Horses, Parades, Birthdays, and Breakfasts

The family I am staying with in Calgary took me and the kids to Spruce Meadows Equestrian Park, where they do show jumping. It was such a neat difference to see horse culture in a different way other than the very popular western riding seen at the Stampede. It was very classy and proper, and reminded me very much of the British movies where they show rich families. They also had big time celebrations for the Queen’s jubilee.

The Stampede Parade is somewhat of a chaotic spectacle in Calgary, this year attracting more than 400,000 people. We didn’t want to brave the crowds, so we headed to the Mini-Stampede at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. In my opinion it was so much better, because it was short and there were no crowds to brave!

I got to experience my first Stampede Breakfast.  For 10 days during Stampede, places all around the city have free breakfasts! Isn’t that amazing?! They even have a website to help you find all of the breakfasts in the city. I had one at the lake in the family’s neighborhood, and at the church we go to.

The day before my birthday, the girls helped me to bake a lemon pound cake for birthday and hand-squeezed lemonade. Then I had my birthday when we had cut up sandwiches, veggies, fruit, and cake on Judith’s finest wedding china. Some family friends that I don’t know very well brought me cards, gifts, and flowers, so I felt very celebrated. Then the family took me out for dinner.

Then I took a weekend off and decided to go to Stampede with a friend on Saturday, for the 100th birthday celebration. We got there when the park opened so we could get grandstand tickets for the evening show. Then we wandered around the grounds and checked out the Agriculture exhibit, the animal stables, and met some of the RCMP horses and riders. The Grandstand show was amazing, featuring the Young Canadians performers and star guest Paul Brandt. For 15$, the tickets were well worth it! Then we watched the fireworks. This year the fireworks were a big deal because of the 100th anniversary. They had them at 5 different locations all over the city every night!


Canada Day in Sorrento BC

I got a really nice surprise when I found out that the family was invited to a friend’s cottage in Sorrento BC for the Canada Day long weekend. I’ve never had the opportunity to see any part of BC other than Vancouver, but longed to visit the beauty I’ve heard so much about. They said it would take at least 7 hours to get there, but I was so excited for the road trip because I absolutely love driving and looking at the sights outside my window. As we drove out of Calgary towards the mountains, I started to go picture crazy, snapping pictures of every mountain I saw. Well, I definitely got my fill of mountains: once we entered the mountains we never really left! It was truly amazing to see how the mountain range changed as we moved from Alberta to BC. I have to say my favorite part was when we started drive along the Shuswap Lake. It is this beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and it looks like heaven.

But as you can guess, with that kind of beauty are people who want to own part of it. A piece of land with just a view of the lake starts at 200 thousand! Predictably, there are a lot of wealthy people who have their second home out that way. The lady who we were staying with is actually a therapeutic clown at the children’s hospital in Calgary, which is how the family knows her. I’m guessing she must have done pretty well for herself as a clown to have a cottage our there 😉

My favorite part of my weekend was my morning runs. They were spectacular, running along farmers’ fields with horses grazing and mountains in the background ❤

Unfortunately, a lot of the areas surrounding Shuswap Lake are flooded due to the excessive amount of rain that the area has received over the last few weeks. We were not able to participate in any Canada Day celebrations, but we were perfectly fine with simply enjoying the evening at the cottage 🙂

Here are a few pictures from the weekend. The rest of the pictures of my 6 weeks spent with the family in Calgary can be viewed here


Anne of Rosebud Theatre

While I certainly love being in a new place with new surroundings, I sincerely miss my home of Halifax and Prince Edward Island. Alberta has amazing scenery that ranges from rolling prairies to rocky mountains. But to me, nothing compares to the ocean breezes and the simple beauty of the east coast. I feel that I have a special connection, having red hair and all, to PEI, whose own famous fictional celebrity shares the same hair color. To hear that for Keira’s 10th birthday party we would be heading to the small town of Rosebud, Alberta to see Anne of Green Gables the Musical at Rosebud Theatre I was so thrilled!

It was so nice to drive out of the city limits of Calgary through gorgeous rolling prairie landscape to get to our destination. Rosebud turned out to be a charming little town that seemed to be the perfect setting to show the story of an orphan who travels to Avonlea, PEI. The day started with a really lovely brunch buffet, with live musical entertainment as we ate. Then we strolled around the town for a bit before the show started. I’ve seen the original Anne musical in PEI, and this one compared very nicely. I would say the added bonus was seeing the cast bicycling home after. It was so nice that Keira and her friend were able to meet many of the cast, especially Anne herself. It was surprising to hear that the cast members had never been to PEI, and seemed thrilled to hear that I had such a close connection to the island. I hope that I convinced them that it is worth the trip out there, especially now that they have reenacted our most favorite story.

To see more pictures from my time in Calgary click here