Mid year 2008 now we have certainly had a good year so far. I'll write about some of the highlights we have had so far.

Second half of January was our trip to visit Glen's parents. The trip (flight specifically), had it's pain points, but we certainly did enjoy ourselves despite the problems we had. Details? Last fall we booked our flight to and from LA through aircanada.com. Bad idea! All looked good originally, the booking seemed to go without hitch, our credit cards were charged, we were sent some paper tickets in the mail. We were booked onto an Air Canada flight that was being flown by SkyWest, a subsidiary of United Air. I tried to book in a day in advance on the web, but had some difficulties. I wrote it off to being on this small subsidiary. I guess there was more to it than that since when we showed up to fly out of YVR on Saturday morning, the check-in agent said we weren't booked onto the flight. We were there early, and since we had the paper tickets from Air Canada, the agent acknowledged that Air Canada must have made a mistake and he could book us on to the United Flight. So we went on our merry way, and flew on a small CanadaAir Region Jet, that the on board airline magazine called "the arguably most advanced technological commercial aircraft", which gave me great amusement, since I'm sure if you've ever flown on a small prop job plane, I'm sure your experience was not that different. I'll continue desccribing our flight here, and return to describing the heart of our trip in a bit. While we were in LA/Arizona, I phoned United to confirm that we were on the flight back, as the gate agent in Vancouver had supposedly booked us on it. United confirmed our booking. However, when we got back to LAX to catch our flight, we found we had been put on the flight the day after (Monday the 27th rather than Sunday the 26th). We stood in the very long trouble line up at the United Desk, and took 50 minutes in the line before we fnally got to the front and spoke to someone-5 minutes after the check in closed for the flight we wanted to be. The obvious trainee we dealt with determined that we could get on an Air Canada flight leaving in about 2.5 hours. So she took our original paper tickets and printed us new ones for the flight leaving in 2.5 hours. We were told that we had to go to a different terminal. We took the airport shuttle around LAX to a different terminal where Air Canada flies from. At the Air Canada check in, after the Air Canada agent scanned the tickets printed by the United agent, we were told by agent that our tickets were no good and we would not be able to get back on the plane. We quickly told the agent our progression so far, and how the United agent had printed new tickets for us after taking our originals. The Air Canada agent scowled and explained to us that she could do nothing for us then and we would have to return to the United gate. With the knowledge that our original dealings had been with Air Canada, and that the United terminal was a 30 minute inconvenient shuttle ride away, we asked to speak to an Air Canada supervisor or someone else who could help us. The agent annoyedly said there was nothing that could be done from here, and our only option was to shuttle back to the United terminal. We asked if there was a phone we could use to talk to United, and the agent painfully reiterated that our only option was to travel back to the United terminal. In disbelief we walked away from the gate discussing what to do. Seeing an Air Canada shirted fellow walking by, we quickly told him our dilemna and asked if he could suggest anything. Thankfully he turned out to be an Air Canada supervisor who said he would see what he could do. He took us back to the same gate agent who, with aggravation on her face, followed the instructions of the supervisor, all the while arguing with him that she would not be able to do anything for us. With his pressure though, we were booked on to a flight leaving at 5:30, about 5 hours after our originally booked flight. The flight thankfully was uneventful. When we were back home, Susan wrote a letter of complaint to both United and Air Canada explaining what had happened to us, United respectfully sent us a couple of flight coupons to make up for our trials, but truthfully not surprisingly we never heard a word from Air Canada. We have since committed that we will not take Air Canada again unless there is no choice. On Susan and Kayla's trip to Calgary in mid April, they took WestJet even though the flight cost was a little more expensive than the lowest Air Canada costs.

The heart of our trip though was much more enjoyable than the flight (back). We watched a soccer game of Rebecca's (niece of Glen), and stayed with Glen's parents at the Hilton Anaheim Orange County, a pleasant business suite hotel. After spending the weekend in Los Angeles, we took a 4 hour drive East with Glen's parents to their winter home in Black Rock Arizona, just outside Brenda, just outside Quartzsite, Arizona.

For the next week, we spent our time learning to quad, and then quadding in the desert. We saw some large cactus. One of the fun things that Glen's parents like to do in the desert is to geocaching, and we found a few geocaches ourselves. There are many interesting things to see in this section of the country when you go quadding, such as old mines as well as active mines. In fact, Glen went on a reasonably intense day trip where he saw some old homesteads, and an active mine. One section of the ride, maybe half a kilometre, was down a seriously steep slope. Going down was Ok, but on the ride back, Glen couldn't get back up the hill. Another of the riders who had spent his life riding quads had to take the machine and drive it up, and he barely made it. Glen had to walk up the hill. And of course, Kayla got to visit with her grandparents.

And of course 2008 was all new for us in that we have been spending it with our lovely little daughter. We have taken many pictures, such as Kayla eating, Kayla drooling, and of course Kayla just being cute.

In early March we took a weekend where we drove down to Seattle and did many of the things that we had done 5 years earlier in 2003. So that we could be in the US for 48 hours which would allow us a bigger allowance we could bring back duty free, we drove down on Friday night. We crossed the border into Washington state at the Aldergrove border crossing. It was a pleasant drive down to Bellinham for the first night, where we stayed in a very nice hotel, the Comfort Inn. That first night we ate (almost) next door at the Olive Garden, which we enjoyed very much. The next morning we were going to swim in the hotel pool, but it was closed for renovations, but we did get some time in the hot-tub. After our time in the hot-tub, we drove down to Seattle and went to the Seattle Woodland Park zoo. We saw many neat animals including giraffes and even an elephant. We then checked into the Best Western Executive Inn, which had the Space Needle right outside our window!

In March we went to the lake and opened our cabin up. Admittedly we did spend quite a bit of time at Glen's parents' place, but we did of course eat breakfast at our own cabin. Kayla also got to spend time with her grandparents.

We also spent quite a bit of time early this year hiking with our friends Richard and Grace who also have a boy Josh who was born within couple of weeks of Kayla.

In mid April, Susan and Kayla flew WestJet (no more Air Canada for us) to Calgary. Kayla got to spend time with her maternal grandmother, and along with Susan and other family such as Susan's aunt and of course family dinners. Kayla's grandparents really appreciated their time with Kayla.

In mid May we went to Spanish Banks, truthfully someplace Glen had never been before, with Grace and Richard, and their son's Ben and Josh. We knew that Kayla liked swimming, but we learned that Kayla really does not mind cold water.

For the May long weekend, we attended friend's Rob and Diana's wedding. The ceremony took place in the Minoru Chapel, which is in Minoru Park.

It is truthfully mid July as I write this. It was mid March when I started this page, but then life got in the way and it's now mid July as I have finally finished. There are many more good things to describe, such as a cruise to Alaska and returning to the lake, so expect more soon. :-)


2008 home