Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 11, 2011

A Whirlwind Alberta Adventure: Day Five

Well, my whirlwind has died down – I’m back in Yellowknife, having made my way home this morning.  I must say I am glad to be home, even though I do have to head back to work tomorrow. I plan to have a quiet night to myself tonight to recover from my holiday!

Yesterday was pretty great.  I had stayed the night at the house of some friends from college (let’s call them RiderFan and RubberDuckie), and slept in a little.  RubberDuckie and I decided to hit McDonald’s for a quick breakfast and coffee before the crew arrived, as there were seven of us heading into the game.  We piled into two vehicles and headed into the city.

We had originally planned to park at Southgate and ride the LRT from there, but there were signs saying that we couldn’t “park and ride” from there.  So we made our way to the Health Sciences building parking, paid five dollars to park for the day, and then walked to the closest LRT stop.  In Edmonton, to prevent congestion at the stadium, your game ticket is also LRT fare, which is pretty neat.  The LRT was a little crowded, but we made it.

At the stadium, we made our way to our seats.  I got a bit of a workout, because we were in the nosebleed section.  It was a steep walk up.  I was a bit dizzy from the height at first, but I did get used to it.  We had a while before the game started, so we sat and chatted for a while.  It was a pleasant surprise that the weather was brilliant.  My sat on my lap or behind my back for the game.  Our group was mixed Roughriders fans and mixed Esks fans, and so was the stadium. When the game got started,I felt a little bad for the Riders.  They don’t get to bring their cheerleaders, and even though they had lots of fans, they didn’t get fireworks like the home team did. RiderFan was kind enough to patiently explain a lot of the game to me, so I know a lot more than I did before.  For example, I now know that the reason our field is bigger is that it is 100 metres, not yards, though still measured in yards.  In addition, I know there are three lines: an offensive line, a defensive line, and a special line that is because of the kicking.  The players kick more than I thought too – they kick often at the third down to move the ball further out of their end if they don’t think they’ll get their ten yards.  I love live games!

I had intended to sit on the fence (cheer for both teams), but it came as a surprise to me that, as it turns out, I am an Esks fan. This is actually surprising, and it isn’t because they won.  (In fact, I tend to have a soft spot for the underdog, so this should have worked against them.) I am not sure why.  Maybe because their jersey is nicer. Maybe because their quarterback is Ricky Ray, and the name totally grew on me.  He was pretty awesome, so that helped a lot.  It’s pretty rhythmic when you keep hearing about the completed passes.  It was also pretty neat to be amongst 38,000 football fans, regardless of whom they were cheering.

After the game, we went to Red Robin. I’d never been before. It was decent enough.  They are basically a gourmet burger joint, so it is a good place to go if you are craving a burger.  I had a guacamole burger.  It was pretty good, but could have used more guacamole.  I also had a couple of drinks – an adult freckled lemonade and a margarita.  I prefer the margaritas I make, but the lemonade was pretty good.  It had strawberries in it.  After that it was back to Camrose for the night.

I got up this morning and stopped one last time at Booster Juice for a breakfast smoothie (I wish we had one here!), then made the drive back to the airport.  I had to take some stuff out of my giant suitcase into a second so as not to pay the oversized charge of $50, and an unsupervised kid saved me the $21 for the second bad when he tried to ride the luggage conveyer and the WestJet customer service rep sent me through because between the kid and the growing line it wasn’t worth the wait for my credit card.   I had hoped to get one last cinnamon dolce latte at Starbucks for the plane, but the line was too long once I got through security.  So home I went, where I was greeted by a lovely surprise.  My friend who picked me up had also thoughtfully picked up some milk, bread, carrots, bananas and tomatoes for me, since she figured I would likely not have any food in my friend nor have had food on the plane (she was right on both counts).  So I am home now, feeling a little tired but really quite blessed.  Until the next trip!

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