Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hanging at Hawrelak Park

Chrissy has had a hectic work schedule this Summer so we've been trying to find strategic ways to unwind while not spending a buttload of money. One of our favorite tactics is to pack some camping staples into a basket and head to Hawrelak Park.

About a week back we decided that we needed a break. Over my lunch hour I ran out and picked up some firewood, hotdogs and treats. Directly after work I met Christina downtown and whipped down through traffic to the park. We beat most of the other weekday warriors, found an available site and started on the fire.

After some dogs we got to the good stuff: S'mores.

The giant marshmallows that we used were literally oozing out of the graham crackers and made quite a mess, but they were fantastic.
Full of sugar energy we broke out the Lac La Biche Lebanese 100 year Commemorative Frisbee and attempted to burn off some calories.

 My throw was a bit off.
Two foot release.
 The patented Flamingo Toss®

Every year I check to see if I can still do a handstand. A day at the park seemed  a fine time to check.

 Still got it.
As a liberated woman capable of doing whatever a man can, Chrissy gave it a shot.
Classic pre-lift stance.
 Transition to the can opener.
 Praying mantis achieved.
Good cheap fun.

Bonus Pic - The rare site of a boat in the lake. They were treating the water for the upcoming triathlon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fun in the Downtown of Edmonton

A few months back I moved in with Chrissy and went from being a 'hip' urban dweller to a suburbanite pariah. However, to be honest with you, even though I liked living in the downtown I don't really miss living downtown.

  • Where I once had a farmers market nearby, I now have a garden.
  • I used to like stopping in for a drink at some great pubs, now I have a large deck and much cheaper beer.
  • For all the talk of a downtown community I have talked to my neighbours nearly 3 times as much now out in the suburbs.
  • I now no longer have to weave through smelly, pushy homeless people and punks or rush to the meter to pay for my visitors parking or have to witness drug deals on the streets....
  • The new digs are pretty good. Plus, the downtown is still there - I can jump on the train and visit anytime and when the spirit moves me to...I do.  BTW I take the train cause driving and parking to the down town just sucks and is not worth the money.

Most trips to the downtwon this year I start with a quick visit to Kehrig Fine Art for a chat with Randy and to browse the new works in the gallery. It's been a lot of fun having Randy and his family in town for the summer and I'll miss them and the show once it's done.

Being situated right by the Farmer's Market is definitely a big plus for the gallery and I usually walk through each Saturday that I find my self downtown. As I now live in the North East of the city I tend to actually buy directly from the greenhouses near our house as opposed to the market. I would say that the markup at the market is probably an additional 40-60% compare to right at the greenhouse. The price of convenience and set-up I guess. However, I can't buy little princess dresses...which is what I really want :)

Plus, sometimes the entertainers can be quite good.

Right behind the library they have been setting up little games stations for people to take advantage of during the summer. It's a nice little idea and somewhat decreases the amount of junkie kids hanging in the bandstand. On one occasion Greg joined me and Christina for a tournament of champions.

I'm so into the game I never even saw the old shirtless dude behind us...

Christina used to play basketball quite a bit and she still has good fundamental form.

Greg came out of nowhere to try and stuff her but he timed his jump poorly and just looked lame when the camera snapped. Now it just looks like he is scared of girl power.

No look smiling for the camera....It missed horribly, but doesn't she look nice?

All the running around made us thirsty and thankfully at the time the Works Festival was going on. We settled in to listed to some chick strangle a cat on stage (figuratively) and enjoyed a beer. Which, by the way, they should have available right in Churchill Square all year round.

With Randy in town that also means I get to spend some more time with my niece Amelia. 

Hanging at the gallery all day can be a bit tiresome for a kid, so during the Street Performers Festival I swooped her up to join me in watching a show.

I often find that when I head downtown I don't really have a plan (much to Chrissy's chagrin) and I spend a lot of time wandering around and stopping into places that catch my eye. Some of my favourite little spots include the McKay Avenue School and the Legislature

Although I don't live there any more the downtown keeps drawing me back in...And maybe that's ok. I can enjoy the best of the downtown at my leisure while leaving all of the crap things behind whenever I chose that I have had enough. Maybe I can have my cake and eat it too.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Canada Day Weekend 2012

Christina and I didn't make any plans prior but we had quite the eventful Canada Day weekend this year. Our weekend started off with a quick Saturday morning trip to Wabamum Lake and the first ever Dragonfly Festival at the Village of Wabamum' 100 year anniversary.

I had never been to the village before so we took in their most prominent tourism site: The Giant Dragonfly.

 After that we walked through the show and shine checking out the classic cars. 

This sweet ride was my favorite

We arrived in town just in time for the beginning of the parade. There's a good chance that you previously may have heard me rant and rave about how much I hate parades (clogging up traffic, take forever, stupid waving politicians, etc.) and I generally do...However, small town parades are the best! They have actual personality and they still throw candy from the floats. Naturally the maple leaf flags were out that day.

This float from the local curling club was my favorite. A giant inflatable curling rock wheeled on a skateboard. Definitely better than any $80,000 City of Edmonton float.

During the parade we ran into mine and Christina's old boss at EEDC - Dave. He graciously invited us to his cabin to hang out and have a beer. We took him up on the offer and even helped pay off our beer by helping him move a boat lift into position around his dock. It was a very enjoyable and completely unexpected visit. We may call on him out at their cabin again...

To top off the day we even squeezed in a visit with Monica, Paul and the kids.

The Sunday of the long weekend we were a lot less ambitious. We hung around the house for most of the day and then headed out to Sherwood Park to check out their festivities.  Besides some great carnival food they had some cool exhibits like these giant remote control planes and a cool toy train set-up. If you click on the train picture, you may notice a familiar car on the streets near the hotel.

The festival place town centre in Sherwood Park is actually quite nice and we enjoyed watching the ducks and the canoes circling around before heading out for a drive to Beaumont...a picturesque little prairie town.

Just to show the local town some love we even stopped by City Hall in Edmonton for a little bit.

For the Monday we decided to be a bit more productive and stopped by Christina's brothers place to help with the building of their garage. I did my part but didn't end up working too hard.

Mostly, I just took on the role of Go'Fer and helped out on finishing the roof.

The weekend ended up being good. Equal parts relaxing without being totally useless (I don't relax well). Happy Birthday Canada, you don't look a day over 39.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quick Trip and Surprises

A couple of weeks back Christina and I took off for the weekend to her brothers cabin. Her brother requested that we take his truck up there and leave it there for him. It was my duty to drive the big rig. It was a bit of a rough ride with a pushing side wind and the click clack of big rubber pads on the tires but it also was a nice change of perspective on the road. After driving my little Honda for so long it seemed weird, yet fun, to be that high up.

Upon arrival at the cabin we found a couple new surprises. A stuffed otter and a giant bottle of vodka.

 A lovely father,daughter, and stuffed weasel moment.

The vodka bottle came with its own light in the base. It actually looked really cool when it was all lit up.
Pouring out of it though was quite a challenge but I attacked it like a trooper. 

All in all it was the perfect quick getaway from the city.
I find that if I am in the city for a month on end I just need to  get out and re-charge my batteries. Hopefully, we'll get out there a couple more times this year.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The encore! Group Golfing With Edmonton Opera

As stated elsewhere I volunteer occasionally with the Edmonton Opera and the encore! group. One of the perks of working with the organization is an occasional invitation to their fundraising events. This year I was lucky enough to join them for their annual golf tournament. Along with Paul, Stella and Kierstin we took on the challenging Glendale Golf and Country Club in a Texas Scramble.
  The course has many rolling hills and a periscope is required to judge whether it is safe to hit.
I was the most experienced golfer of the bunch (which is scary) and we often found ourselves in these types of predicaments.
We didn't fare much better on the greens and after missing an impossibly easy putt the penalty was pushups.

There was great representation from the sponsors and funders. Many cool little games and freebies were given out. I even met a nice Uptown Girl.

Swing camera GIF action of my form.
gif maker for tumblr
We finished with a new world record for futility in a scramble at an unfathomable plus 12.  But, Paul ended up getting rewarded for an extraordinary shot with an entry into a million dollar hole in one challenge. We waited with bated breath...just look at the nerves showing below ;)... but luck wasn't on his side.
Overall, though it was a fun day, with fantastic weather and great company.
Thanks Edmonton Opera, Can't wait for the season to start in the fall!