Tag Archives: Lloydminster

Family and friends

After two weeks in Colorado it was time to go back to Canada. Since I wanted to go to the east coast for the final part of my trip, I decided to spend one more week with my old host family before heading out east. This worked out perfectly, as I got to see Faith, Torrie and Roland once more before they were heading out for a summer exchange to Ontario (Faith) and a road trip to relatives in British Columbia (Torrie and Roland).

After the barbecue with Faith and Torrie it was time to say goodbye and until next time!

A nice bonus was also the fact that I got to spend my birthday with Vic and Bev and the rest of the family. After Vic had sung “Happy birthday” to me, the three of us boarded the car and went over to pick up Bev’s mother, Ada. Then we drove to Michael and Brenda’s place for some grilled hot dogs. Of course Zayne and Ryker used the opportunity to show me around their rooms and the playhouse that Michael is building for them in the forest.

Zayne and one of their numerous cats

Later on we took the leftovers of my birthday cake over to Crystal and Jose’s place, where we sat on the nice patio for a visit. Victor and Santiago had just written their last exams and were looking forward for the summer holidays. Unfortunately Jose was still out in the fields to finish spraying the crops while the wind was not too strong.

Crystal, Ada and Santiago enjoyed some of the leftovers from my birthday cake

The next day was “Canada Day”, which was celebrated with big parades and fireworks all over the country. This year was even bigger than usual, as Canada was turning 150. However, most of the day I helped Melissa moving from her shared apartment in Lloydminster to her own apartment. Luckily she had also managed to find two guys with a big truck, who were willing to help her on this special day, because I still couldn’t do much with my cracked clavicle.

After helping Melissa with her move, I joined Cristina and Todd for the rest of the “Canada Day” celebrations

After dinner I still got the chance to join Todd, Cristina and Sydney at “Bud Miller Park”, where they had different activities going on all day long. After listening to the music of Sam Landell and his drummer, I just sat in my chair and enjoyed doing nothing at all. It was quite rewarding after a full day of moving around. And the best was yet to come – fifteen minutes of fireworks! And even if it was “only” Lloydminster, they had some pretty good fireworks going on!

Sam Landell and his drummer were playing on the main stage when I arrived

The fireworks were pretty cool and a nice finish to a long day

That day, Vic’s aunt Mary (90) and her husband Tom had arrived from California. There had been some confusion as to when they would arrive, because we had no flight number or anything. As it turned out, they had been driving all the way during the last few days! So the next day, after a crop tour with Vic around the fields, we invited Vic’s sister Karen and her husband Wayne over to join us for supper.

Bev, Karen, Wayne, Vic, Mary and Tom on the patio in the back

So, once again my week with the Hult’s went by pretty quickly. Before I knew it, I sat in the car with Megan and Tyler, who took me over to Saskatoon. Megan, who had been in my class in high school, told me about their recent trip to Europe, where they had visited Rob with Deandra, both of whom had graduated with us. And we also compared our experiences from the “West Coast Trail”, which Megan had been talked into joining her brothers for the full hike in four days a few years ago.

It was nice catching up with Megan and Tyler on the way to Saskatoon

The skyline of Saskatoon as seen from the other side of the “Broadway Bridge”

In Saskatoon I met Whitney and another Rob, who were also part of our graduation class. We spent the next day exploring the city on an extended hike along the “South Saskatchewan River” and through the downtown area, before going out for pizza and the best ice cream in town. The latter one so popular that the average waiting time is about 20 minutes for a scoop of avocado, Guinness or dill pickle ice cream.

On our walk along the river we even encountered several pelicans fishing at the weir

Finishing the nice day with Rob and Whitney over some good pizza

Planned and unplanned surprises

After a week in Calgary the time had come to head east, further into the prairies. I boarded another bus and got off in Lloydminster. Here, my host sister Melissa was waiting for me. She had known for the last two months, that I would start my trip through Canada out here. As we were waiting for her husband, Roland, and their kids, Faith and Torrie, we drove through town and went for a walk in the “Bud Miller Park”. I was hoping that we wouldn’t bump into Vic and Bev, as that would spoil my birthday surprise.

Melissa helped in hiding me for a few days (Photo by Melissa)

I spent the next few days with Roland, Faith and Torrie on their farm, hiding out and waiting for Bev’s birthday. We chased some chickens, watched Faith’s rugby practice and played some cards. It was a nice, but quiet time. However, by the end of my stay there, all my host brothers and sisters knew that I was there, but luckily everyone played along and nobody said anything.

Chasing chickens with Torrie
Watching Faith at rugby practice

Finally the big day arrived and Melissa managed to set up a lunch date with Vic and Bev. They met at the “Lashburn Golf Club” and somehow I happened to be there, too. It was indeed a big surprise and neither of them had suspected anything. And another surprise was waiting for all of us, as a middle-aged woman suddenly declared that she buy lunch for all twelve customers present at that moment. We thanked her and shared the cream pie, that Melissa had made, with everyone, without getting to know the reason behind this generous gesture.

Vic and Bev didn’t see this one coming – a successful surprise! (Photo by Melissa) 

Afterwards I changed cars and accompanied Vic and Bev to Maidstone, where I had previously gone to high school. This time we went for an award ceremony in the elementary school, where Ryker, my host brother Michael’s youngest son, and Steele, my host brother Ronald’s youngest son got awards for their hard work and their good behavior and sportsmanship in class, while the whole school was watching them.

Ryker is waiting impatiently for his award
Steele was the only one from his grade to receive an award

Over Easter, the weather forecast had predicted a drop in temperature. This proved to be true and with it came another big surprise in form of 20 cm of snow, covering everything with a thick, white blanket, dampening my hopes for spring to come. And instead of mowing a green lawn, I was shoveling mounds of snow, while behind me the ground got covered up again. I was glad that I still had gloves, scarf and hat from Patagonia with me.

Spring in Canada is incomplete without shoveling mounts of snow
The snow appeared over night and almost out of nowhere

After a few days the sun came out again and we tried making the best out of this late-winter weather by going for a walk in the snow. And of course there were all the indoor activities that we could still do, like the farmers market in the “Servus Sports Centre”, which is lacking fresh produce at the moment, but still sells fresh bread, chocolates and other handicraft. It’s very popular with the locals and everyone goes there to discuss the latest news over coffee and cake.

Going for a walk in the warming sunshine with Bev
Locals meet at the weekly farmers market

Another part on the agenda was visiting with my other host brothers and sisters, who came over with their families. Almost everyone had been sick before Easter, but they recovered and were fit as ever, especially Zayne and Ryker, who were chasing each other all over the living room. It was really great to see everyone again!

Todd has the shortest drive, as he lives right next door
Zayne and Brenda are having fun