saskatchewan, like the bridge in Saskatoon:

… and how idyllic the countryside appears…

… and this crazy all wood trestle train bridge. I didn’t even know that these still existed! (Click for the larger panorama:)

On the way home, we stopped at my friend’s family’s farm. I forgot to take photos because I was too busy being stuffed with food. Holy man is my friend’s mom a good cook. She also sent us home with 12 dozen eggs. We pawned some off to family and friends, but we still have 7 dozen to get through. I guess it’s a good thing that those farm eggs don’t really bother me!

Overall, I’m really happy we went on the trip as we got to spend some uninterrupted time together as well as visit with family and friends. We arrived home tired but it was worth it!

How was your holiday weekend?


Filed under Life, Photography

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Today is a beautiful day – it’s officially summer (yay!), the sun is shining (for the moment), it’s not raining(for the moment), Mr. Bean and I are going on a bike trip tomorrow in the mountains with my family, I’m finally done all my tutoring (yay!), and I have a bunch of photos to share with you!

First of all are the edits from my Father’s Day photos. You can see all the other edits over on Ashley’s blog.

I also thought that I would share a few photos from a photo walk I took last week

Lichen on a Brick for Macro Friday

Yellow for Crazy Days of Summer

Broken for Foto Friday

What are your plans for this weekend?


Filed under Photography

Father’s Day Fun

My Family is silly. I know every family has its moments, but it seems that almost every time we get together, some kind of ridiculousness happens. Yesterday, after we had shared a nice meal together in honour of Father’s Day, my sister phones to speak with my dad. Instead of being normal people and simply passing the phone off to him, we decide to have a bit of fun.

My brother is quite good at pretending to be someone else when he is on the phone with someone – once he had me convinced that he was the recorded message from the public library until he started laughing at the very end – and yesterday he was Mr. Ridiculous Secretary complete with British accent. He first asked her what the name of the person she would like to speak to was, to which she replied “Dr. M.” He then asked which Dr. M. she wanted to speak with (both my parents have PhDs), and announced that he was the first of three call centres that she would have to go through. Next, the phone was passed off to my mom, who pretended to be your usually clueless call centre person, who asked my sister which Dr. M. she wanted to speak with, eliciting the reply “I don’t know!” from my sister. My mom then said that some psycho-analysis was going to have to be done and would she be so kind as to go on hold? The phone was then passed to me.

I had the perfect idea of what personality I should be – no British accents and not a call centre/secretary person and someone who does some “psycho-analysis.” Picture your typical air-headed astrologer type person with the breathy voice and who tries to give the impression of being friendly but actually comes off as creepy.

Me: “Well, Hellllo.”
Sister: “Um. Hi.”
Me: “How can I help youuuu tooooday?”
Sister: “I would like to speak with Dr. M.
Me: “Which oooone?”
Sister: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Which dooo youuuu like better: apples or ooooranges?”
Sister: “Oranges.”
Me: “Dooo youuuu like strawberries or bananas better?”
Sister: “Bananas.”
Me: “Oooookay… Let me put these in my thoooought maaatrix… Oooh. Oooone more question: Why is the sky bluuue”
Sister: Talks about water droplets and sunlight refracting, etc.
Me: “Oooookay… I haaaave and aaaanswer. I will now paaaass youuuu off to the appppproopppriate Dr. M.”
Sister: “Thanks?”

After making some noise and beeps, I finally handed the phone to my dad who asked: “Is this the person to whom I am speaking?”

Yes, we are champions. Unsurprisingly, the entire time this whole ordeal was happening, everyone was cracking up with laughter. So, after I handed the phone to my dad, I took the above photo and I love how it shows how amused he is. I think it would be better if the phone wasn’t there, but I guess it helps tie it into the story. 🙂

…And just for fun, here are some photo of my dad and I from my wedding almost 3(!) years ago, taken by our lovely photographer, Kathleen Goertzen.

How did you celebrate Father’s Day?

This photo is my SOOC for this week’s Father’s Day themed Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit.


Filed under Life, Photography

Spring Weddings

In the last month or so, Mr. Bean and I have been to two weddings: one was a friend from our old youth group (that’s where I took these jumping shots) and the other was one of Mr. Bean’s brothers! Instead of showing 50 billion photos, I made little collages for each wedding of my favourite photos, similar to the ones I did for the 2010 weddings we went to. Please do click them to see the larger version of them!

The wedding reception was held at the golf course my parents go to, where they recently renovated their club house. I love going to eat there as they are SO good with allergies – Mr. Bean went and told one of the servers my allergies, then the chef came out and asked me what I wanted/could eat and ended up making me my own separate meal as I couldn’t eat much in the buffet. After having so much food angst at the weddings last year, it was wonderful! They even had a mashed potato bar around 11pm – seriously amazing.

Mr. Bean’s brother’s wedding was the first wedding I’ve been to where I have been a member of the immediate family. I was spoiled for taking photos – I sat in the front row of the church (even though I had the actual photographer in front of me most of the time) and one of the front and centre tables at the reception. It meant that I didn’t have to bring my creeper (70 – 300mm) lens!

A few funny things happened at this wedding: first the church was tiny and over 200 people were invited to the wedding. I think they managed to fit about 160 people in, which is still a feat as the church would comfortably fit 80 – 90 people. Again, I was glad that Mr. Bean and I were doing a reading as it guaranteed us a spot in the front! Secondly, the priest got confused about who was getting married as he said Mr. Bean’s other brother was getting married (in his defence their names both start with “G”), so I turned to Mr. Bean and said “Well, it looks like both your brothers are in for a surprise!”

The reception was held at the Banff Springs Hotel. Holy man is it a ritzy hotel – it was built in the 1880s by Canadian Pacific Railways for their rich European clientele and it has maintained that level of upscale-ness since. We stayed there for two nights and it was really nice! The reception was probably one of the best I’ve been to – the food was amazing (I wouldn’t have expected anything less!) and everything was beautiful and perfectly executed. I even had a server come and introduce herself to me to confirm my allergies and everything she brought to me were my allergy friendly versions of what everyone else ate. She even brought me my own gluten free chocolate cake for dessert. (!) I was super impressed.

I thought that these two weddings were going to be our weddings for 2011, but we received two more invitations in the mail in the last week. Thankfully both of them are in Calgary, so we don’t have to travel! Now I’m just hoping that no one else decides to get married this year so we don’t try to break last year’s record of five weddings in a year. But even if anyone does, I will happily go as I honestly love weddings. Good thing too!

Have you been to any weddings lately?


Filed under Life, Photography

Rest in Peace Grandpa Jones


Last Monday, Mr. Bean’s last grandpa passed away at the ripe old age of 92. He was a very gentle soul who was happy to just be – of the three times I met him, he was content to watch Mr. Bean and I play crib, to paint, to watch the happy afro painting guy on TV and to just be around the excitement on our wedding day.  He will  be missed.

Mr. Bean went up to Saskatchewan with his family yesterday for the funeral – I am sad that I couldn’t go. Any and all prayers for Mr. Bean and his family would be appreciated. Thank you.


Filed under Life