We rolled into Calgary last Tuesday (July 12th) for a little visit with friends and family, and stayed with some lovely friends of ours, Julie and Jeremy. When we arrived we only intended to stay for a few days – maybe until the weekend, we thought – but our hosts managed to keep convincing us to stay a little longer, and a little longer (“but if you stay an extra day then we can…”) until, before we knew it, we were staying for 11 days. The fact that Jeremy has a fairly significant collection of great wines which he eagerly (and generously) shared probably contributed to the ease with which they were able to convince us to stay.
We also had a couple of four-legged roommates named Sheila and Finnegan, a pair of bearded dragons. There were surprisingly cute and full of personality. We enjoyed sharing a room with them, though I think they were somewhat indifferent to sharing the room with us.
Taking some time to be in the same place for several days at a pace that wasn’t totally hectic was pretty nice. While it hadn’t been long since we left Victoria, we’d been burning the candle at both ends for months to get everything in order for our departure, so a little down time was in order. Staying for as long as we did gave us a bit of time to decompress, allowed us to get good long visits in with the people we wanted to see, and we even got some hikes in, including a little one at Moraine Lake, famous for formerly gracing the back of the $20 bill:
and Grassi Lakes outside Canmore:
and we even took a little visit to Lake Louise:
The Calgary Stampede was on when we first arrived, which meant the whole city was decked out in cowboy hats and aged wood. It only seemed appropriate that we should stop by.
Our Stampede visit was a short one. We saw some of the animals in the agricultural area, wandered through the marketplace area (which basically feels like an infomercial with A.D.D.), saw a guy get shot out of a cannon, and ate a funnel cake. That’s about it.
We also took Pia’s nephew, Julian, to the Calgary Zoo where we saw lots of animals and ate ice cream. The beginning of our zoo visit was really hot, but we soon felt stupid for complaining because half way through the sky got dark and cloudy, and when we were basically as far from the car as we possibly could be, it started pouring. Not just that but lightning and thunder so loud you could feel it. By the time we made it to the car we were all drenched straight though. Thank you Calgary weather.
In case we hadn’t had enough from that soaking, we managed to get drenched again on Friday when we went to the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and it poured all day. We were, at least, prepared this time with jackets and umbrellas, but after several hours out in the rain we were pretty cold and wet. The highlight of the music we saw was Matt Anderson, a guitarist from New Brunswick with a voice that will give you chills (or maybe that was just pneumonia setting in).
The best part about our visit to Calgary was the friends, though. Sorry to those we didn’t manage to get pictures of, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love seeing you!
By the way, if you want to see more pictures, you can see them on Pia’s Flickr page here.