Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Calgary... Whirlwind tour!

Trip Start May 31, 2012
Trip End Aug 08, 2013

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Where I stayed
Matrix Hotel Edmonton
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Friday, July 6, 2012

We made it into Edmonton on Sunday, July 1st... Canada Day to the rest of you. We had a nice breakfast and packed up the campsite at Beaver Lake and were ready to go by 9:30 in the am. We stopped off at Trina and Adrian's for a bit of a visit before we checked into our hotel. Unshowered and ready for a party!

  We checked into the Matrix Hotel and it was pretty nice. We went for dinner at Kara's friend Kristine's place that night and she made an amazing pumpkin soup. Her fiance made a really nice chocolate cake too so it was a beautiful dinner. He's from Iceland and Kristine is moving there at the end of August. He also plays trumpet and graciously offered to give Kara some trumpet lessons over the next couple of days. He showed her a lot of stuff and she improved greatly over just two days thanks to the expert tutelage of Cali Snorri (sp?).

  The next morning, we met up with Trina and Adrian and the kids again, along with Sarah, Kara's cousin and her daughter Emily for a trip to Hawrelak park. That was a really nice visit and a beautiful day to be hanging out outside. That night, Kara's great aunt Jeannette had us over for supper and we dined with Kara's great uncle Fred and his wife Eileen. They were telling us all about their trip to Vietnam, 6 years ago. They loved it there and told us we would have a great time! They also gave us some tips, like make sure that if you're using American money, to only use crisp bills. Otherwise they might refuse, if there are some rips or unsightly folds in them. Good to know!

   We stayed over at Trina and Adrian's the following night because we offered to take their kids to Medicine Hat and wanted to hit the road early. Trina was going to come down and meet us and the kids there on Friday or Saturday, so we took them with us on Wednesday just for the adventure. And an adventure it was! They were pretty good, all told, but I'd imagine any 6 and a half hour car ride with a 2 and a half year old and teething 9 month old would have it's share of troubles. Sample dialogue; Kara - "Are the kids sleeping?", Me - "Drew's sleeping, Ava has cheese whiz all over her face and is staring at me." I drove for the first half while Kara tended to the children and then we switched. All in all, it could have been a lot worse, and they really didn't cry for too much of the time. It was also really nice to pass them off to Grandma and Grandpa as soon as we got to Medicine Hat, and they were thrilled to have them.

    We spent from Wednesday to Friday in Medicine Hat, at which time I took a bus up to Calgary to spend the weekend with Laura and Kara drove to Regina on Saturday to spend some time with Jordan there. While at Rex and Mo's, Rex and Ava made a rhubarb cake, Kara made a strawberry rhubarb pie, Mo made muffins and I ate a little bit of each. Ava was quite taken with Kara's trumpet playing and even received a lesson herself! We spent a lot of time out in the backyard where Mo had set up a kiddie pool and a slip 'n' slide for Ava and Drew. One of Ava's favourite activities was filling up the pool using the hose with the spray attachment. She also grabbed a cowboy hat and was running around with a rope lassoing everything, devoid of any other clothes. What a kid. Drew was trying to figure out what was going on with the slip 'n' slide out back.

    So, at this point, the story diverges when I left to go to Calgary and Kara continued on to Regina. We'll have to get her to type up her side of the story in another instalment. I hopped on a bus and met Laura and Duncan at the Unicorn for a beer. We stayed in and watched Midnight in Paris that night. Laura and I went for a nice long bike ride on Saturday morning, where we covered plenty of ground. This is what we experienced; viewed the Stampede grounds from above on a hill overlooking the festivities, saw a guy who had lost his phone the night before wandering around with another phone looking for his, saw some river rafters going down the Elbow River, the bell fell off Laura's bike as we were going down a big hill, saw the Peace Bridge, got some free ice cream, biked through the Turkish Festival, came across Shakespeare in the Park which we watched and ate ice cream, then ended up at an event for East Village where we ran into Erin Darroch and Tyler Kergen! Erin is the sister of our friend Meghann out in Ottawa and she had organized this event for East Village which is a new development NW of Inglewood in Calgary. There isn't a whole lot built there yet but the waterfront is nice and so Erin was tasked to put together this event to start a community feel. Tyler, her fiance, is a photographer and so was there selling his photos. Kara and I met Erin and Tyler in Ireland last year for Meghann and Mike's wedding. As I was walking by Tyler's booth, I thought I recognized him and so said something stupid like "I think I met you in Ireland!". I then bought a picture that he had taken last year in Ireland, for old time's sake.

    The rest of the weekend is a blur, Stampede and beer and wine and good food. We saw the rodeo, we took pictures of ourselves with Laura's iPhone and aged ourselves to 60 years old, made a movie called 'The Confrontation' and Mickey the pig got confrontational with me, scraped up my leg with his tusk. He was trying to assert himself, he made his point. Laura is now faced with the job of trying to find a new home for him, ideally one with other pigs. Due to this fact, it's been quite an emotional weekend. Laura is doing some research now on what to do with him, so if anybody has any ideas then let us know! This is apparently the year that all of the Combden's have to find new homes for their unusual pets. First the Captain and now Mickey. Who's next on the chopping block? Don't get too comfortable Tucker old boy. Don't get too comfortable...
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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