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I left off the last post in Lloydminster, so let's pick it up from there…

As I said before, Eden was getting fussy after around six hours in the car. Even after a 90-minute break she was crying, but was fine as soon as we picked her up. So we rearranged the car a bit, so that Ali could ride in the back, and Eden thought that was fantastic. That got us to Edmonton just after supper, where Eden met Jeremy and Jess…and their two girls, Juliana and Celeste, who were thrilled to see her.

Our trip to Edmonton was relatively slow-paced. Apart from just visiting (and playing board games), we sort of did one thing every day. Sunday was of course church, and then on Monday we visited the Muttart conservatory to look at the flowers. The current “feature” exhibit was a sculpture exhibit from Zimbabwe; you could buy the sculptures too, and I was rather tempted by a set of three small birds, but passed.

Sunday lunch on the deck

Sunday afternoon story time.

Under the Elephant Foot tree

Eden loved the fish.

We borrowed Jess's baby carrier to see how we liked it. We did!

Family selfie!

On Tuesday we went to West Edmonton Mall with Jess and the girls. The kids went for a ride on the train around the amusement park; the two youngest were free, and needed chaperones, so we ended up with five people on the train and only paid one admission! We didn't have any particular shopping in mind so we just wandered through whatever stores caught our eye. The girls wanted to visit the Disney store, and we bought a Minnie Mouse doll for Eden. Later on we watched the sea lion show (from a distance); Juliana and Celeste really wanted to see it, and we just got there in time. We had cinnamon buns from Cinnzeo (very very good), and walked through an African village exhibit that World Vision had set up (it was kind of neat but seemed to be missing something…perhaps a it would be better without kids, so you could do the audio tour). Then Jess took her girls home, and we did a little more shopping and stayed for supper at Jungle Jim's.

All aboard!

Princesses in the Disney store

Yes I DO like this Minnie Mouse, I think we should buy it!

Learning about high-fives

Watching the sea lions from the cheap seats

Supper was slow…slow getting seated, slow getting our orders taken, slow getting our food, slow getting the bill, slow paying the bill… Turned out that the restaurant was running short-handed; one person wasn't working that day, one didn't show up, and one quit, so the two remaining staff were handling the work of five! That wouldn't have mattered much except that Eden was bored of sitting in her chair, and we had made plans to take everyone out for ice cream, and we needed to get back to St. Albert in time to do that before the kids went to bed! But we got to the Dairy Queen at exactly the same time as they did, and Juliana (who had insisted on changing into her new “Frozen” hoodie for her frozen treat) had an ice cream cone as big as her head (that may have been a bit my fault for suggesting the chocolate waffle cone). She ate most of it and took the rest home for the freezer (and later admitted she had a small tummy ache).

A portrait of ambition.

Ice cream for everyone!

These kids are a handful in more ways than one.

Wednesday was our quiet day. We went for a walk through the nearby woods and to the park with Jess and the girls (Eden had about a 90-minute nap in her stroller), and in the evening we went to visit Nathan and Tracy, so there were more kids for Eden to play with!

A walk in the park.

Sometimes I have to try to get fancy.

Do you want to go for a ride?, he asked. No was not an acceptable answer.

Someone — I'm not saying who — was getting a little jealous.

These kids loved Eden but wished she knew how to play better.

And now it's Thursday, and we're driving to Coaldale. As I write this, we're just driving through Red Deer — don't worry, Ali's driving — and I'll post it wherever I get wifi! Unfortunately, Eden's been sick today…she started throwing up while napping back at the house this morning, and hasn't really kept anything down since. We think she might have a bit of a cold or something, but we really don't know. We were told that Fifth Disease is going around in St. Albert too, so I guess that's a possibility. Hopefully she gets better fast!

One last picture together!