Thursday, April 7, 2011

...somewhere I had never been before

Edmonton, Alberta.

Some people I've talked to find it hard to believe that I had never been to Edmonton before.  It's not very far away from Winnipeg, and with all of the attractions in the mall, it's a pretty common destination for families with kids.  But my family never traveled very far when I was young; we mostly went to "the farm" (eastern Saskatchewan) or camping somewhere within the province.  My mom hates to fly (or is deathly afraid of it....either description fits), so vacations were spent close to home.

One of my oldest and closest friends moved out to Edmonton a few years ago.  We had talked about my going out there to visit quite a few times, but plans always fell through.  One morning in February, I woke up determined to start doing the things that I keep putting off (it's quite a list), so I got online at 7 am and booked a flight for late March.

The trip was quick...our time off work only overlapped for three days.  My flight got me there at 7 am though, so we made the most of them.

Now.  I'm a shopper who doesn't shop often.  It sounds odd, but I just don't make the time to go very much.  But when I do.....I come home with lots.  In total, we took three trips to the mall.  The first time was to eat and see the attractions - I really wanted to see the marine show and thought that we could feed the sea lions.  We couldn't, but having my picture taken right beside one was an okay substitute.

(obviously not the picture I'm in.  This was during the show.)


The actual shopping took two trips.  One trip for the upper level and the other for the main floor.  I'm still in physio, so walking this mall took some effort and ended up being painful.  But we both wore comfy shoes and powered through.  We only went into the stores that we couldn't easily go to here, and it STILL took us over seven hours!  But the shirts, dresses, purses, and jewelery were worth it!

And I finally shopped at an IKEA store!!!!!!  It was tough, because I couldn't buy anything that was too large or too heavy (I didn't want to deal with shipping anything here either).  We found some pretty cool little things though.  Like the prettiest pack of straws you've ever seen.  And of course, I kept the little pencil you pick up when you walk in.

But by far, the best part was three days with the kind of friend who you never have to put on a show for.  Who you can tell all of your worst stuff to, and she'll never look at you any differently.  Who you can laugh with about stuff that happened ten years ago, and she totally gets the hilarity of it too.  It's one of those friendships where time, distance, and differences (which are vast) don't really matter.  The kind that you are totally lucky to find.

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