Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hiking at Bluerock

We're enjoying a last-minute run of summer weather and I'm fortunate to be on vacation at the moment (well it's more like a stay-cation). I was down in Calgary for a few days catching up with some friends, former classmates and co-workers. As always I found most of my time being spent with my two former roomies Paisley and Denise.

On Sunday Paisley introduced me to a little known area back in Kananaskis Country called Bluerock. With the full fall colour and the warmer temperatures we were entranced with the landscape as we made our descent into the gorge that holds the Sheep Creek in Bluerock Park.

We enjoyed a 3-hour hike beside icy glacial waters, scrambling over rocks in rapids, stopping to enjoy the landscape, getting our feet wet, enjoying a lunch with beer in the sunshine, climbing up sheer cliffs, getting war wounds and screaming to the world when we'd gotten out of the gorge "We didn't die!" (yes folks at one point in time it was that close).

These ladies constantly keep me on my toes and I'm proud to say they are in my circle of close friends. I love the trouble we seem to get up to.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Streetcars, farmers markets & hanging with my mom

The nip of fall is really in the air here in Edmonton but it really hasn't stopped people from getting out to enjoy the usual weekend activities. This past weekend my mom was in town for a visit and I made sure her schedule was jam-packed with neat things to see and do.

Saturday we were all about walking around the historic Old Strathcona neighbourhood. We strolled Whyte Avenue window-shopping, visited the Strathcona Farmer's Market and ended up at the Edmonton Radial Railway Society Museum to learn more about the history of streetcars in Edmonton.

We were in for a treat as we hopped the High Level Streetcar which took us from Old Strathcona, underneath 109th Street, up on to the High Level Bridge and finally into downtown Edmonton.

The streetcars run from the May long weekend until Thanksgiving in October. The whole operation ~ from restoring streetcars to conducting the High Level streetcar line ~ is run by volunteers. It was an unique experience and for the $4 round-trip it is something I will do again and again.

Mom and I were able to cruise Edmonton in style this weekend thanks to friends at Focus Communications (thanks Sue and Dean!) who hooked me up with a 2011 Ford Fiesta to test-drive all weekend and blog about. You can read my review here.

We shopped, we visited, we laughed, we watched football, we saw family and we had fun. I already miss having mom here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labour Day long weekend in Banff

The Labour Day long weekend signals a few things to most people. It is usually an epic match up in the football realm between bitter rivals (why yes, the Roughriders did beat the Blue Bombers this weekend). It also signifies the end of summer and return to school.

Last year it was the Labour Day long weekend that my friend Amy and I went camping at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park, freezing our butts off but having a great time. This year we had plans to camp in Kootenay Provincial Park near Radium Hot Springs, but a short summer meant that snow was already starting to fall in the mountains guaranteeing we'd have an uncomfortable camping experience again.

Instead we went "glamping" opting to stay at Amy and Dave's place in Banff, cooking our food over the firepit in the backyard. It couldn't have worked out better as we had the best of both worlds - campfire food and a warm, dry place to sleep at night.

Saturday we went hiking to Sunshine Meadows, near Sunshine Village ski resort (where Dave and Amy both work). It was an amazing hike even if the wind was blowing and the weather was chilly. I felt like I was living out a scene in The Sound of Music ~ I kept expecting Julie Andrews to come tripping down the mountainside at any time.

Sunday the weather was poor so we stayed inside for most of the day. In the evening some of Amy's friends were in town for a birthday and so we hit up Banff hot spots The Dancing Sasquatch and Aurora. Let's just say that we were the most popular girls in the bar that night and it was due to our friend Mustafa!

Many thanks Dave and Amy for a fun-filled weekend in Banff!