As you may have seen I created, deleted and recreated a photo blog. Since then I’ve been more diligent at posting photographs than I have been at writing here. I suppose that’s because it’s just easier to post a photo with a little description than it is to actually think of shit to write.
As you know (if you’ve been to my photo blog) Bran, Boy and Boy’s friend went to Edmonton, Albert last weekend. This weekend was pretty much for Boy but ended up being enjoyed by the entire group. A couple of months back I bought some really good tickets to Rammstein one of Boy’s all-time favourite bands. Based out of Germany the band took the name of Rammstein after a tragic accident at an air show when 70 people were killed after a mid-air collision of jets at an air show caused one jet to crash into the audience. Anyway, I find them to be repetitive and dull. Afterall, I don’t speak German. Boy, however thinks they’re the cat’s meow. The band doesn’t tour North America often. In fact, the last North American tour was around 10 years ago. Even more rarifying is that they played only 3 Canadian cities, Edmonton being one of them.
So I bought tickets, then I booked two hotel rooms. One room for Boy and his friend and one for Bran and I. We went up Friday, the day of the concert. The GPS was proven to be invaluable in keeping us from staying lost. The instructions were confusing at times, causing us to go the wrong way but eventually “recalculating” got us on the right track again and we got to our destinations. After we checked into the hotel (a relatively painless endeavour despite the cost) we drove off to find Fat Burger. That was when we discovered there is more than one Fat Burger in Edmonton. It took us to the downtown restaurant. We set the GPS to take us to Ikea (where the Fat Burger I’m familiar with is at) and off we went again, through downtown, past construction detours and eventually we were at the right place.
Silly me, I didn’t have my camera out for much of the trip up to Edmonton. But when we got to Elk Island National Park we pulled over and hauled out the photography equipment and I began snapping pictures. Yes, I have a lot of pictures. Some of them I took because I know that not all people on the internet live on the prairies. Imagine that!
What can I say about Fat Burger? Well, I can say it’s not a place I’d take any vegetarian friends. For them I’d try out the Mongolie Grill that apparently makes a phenomenal meal and is very vegetarian friendly. I haven’t eaten there though. Back to Fat Burger. Each person ordered a different burger. I got the Fat Burger with cheese, Bran got the mushroom with Swiss cheese, Boy got the old style cheddar bacon and his friend got the bbq burger. The only sound coming from our table was much nomming. Each of them declared that Fat Burger was the best they’d had.
After we were stuffed to the gills on burgers and fries, we headed back to the hotel. I was somewhat intrusive on the direction department, but Bran didn’t seem to be looking at the GPS when he was taking direction. The voice doing the directing is only 1/2 the equation with GPS. You have to look at the screen to see what’s up. I wasn’t so interfering when I had a camera in my hands.
We got back to the hotel with about 1/2 hour to spare before the guys were going to take a cab to Rexall Place for the concert. After they left I watched a movie or two, read, did crosswords and napped. They didn’t get back until nearly midnight, though Bran kept in touch so I knew they were safe. Apparently they started walking, looking for a cab, but in the wrong direction. So 25 blocks away from Rexall Place they finally got a cab and headed back. The boys were blissed out. They had their dream concert. Each bought some memorabilia. Friend got a t-shirt, Boy got a sippered bunny hug (hoodie to you non-Saskatchewan people) and a banner and Bran got a scarf, the only thing he was certain would fit. Throughout the rest of the weekend I was regaled with tales of how awesome the show was, critiques of the performances of the front bands compared to Rammstein and general teenager chattiness.
I took photos of as much as I could. I took photos after we got the cameras from the box in the trunk. I shot bison, farms, old farm buildings, signs, highway workers, the skyline of Edmonton as we approached the city, trains, cows (mostly Charolais and Angus), some elk, everything outside our hotel window, Bran, Boy, Boy’s friend, the streets of Edmonton, buildings, flags, lots of stuff in West Edmonton Mall, the sea lions they have there, more buildings, the North Saskatchewan River and river valley, the scenery when were were travelling to and from Edmonton, the giant decorated egg at Vegreville Alberta and more. You won’t see many of the photos because they’re hard to process. Taking photos from a moving vehicle means the photos will be grainy if much cropping is done. However I’ll try to make sure there are lots on my Flickr account. You’ll have to go to my photo blog (remember, the green button on the right that doesn’t match the other buttons – then click on a photo and you’ll be at my Flickr pages)
On Saturday, after eating a rather overpriced breakfast at the hotel, we all headed to West Edmonton Mall for a bit of shopping. Bran and I wandered around for a few hours while Boy and his friend did their shopping and saw a 3D movie. I bought some capri pants. I was wearing sweats and sweating I was. So I wore a pair of the capris out of the store. We stopped at a camera store and Bran geeked out with one of the staff there. He horrified/tempted me by asking about a large, expensive lens. The guy checked and one of their other stores in town had the lens in stock. I was tempted like you would not believe! It would mean that I could get close in shots of animals without disturbing them in any way…like the pelicans on the river. We didn’t get the lens because we needed to buy food for the family first and the store would be closed by the time we were done.
That night we found, by serendipity, a Chinese food buffet. It was pretty good, as far as buffets go. There was some lovely spicy stuff and some bland stuff. I was especially happy to see some veggie chow mien that was mostly bean sprouts. I like bean sprouts and it made a lovely accompaniment to the tasty spicy shrimp.
After that we dropped the boys off at the hotel, picked up our cameras and headed off to a downtown (by the river) park. That’s where I got the photo of the hare at the river bank. It’s also where I got a lovely clear shot of a marvelous bull dog. Alas, I had to take the photo of the dog against the sun so it’s washed out with light. The worst of it is that the dog is in perfect focus. Bummer. The mosquitoes became horrid and being as I’m an attractant to the little buggers we headed back to the hotel. Bran wanted to stay out longer, but once we got back to the hotel he realized that he was quite sore and tired and very glad to be back in our room. The boys informed us that there was no promised wireless internet, that the IT people were working on it and that they had no TV. Though we didn’t care it did get us $30 off their room.
On Sunday I woke early and took a nice shower. I was somewhat surprised to find myself running out of hot water by the end of it. One would think that a hotel with 14 floors wouldn’t allow that sort of thing to happen. But it was the end of my shower and I wasn’t too disturbed. I got dressed and played some DS (Brain Age 1 and 2). Bran woke sometime later. We spent time packing up and then the boys joined their stuff to ours on a cart. Of course Boy forgot one thing, his Rammstein bunny hug and had to go back for it while I was taking care of the bill.
From there we headed off to Ikea to look around. I was blissed out. It was a lot of fun to look at all the stuff. I would have stayed longer but Bran’s body isn’t what it used to be and he’d abused it a lot the past few days. So I did what I usually do on stores, I headed directly to where I wanted to be and looked only at the things I was thinking of purchasing. In the end we bought a dresser and chest of drawers (chiffonier) for our bedroom. I’m currently using a crap dining room hutch we purchased at Junk (pronounced yunk) and Bran’s dresser is too small. So Boy will get the dresser and our room will get rid of “stuff” that just has nowhere to go.
After Ikea we went back to Fat Burger for lunch before heading back to Saskatoon. I had the California burger (it involved an obscene amount of very delicious guacamole), Bran stuck with the mushroom and Swiss burger, Boy did the BBQ burger and his friend did the king supreme (or some such title). We also got milk shakes instead of soft drinks. They were quite yummy and I couldn’t finish mine. Then it was off to Tim Horton’s for some caffeine and out of town to home.
We stopped at one old homestead to take pictures. There was an old stone foundation, an old animal shed (we aren’t sure if it’s for sheep or if it was a cow shed) and an old house. The house had no windows and no doors. any paint that might have been on the siding was long since gone on all sides and the boards were all darkly stained with age. Surprisingly it had a basement foundation, though I think the access was through a floor door rather than a set of stairs, though I could be wrong on that since there appeared to be both.
The rest of the photos I took were while we were moving. We got back to town around 7, dropped off Boy’s friend and went to get gas and get the truck washed. The guys who filled the truck and washed the windshield were both rock fans and sounded deeply envious of Boy being able to take in the concert. Then we went to eat supper. After that it was home to pick up my truck and get it gassed up and washed.
After we got gas we went to the car wash. It’s one of those where you put in the code of your wash ticket and it hauls you through. The person ahead of me screwed up somehow and ended up hauling me through the wash. I followed the instructions about when to drive ahead and was trying to put in my code when the truck was hauled in behind the other vehicle. Talk about upsetting! We were on the verge of being run into the back of the car a few times. I put on the brakes to keep from piling in. Bran was wigged out and kept yelling at me. Let’s just say it wasn’t a stellar moment of marital communication. I went back around and made certain that I wasn’t going to get hauled through prematurely behind the car in front of me. I waited for the car wash door to close and then drove up. Happily the second time proved the charm and I drove out with a clean car. Bran thinks that the person in front of us drove through rather than letting the machine do the work and I was a victim of the machine thinking it had them.
When we got home Bran phoned Boy and Boy put Dutchess in his bedroom so we could unload the truck without her bolting out of the house. I unpacked some bags and then tried to catch up on blogs. Since I had to work on Monday morning that endeavour didn’t last too long and I went to bed.
Since we’ve been home things have gotten back to mostly normal. I was sick today with my guts being irritated. Though better I’m still finding myself controlling nausea and pain that makes me cringe and have to breath through. I hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.