Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Day At Elk Island N.P.

Today has been an incredible day. I don't want it to ever end. Not ever. And, yet, it is 6:00pm. That means this day is painfully close to coming to a close. Bummer. At least I'll have the memories and pictures that will last a life time.

Today we slept in. Until 5:50am to be exact. Thank you Cora! Note the hint of sarcasm. :) This ended up working out quite well because we got to hang out and relax before getting ready to head out to Elk Island National Park. Elk Island is about 35km east of Edmonton. It is a fairly small national park, but lots of great things can be found there. Moose, bison, elk, deer, small mammals, all sorts of birds, you get the picture. We decided to hike a 3.5km loop. We initially planned to snowshoe, but there was no need. It hasn't snowed in weeks, so the snow was really packed down. They also machine groom the trail we were on for cross country skiing. The trail guide said the 3.5km trail should take 1-2 hours. Well, it only took us 30 min and that included Cora walking for the first 20 yards or so. It took her at least 5 minutes to do that. Hmmm...maybe we should have taken the longer trail. We also only saw a chickadee and blue jay for wildlife. Boo. No moose. BUT, the weather was perfect. It was around 35F and sunny. If everyday were like today...

The very first few steps on the trail. She looks so cute in her snowsuit.

Chugging right along.

Being on top of Daddy's shoulders is like riding on top of the world. You can see so much from way up there.

I love this one. Cora chattered and giggled the whole time she was up there. Notice her arms flailing around. She still has no concept of holding on when riding up there.

After riding on Daddy's shoulders, on to Mommy's back. She promptly fell asleep and slept the whole rest of the hike.

With our extra time we drove around Elk Island checking out the other trail heads for future trips. We then stopped at the visitor centre to have a mini lunch before heading home. We ended up seeing the most interesting wildlife here. Go figure. We were watching a squirrel digging around. It ran up a tree and Lee spotted a porcupine sitting on one of the lower branches of the pine tree. Perfect! The porcupine was definitely close enough for Cora to see. Sure enough, she saw it. About that time the porcupine woke up and scurried up the tree. So cool.

There's the squirrel!

And, there's the porcupine!

Cora and Mommy hanging out on the bench.

She loved standing in the really deep snow.

The cutest little body in the whole entire world.

Eating a banana while walking around. Multitasking for a toddler is quite an accomplishment. P.S. I know everyone wants a pair of my totally hot pants.

Face planting in the snow resulted in many tears and cold hands. That was our cue to head home. :)

When we got home, we made chicken burritos for dinner. The weather was still gorgeous after eating so we packed Cora into the stroller and headed to the park. Like I said before, today was such a great day.

To top it off, Cora did her first sign today. While eating, we asked if she wanted "more" or was "all done". She signed and said "more"!! I would have had no idea what she said had she not signed it. It is incredible being able to communicate with a little person that can't really talk. At least not with her mouth. I had started signing with her when she was practically brand new and then stopped (out of laziness) when she was around 6 or 7 months. This is exactly when I shouldn't have stopped, but I just got out of the habit. I started again in the last 2 months or so because I noticed she was making up her own signs for things (hand/object to ear for "hello").

Not only is she signing now, she is walking!! She decided yesterday that she is going to walk rather than crawl. Today she kept up with it. I wasn't sure if yesterday was just a weird day she was having, but I guess not. The Belle is a walking machine. Her little body is just delicious when she walks. I'll get a video up in the next week or so for all to see.

Bath time and movie time has officially started. I best be going. Good night to you all.


Molly Finley said...

I always forget about yours (blog) infact I believe the last time I was on it was right after little Cora came into the world, so that just goes to show just HOW long its this is awesome...I can stay more "up-to-date"...
Thanks Sascha, Lee and Cora!

Molly Finley said...

PS: LOVE all of the pictures...they speak a million words!