Sunday, October 7, 2018

Meeting our New Granddaughter in Calgary

We were off to Calgary to visit Patrick and Krysten, Alex and Sawyer, and to meet our new granddaughter, Hailey, who was born in February. Look at the stunning colours! I love New Brunswick in the Fall.

Patrick and the boys met us at the airport. Sawyer, who is 3, was still pretty shy because, let's face it, he only sees us once a year. Alex, on the other hand, slipped right into "Grandma, Grandma" mode. He couldn't wait to show me his room and immediately started building his Lego present.

Looks like a mess of pieces to me...

Typical boy...gotta love it!

And in no time, he had a creepy spider built.

Krysten and the boys and adorable Hailey. They don't look much alike, do they?

Hailey was a bit shy at first, but not the other new addition to the family, puppy Cinder. She is so loving, but she is a puppy. She loves to chase Sawyer and he is constantly trying to outrun her.

We stayed overnight and the next day headed to Edmonton to visit Jim's sister, Joanne. Calgary had snow earlier in the month, but it was mostly gone when we visited. Of course, the day we were travelling, we had some winter weather just to keep us on our toes.

Winter driving conditions, indeed. We saw a car on the opposite side do a loop and slam into guardrail. It happened so fast. Hope everyone was OK.

We arrived at Joanne's to the yummy smell of a turkey cooking. Oh my, we weren't going to miss Thanksgiving after all!

An added bonus! Joanne's family came for dinner...her granddaughter Zoe on the left with Joanne's daughter, Teresa, behind her. Jim is at the head of the table with Joanne's son-in-law, Andy, beside him. Joanne is beside Andy and looks amazing! Her cancer is currently in remission. We are so happy she is doing so well.

Joanne's cat, Sadie...she is pretty lazy and is happiest on a blanket on Joanne's lap.

I decided to introduce her to a cat game on Joanne's iPad. She was quite amused by it.

In her lazy sitting stance...

Joanne is very artistic and showed us a coloured pencil drawing she is working on. She said she has about 100 hours of work left! The dress is stunning.

Joanne got tickets for us to see the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performing a Tribute to the Beatles. Love to hear the Beatles music!

A beautiful theatre...

We don't often see Edmonton at was very pretty.

Joanne's granddaughter, Zoe, gave us discount cards to use at Sephora where she works. Why not? We love a makeover!

Patrick had recommended Northern Chicken for dinner as they carry his beer and he's become friendly with the owners. Joanne's daughter, Teresa, also gave it a thumbs up, so off we went.

Loved the sign!

Jim and one of the owners...

Waiting for our food...

OMG...the food was amazing! It reminded me of being in Savannah. Oh wait...wouldn't that be southern chicken?

Crispy chicken, mac and cheese, broccoli, smashed potatoes, cornbread...all that was missing was the collard greens. Just kidding...didn't miss them at all!

This lady was very helpful as we negotiated the menu. I stuck a blue Outcast balloon on the menu. We're always excited when we see Patrick's beer!

We went to the liquor store and asked about Outcast beer. The guy gave Patrick a glowing review before Jim admitted to being his father. He is certainly well thought of in the craft beer community.

The beer in the bottles was a collaboration with Annex Ale. It was called Super Slammer and it was delicious! I'm not a beer drinker so I was happy to have a beer of Patrick's that I enjoyed. Description: Kettle milkshake sour with lactose, vanilla, passion fruit, blood orange and guava. 500 lbs of fruit puree went into this tart collaboration with Outcast Brewing, starting at an incredibly low pH of 2.9 for a refreshingly sour and nicely fruity sessionable beer with a hint of lingering vanilla. Wow! My palate only picked up "yum!"

Jim gave the Aussie pilsner high marks.

After five lovely days with Joanne in Edmonton, we headed back to Calgary to check into our Airbnb. It was relatively close to Patrick and Krysten and really well-suited to our needs.

Krysten had a surprise for me and invited me over while the boys went out. Krysten, Hailey, me, and Krysten's mom, Leslie.

A surprise for sure! We were going to taste test wedding cakes. Patrick and Krysten have been planning to get married for years, but something always seems to throw them for a loop. They had set a wedding date for October, but unexpected gall bladder surgery for Krysten cancelled that plan. Oh well, the tasting was going ahead anyway.

We had a score sheet...this was serious business!

Hailey is trying to figure out where her cake is...

By the end, I think Krysten and Leslie had reached a consensus. One thing we all agreed on...we could not have eaten another bite of anything! We were officially caked out.

Alex and the selfie stick...

Hailey sporting a shirt in honour of upcoming Hallowe'en that said "so cute it's scary." She is adorable.

Sawyer warmed to us pretty quickly. Last visit he was a little leery of these new people who kept wanting to hug him.

Another Thanksgiving dinner....we were so lucky. This food was amazing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sawyer and the selfie stick!

Patrick, Krysten and Hailey...this is one busy family!

Ru or Ruru as Leslie is known by the boys...

That little face...she would run and fetch her hedgehog for as long as you would throw it.

And that little face!

Alex came to stay with us one night and was up several times starting at 4 am. At 5:15, I finally gave up and got up for good. I asked him if he was feeling OK and he said his tummy kind of hurt. I asked what I could do to make it better and he said "make me some eggs?" What a character!

We raided the cupboard that had games in it and played Jenga and then he discovered the poker chips. Never too early to start! The sun was finally coming up.

Grandpa and Hailey...

She is so adorably squishy!

Cinder is pretty adorable too...when she's still!

Patrick took us out to the garage to show us lots of kegs. Big things happening for Outcast Brewing in 2019!

We had dinner with Lorie and Flemming one evening. They moved back to Calgary in July and we really miss them in our building. It was fun to catch up and see their new place.

I wanted to get a picture of the mountains and snow, so Patrick and Krysten obliged and off we went.

Hailey was checking me out...

So majestic and beautiful....a view you can never tire of.

On our last night we went to Prairie Dog Brewing...

They had a game you can play geared to the Calgary beer industry...

You know you've arrived when you're a clue in a game!

It was a meat feast...delicious!

Sadly, our visit was already over. On our way to the airport in the early hours of the morning with one last selfie...

Goodbye Calgary...until next time!

Heading into Toronto...

You can see the skydome and the CN Tower...

And with two uneventful flights, we were soon looking over the Saint John River in Fredericton.

Touch down...thanks to Patrick and Krysten and Joanne for a great visit. We really miss not seeing the kids more often.

We have no plans to go anywhere this winter...we'll see what the future holds!