Calgary and Back

Last Thursday we took off early in the morning to drive to Calgary to visit our family there. It was a pretty nice day for the trip, and we actually saw some nice mountain views this time. It’s about an 8 hour drive from Kelowna to Calgary, and there’s a couple of high mountain passes to go through. We didn’t see more than a couple of showers on the road, but there is still a lot of snow up on the mountains, and it’s melting quickly. Most of the streams were quite full and lots of hillsides were scattered with waterfalls. One section closer to Golden BC was the site of a major mudslide last year, and when we passed it on Thursday I could see lots of mud and debris filling up the ditches alongside the highway. I thought that it didn’t look like an area I would like to stop and watch for any length of time, and over the weekend another mudslide came down in this same spot and impacted our return trip a bit.

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Outside of Golden we passed a small herd of Mountain Sheep showing us their best side. Just past this herd we saw the Big Daddy Ram who was watching over his harem from a short distance away. We didn’t get a picture as we passed by too quickly, but he had a fully rounded set of horns just like the one on the insignia on our Ram truck.

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We arrived in Calgary just in time for dinner and sat down for just one of several excellent meals over the weekend. Both Bryan and Jocelyn as well as Jason must have thought we were undernourished, as we were treated to great meals each and every day we were in Calgary. Sylvia managed to pick up a slight stomach bug over the weekend, and didn’t feel well or enjoy some of our great meals, but I did my best to eat her portion.

One of the reasons we head there at this time of year is that Mid May is just about in the middle of a number of our birthdays. We didn’t bring out the bling when we arrived that first night, as I think our appearance was enough excitement for the grandkids (not to mention for the grandparents) for one day, but early the next morning we brought out the gift bags and let the kids go to town.

Ayden will be 8 next week, and enjoyed ripping apart all the bags. I think Bryan was just wondering where his bag was.

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One present Ayden asked for was a soccer ball, and he showed off some of his skills. His team played a game on Saturday, and won 15-0, so the practice must have helped.

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Payton is 6 and a half, and seemed to really like his new outfit.

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We were also introduced to the newest member of the family, Yoda who is a bearded dragon. I guess he’ll be about 20 inches long when he’s full grown.

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One of the gifts we bought the family was a table game called Tri-ominoes, a triangular version of dominos, as we figured it might help the kids with their adding and problem solving skills, and it sure seems to work. They picked the game up pretty quickly, and we ended up playing several games over the course of the weekend.

After a couple of days visiting with them we moved over to Jason’s place to spend some time with him. It was his birthday last week, and one of the gifts he showed us was a personalized selection of M&M candies.

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There’s something really strange about eating a candy with your son’s picture on it. I got over the queasiness pretty quickly though, as they were M&M’s after all.

On that first day Jason treated with tickets to a show called Odysseo, which is a horse and acrobatic show. We enjoyed the show, but I think if you are a ‘horse-person’ you’d enjoy it more. The acrobatic segments were pretty good, but it wasn’t Cirque Du Soleil.

A lot of the rest of our time with Jason was spent wandering around Downtown Calgary looking for restaurants and playing a game of Squash. I hadn’t played the game since Jason moved away from Campbell River and was very rusty. Not many of the skills I’ve picked up playing Pickleball helped me very much, but I did manage to get better after losing the first game 15-1!

We’ve never lived in a downtown setting anywhere we’ve planted ourselves, and it sure makes for a different lifestyle. There are so many restaurants, cultural and activity venues and interesting things to see and do in a downtown area, and we know that Jason really enjoys it. It’s not for us necessarily, but does have some appeal for the times we do get to visit.

After a couple of days with Jason we went back to spend one last day with Bryan and Jocelyn and the Grandkids. Other than a hailstorm Sunday evening the weather was decent, if not summery, for most of the weekend and we took the kids to a local park for a couple of hours on Monday afternoon. I had to dust off my basketball skills (not that I have any) to spend some time on the court with Ayden. I did manage to beat him, but I do have an advantage of about 2 feet in height so I won’t be gloating too much. He’s actually pretty athletic for a little guy, and I think he’s going to be able to beat me pretty soon. Payton also got involved in playing B-ball, but his idea of fun is to grab the ball and run as fast as possible, playing keep away. It was fun though.

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Tuesday morning brought more sunshine and decent temperatures, and before we left town we ran some errands for Jason and met him at his shop. He was using his motorcycle for a commute vehicle, and couldn’t find a place to strap on a box of nails so we delivered them for him. When we got there he surprised us with one of his new purchases.

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After much scrimping and saving Jason has been able to purchase a brand new…

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pair of work boots. The Ferrari belongs to his neighbour at the airport where his business is located. Jason got to know him when he was installing a few vehicle lifts for his stable of exotic cars, and he helped him move the machinery around with his forklift. I don’t think he’s been able to convince the fella to let him drive his Ferrari though as it’s worth about $700K. Must be nice…

The trip through the mountains was quite nice and sunny, but the area around the Rogers Pass that I was concerned about on Thursday was still in clean up mode on Tuesday.

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They had several crews still clearing the fresh debris and washing mud off the road. The Drive BC website I checked advertised that there might be 20 minute delays. It turned out that we had to wait over an hour for our turn to pass the washout, and when we drove through the other side we must have passed over 7 km of stalled traffic awaiting their turn. As we were parked we got into a conversation with our fellow travellers, and when they went through the slide on Friday morning the road was already covered in debris, but they were allowing 2 lanes of traffic through at that time so there wasn’t much of a delay. It must have really gotten worse over the weekend.

The temperatures got warmer and warmer as we approached home, and we were wishing we had put on shorts by the time we stopped in Revelstoke. We ended up getting into Kelowna just after 6:00 and it was still 27C, or about 80F. Not bad at all.

The rest of this week will involve getting back to our to-do list. I still have some gravel to spread, and will be following it up with mulch once I get the edging placed around the rest of the garden areas. Our vegetable garden has shot up since we’ve been gone, and it’s time to plant some more veggies, although I keep wondering who they will be feeding. This morning as we were having breakfast a ground squirrel was running around on our deck, and it looks like he made himself at home there on the weekend. I scared him off, but we’ll see if I’ve got an ongoing battle ahead of us. It’s the first squirrel we’ve seen in the yard, although I’ve seen them in the trees down in the ravine behind us before. Living around nature is really nice, but does provide challenges you don’t find when living on the 25th floor of a downtown condo!

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8 responses to “Calgary and Back

  1. Grandchildren are the coolest!

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  2. Always great to visit the kids and grandkids for sure.

    Boggles the mind that anyone would pay $700K just for a car. I liked Jason’s new boots better.

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  3. Looks like a nice trip! Aren’t grandchildren great 🙂

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  4. A trip to visit the grand kids – and kids too – is always worthy. Sounds like you had a great trip. While you were in Calgary, we were in Edmonton country for similar reasons. Our weather was good too….other than one day with rolling thunderstorms, rain and a tiny weenie bit of hail.

    Nice photos along the driving route….!

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  5. Nice to be able to just go and visit your kids and the grans. Living here in Kelowna makes it so much easier for you. I hope that we get some steady days of heat and sun soon.

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