Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ontario - wedding and visits

I feel like I haven't hardly had a chance to slow down the last few weeks. This past weekend was no exception. I took Friday off work and jetted off to Kitchener Ontario for my friend Angele's wedding. Angele and I have been friends for nearly 10 years after a trip to teach English in Taiwan brought the two of us together (as strangers) and made us into roommates. I would go anywhere in the world and do anything for this girl.

So I didn't really know anyone at this wedding except for the bride's family whom I hadn't seen in about three years. No worries there, they took me under their wing, looked after me and treated me just like family. It was so wonderful and I am thankful to have had such a great time with such a loving family. I've attached a few photos of the day of the wedding ~ it rained like mad all morning but the sun came out at just the right time!

The reception was a lot of fun ~ good food, good friends, good fun and lots of dancing. Angele and Ryan worked the room all night long making sure they said hi to everyone. They were still going when I finally went to the hotel at 1 a.m.

On Sunday (Father's Day) the groom's parents had brunch in their backyard around the pool. I had a quick chance to congratulate the bride and groom again, say goodbye to Angele's lovely family and then I was off to have a visit with Will's cousin Lela, her husband Richard and their daughter Annan. They live about a half-hour away from Kitchener in Stratford, ON so they drove in to spend Sunday afternoon with me and dropped me off at the airport. I hadn't seen them all since October of 2007 so needless to say Annan had grown a bit since our last meeting! We had a lovely afternoon and Annan has discovered a love for airplanes.

So many thanks to Angele, Ryan, their friends and family for looking after me for most of the weekend. And a big thank you to Rich, Lela and Annan for making my Sunday the best ever before the long trip home. I'll be planning my next trip out east so we can visit again soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Travesty of a football game

Last night my friend Sarah and I went to the pre-season football game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Sarah and I, both being Saskatchewan ex-pats, knew we might get heckled in our 'Rider gear, but were relieved and surprised to see so many others like us at Commonwealth Stadium. Families, people young and old, and yes, even a few 'melon heads' dotted the stands to let the 'Riders know they had a following in Edmonton.

Sarah and I were way up in the nose-bleed section of the stadium but the evening was gorgeous and the whole mood was mellow as we were soundly beat 45-12. I keep telling myself, "it's just pre-season, it doesn't mean anything" but I'm hoping for bigger and better things with this year's team. I've attached a few photos of us at the game. Tomorrow I'm off to Ontario for another wedding so check back next week for more photos!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Two weddings and a football game

June has come far quicker then I could have anticipated. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was booking flights to Saskatchewan and Ontario for friends' weddings in June and all of a sudden I'm traveling to these weddings.

This past weekend my friends Mike and Angie got married at gorgeous Candle Lake. People pay thousands each year to get married at destination weddings in Mexico, Cuba or the Dominican Republic. I say Candle Lake creates the same effect at a fraction of the cost. Their ceremony was by the waterfront at Fisher Creek and it was short and sweet. Here are just a few photos of the ceremony.

After the ceremony, between cocktails and the reception I went back to my campsite, set up my tent and then went for a bit of a wander down to the beach at Sandy Bay. It was a gorgeous day, 30+ degrees, and no one was at the lake ~ it was like my own private beach! Camping up at Candle Lake brought back a lot of great memories. My parents would pack my brother, sister and I into the car, hitch up our tent trailer and take us up to Sandy Bay for a week of camping fun. Here are a few photos from my campsite and from the beach at Sandy Bay.

The reception was a lot of fun, mostly because it ended up being a mini high school reunion. Mike and I were part of a high school graduating class of 40 people whom we mostly had known since the days of pre-school and for the most part we all still stay in touch with. I got to catch up with Jody, Brian and Shaun as well as updated my "Class of '95" photos with everyone that I had graduated with.

So, one wedding down now, one more to go this coming weekend in Ontario. I'm currently preparing for that one while I'm recovering from the past one. Oh, and there's a football game in between there ~ the first pre-season matchup between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. There will be plenty of pictures and stories to come so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dueling pianos make for a wicked weekend!

I'm slowly starting to get used to having crazy weekends every weekend. It's such a change from our travels through Australia where we quite often lacked funds to feed what our imaginations wanted to do. 

Last weekend I went to Medicine Hat, this past weekend Medicine Hat came to me. Natalie's friends Misty and Daphne came and spent the weekend with us, and these ladies love to have a good time. Saturday night found us at The Ivory Club in downtown Edmonton, a dueling piano bar where the only must is to drink, dance and request whatever song you want heard played on head to head baby grand pianos (let me just say it is surreal to hear someone do Justin Timberlake's 'Sexy Back' on a piano and do it well).
The good news is Natalie knows the owner of the club and half of the staff there so we were well looked after with a VIP table right off the stage and bottle service. I've attached a few pictures of us before and during our fun evening.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Yes, I have caved and I now "tweet". You can follow me on Twitter at:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mowing "the jungle"

The weather hasn't been so great in Edmonton until recently but the grass has continued to grow in our backyard regardless of the weather. The lawnmower finally was fixed this week so I was adventurous and decided to tackle the small jungle growing in the backyard, I've attached some pictures below. While I was hamming it up for Natalie she got a hilarious video to go with this. The YouTube link is also included here:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Medicine Hat

This past weekend I rented a car and got the heck out of Edmonton. I went down to the southeast corner of Alberta to Medicine Hat to visit some old friends and co-workers. Bit of background again: about three years ago I lived in Medicine Hat for four months while I did a school work-term with the research and development arm of the Department of National Defence. I spent Monday to Friday on CFB Suffield which is literally out in the middle of nowhere.

Thank goodness there's a great crew that I got to live and work with, namely my supervisor Jenn and my roommate Laurel, both whom I count as close friends now. We did a potluck on Saturday night, drank some slushy drinks and had lots of giggles. I've included some photos of the gang, the home I lived in for my four months and just some of the general scenery around Medicine Hat. I loved my time there and I'd move back there in a heartbeat (Jenn, convince those superiors that you need an extra hand!!!!). Hope you enjoy the photos. 

From left to right: Michelle, Laurel (top) and Jenn
This was my room (the Princess Room I called it)
The house where I lived (it turns 100 next year!)

Just some of the coulees around the Hat
The teepee that Medicine Hat is famous for!

These motel signs are from a forgotten era!