Sunday, July 19, 2015

Road Trip Part 1

It's time to finally post about last week's road trip.  After the 4th of July fireworks and getting a good night's sleep at The Carolina B&B Rick and I hopped over a couple of blocks to Brandon and Jenni's to get a tour of their cute home.   I brought some candy to get in Sophie and Britta's good graces and enjoyed our visit with B&J.  Before church started Brandon took us on a little tour of Helena which was actually quite nice:)  Brandon is just a great guy.  They are a darling little family:)  Since they have late meetings Rick and I only stayed for Sacrament Meeting and then got on the road seeing we had about 4 hours to travel to cross the border and get into Lethbridge where we overnighted.  Brandon suggested we take a scenic route just 30 minutes north of Helena that runs next to the Missouri River.  So we did.  It was a really beautiful drive!  There were many fisherman out doing their thing and it was very woodsy and beautiful.  My thoughts turned to Brach and Skylar who love river fishing.  That river would be heaven for them:)

We got into Lethbridge and stayed at the Holiday Inn.  We had planned ahead and bought a rotisserie chicken and some bread and cheese the night before so we wouldn't have to buy dinner on the Sabbath.  It was wonderful.  Perfect meal at our little hotel room table:)

The next morning we had breakfast at Cora's which is a popular Canadian breakfast spot.  A nice diner setting.  We thought before making the two hour drive to Calgary that we would do something in Lethbridge.  We saw the Nikka Yuko Garden advertised in a pamphlet and thought to give it a try.  It was a beautiful setting.......not any flowers but lots of trees, shrubs, water, and greenery.  

Southern Alberta has a lot of farmland.  There were many of these beautiful fields of gold.  We never found out what it was that was being raised but we guessed it was Flax.  Even a local we asked couldn't tell us.  I was going to goole it but never did.......sure was pretty though!

After getting into our hotel (Fairfield Inn) we drove to a spot to catch the train and headed in to downtown Calgary.  Right away I could see many people with their cowboy getup on and knew that we were headed in the right direction.  After about a half hour train ride we made it to the Stampede.  Talk about a crowd of people.  That last train transfer we were bottled in there like sardines.  Luckily, it was just a few minutes ride from that point.  

After getting off the train we followed the group of people to the front gates (I knew we were all going to the same place).  We showed our tickets and we were in:)  I wish that I had been better prepared of what to see and do because I felt kind of lost when we got through those gates.  What now??  I had been planning this for a few weeks but didn't really check into what to do when we got there other than the show that night and the rodeo the next day.

We  wandered around in awe of the fair like feeling and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of the place.  I realized that the first order of business was to get a hat and a jacket.  I was hoping for a sweatshirt but found a cute brown jacket that totally matched my skirt so I bought it:)  I also found a rockin' hat!  Great find!! 

We wandered around looking at the different sights and decided that we had better get some dinner before the show started.  We decided to share some ribs and were so excited to eat them.  Not so good:(  Fatty and just....not good.  I did enjoy the potatoes and cornbread though.  We got some donuts on a stick for dessert and then headed into the stadium.  

Our seats were a ways away from the rodeo grounds and grandstand but that didn't bother us.  We were at the Calgary Stampede!!  We had driven 900 miles just to get there!  The show started out with the Chuck Wagon races and I'll tell you ....THAT was exciting.  Watching those teams of horses racing their figure eight int he arena and then flying around the race track was exhilarating!!  There were nine heats and each one was really fun!  After the races came the show put on by The Young Canadians.  Lots of singing and dancing and acrobatic acts and lights and fireworks.  An amazing sight to behold:)

After getting a good nights rest at the Fairfield we hopped on the train for the second day.  We got there in time for the Superdog show which was cute and then got some fair food for lunch.  Corn dogs and pizza and fries.  So bad for you but so good:)   Speaking of bad for you,  I wanted to get an ice-cream to take into the rodeo.  I grabbed this big boy (Truly, it was gigantic!)and met Rick near the grandstand.  He bought himself a funnel cake.  Well, there was no way I was going to be able to eat that much ice cream.  Rick tried to help me but it was no use.  The cone was getting soggy and falling apart and we were a mess.  It was an experience though:)

Our seats were even farther away from the grounds this time but we sure enjoyed watching those cowboys and cowgirls do their thing!!

Loved the stampede!  A couple of locals mentioned that if we had time to go up to Banff National Park.  They hailed it as an amazing place.  Well, we didn't have time this trip but if we ever get the chance to go back then we'll head up that direction.

Before we left town we stopped at the Calgary Temple.  It was CLEAR on the other side of the city and took us nearly a full hour to get there but it was a beautiful sight to see.  We actually had hoped to go to a session that morning before the rodeo but the temple wasn't open in the morning, only afternoon and evenings:(  We had four hours to drive that night so we got on the road again.

We took a stop in Cardston to see the temple there.  We could see the temple up on a hill as we were coming into the town.  It did not disappoint!  To me, it was even more spectacular than the Calgary Temple.  It was different without the traditional spire and Angel Moroni but oh, so beautiful!!  Cardston is just a cute little town!  The wide streets reminded me of St. George's nice wide streets.  There was just an amazing feeling there:)  The temple was the first one built in Canada, probably in the 60's is my guess.

Another couple of hours past Cardston was our stop in East Glacier.  Our room was VERY old and rustic but situated in a beautiful area.  Lots of trees in the mountains.  I got out of the car and just took a big long whiff!  Earthy!!  Love that smell!


  1. I'm SO GLAD you made it to the Calgary Stampede, and delighted that you had such a GREAT TIME!

  2. P.S.-- I have never seen such a HUGE ice cream cone as that one you were holding!! Did you have any idea it was going to be THAT HUGE??? I bet it must've cost about $25.00, or maybe MORE~!! :) {Oh, and let me tell you--I just barely--today--figured out what my blog password is so that I can make comments--finally!!!}