So, as I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago I travelled westward for a conference/workshop thing and a chance to see a friend. I had a great trip! So here's the run down...
It started in Edmonton visiting with my friend. Her super-awesome boyfriend came into town and was nice enough to come pick me up at the airport and everything... which was great, even though I'm ok with taking taxis. Last time I took a taxi in Edmonton the cabbie got lost. For those of you unfamiliar with Edmonton here's the punchline: Edmonton is on a grid. The whole city is layed out on a grid, all the streets are numbered and the house numbers tell you the nearest cross-street. It's insane, I've never seen a city so perfectly gridded! Of course I'm used to these nutso east-coast cities were there are probably 5 street intersections, one way streets, streets that stop and start somewhere else, a corner is any angle greater than zero, and a street may take a turn at an angle anything less than 180 degrees and continue on as if nothing happened... etc,etc. Anyway, I digress.
What does one do in Edmonton? Well, when you are hanging out with your best friend who you love shopping with... you shop. We also went to the waterpark... *Awesome*... but it is in the mall, so does that count as not shopping?? I barely behaved myself in the stores... but mostly my pocketbook was safe.
- Most practical purchase: tie between leggings to wear for hockey (less bunchy than sweatpants under shin guards) and body butter which was completely necessary in the infamous dry cold in Edmonton, especially after the chlorine in the water park. All very mundane and unexciting.
- Least practical purchase: shoes. oh, but they are beautiful shoes... sometimes we have to make a little room in our lives for beauty right? to be fair to the shoes I bought, they are much, much more practical than the first pair I tried on, which perhaps I loved more, but honestly couldn't have worn... these shoes had already done a full day's duty before coming home as I wore them at the workshop. :)
Now, we didn't spend all of our time at the West Edmonton Mall (though perhaps with an appropriate budget we could have). We also decided to check out Whyte Ave... a trendier, quainter, outdoor shopping strip. It was all nicely decorated for Christmas already too. We took the camera this day (really, we didn't need any pictures of our shopping frenzy at West-Ed) and played around with Melanie's Rebel lens which is different than mine (her's is the film version). I was going to try to link the photos from Flickr since they are already there... but it doesn't seem to want to cooperate. So here's just one of the street:
See how pretty with all the lights? Anyway, after that we headed in to Calgary, crashed at friend's super-awesome boyfriends' place, who once again came to pick us up (what a sweetie!), and then off to Banff in time for my workshop. We had a great day in Banff. Banff is nice. We squeezed in: a short hike, a trip to the hot springs, and yet another little shopping expedition. I think the hot springs were my favorite. I really wanted to go back, but people from the conference were less enthusiastic about it than I was. How wonderful to sit in 39C water gazing at mountains with occasional flurries falling down!? Fantastic! Thank goodness I brought my bathing suit! Anyway, it was kind of overcast, and really on the chilly side to be doing too much hiking or anything without really being prepared. Here's a picture of me on our "hike" along a short section of the "hoodoos" trail...
... yeah, it was cold. Those weird rocks in the background are the so-called "hoodoos"... no idea what the origin of the name is. Anyway, Mel's really a great photographer, she: (a) managed to take pictures of me (I usually pull a duck and hide) and (b) managed to take good pictures of me (no half-closed blinky eyes, open mouths, crinkled chins, etc). I think she should make a career out of it. ;) I put up lots more pictures on Flickr... some of them are Mel's.
After that I was pretty busy with the workshop, but there was some "free discussion" time that was taken into the great outdoors. :) The workshop was pretty good, though I'd seen talks on many of the topics and there was not as much new as I'd hoped, and my poster didn't get a lot of attention. I did meet lots of people though, so it was still interesting and worthwhile.