We had to go to Edmonton for our friend Erik’s ordination last weekend, and when I looked up Edmonton festivals, we found out that the street performer’s festival was happening at the same time. We decided to splurge, and instead of driving two hours there and two hours back on the same day, to take a mini vacation for our family.
It was fantastic! We booked a hotel (which is a huge thing for us), and threw some stuff in the van before heading out. We got to Edmonton and went straight to the festival (after slurpees for all because we were on vacation). We spent a couple of hours at the festival, where the kids played in the children’s area and watched a crazy pirate performer. (There actually weren’t a lot of performances b/c it wasn’t a weekend yet, and was during the day, but we had fun anyway)…just a side note….not a cheap event! “Free” but only before you pay for : parking 5$/hour, face-painting 6$/kid, corn dogs and poutine, and paying the performers (priceless 🙂 ).
We left the festival once the kids were worn out, and headed back to the hotel to check in. After some jumping on the beds (and from bed to bed), and some cable tv, we went for a swim. A quick supper, and India went to bed while Elijah and Sean headed out for the trip to Walmart (how exactly did I, walmart hater extraordinaire end up with a 6 year old who spends the entire vacation begging to go to walmart to buy lego with his $105 piggy bank savings?) (And how exactly did my 6 yr old end up with more spending money than me?)
Saturday dawned bright and early (emphasis on EARLY, with India in our lives) and we headed out to the Strathcona Farmer’s Market for breakfast. I’ve been missing the pesticide free peppers, cukes, tomatoes and carrots that were so abundant at the FM in Saskatoon, so I stocked up with joy. Carrots that taste like carrots are such a treat. I can’t even buy them from the store anymore….yuck!
Anyway, we had a lovely outside picnic of farmer’s market treats, and I even ran into a friend I haven’t seen since we left Edmonton 5 years ago. We used to be neighbors, and our sons were born within 48 hours of each other, so we would walk the river valley together and talk mama talk. It was serendipity to run into her, and nice to connect.
We also happened upon a medieval festival, complete with knights and damsels dressed in period costume. There was sword fighting, jousting, many weapons to look at and observe. It was really neat to watch and play some of the games. Talk about impromptu learning!
This is the priest blessing the knights before the battle begins.
After the kids got bored, we decided to try riding the streetcar across the high level bridge and back. For 8$ total we got to ride from Whyte Ave across the high level and on to Jasper Ave and back. Complete with a history lesson on streetcars in Edmonton, and on the streetcar itself (a 1940’s streetcar which was donated from Melbourne, Australia and then restored to it’s original state), the trip was fun for all of us.
Then, an hour and a half at a great playground, a tour for the kids to see where Elijah lived as a baby, where mom lived in University, and where Daddy used to go to school and work, we headed to Erik’s ordination service. Dad participated in the service and mom hung out with old friends from all walks of life in the foyer with the kids. India jumped in puddles in barefeet, Elijah worked on his lego fire station, and we connected with friends who invited us to join them in Jasper in August.
Then we had supper and drove home.
36 hours, start to finish.
And the best part was that we were together.