I am back after a few weeks of not writing, all for good reasons though. We as a family just recently got back from an adventure! To some people they might think why on earth would you go to Saskatchewan and Manitoba for holidays, but as a family we want to travel across Canada and see our own country and learn about the beautiful place we are proud to be a part of.
This year we decided to do Saskatchewan and Manitoba, honestly we didn't think there would be a whole lot to see but we were able to see lots. Our itinerary for the trip was this:
Calgary AB - Regina SK
Regina SK - Winnipeg MB
Winnipeg MB - Thompson MB
Thompson MB - Churchill MB
Churchill MB - The Pas MB
The Pas MB - Saskatoon SK
Saskatoon SK - Calgary AB
That my friends is a total of over 72 hours of travel time, and over 5,200 kms of driving/train traveling. It was such an awesome experience and the kids did really well, but I made sure that we were well stocked with activities and snacks for the 10 days we were gone.
Everyday the kids had a new ziploc bag full of activities and little crafts, I went to the Dollarama and spent a small fortune, haha not really but spend around $40 on all the supplies I needed. We didn't want to bring IPads, tablets or entertainment in an electronic form because we remember road trips from when we were kids and had fun just looking at our surroundings or playing with the toys we brought. Really children now a days are no different and they don't really need all that, plus my husband and I were prone to car sickness as children and still hasn't changed. Our children have picked up that so it just is better if they don't have something that could set them off.
I scoured Pinterest for any resources I could find for traveling with kids with no technology, there wasn't a lot out there but a few good sites gave me some things to work with. On the blog "Two Sisters Crafting" they have a DIY for a kids travel tray. This was a super easy project that I enjoyed doing and know that we will use it in years to come.The Suburban Mom blog had a great list of 40 things to pack for a road trip with kids.
We also packed individual snack bags that they could open up everyday, and there was little snacks that they could have beside them to chose from throughout the day. It saved us money on food and we didn't have to eat out every meal. My husband and I also packed up a large cooler full of food that we could spread out for breakfast and lunches so we didn't have to be eating out all the time.
Some cool things we got to see were:
The Great Sandhills, they are located about an hour and a half north of Swift Current Saskatchewan. You feel like you are in a different part of the world, the sand is like moon sand (the craft stuff), it's super fine and powdery. The kids loved it and Olivia decided we were going to hunt for buried treasure.
The Children's museum in Winnipeg, It had some pretty neat activities for the kids and had a train that they were able to go in and play around in.
Churchill Manitoba, this place is only accessed by private planes or the train. We went the train route which was a 17 hour ride that went on through the night. It is a whole different world that far up north, and it's not as far up as other places. The people were very friendly and could tell you everything about the place. One of my favorite things (but also annoying) was everyone's work/office hours were 9ish to 4:30/5ish but they would leave their personal numbers on the signs if you needed them. At 10pm every night a air raid siren goes off, we didn't know what it was the first night and found out it is basically a alarm for everyone to know its curfew. Polar bears roam nearby and live all around and they implemented the siren so people would know to go in doors and to also start traveling in big groups, it has lowered the risk of bear attacks significantly. People leave their cars unlocked in case of an emergency, like if a polar bear is near by and you need a place to protect you. There are signs everywhere that warn you to not go past because that is bear territory.
The Hudson Bay is right there and it was amazing to walk up to it and see how massive it is, the Churchill river flows out into the Hudson Bay and so thousands of Beluga Whales migrate there to give birth in the warm waters that the river produces. It was an amazing sight to look out and see all those whales swimming in the waters. We also were able to go on a Tundra Buggy tour and try and go find Polar bears, we never saw one but saw its fresh tracks, the buggy that went the next day saw one but my father in law still claims it was a rock. The Ithaca ship that grounded itself in 1960 still stands as a big rusty reminder that you shouldn't sail too close to shore, it stands straight up in the bedrock there in the Hudson Bay and won't fall over I am sure for another century.
There was also a lot of left over military influence in the area, old buildings and mines! You have to stay on the designated roads or there is a risk of old mines going off. They used the surrounding areas of Churchill for military experimentation during the cold war and just left everything behind. There is also a plane called Miss Piggy that had to emergency land in the rock bed and they left that there too, it crash landed in 1979 no one died and all cargo was okay too. It was called Miss Piggy because of how much cargo it could carry.
Lake Manitou Saskatchewan, This lake is a small salt water lake and has been a place of healing for Native Americans since the 19th century. We went swimming in it and it is pretty amazing to just float in. the kids really enjoyed it and so did my husband, I couldn't bring myself to fully submerge in it because there were these weird shrimp things floating in it.
We also visited the Berry Barn just south of Saskatoon, it is a well know Saskatoon berry farm and sits along the South Saskatchewan river. It was a beautiful location and we made sure to buy a big container of Saskatoon berries, we ate them on the drive home.
We were sad to have to be back home because we love trips, good things we are leaving again in a few weeks for Kelowna to visit my family!
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