Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 8, 2011

A Whirlwind Alberta Adventure: Day Two

So it is day two in Alberta, which will be spent in the Edmonton area as well as Sherwood Park, if you don’t feel like counting that as part of Edmonton.

Yesterday was a fairly regular shopping day for me.  I got up and had coffee with J, though we breakfasted separately when the Bug woke up shortly after the toast popped. He’s a much less cranky Bug in the morning!  So after I got ready and packed to go, I watched him so J could have a shower.  We played a little Peek-A-Boo during tummy time, then he was content to sit on my lap and try to eat his feet while I watched Say Yes to the Dress, which J had playing in the living room.  On a personal note, this Auntie practice is going to come in a lot handier than I thought.  Shortly after J and company left, the brother unit and the sister-in-law unit shared that they are actually having a little one of their own. The Bean Sprout is due in early March. Everyone is very excited.

Okay, back to the topic at hand!  Edmonton.  I made my way to West Edmonton Mall for my eye appointment.  I did splendidly on the road (the traffic was not too bad and the GPS is rather helpful).  Of course, I did manage to park on the wrong side of the mall.  Too bad you can’t program your GPS to take you to “an entrance near the pirate ship”.  That would be helpful for me.  So I rushed through the mall and made it just in time to my appointment.  Incidentally, “I have an eye appointment in 2 minutes!” is a great way to get the kiosk people to back off.  I’m not buying another straitening iron just to get away from you, Corioliss. It’s a good straightening iron, but I don’t need two and I certainly don’t need to pay your prices.

After my eye appointment and a nip into the bathroom (the one by the hotel/pirate ship is the cleanest one ever) as well as to Booster Juice (please open in Yellowknife!), I went to Lens Crafters, where I bought new glasses.  My taste in frames hasn’t gone down in price, sadly. Good thing I’ll get some of the cost back.  I don’t think I’ve left with pair under $600 once the lenses were included.  But the reality is that designer glasses seem to fit my face better – sadly, because I have little eyes that are a bit close together, not because I have model face.  That would be nice.

I did a little more shopping, including a dip through H&M while waiting for my glasses.  Surprisingly, I didn’t find anything. At all.  H&M is one of my favourite stores, but this seasons colours do nothing for me, so I didn’t even find anything I felt worth trying on.  Fortunately, I can still shop online at my other favourite store (ModCloth) when I decide I need to add new pieces to my wardrobe.  And to be honest, I probably need to get rid of a bunch of clothes before I start integrating more into the wardrobe.  After I picked up my glasses, I had lunch at Earl’s.  I had a vegetable quesedilla wiht the salad (to be good). The quesedilla is fine, as quesedilla’s usually are, though I did especially enjoy the avocado in it, but the salad was divine.  I really, really loved the vinaigrette.  I think it is a lime vinaigrette, and it was deliciously crisp.  After lunch, I popped into Ricki’s on the off chance they had turtlenecks like one I purchased several years ago (four, maybe?) and have worn so much I’ve worn (ha!) through the elbows. Believe it or not, they did!  It is kind of funny because I’ve been looking for a replacement black turtleneck for a while, and even though black turtlenecks are common, I’ve never liked them like I do with the one from Ricki’s. The material is soft and there’s no stupid gathering at the neck.  So with black turtleneck and an emerald t-shirt because I love the colour, as well as my glasses, a couple of books, a bunch of contacts and some Lush products, I decided it was time to get the heck out of dodge before traffic downtown got bad at the end of the work day.  That’s right – downtown.  My hotel is downtown. Eek!

So here’s the thing – Yellowknife doesn’t really have a lot of traffic.  Traffic scares me, especially in cars that aren’t mine (even if I did just buy a Mastercard plan that insures my rentals).  Downtown has lots of traffic.  But the church for today’s wedding is directly across the street, so it is very, very convenient.  So I bravely got in my little Bumblebee of a car (which I did manage to push the seats up enough to hide my giant suitcase in the trunk from potential thieves, hooray!) and took to the road.  The traffic was on and off busy on the way, and the GPS made me go through a roundabout.  I’ve never driven one in my life.  Once when I was in Vancouver and visiting my Godmom, I took her son to a baseball game while she and her husband had to go to a work dinner.  I didn’t drive anywhere other than the suburbs and made her give me directions that specifically did not involve a roundabout.  I wasn’t even sure I remembered the rules of the roundabout, because I only learned them when I did my test for my learner’s permit, and that was eons ago.  But the GPS said “enter the roundabout” so I did.  And rocked it.  I don’t know if it would be a different story if there was more traffic, but I entered and took the second exit no problem.

After the roundabout, traffic got busy, especially since my hotel is near Jasper Avenue and the Grant McEwan campus.  I was very nervous, especially since there were lots of cars, but with a little luck my lane changes and turns were fairly painless (maybe people see the rental license and are nice and let me in?) and I made it to the hotel, though I had to do a little backtrack to figure out how to get into the hotel and the parking area.  The hotel is the Crowne Plaza (the “e” is very important to the GPS, as it turns out!) and it is very nice.  The staff kindly opted to move my reserved room to a different floor when I mentioned I liked that it was normally a business hotel and I liked those because they are quiet.  Apparently, the hotel had booked me into the 12th floor, where a bunch of people were staying because there was a rave last night.  I didn’t even know raves were still a thing.  I would have thought they’d have a new “rave” by now, since they were popular in about the same eon I took that learners test.

After checking in, I had dinner in the hotel bistro – a burger and fries – which was fine but nothing spectacular.  I did like my cocktail – Summertime Blues – with pineapple and orange juice and rum and something else I completely forget.  I had wanted to spend the evening quietly reading at the bar with a glass of wine, but my friends really did want me to go to that party. J and her husband L would be there with the Bug, and it was being thrown by J2 (who happens to be J’s twin brother).  So much so they got me a ride.  So down I went.  I did manage to visit with a friend and his wife that I’d gone to school with (let’s call them C2) but I didn’t really know anyone else at the party, at least at the early hour I got there. I didn’t stay late, but cabbed it back to the hotel (pleasantly less expensive than I’d imagined) and had a little down time before bed.  I wanted to get lots of sleep so I’m not tired at the reception.  I think it will definitely be interesting – I don’t have a date to the wedding, and I’m not sure I know anyone other than the bride and groom and her parents a little.  Bride is my freshman roommate, and she and Groom met in freshman year.  This is either going to be one of those disastrous evenings where I’m a super wallflower, or one of those great “meet super awesome strangers and remember how to be super awesome yourself” evenings.  Wish me luck for the latter!



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