Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saying goodbye to August

Where has the summer gone? I'm not the only one asking this question. Truly when the warm weather finally decided to arrive at the end of July, everyone since has been stuffing as much fun into the days as they can.

This weekend was no exception to that statement; my little sister and her boyfriend came to Edmonton for a visit and we had lots of fun! Their arrival coincided with the departure of our friend Kelly back to Vancouver but we managed to get Melanie, Julio, Kelly (all the Korea crew) and my sister out for one night. My sister lived and worked with us in Korea as well and so she was the final puzzle piece that was missing from our tight little ex-pat crew.

The rest of our weekend was spent wandering West Edmonton Mall, checking out the threshing re-enactments at Fort Edmonton Park and eating at as many good establishments as we could.

I wrapped my Sunday alone by rollerblading the ravine trails right by my house, going to the Viva Italia! street-fest in Giovanni Caboto Park and going for a drive for a couple of hours. It was another great weekend for the books here in Edmonton and it makes me so happy that I live here!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friendships that last forever

Staying connected over time, distance and circumstances is still not easy even considering all of the ways we're plugged in to our world these days.

This weekend I got together with three very special people in my life ~ all of them friends, co-workers and family that I lived and worked with in South Korea between 2001 and 2004. Sunday was the first time all four of us had been together since 2004 and I was so happy to have us all in one place.

We may have changed in some ways but the fundamentals are still there. We are still the same people we remember from all those years ago. We may not be the best at staying in touch but we still love each other just the same. Cheers to the crew, it's so lovely to call you friends!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fringe is in town!

It's time for the Fringe Festival in Edmonton! What does that mean? Your fill of buskers, street performers, plays, masks, streetcars, midway rides, drama, sunshine, markets, playbills and lots and lots of carnival food!

The Fringe Festival (Fringeopolis the theme this year) draws a larger crowd with each passing year. It attracts its fair share of funders and freaks but is loved by many and this year I vowed to spend some serious time checking it all out.

On Saturday I hit up the Strathcona Farmer's Market before wandering the streets in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood, taking in all the Fringe had to offer. It was a rare +30 day for us and after an hour of being buffeted by the crowds I retreated to a Starbucks to cool down.

Reinforcements were on their way! Will made the drive up from Calgary to come for a visit and check out what I was raving about. By the time he arrived later in the afternoon the heat of the day had passed, the Fringe was really starting to ramp up and we were energized to take in the sights.

Fortified with mini-donuts and homemade rootbeer we took in the hilarious Be Arthur's ukulele tribute to the "ladies" (Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, etc.) and snapped photos of the High Level Streetcar.

Sunday we woke up early and got our Fringe going before lunchtime. We sampled some churros this time (not nearly as good as the ones at the Southbank market in Brisbane), more rootbeer and took in another play. Afterwards, we hopped the streetcar to downtown, chatting with the conductors and other tourists along the way. We finally wrapped the day by flying a kite on the Legislature grounds ~ a perfect weekend in my books.

I am never bored in this city and it was so nice to finally be able to share with someone else what motivates me to get out and get involved!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Camping at Medicine Lake

August in Canada always kicks off with a long weekend. Heritage Day on the first Monday of August is when Canadians celebrate their heritage.

For the second year in a row I chose to celebrate my heritage by getting back to the land with friends Paisley and Denise. Last year we had an amazing camping trip at Bleriot Ferry and this year thanks to some great homework done by Denise we headed west into the foothills to the tiny campground at Medicine Lake.

This campground was gorgeous! We weren't far from the lake and it's amazing views. We were well sheltered and fairly private from any other campers at our cute little site. There was plenty of opportunity to get to know the neighbours though ~ this campground is pet friendly so there was always someone walking a dog.

We didn't have as many hiking or sight-seeing adventures as last year but we still had a lot of laughs and unplugged from work and from our lives in Edmonton and Calgary. We tried fishing and caught a lot of "salad" instead. We played on the swings. We cooked gourmet, smoky meals. Best of all we listened, supported and laughed with and at each other.

Thanks again Paisley and Denise! Next year we take our show on the road to my hometown. I can't wait!