Well we have made it to Saskatoon. Since the Calgary Stampede I have mainly been in places where finding wifi is difficult and I am sort of regretting not buying the data plan for this trip. However, maybe it's best to hold off on that until I know that people are actually reading and MAYBE enjoying my writings.
So after leaving Calgary I made my way up to Goose Lake, Alberta where a colleague and friend has a cabin. We stayed three nights in a very rustic cabin (so cool!) where we showered with rain water, sat around the campfire in the back yard at night listening to the buzz of a billion bugs, woke in a BED which suddenly seems very luxurious to me. While camping I swore off on the sticky, sweaty air mattress and went with a sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are nicer I think. At this cabin we got to go to a northern, clean lake where my son learned to not be terrified of floating. Mind you, he needs two floating devices to feel safe so far but we are making progress. After saying goodbye to my friend, we made our way to Edmonton.
I have to say this: I never cared for Edmonton. I am not entirely sure why aside from the fact that I found it a very frustrating city to get lost in while travelling to Yellowknife a long time ago when I lived in Yellowknife. So I went into Edmonton already a little hesitant about it and it did not disappoint! In the first 10 minutes of being there I almost got arrested. We stopped for a potty break and left our dog in the car. When we got back (10 minutes!!) my car was surrounded by firemen (FOUR of them) who were discussing my arrest for abusing an animal and considering breaking the window to rescue him. Someone had called 911 and told them she had been watching the car for 20 minutes and the dog was suffering. (She lied) When I opened the door and showed them how cool it was in there from the just-turned-off air conditioner they called the police and told them not to worry about arresting me. I got a lecture about leaving a defenceless animal in a hot car and they all left. Sheesh. First ten minutes in Edmonton and my daughter is saying "Why dont we just get out of here and keep going?" However, I was determined to keep our plan intact despite the over vigilance of a lot of nosy, self appointed and self righteous Edmontonians. I refuse to believe, even now, that they are all like that woman.
So next stop was our campground. Nestled right in the heart of the city it is difficult to believe while there that it is even in a city. It is fairly quiet (especially compared to the other ones we stayed at). You could hear traffic but it was faint and the campground was clean and well maintained. The best thing was that most people there were easterners and therefore very friendly. The first few hours we had visitors from other sites just to say hi. One little guy brought the dog a bone and EVERYONE said hi in the morning (unlike the other campsites where campers mostly try to pretend everyone else is invisible). THe staff is also friendly and I let them know at the end I thought they had been the best campsite so far. Rainbow Valley for those of you interested. ;)
The next frustrating thing that happened was me having a VERY difficult time finding a dog sitter. Since now I know how much people care about dogs in Edmonton I was shocked that no one would want to dog sit him in the WHOLE city. One of the main reasons was that I didnt have proof of his shots. Why would anyone want to carry around proof of shots of their animal? I dont even carry that for my children. Ridiculous. In the end someone DID end up taking him and grooming him for me while we shopped at West Edmonton mall.
I did enjoy West Edmonton Mall. It is one of the biggest malls in North America and boasts of a full amusement park, water park with waterslides and a wave pool, and a sea animal habitat and show as well as many many stores. It is an entire city block and took us all day just to walk through it. I dont know if I would do it again but it was good that I finally got to see it. We went to many stores, window shopped at stores that sell expensive clothes and my son and I got to go on the little round boats that shoots water at people. He had a blast.
Now we are in Saskatoon. We decided, for several reasons, to book a hotel for tonight. First reason is that my son has two badly skinned knees that keep getting re-skinned everytime he falls down (at least twice a day). They are both getting infected and hurt a lot. Red inflamed skin, greenish pus...Im getting a little worried about it and wanted to soak it in a bath or something. This hotel (Travelodge) has a pool and it's already looking better. At least the dirt is gone out of the cuts! Second reason is that it was supposed to pour rain tonight and I was not looking forward to packing up the tent and equipment after a downpour. So we made an embarrassing decision to come to a hotel. Call me a wuss if you want. :P
Hopefully I have an easier time keeping this blog up to date in the near future! It's hard to cram so much experience into one blog without it being too long (too late for that I guess).
Tomorrow we are heading down to the town (Rouleau?) where they filmed my favourite Canadian show, Corner Gas. After we visit that place we want to head past Regina and camp somewhere for the night. Then we are off to Selkirk to visit my best friend, S.
Until next time!