Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another jaunt to Alberta

Late June/early July saw me taking two trips to Alberta one weekend after the other.  Yes it would have made more sense to do them together but work got in the way.  And work pays for this fun. 

So Friday morning July 6th I hopped the (Grey) hound to Lethbridge, Alberta to visit my cousin and her family and most importantly - to see my 91 year old Uncle Tony.   It was a nice treat to take the bus during the day instead of the night bus I usually take.  Also they have now improved the connections in Medicine Hat so I can now change there instead of going all the way to Calgary and down. As you know I do love my hound trips.

Canola in the fields in Southern Saskatchewan
   In Medicine Hat the bus hadn't arrived yet so there was time for a quick trip to the coffee shop across the road for a Chai Latte and of course a potty stop.  We then got caught in construction on the highway so were about an hour late.  Joanne, my cousin was there to greet me however and back we went to their place to be greeted by Maggie, their adorable pooch.   I "checked" into the lovely guest bedroom, changed and we sat and had a cold glass of lemonade. 
My cousin Maggie!!!  She is adorable as you can see for yourself!  And like every doggie she loves her walkies!

Jerrold barbequed steaks that evening - Jerrold is definitely king of the barbeque - the man knows what he is doing!!  And we added some gin to that lemonade and life was good!!!  Had a great relaxing evening with Joanne and Jerrold. 

The next morning after breakfast Joanne and I went to visit Uncle Tony in his nursing home - it was so good to see him again and we had a nice visit.  Uncle Tony  moved to Lethbridge to be closer to Joanne about three years ago.  He lived in Regina from 1946 to 2009!!! So as always I took him a copy of the Regina Leader Post to read.  Uncle Tony is from England and is a real English gentleman.  They don't make them like him anymore...not what I've seen in England lately anyway....

Uncle Tony and me.
 After our visit I took Joanne out for lunch to the Cheesecake factory.  We sat outside in what was the best outdoor patio I have ever been in - wow.  Sofas, a fountain, a fire place (not that we needed it that day!) - it was amazing.  The food (quiche) was pretty darn good too.  We shared a piece of orange cream cheesecake with chocolate sauce on...oh my my my...

We then went shopping and I got myself a couple of badly needed new tops.  Joanne and I always go shopping together and it's lots of fun. 

That evening we went to friends of Joanne and Jerrold's for a barbeque which was delicious.   I always enjoy meeting new people.  Terry and Ross have a lovely home with a pool - although none of us took advantage of it.  An enjoyable evening and fun to see a part of Lethbridge I hadn't been in before. 

Sunday morning it was training day so I got up early, had a quick wash and a quick breakfast and I was off.  Today I needed to do 12 km.  I walked to the start point of the Lethbridge walks which was the Days Inn then off I headed to Henderson Lake.  The day before I had picked up a map of Lethbridge and mapped out my route.   I was too nervous to walk in the coulees due to rattlesnakes - yes I am paranoid and am terrified of snakes.  Well karma or whatever came back to bite me as what do I see but a guy walking with a boa constrictor around his neck.  He sat on a bench so thought whew - well I carried on and he started walking behind me.  Wow talk about power walking - don't think I have walked that fast in my life!!  Luckily he turned off on another path.  Anyway the Dragon boat races were on which was interesting to see all where they were from and the outfits they were wearing but the races themselves....BORING.  I have always thought that.  After the walk around the lake I decided to visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens which were right there.  I had never visited them.  They were quite lovely but you need more time to sit and meditate and reflect to appreciate them and I was on a schedule.

Downtown Lethbridge on a Sunday morning...

Quick view of part of the Coulees and the huge Railway bridge Lethbridge is famous for.

Man and his best friend  (NOT a snake!) at Henderson Lake

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

 Back I walked to Joanne's where I had a most welcome shower and lunch. 

Later that afternoon Becky and Jonathan,  two of Joanne and Jerrold's children came over for a barbeque. (it was a real barbeque weekend which works for me as I love them!)  Joanne had a little party for me as well - another birthday party!!  We had BBQ chicken and a lovely fruit and  cream birthday cake.  Joanne and Jerrold gave me a beautiful necklace and earrings and Uncle Tony gave me all kinds of bubble bath and lotions.

The next morning I sat in their lovely backyard and read for a while and then around 10:30 Jerrold drove me to the bus depot.  I had a four hour layover in Medicine Hat so walked down to the river and sat and relaxed. and then had a nice steak sandwich for lunch in a cafe downtown. I really like Medicine Hat (The name "Medicine Hat" is the English translation of 'Saamis' (SA-MUS) – the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men – or 'Medicine Hat'.   It is an overlooked city - one that people drive through (I plead guilty to that) on their way to Calgary and beyond but it really deserves a proper visit.  An uneventful trip back.

South Saskatchewan River
Gas lamps abound in downtown Medicine hat
 Thank you Joanne, Jerrold and Maggie for a wonderful weekend!!!! 

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