With everything that’s been going on here, it’s been difficult to find the time to post a proper update. But today is relatively simple, and I am up early (as usual) to record the 16th stage of the Tour de France.
Tammy and the kids picked up Zachary from the airport on Tuesday. It’s now Saturday morning, so there’s been a lot going on.
It’s been a mix of downtime and “events” since he arrived. They went to Calaway Park on Wednesday for a few hours, but the kids have had plenty of time to play. I’ve heard that they’ve played Twister, chess, Uno, Catan and Poo. There might be more.
On Thursday, everybody made pretzels. They’d had a soft pretzel at Calaway and Zachary wanted to make some.
The weather started a little cool and wet when he arrived, but it has climbed back into being sunny and hot. Thursday evening, when Miranda was on her ride with the Bow Cyclist Ladies, Ian, Zachary and I went for a bike cruise along the river to downtown.
We went to Prince’s Island Park and gawked at the buildings downtown. Zachary was impressed by the Telus Sky, which is under construction. It’s design appears to “twist”, which blew Zach’s mind. We rode 19.5 km, and Zachary did very well. It was good that we had three bottles of water, because it was a warm evening.
And last night was the Calgary Stampede. In the four years (and five Stampedes) since we moved here, we’d never been. As far as we knew, it was crowded, noisy, and expensive, with rides too “extreme” for young kids and food that you couldn’t live on. We were right, but you never know until you try. 😉
But I had a 2 for 1 pass from my boss Brian (who volunteers at the Stampede every year), and with Zachary here, we had impetus to give it a try. We hopped on the C-Train about 4:30 and we were dropped off at the Stampede grounds. We circulated around, stopping at the Agrium and watched a display by the Canadian Cowgirls rodeo drill team.
The display was good, and reminded me of when I’d seen the RCMP Musical Ride many years ago. Then we kept exploring. I had thought that there were going to be more livestock displays, like prize cows and sheep and things, but apparently I was mistaken. According to Ian, that’s more at Aggie Days. Live and learn. We walked along rows of food vendors and through the midway. There were lots of fantastic smells and terrifying rides. We didn’t go on any, but we enjoyed watching some people scream for their lives.
We did catch the end of a Bollywood-style music and dance show at the International hall, and circulated through the market stalls. Then we got some “dinner”: chicken on a stick for the kids, and donairs for Tammy and I. We ended the evening back at the Agrium, where there was a horse pull going on. It was the lightweight division, but keep in mind that these are draft horses. A team of lightweight draft horses still weighs about 3200 pounds.
We had fun and watched to the end.
The winning team pulled 10,600 pounds 48 inches. The Stampede record was 10,500 in a full pull.
We took the train home again, returning around 10:20. We’re glad we went, but I doubt we’ll go back soon, unless we are going to the rodeo or a concert at the Saddledome.