Whew. My time back in Calgary happened in a breathtaking whirlwind. There was so much to do, so many people to see! It was amazing to have such a warm reception coming back home. I also found it amazing the ways that home didn’t quite feel like home any more. Kinda like … a formerly favoured pair of shoes that all of a sudden seem a little bit too tight, but you’re not quite sure why.
I still love Calgary, but my major issue with the city is the traffic! I guess I was used to it before, but three consecutive evenings being stuck on Crowchild for an hour was enough to take the shine off for me. And it’s not like there are really good viable options to driving, either. Your lot in life is to stay stuck as hours of your life tick by, staring at the bumper in front of you. Guys, it’s not like that in Europe.
Not that I want to get negative here. I will gladly return to Calgary in a flash should life ever take me back there, but let me be clear. I would not be going back for the traffic. It’s for all the amazing wonderful people, who really did show us the best time possible for our week there.
Like when Uncle Kevin took X to his firehall. X was almost overwhelmed by the experience. He stood slack-jawed as a truck came in and parked, and shook the hands of the firemen coming off of it (they had only gone on a food run, but from what I know about firemen, that’s like the most important part of the day). I thought he would have been so excited, but he was almost solemn. I think it was a big moment for him. He finally made the whole experience more accessible to him by getting his new toy, a Tonka firetruck (also courtesy Uncle Kevin), and playing with it in the firehall. Seriously, can anything melt your heart more than this?
What got X genuinely excited was seeing lions – for reals. I’m not sure if he believed that lions were a real thing before hand, and not just something made up by Disney, but he spent a long time inspecting these beautiful guys.
Heritage Park is also an awesome place to take kids. I realize most of this post is what to do in Calgary with kids, but that was my week there, so it will have to do. I spent a lot of time at Heritage Park. I’d never been there before (past the age of seven) so it was fun to explore, both during the day with kids and at night for a reception. X adored the horses. And the trains.
And the big paddle boat that steams around the Glenmore Reservoir. X did some more solemn hand-shaking of the men working there, melting hearts as is his way.
And you can’t forget to wash your hands before dinner! This pump maybe was less exciting for him than some because there are fountains to wash your hands literally everywhere in Geneva. This is just normal life for him.
Heritage Park has a pretty sweet old car and gas pump collection, if you’re into that kind of thing. On a whole, the old-timey feel made for a very interesting backdrop for the party of the summer.
I also got to celebrate the wedding of my favourite person in the world, my little sister. Being able to share that amazing day with her was the pinnacle of my trip back to Canada and, of course, the whole reason for our being there in the first place. So I thank her and Kevin for having us there for such a special day, and for sharing with us in the lead up to it as well. I love this photo of them because I think it just shows such a partnership. They are a blessed couple, it was amagical wedding and here they are walking hand in hand in veil to their happily ever after.