Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (and happy birthday to our friend Brianna, if she’s out there… somewhere) We finally closed the doors and ripped out of our driveway at 12:00 noon Friday, March 16, 2012. We had planned to leave Grande Prairie on Thursday night to start our 3-week road trip adventure, however work and other obligations held us back. We drove for 11 and a half hours only stopping twice to fill up the gas and once for dinner at 10:30pm in Lethbridge. Chris did all the driving! He’s a machine. We thought we’d take a few photos to capture the first day of our trip. From deer, to cows to magnificant home made chocolate-chip cookies from our friend Erika, the road trip is off to a wonderful start. Here’s what we spent to drive the 1,060 kilometers we drove yesterday. Gas $28.86 (tank was half empty, we filled up…Continue Reading
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It’s been a while since we’ve posted. Our lives have been incredible busy since we moved to Grande Prairie in September 2010. I can’t believe it’s been over 1 year. Our two businesses we started are going great Beauchamp Creative and Beauchamp Photography, we volunteer for the Reel Shorts Film Festival, I belly dance and volunteer to dance at events, Chris does indoor rock climbing, we dable at some skiing and cross country skiing in the winter and I’m thinking Yoga and choir for winter which lies ahead of us. Here’s a video of what my friend and I like to call “The Opus” of belly dancing. It’s a 6 minute and 40 second dance we performed for the first time at a Christmas Festival called the Festival of Trees in Grande Prairie.  
When I got the invitation to the Purple Party, I asked the same question you’re probably thinking, “What the hell is a purple party?” It’s quite simply actually. The name is telling you exactly what it is. It’s a party where everyone wears as much purple as they can.  Then of course all the decorations, drinks and food will be purple as well. In this case, Abby, the host loves purple so the decor of the appartment is actually what inspired the theme of the party. Unfortunately this evening I was more interested in talking and drinking then documenting the decor. However, I did manage to catch a couple shots of some of the lovely purple people that attended.  
Here are some still photographs for you to enjoy of the belly dance I performed with my class at a festival here in Grande Prairie. Below this post you can watch a video of our dance. Enjoy.  
Here's a picture of Mimoun the Camel!!!!
Hey gang, Chris and Laura here again. Well, we’ve been teasing all of you with subtle mentions of our big news. If you’ve been following along for the past several months, you’ll know that our plans have already changed more than once, so one more big change shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Our original plan was to wrap up our travels in Thailand, where we would settle down for a year and teach English. But life has a way of surprising you. In mid-May, Laura got a message on Facebook and it changed the course of our life. Instead of magical Thailand, the “Land of Smiles,” we had a new option: a place with a strange and unique local culture; with extreme weather that some people only dream about. This place just sounded so interesting and challenging from a traveller’s perspective we simply couldn’t say no. Fresh air,…Continue Reading
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Grand Prairie… um? Chris and I had an enjoyable time hanging out with family and going swimming with the kids (our nieces and nephews).  We also had a lovely visit with Brian Brake one evening and got to see the gorgeous house he managed to renovate almost entirely in the first two months of being here. He’s not one to sit around. Brian, my former boss from The Military Museums, is now living up here to start work on building a dinosaur museum! It should be completed in two years.  It will be a fantastic attraction featuring Alberta’s dinosaur bone bed with the most bones per square meter. Essentially, it’s a mass grave of dinosaurs. Currently they are calling it the River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Center. Very cool!  
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Today is our last day in the North. Around lunch time (in about 3 hours), we’ll be taking a bus to a place called Dawson Creek, where we’ll catch another one to Kamloops, B.C. This’ll be the longest Greyhound ride of our Canadian leg, and all told we’ll be in Greyhound’s nasty clutches for about 18 hours. It makes me shudder, but we have no choice. At least we’ll be leaving this snowy tundra behind. Luckily, we’ve also had the pleasure of spending the last week or so visiting with my sister Kelli and her family. It’s always nice to see the kids, even though they seem to be giving her a bit more grief than usual by not always doing what they’re told. We did a lot with them, including getting to attend Kindergarten for Delaney’s Special Helper Day. That was pretty cool. We also brought a late haul…Continue Reading
Chris and I had a good visit with friends and my family in Edmonton. We saw Avatar in the IMAX theatre. It was entertaining and imaginative. Besides that, we sat around eating, drinking,watching T.V. and chatting. It’s been a good trip so far, without any mishaps. Surprisingly it’s not entirely stress free. I think the “not having an income”, and perhaps the “not having a home” takes some getting use to on the stress cells. My left eyeball has a very irritating twitch, something that only happened to me at work when I was stressed out. Um? I primarily attribute my eye twitch to the stress of money management. On the plus side, I paid off my credit card! However that leaves us with a lot less funds for everything else. This is a challenging exercise, but when we’re full into our trip, I’m sure I’ll pick-up the ways and…Continue Reading
Ahhhh, Edmonton in the wintertime. Luckily we had some good friends and family to soften the blow of -30 degree temperatures. Yup. Seems like we covered most of our bases in Alberta’s capital city. We’re now about 5 hours north, in a place I tend to think of as the other armpit of Alberta (second only to Ft. McMurray): Grande Prairie! Our Greyhound ride was mostly uneventful, with only one drunk redneck getting out of hand. Luckily she waited until the last hour of the ride to start being obnoxious. GP has been on record during the past two weeks as the coldest city in the province, with daytime highs of -32 celsius (that’s -25F for our American friends). Of course, Laura and I are bringing the warmth with us, and things are supposedly going to get back around the 0 mark soon. Woo-hoo for zero! We’ll have some more…Continue Reading
I like pretty dresses, with matching purses and shoes. I like to blow dry my hair every morning and sometime give it curls. Fresh ground coffee beans are a great way to start the day or perhaps a home made espresso on the stove, brewing away. In the winter time, colour coordinated scarves, mittens and toques are a must. I like matching pillows and curtains and a house decked out with plants. To pass the time, I knit, sew, play the piano or simply cozy up on the couch to watch a movie on a 46″ flat screen T.V. Laura’s Closet I used to cry when I lost a ring, or broke a glass or plate. I use to get upset if I ruined a piece of clothing,expensive or cheap. But over the past five years I have grown away from the materialism of my childhood. Sure, I still like nice things, like pretty…Continue Reading
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Laura and I are up to our eyes in boxes and tubs, ruthlessly reducing our belongings through online sales and the ever-growing Goodwill pile. Our house is in shambles, Zappa (our cat) is freaked out, but we’re making progress. We’ll be out of here in a  couple of days, and officially homeless. We’re already officially jobless, and that feels pretty good, so I’m sure the whole homeless thing will too. As part of this work, I also had my first chance to try to pile everything I plan to bring into my bag. You can see a pic of that below. Click here to see one with notes itemizing everything. Back to the slog…  
Business travelers are no strangers to the idea of bringing everything they need in a carry-on, and I have been privileged to interact with a lot of die hard business travelers in my current (but outgoing) job. These people are all about efficiency , and they know that it is asking for trouble to trust your financial and emotional livelihood (wardrobe, work, and personal life) to an airline. That’s why they rely so much on those wheelie-rollie suitcases, that technically count as carry-ons, while affording the utmost luggage space possible. Don’t get me wrong. These things are well-designed for their purpose. They pack  a lot of stuff in a U.S.-airline-sized carry-on that you can wheel on the well-paved areas between your cab rides. They also hold all the things business travelers like to have on the road: things like laptops, multiple changes of clothes, cameras, iPods, papers, books and the like. But…Continue Reading