Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mountains and roller coasters

So...more about vacation.

We left Kamloops on a Wednesday and drove back to Calgary to stay with other friends. I have to stop for a moment and say that I was disappointed at first at our rental car.  It was a Camry and I thought it was a little gutless (this is what I get for driving either the truck or our Infiniti which has more pep than I know what to do with). However when the gas bill for the entire trip - and that includes the 1600 km to go to Kamloops and back plus all our city driving - was $116, I was sold.  Holy shazaam.

We stopped to take a pic at 3 Valley Gap - you can see why.  It was 1 in the afternoon and I couldn't believe the lake was so still at midday.

In Calgary we stayed with the family we used to camp with.  It is always a guaranteed good time, and they have a new house which is gorgeous. There's a park up the street and the kids disappeared right away. The first full day the kids had a birthday party to attend and when we returned, my brother in law and his wife had arrived (they came a day behind us).  Of course the BIL brought Rock Band with him, so the fun began again.  Now we had the "adult" band and the "kid" band and I think the kids might have done better than we did.

On the Friday we went to Calaway Park, which is an amusement park in Calgary and strangely enough in all our years there we never went, not once.  It was so COLD that morning that I wore yoga pants and a hoodie, but by the end I was in a t-shirt and boiling hot. My eldest and our friend's youngest did rides together as my eldest is not the daredevil type. MY youngest, however, is game for anything, and is the same age as our friend's eldest, and the two of them went on EVERYTHING.  Things that made me step back and say no way - and they are both 10.  They had a marvelous time and the best thing happened in line to the roller coaster - I ran into old friend Vivi Anna (who writes for Nocturne).  We spent a few minutes catching up after the ride. We were smart and packed a lunch, but I couldn't resist buying each family a bag of mini doughnuts.  SO GOOD!

Friday night was the 40th birthday party for the BIL - complete with far too many chicken wings (hot and barbeque and jerk, mmm!) and a really good chocolate cake with buttercream icing. We got a few gag gifts like an over the hill bib and some Old Geezer temporary tattoos that had us all in stitches.

On Sunday the girls and I went to church and caught up with everyone.  Honestly - this was one of the highlights of my trip.  Along with driving along the Shuswap, this was when I really felt like I was coming "home". The only thing that would have made it better would have been if we had sat as a choir (they don't in the summer).  But otherwise it was the same old banter and the same laughs.  The new minister is fabulous and dang it, I really miss that church.

My friend Joyce had the idea that we should go to Peter's Drive In for supper.  This is another Calgary landmark that we kind of ignored - I ate there once back in I think 1999 on Christmas Eve, came down with a stomach bug that was going around and let's just say it left a bad taste in my mouth.  We had a good laugh about it but now we're convinced that we can't go to Peter's without something happening.  We opted for the take out line rather than drive thru, so our friends were through before us and then we decided to not try to snag a picnic table but go to a park to eat.  Unfortunately my dh and I are not familiar with that part of town, ended up crossing the Centre Street Bridge and turning around in Chinatown before finally figuring out where they were.  It was a tense car ride but we all had a huge laugh about it afterwards.  I didn't take this pic; my husband has a few on his phone. This would be out of date - there's a HUGE EnCana building going up right now...

Monday we had coffee with one of the teachers from their old school - we've stayed in touch since moving and it was great to see him!  We returned to "Grandma and Grampa's" (it was so lovely to be adopted when we were so far away from family) for a day.  Grandma made the world's best beef stew and a cake she is noted for and we ate far too much - and then stayed up playing cards again.

And then it was back to the airport and the flight home - and 36 hours of patting the cat and doing laundry and packing all over again....

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