Tag Archives: SOOC

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

Weekend Biking Trip

Our bike trip this weekend was wonderful. Despite a very sore bum and a bit of snow in one of the passes, our bike trip was a success – except for poor Mr. Bean who found out the hard way that his bike was too small for him and was only able to ride the first day.

Seriously, if you ever have a chance to go up the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, do it! It is so amazingly scenic and breathtaking. You climb over two passes – Bow Summit (2070 m) and Sunwapta Pass (2030m), go through river valleys, by lakes, by huge cliffs, see some amazing vistas and there are some crazy climbs (about 500 m in ~15km up to Sunwapta Pass). It was hard work, but totally worth it!

Mr. Bean and I at Bow Lake

Since Mr. Bean was unable to bike on the second day, I gave him my camera to play around with while he waited for us and so he could play paparazzi. He took quite a few beautiful photos, which you will see below. I’m really happy that he did that so I could focus on biking and taking in the scenery instead of stopping to take photos every few minutes. My only regret is that I saw a bear but didn’t have a camera to take its photo. On hindsight, it’s probably for the best as getting too close to animals, especially bears,  is NOT a good idea!

The North Saskatchewan River

I wouldn’t say that we had beautiful weather as we did have some snow at one of the summits and it was cold and windy for a lot of the time, but we did have some periods of sun during a few of our breaks and when we finally made it to the Columbia Icefields.  I guess one bonus about cooler weather is that it encourages you to bike faster so you can stay warm!

One thing I love about being in the mountains is the colour of the water. There’s nothing quite like the blue-green from glacier silt, especially compared to brown water (ick.)

I had some fun making animated gifs of us biking, using the instructions Elena gave for this week’s Selfie Saturday tutorial. They’re not self portraits, but they are a great way to show movement!

Here I come up the biggest hill. I’m about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way up. In the later slides you can see my brother – he stopped and then ran to meet us and give us high fives. I told him that he could probably walk up the hill faster than I could bike, but I was determined to do the entire thing on my bike. For part of the hill, the wind was behind us, but once we turned the corner, there was a HUGE headwind that made it so much harder. Only my brother, the champion, was able to make it up the hill in gears higher than 1, 1. (The easiest setting on the bike.)

Snow Covered Parker's Ridge

Here we are almost at Sunwapta Pass. Right before this, there was a small stretch of downhill, where I thought to myself: “Downhill? What is this strange phenomenon?”

Columbia Icefields

When we finally made it to the Columbia Icefields, I was so happy! Not only had we all biked 125 km, it was sunny and I didn’t have to sit on a bike anymore! We all were especially impressed that it was sunny (with no wind!) as usually it’s at least 10C colder than the rest of the parkway with a howling wind. Funny how that works!

I definitely enjoyed myself and I am looking forward to the next bike trip that comes my way (hopefully soon!) Now it’s time to find Mr. Bean a new bike so that he will be as excited as I am about future biking trips!

Have you ever gone on a bike trip?

All the photos (except the GIFs) are SOOCs – not quite sunrise themed for this week’s Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit, but pretty nonetheless!



Filed under Life, 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

SOOC: Yellow

Given that I’m currently enrolled in a Photoshop course, I thought it would be fun to play along with the Good to Wow Photo Challenge hosted by Ashley and Jill. This week’s theme is yellow. I’ve been feeling a bit run down over the last few days, so I thought it would be appropriate to take a photo of something I want to avoid: getting sick. So no lemon water or cough drops for me! (Hopefully!)

Our next assignment in my course is to edit a portrait. You remember this guy? This is the photo of him that I’m going to edit.

I’m so excited to see what I’m going to learn this week about editing – both in the challenge and in my course! Check back on Thursday for the edited versions of both photos! 🙂


Filed under Photography