Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Speedy Trip Through Part of Alberta

A few weeks ago we came home from Montana via Alberta where we took in the Stampede, the Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller, and live theater in Rosebud.

The Stampede is comparable to American State Fairs.  You could spend days at it and never run out of things to do.  You might run out of money, but you won't run out of things to do.
Bob & I couldn't resist some Skee Ball for old time's sake. The kids were always better at it and I bet they still are.
These crazy ice cream cones were one of the new foods at the fair.
It's the Stampede!  You need the boots!
And you need the hats!
It's even better if you have the boots and the hat and you can line dance.
All the barbeque was grouped down one alleyway and we chose ours from Prairie Smoke & Spice from Regina where we ended up being served by an old student of ours.

Is this redundant?

I liked the supermarket pony outside the saddle shop.
The Stampede is in the middle of the city so you can enjoy the skyline while at the fair.
From Calgary we went to Drumheller.  Why was this our first visit to this Canadian gem?  The Tyrrell Museum is incredible, but you shouldn't try to do it all in one visit.  We tried and we were dinosaured out halfway through.  The collection and the information are incredible.

Rosebud a tiny, tiny hamlet not far from Drumheller is a theater mecca.  We saw The Wizard of Oz and thoroughly enjoyed it.  We were lucky enough to hit a day which had a free town tour and a free backstage tour.

Since we got home two weeks ago, we either had company or were in Saskatoon.  On one of the trips to Saskatoon we saw both of the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan plays ... my first Shakespearean double header as we saw both in one day.  I recommend both Much Ado About Nothing and Othello.  If Shakespeare has always scared you, face your fear.  After the first ten minutes of either play, you forget that Shakespeare's language and style are somewhat different from ours in 2015.  You will be immersed in the story and totally get it.  I promise!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Montana Menories

Aha!  I have my trip photos loaded and here are a few to share.
This sign states our philosophy.
The great thing about heading to the Kalispell area of Montana is that in one day you can go from this scenery ...
... to this.

We camped at the KOA near Whitefish and they have a terrific, little zoo.  During the day their animals free graze so one morning this llama met us in the playground.
We always try to get in a Rotary meeting with the Rotary Club of Whitefish.  Everyone is friendly and has great conversation to share.  They sang O Canada because we were their guests and that made us feel very special indeed.
Here's my new, favorite cafe in Bigfork.  Check it out if you are in the area and order the garlic fries with whatever you are eating.
We ate at Docks Restaurant in Lakeside.  Fish tacos and a view!
We finally got to eat at Loula's in Whitefish.  It only opens for breakfast and lunch and the lines are usually endless.  I had the lemon stuffed French toast with raspberry sauce while Bob settled for a sandwich.
Norm's News is an iconic place in Kalispell.
If you have a sundae at Norm's News, order the small, not the medium.  Just sayin'!
The reason we have made our Montana pilgrimage for the last eleven years is to see the live theater at Bigfork.  Here's what we saw this year.

The gardens in front are delightful year after year.
Usually you have to get to the theater early to find parking anywhere along the main street, but for one show a vehicle pulled out from in front of the theater right in front of us.  Bob manoeuvered our trusty old van into the spot not caring if some elderly person needed the space.  It wasn't a handicapped spot so no law was broken.
The night we attended Footloose was its premiere with a champagne reception.  I tried to tell Bob that he wasn't to drink with both hands!
Here's a photo from outside the foyer looking in.  There were lots to enjoy the champagne and nibblies while meeting the cast and crew.
I find it hilarious that grocery stores sell booze.  I find it even more hilarious that the beer aisles are longer than any of the food aisles.  What does that say about the American way?  Here's the aisle of local brews.  Then you can turn the corner and there's an even longer aisle of the big name beers.
  Miller, Coors, etc. don't have names to match the names of microbrewery beers.  Here are some examples:

The Boot Barn also has long aisles.  How would anyone ever make a choice from all of these boots?
The coolest boots I saw were these in my favorite secondhand shop.  They weren't my size, nor were they my style, but I admired them anyway.
I stopped at the Conrad Mansion, which we had toured before, to pick up a map for the walking tour of historic homes in the area. 
 I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful homes and really enjoyed a chance half hour conversation with a previous mayor of the city.
The reason I liked the next house is because ...
of the exact replica birdhouse in front of it.

I know Nathan would like a play structure like this at his house.

From Montana we headed to Alberta where we took in the Stampede, Drumheller, and Rosebud.