Adventures in Cowtown.

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We’re big on the “mini-vacation” around here, where we take off for a couple of days and go on some journey to somewhere, visit some places and do some things. Each one is great fun, without too much stress or overall expense, and always rejuvenating. For our last adventure, Sean had a conference in Canmore, so we ditched the dogs, hitched a ride to Calgary, and switched the day to day up a bit. We were so lucky to have Grandma join us, and Sean’s Aunt Heather host us in Calgary. We had a place to stay, good food to eat, and time to enjoy each other.

We went to a tea house in Kensington (where Sean’s cousin works) and drank fancy tea, ate Crave cupcakes, took the C-Train to the Science Center, found cheap pitas the size of basketballs, walked around downtown Calgary, and went to the zoo. We also stopped at the camp to visit Grandpa on the way home and stayed the night. Without further ado…

The eyes say it all. This cupcake took her three sittings to eat, and it was worth every minute.

Blowpen art by India. Auntie Heather brought out a huge roll of paper and an tupperware bin of craft supplies to play with. The purple splotches became waving seaweed in an elaborate underwater scene.

Mom’s new pants (or old pants made new with a length of orange fabric). Once they were my little sister’s cords, now they are artsy bellbottoms.

The fairy tree in the plant building. There are orchids growing in each nook and cranny of this beautiful tree. It was so rejuvenating to be in a place filled with green living things, with flowers of every color, and with warm air.  The perfect balm  for the February blues (and ironically, a section of the zoo that we’ve never bothered to visit when we’ve been there in the summer.)

Even the manhole covers are beautiful at the zoo.

A show of affection between mama and six week old Sophie Grace.

A display of affection between a chameleon and itself.

One of the advantages to going to the zoo in the middle of winter is that there is virtually no one else there. We got to spend as long as we wanted with each animal, and were able to see each one without fighting for a good view. We watched this guy for 20 minutes, as he came in and out of the water, shaking his ears as he came out and blowing tremendous bubbles as he went back under the water each time.

The three little joeys at the end of a long day.

Bird watching at the camp. This little guy is a Redpole. We also saw Black Capped Chickadees, Bluejays, two types of Nuthatches, Hairy Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers.

I had the chance to play with my camera a bit while Sean played with the kids in the camp gym. They were excited to see him after three days apart, especially Mattea, who woke up the third morning, pointed up the stairs, and said “Dada! Dada!”

Driving home made me think that maybe we live in the most amazing place in the world. The trees were heavy with snow, boughs barely able to hold the weight of the beauty.

And, as always, my favorite quote from the zoo, and one of my hopes for my family…

“Like water, be gentle and strong.

Be gentle enough to follow the natural paths of the earth,

and strong enough to rise up and reshape the world.”

(Brenda Peterson)

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2 responses »

  1. that hippo looks like a slug….I love the pictures. what a great fairy tree…I do not remember that kangaroo from the Calgary zoo (but I love it – I am inspired to go to the Calgary zoo to put Liam in that pouch and take a picture)…did you see the gorillas? (I find gorillas in the zoo so provocative, human like , cute but kind of menacing (if it is the male) and strangely like me if it is the female, especially if she has a baby gorilla hanging from her boob)
    It is always great to read your posts…gives me a short vacation from my work when I check in on your blog…thanks mama.

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