Monday, February 20, 2012

Unexpected Adventure!!

I brought along one project I really wanted to get done. A few days before I left to fly up here, I finally!!! pulled out the rubbermaids with my Africa fabrics and began to figure out how to use the 2 big pictures on fabric that I had. I needed it to be about 42 x 62 because I already had made a wallhanging with other African prints for Mom a couple of years ago. I thought she could swap these out as she wanted to. So, last week I raided my sister's stash of batting and machine quilted and finished the hanging. It looks great on Mom's wall next to her bed!
 I had already gotten my plane ticket to fly up here when Mom mentioned that she had gotten an invitation for the memorial service of her sister in law. It was scheduled for this past Saturday.... in Red Deer, Alberta. She had passed away just before Christmas so the family opted to wait for her service.  I was glad to be able to be here to help drive. The weather was great!!! and we were able to find a hotel room inspite of a huge curling competition that's going on now in Red Deer.
Mom has dialysis 3x a week usually starting at noon. We were able to swap with someone so on Friday morning we got her there before 7am and picked her up about 10. She needed to rest a bit so we didn't leave til after 11am. It's a pretty long drive from Moose Jaw to Red Deer. I guess it's about 8 hours or so if you drive pretty steady.
We stopped to a quick lunch at Tim Horton's in Swift Current and then kept driving through the rolling hills of Saskatchewan and into Alberta. By the time we were getting close to Calgary we could just sort of see the tip of the mountains in the hazy distance. We stopped at Strathmore Station Restaurant and Pub for supper.
This place was awesome! However, we got Mom out of the car which is a pretty huge deal because she takes awhile to get going once she's been sitting a long time and walking tires her out quickly. We came into the front door and said, oops. Can't come in here!! There were at least 6 steps up or 6 steps down into the place. A couple coming in as we did told us that there was an entrance on the side that they could open and it was right into the restaurant there so we arranged for them to open that side door and we drove Mom around to it.
There was a small section with about 10 tables that was a straight walk in. The rest of the place is all steps. Fun for carrying trays of food, I'm sure!! The atmosphere was nice and vintage, you know where they have a buggy hanging from the ceiling, etc. Food was plentiful!
 Very vintage decorations, posters reprinted that were very nostalgic. Pictures of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles from about 1952, needlepoint pictures..........
 and on the next part of the wall, a fireplace and bookcases. Nice ambience! I'd sure go there again if I was in that area. It's just east of Calgary.
 We continued on in the dark then up from Calgary to Red Deer. Saturday we spent with family. After the service we went to my uncle's home and visited til later in the evening. I met cousins I hadn't seen in over 30 years. We hope to try to keep in contact. Our parents have been the ones that kept us informed because they stayed in contact with brothers and sisters but as time continues, it's become obvious that we are the ones that need to take over the job. Hopefully facebook and email will do that for us!
Yesterday morning, Sunday, we got up early and planned to head back on straight back to Moose Jaw. This time the trip from Red Deer to Calgary was in daylight and you could see, in the distance, those wonderful Canadian Rockies. I kept having my sister stop so I could take pictures.
This picture actually was taken by zooming in on it.
 Even this one had to be zoomed a bit. Without that, the picture doesn't capture the look of the mountains.
 I kept saying how I was going to post these pictures and say, yup, I was an hour and a half from the mountains but didn't get there. Well, near the turnoff toward the mountains, my sister decided we needed to just go there! So we did, turned off and went to Hwy 1A. This is the old #1 highway that would take us to Canmore. It was only 2 lane but the way everyone used to drive to get to Banff and west.
We drove past a lake where they were fishing. That ice is thick! Not a ton of snow this year but the ice is thick and good for fishing. Those vehicles are on the ice.
 We kept looking for mountain sheep or any wildlife but didn't see any on that stretch. I did see a snowy white owl as we drove on Saturday sitting motionless on top of a hydro pole! But that's all we saw of animals. I don't know where they go when it's cold, those that don't hybernate!
Then we were there, in Canmore. It's about half an hour from Banff but also right in the mountains. We drove around there, stopping to take pictures of some snow or ice sculptures. This weekend is a long weekend in Alberta so it must be festival time there too.
 I knew there was a quilt shop in Canmore. Had seen it in a magazine but hadn't dreamt that it would be open before noon on a Sunday! Well, it was. We left Mom in the car with her book and we "quickly" went in to investigate. The shop is The Sugar Pine Company.  This quilt shop part is up on the second floor so Mom couldn't have gotten there anyway but we sure did!! They have about 8000 bolts so you know it's a good shop. Also, they have alot of Canadian patterns of mountains, etc. We could have spent half a day there but we went through fairly quickly since we didn't want Mom to actually get cold!
The famous mountain you can see from town is called Three Sisters. It's a cool mountain. By now the clouds were starting to come in but you could see the 3 peaks of the mountain.
 We ate lunch in town yet quickly before saying goodbye to the mountains and heading back east. We didn't get back to Moose Jaw til almost 11pm last night, the end of our adventure.
I'm so thankful that the weather co operated for us to be able to take this little side trip, totally unexpected at this time of year. They were predicting snow for today around Calgary so we probably just made it!
I'll be here most of the week before heading back south. It's great to be with family whenever I can. We make the most of the time we together and always look forward to the next time we meet.
So, no weaving this week but it'll be there waiting for me when I do get back home!
Stay warm!!


LA said...

I'm so glad you could make that trip with your Mom and see other members of your family! The pictures are amazing!!!

Linda said...

The mountains and ice sculptures are awesome!

Walking out on frozen water is something I haven't done or even thought of in a very long time. I never saw anyone ice fishing but we did ice skate a lot when I was little. Thank you for the memory!

Bonnie said...

Love that wall hanging. That looks like a great place to eat. What a great adventure with beautiful scenery.

Theresa said...

Lovely wall hanging and beautiful scenery! What no little huts there out on the ice??? Fair weather fisherman no doubt. ;)
Have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...

I am from Ontario. I remember driving the A1 into Canmore and having to get out of the car to look at the gorgeous mouth-dropping mountains. It is an awesome view that cannot be appreciated in pictures. I also visited that beautiful quilt shop and was inspired to start quilting again after taking a few years off. I can totally relate to this post. Thanks for the memories!