The Journey Begins!

I didn’t lie when I said I travel often. It’s not like I’m a travelling salesman, a la Willy Loman, but for my age, I am blessed to be able to get my flight on more often than most. This week’s adventure is Edmonton and Calgary.Now you are probably wondering why I am going to Edmonton at all. It is not a city known for its beauty, nightlife, tourist opportunities, etc. Sorry to those of you who reside there but it’s not. However, it is home to these lovely ladies (and gents):

Circa Cuba 2008. Side note….there was one malnourished horse pulling this entire wagon 😦

My friend Emily and I met these gals on a trip to Cuba in 2008. Ern being the social butterfly that she is, introduced us and the rest is history. When I moved out to Calgary to teach in 2008, it only made sense that I would visit them from time to time and Eddie became my second home. Anytime I head out West, I always ensure that I get to see these girls either on their home turf or in Calgary. This year I’m lucky because I will be immersed in their glow in both Edmonton and when they come up to Calgary to Stampede.

My reasoning for a trip to Calgary is two-fold. As I mentioned about, I lived and worked in Calgary for two years. I was a grade 6 teacher and a grade 5/6 teacher. A job that I absolutely loved. I look back with only the fondest of memories and I can honestly say that I miss my former students with all of my heart. It wasn’t all smiles and roses but overall, taking that job across the country on forty-eight hours notice, was the best decision of my life.

At home in the old classroom.

Along with a lot of reminiscence, I’m also visiting this gorgeous creature:

Columbia Icefields, 2010

Crystal and I have been friends since grade 9 and she is actually the reason that I got my frist job. She had moved out to Calgary the year before, all by herself and began working at the school where I ended up teaching. I like to think of her as a beautiful pioneer of sorts.

Of course, a visit to Calgary in the middle of July also means Stampede! Unbelievably, I have never been to this spectacle. I always went home to Ontario in the summer and missed the events, so excited does not even begin to describe how I’m feeling.

I plan on trying a little of this:

and a little of this:

I’m currently sitting in the Calgary airport waiting for my connection to Edmonton and I can tell you, I had a perfect flight from Toronto with Air Canada. I had a window….in the emergency exit seat….and I watched the Hunger Games for the second time.  And the view of the mountains, contrasted with the city of Calgary…well it doesn’t get any better than that.

In two hours I will be in Ern’s loving arms and she will whisk me away to the feast my friend Emily is apparently preparing in honour of my arrival. I’m probably flattering myself, but I like to think that is why she is going to the trouble of cooking 🙂 I’ll fill you in on her culinary skills and my Edmonton escapades in the next post.

Have any of you ever been to the Stampede? If so, what should be on my must do list?

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7 thoughts on “The Journey Begins!

  1. To do list- find ern a cowboy!

  2. BAH! Excited to see you for Stampede!! Good times are a comin!

  3. Buzz is sooo pumped. Ranchmans on Stampede is going to be flowing with just the kind of individuals we enjoy. Ern…one of these individuals will be your cowboy.

  4. Alberta is georgeous! I used to want to see the Stampede until I got wise to the mistreatment of animals ar rodeos. If you go please let us know what you think from an animal lover’s perspective. Do the animals seem to enjoy the experience or are they more unwilling participants being forced to do something against their will. Also please report on any injuries. Thanks Dawn!!

  5. Can’t wait to see you!!!!

  6. Ranchman’s misses you and the brunette!!!

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