July 3-10, 2013 - Edmonton, Alberta
After lunch we did some laundry and then went into Edmonton to visit our friends, David and Colleen. David and Colleen winter in our RV Resort in Arizona and live just down the street from us. David is a retired Master Chef and he prepared a great dinner for us. They also surprised us by renting a 5th wheel from the owners of the RV Park. They will be in the site next to us for three nights.
We are having a time adjusting to the fact that it does not get dark till 11 or so at night. It is hard to get to sleep when it is still light outside.
Thursday afternoon David and Colleen and their little dog, Tally, came out and moved into the 5th wheel next door to us. David brought everything for dinner for the next three days so Nancy is excited that she doesn’t have to cook.
We walked around the square and found Ed Stander playing Cannon in D by Pachiebel on wine glasses accompanied by taped music. It was absolutely beautiful!
The next performer we watched was Dandy Man aka Daniel Oldaker. He juggled and did acrobatics while telling jokes. He was also very good and kept us all laughing.
We really enjoyed the acts we watched. There were also booths selling crafts and lots of food vendors. Edmonton City Hall was on one end of the square.
Next to City Hall was the Art Gallery of Alberta – this building is new and was absolutely beautiful. We really enjoyed our time in downtown Edmonton – this is a beautiful city.
Back at the RV park David and Rex prepared a great stir fry for dinner.
Saturday we went to the Old Strathcona Farmers Market and the surrounding shopping district. Old Strathcona is an historic area of Edmonton with buildings dating back to1891 and is now an arts and cultural center with lots of shops and restaurants. The indoor farmers market was great with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along with baked goods and crafts. We had lunch at David and Colleen’s favorite Chinese restaurant then headed back to the RV park to relax.
Sunday we had planned to give the dog baths and then go to David and Colleen’s house in the late afternoon. It was cloudy and too cool to wash the dogs in the morning and the weather just got cooler and cloudier as the day went on. As we were getting ready to leave for David & Colleen’s house it started raining. The dogs will have to get a bath another day. David prepared a great dinner for us once again – we certainly could get used to having a chef around!
Monday morning the sun was shining and it was much warmer than Sunday so the dogs got their much needed baths in the morning. David and Colleen had appointments so we are on our own today. After the dog baths we headed out to the West Edmonton Mall – claimed to be the largest mall in the world at 5.3 million square feet. It has over 800 stores, 100 eating establishments and 10 theme-park attractions including an amusement park, water park, aquarium, Sea Lion show, two miniature golf courses, ice skating rink, ropes course, bowling alley. It also has 13 theatre screens, including an IMAX theatre, a hotel, a dinner theatre and a casino. We spent about 4 hours walking around taking in everything. This is a replica of Christopher Columbus’ flag ship Santa Mar
Beneath this area was Sea Life Caverns, an underground aquarium with more than 100 species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, penguins, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. There also had two touch pools where you could touch rays, sharks, starfish, sea urchins, and other things. Unfortunately most of our pictures were not very clear but we did get a good picture of the small sharks.
We also were able to see the California Sea Lion show where four sea lions performed some great tricks and kept us all entertained.
We stopped at the food court for lunch and then continued walking more of the mall. We also watched kids skating at the ice rink, playing on the ropes course, and lots of people playing in the waves and riding the slides at the water park. When we were very tired from walking all over the mall we stopped at the amusement park where Rex and Mariah rode the Galaxy Orbitor – a roller coaster where the cars also spun around.
We are not really shopping mall fans but this mall could keep you entertained for many days. We stopped at the Baskin Robbins kiosk for some ice cream before we headed back to the RV park.
Tuesday David and Colleen took us to Fort Edmonton Park, an historical park at the site of the original Hudson Bay Company Fort along the North Saskatchewan River. Upon entering the park we boarded the Edmonton Yukon & Pacific steam train that took us to the site of the Fort.
We walked around the Fort and were able to go inside all the buildings. We talked to a man in the woodworking shop and a blacksmith. There was also a trade store where they had all kinds of furs displayed along with the famous Hudson Bay blankets.
The park also has three historical streets – 1885 Street, 1905 Street and 1920 Street. We next walking down the 1885 Street and were able to go inside homes, businesses, churches, and schools.
You could take stagecoach or wagon rides – Mariah is making friends with the horses pulling the wagon.
Rex thought this bathtub would work quite well in our 5th wheel – wouldn’t take up too much room!
We also walked the 1905 Street and the 1920 Street and again went into homes, businesses, churches and schools on each street. It was fun to see the difference in the furnishings and businesses in the different eras. We stopped at Bill’s Confectionery on the 1920 Street and had an ice cream cone. Afterward we took the trolley back to the entrance. We had a great day and learned a lot about the history of Edmonton.
David and Colleen were going to be busy tonight and tomorrow so we said our goodbyes in the parking lot. We had a great visit and thank David and Colleen for showing us around Edmonton and feeding us great meals.