I’m back in Ontario after my shenanigans out west, and I have mixed feelings about this. I am definitely feeling some post-vacation blues, as I had a ridiculous amount of fun, but I’m also exhausted. Just absolutely done. It was a whirlwind, and every single day was jam-packed. I’ve lost my voice (from scream-laughing). My toes are covered in blisters from standing for 12 hours on both Friday and Saturday, and I have a ton of scrapes and bruises on my body. The bruises are a mystery, but the scrapes are definitely from falling down a cliff on Eric’s and my beach adventure (left that part out of the blog. It was no big D, I was A-okay).
I have some catching up to do, as I absolutely have to blog about my crazy weekend. I have some more Salmon Arm activities that I want to eventually talk about, but first I want to do some Calgary Stampede recapping! (if you are not Stampede savvy, you can click that link to read the Wikipedia page)
Thursday afternoon I said goodbye to my motha and my brotha in BC (so sad, it was so great to see them both. I wish they didn’t live so far away!), and hit the road solo to Alberta for the Calgary Stampede!
It was a six hour drive and went through various national parks, as you can see from the above pic, and also right through Rogers Pass.
The scenery could have been a postcard. So many mountains. Mountains the entire time, on all sides! I was as agog as two gog’s the entire drive. It was so, so beautiful.
Our country is so amazing! I was so excited to see some real snow-capped mountains.
My drive went by incredibly fast (definitely due to the view, and also my singing at the top of my lungs), and I made it to Calgary before dark, where I was reunited with my very bestest!
(pic from last summa)
My best friend Lisa moved to Calg from Toronto a couple years ago, and I miss her so much. Neither of us are big fans of talking on the phone, so we had a ton of catching up to do. We stayed up talking for hours Thursday night. It was just so great to see her.
Lisa had a Stampede work party on Friday from 1:00-4:00, and she brought me as her date!
And yes, the Stampede is such a huge thing in Calgary that companies have work parties to celebrate it. With tons of food. And booze. During work hours. I should probably just move there.
I was having some camera issues. My camera got wet and was being a jerk and making things look cloudy, even though it is WATERPROOF. Grr. These are the only photos I have though, and pictures are always important to the story, so blurry photos are what you get. You like it.
Anyway, Lisa’s work event was at Craft, a beer market/restaurant in Calgary. The lunch spread was pretty darn decent (quinoa salad, roast beef, mushroom cannelloni), and I loved mingling with her coworkers.
Immediately afterwards, Lis and I took a cab over the to Stampede grounds.
Where things are a bit crazy…
First of all, pizza on a stick. Second, I have never seen so many cowboy hats in one place. It was insane. Even just on the streets, everyone was all decked out in western gear! Even our cab driver!
It was the most entertaining people-watching I have ever encountered. And some of the outfits were just incredible.
I wanted to steal this man’s shirt off his back.
Apparently the place to be during the Calgary Stampede is Nashville North, which is a huge bar tent, so that is where we headed. We got there at about 4:30, and proceeded to wait in line…for two and a half hours. Two and a half hours! And, also apparently, that’s not even bad for Stampede. When we told people later, they were all “That’s nothing!”
I wouldn’t exactly say it was nothing, because waiting in line always sucks, but it went by pretty speedily. I had Lis with me and I could literally talk to her forever about anything, so that made the waiting bearable for sure. I also would have felt all quiet and shy by myself, but with my best friend with me, I felt invincible! Like the What Should We Call Me about being alone at a party and then your best friend shows up.
That’s how I felt. We egg eachother on, and it is great.
We also met some gems in line, including a fine young chap who made me a origami rose out of the Stampede map.
So nice of him. Such intricate detail in that rose. Clearly he put a lot of effort into that. It went well with my hat.
When we finally made it into the tent, I was really surprised at how much it did not feel like a tent. There was a huge stage with a live band, and the place was ginormous.
We met up with Lisa’s friend Lesley, who I enjoyed quite a lot, and spooned around with her for a while.
After leaving Nashville North we walked around the Stampede grounds for a bit on a food hunt! I got these weird tacquito things that weren’t actually very good at all.
And when I saw Lisa’s food purchase I was really jealous.
Taco in a bag, with Doritos! They put beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, and all that taco goodness, in a bag with crushed Doritos. I really, really wish I got this. I tried some of hers and it was awesome.
But I think I made up for it.
With my elephant ear! Hooooly. I wasn’t able to finish this, it was way too big. But it was so good. And I got icing sugar everywhere. ALL over myself.
The night was young, so we weren’t ready to pack it in just yet. We then met up with Lisa’s sister Heather and a bunch of her friends at another bar in Calgary.
I love Heather! Lisa and I have been besties since we were young, so I have known Heather since she was about seven or eight. Sometimes I feel like she is my sister too! Here’s a better picture of the three of us from a couple years ago in Revelstoke, since my camera sucks.
And here is a picture of Heather and Eric (my brother) falling whilst cross country skiing.
I was so glad I got to see her. Such a fun time.
We also met up with our friend Jamie, who also recently moved to Calgary. He lived right near the bar we were at, so popped over and surprised us. We basically attacked him.
Now, Jamie looks a bit different since the last time we saw him. The Jamie we remember looks like this:
So we were immediately like “JAMIE!!!! Where are your glasses?! WHERE ARE YOUR GLASSES?!” and I should probably tell you that Lisa and I can be very loud when we are together, and we are probably overwhelming. But he took it in stride and explained that he wears contacts now and goes by James. Um, no. We put a stop to his reinventing on the spot. He will always be Jamie to us. Or just “Glasses”.
Ah, such a fun night. We finally got back to Lisa’s and then stayed up until 3:30 talking, once again. And then we got up the next day and did it all again. But that is a story for another post!
I love the Stampede!