© 2011 jemma

Edmonton – Week 1

Hi everyone! (That includes you Andrew)
We are in Edmonton at the moment, chillin our heals and staying with Jess’ lovely aunt and uncle. Also staying with them are their sons animals, Rocko the dog and Lucky the cat. They are very cute and fun, although Lucky does Meow a lot. We arrived the day before Easter on the bus from Calgary. Although we thought the Easter bunny wouldn’t come the next day, he surprised us with a basket of eggs. Thanks Easter bunny!!!

Edmonton is pretty nice. Its big, – the capital of Alberta, although Calgary is bigger in population- on the North Saskatchewan River and it has a lot of Malls. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many malls in my life! There is one basically on every block. The one closest to us is Londonderry Mall, but the biggest and the second biggest in North America is West Edmonton Mall.

Jess and I went to the mall to check it out. He had been there before, although if you know Jess, his memory is a little sketchy. Its the biggest mall for one of two reasons. 1. It is HUGE!!! and 2. It has theme parks in it. There is Galaxyland with roller coasters galore and other exciting rides, a water park with water slides and a wave pool, putt putt, a road of restaurants, an ice rink, massive movie theatre, a sea lion who does shows near the pirate ship and oh…it has shops too.

At this point we are going back to go on the rides, it pretty much took us a day to walk around and check things out. One of the best things they have though is a miniature Chinatown with the best Asian grocer I have ever been in. It is huge, sells anything you want and has the best BBQ pork steamed buns ever. Trรจs impressed. We even got some good deals on some clothes in Gap – which is cheap here – $10 shirts anyone?

We have also seen a lot of Jess’ extended family. On Easter Sunday, after a massive feast of delicious ham and cabbage rolls (mmmmmmm yummy!) we went to visit Jess’ uncle Lawrence’s family – his sister (Evelyn) and her husband (Ed), their kids (Tammy and Corrine) and grand kids (Savanah and Maliyna). The reason I am mentioning this particular occasion is because it was a very fun night of good laughs and happy times. I don’t think I’ll ever forget drinking toilet water, – from the vanity tap – having a rye and coke made by a lovely young lady (9 year old Maliyna again) and having a list of things to do in Edmonton written on orange foam. We shall defiantly try and get to Canadian Tire for some Fat Franks sausages and also get to Costco (it is huge!! And sells everything in massive bulk amounts). Gee there is so much to do in Edmonton! lol ๐Ÿ™‚

Apart from eating lots of yummy food, taking Rocko for many walks around the neighbourhood, and watching a lot of ice hockey on telly – the Stanley cup finals are on, GO CANUCKS GO!! We have been getting around the town in Eleanor’s blue 88′ dodge or getting tours with Lawrence.

One afternoon with Lawrence, we headed out to Elk Island National Park to hunt down some Bison. The only bison we had seen previously were ones being farmed for people to eat – Jess loves the taste, too gamey for me – but these bison were wild, and they were HUGE!!!! I have never seen an animal with such a big head! I have no idea how they lift them off the ground! They also have very shifty eyes. One of the first herds we saw on the road side included a calf. It was very cute, but as we slowed down to look, some of them decided to go for a little run. It was a little scary not knowing where they were going to go, especially since they were the size of the truck.

The next ones we saw were lone bulls eating on the side of the road. We thought the first one we saw was big, but then we came across another which was even bigger. Even Lawrence said they were the biggest bulls he has ever seen. We also saw Elk island in the middle of the frozen lake, and two squirrels mating. It was a good afternoon. Jess just loves driving through the prairies.

On the weekend we saw a lot more of the city. Eleanor, Jess and I headed out to Whyte Ave to the Farmers Market – it is supposed to be very good – to see what all the fuss is about. It was fantastic! One of the best markets I have been to. Nearly every stall lets you have a taste of the food, so there was no need to buy lunch and there is such a variety. From pasta and pasta sauces, chutneys and dips, to Ukrainian food – Edmonton has one of the largest populations of Ukrainians, like Lawrence. I bought some delicious cinnamon buns. Mmmmm mmmmm. They also had some fabulous jewellery and art as well. Ahh, to be able to buy things. :p

On the Sunday, Jess and I drove out in the big white truck to his cousin Michaels house. It is in a small holiday village next to a lake. It is a beautiful, spacious and secluded home, with a fantastic fire place. Michael has put bird feeders around his verandah so we got to watch all the little birds and squirrels coming to eat. We went for a walk down to the lake and Rocko – who came with us for the day – loved being able to run around and get all muddy and wet. It was very nice.

On the way home – Michael lives about an hour away – I spotted a moose on the side of the road hiding in the willow saplings which is their favourite food. We turned around on the highway so that Jess could get a good look. Unfortunately we were unable to get a photo. It was a cow so no antlers, but it was so cool to see something so rarely seen, in the wild.

So that brings you up to date with what has been going on thus far. Edmonton part two to come.
Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚