Well my friends, summer is almost over and autumn is soon upon us. Luckily, I made some incredible summer memories that I want to share with you. Some were planned but others were a big surprise (those are usually the best). Maybe you can try some of these next year. Here is what I did:
Did you ever want to fly? Tandem skydiving is the way to do it. It was both serene and exhilarating (an oxymoron I know). It was also wild, windy and absolutely incredible. There is no better way to describe the joy and freedom that you feel when you jump out of a plane like this. This unforgettable experience was thanks to the Alberta Skydivers Ltd. They were very knowledgeable, friendly and safety conscious. These guys gave my friends and I the best summer experience ever! Falling from a plane at an unimaginable speed, feeling the wind blow on my face and a cute guy strapped on my back. What could be better than this?
- White Water Rafting
Wet, wild, and wonderful thanks to Lazy Day Raft Rentals. White water rafting is a really refreshing thing to do in the summer. There were times it was calm but other times it was crazy. That’s what made it fun. Be prepared to spend 3 to 4 hours on the water. Also be prepared with a hat, towels, bathing suit, change of clothes, sunscreen and a couple of bottles of water. This adventure is good value for the money and the whole family can do it. Kids love it so be sure to bring them along.
- Burlesque Brunch
This was a unique opportunity and experience. Mikey’s Juke Joint had all you can eat scrambled eggs, fruit, toast and hash browns for brunch followed by the burlesque show. The women put on quite a good performance with poise, grace and effort that you’d expect from ballet dancers. It was tasteful performance from dancers experienced in the art of seduction. But it was erotic and not for everyone. I thought it was a nice way to spend a morning/afternoon but don’t bring kids to this. Leave them at Grandma’s house.
Food Festivals are the best festivals. For one weekend each year, all kinds of ethnic restaurants from all over the city put on a feast called a “Taste of Calgary” at Eau Claire Market. A Brazilian stand had roasted pineapple, a Greek stand had Greek yogurt and potatoes, an Italian stand had a wonderful vegetarian pizza, and a Mediterranean stand had a lovely salad. Each one tasted as delicious as the next but the friendly young gentlemen passing out free drinks (non-alcoholic) were a ray of sunshine on a rainy day. Luckily the rain didn’t last long and we got a beautiful rainbow during our exploration. Talk about good fortune.
- Stampede – The Agrium, Peking Acrobats and international food court
One of the most popular events in Calgary is the Stampede. Every year for ten days, locals and tourists alike enjoy the rodeo, unique shows, foods, games and rides. For me, this year was all about the shows and, as always, the food. First stop was the Agrium where a glamorous, daring blonde cowgirl showed off her horse-training techniques and trick riding abilities. It was an amazing show and her kids were so cute. The next stop was the International food market.
There I indulged in the greatest junk food that Calgary has to offer. Go for the veggie poutine and a Greek salad (just to keep a balance). The last show I saw was the Peking Acrobats. To watch these performers do the incredible stunts was just awe-inspiring. It’s amazing what people can do when they have talent and train and practice.
- Street Festival
One of the great things about summer is all the street festivals. They are generally free of charge to attend and there are so many things to see. A lot of them are put on local businesses that give away free samples, provide demonstrations and for a small charge, offer a service. I recommend getting your palm read, a 10 minute massage and free samples. Free is good. If you need something to eat, stop at one of the food trucks. The food you get is often really good and easy on the $$. Then you can stop and take in the live music which is one of the best things to experience there. To hear musicians play while you hang out in fresh air is a good reason to get out and enjoy summer.
- Outdoor Parties/Campouts
Celebrating summer should include being in a back yard with the wonderful people in your life. We had a potluck dinner and BBQ. The meal was improved by a little wine and good conversation. Afterwards we all sat around a fire pit and sang some campfire songs (I do enjoy singing, but my friends prefer that I do so quietly) until it was dark enough for the fireworks. Oh yes we had fireworks and not for any special celebration except being alive. When the show was over we hung around the picnic table for a card game. That night I slept better in the camper than I had for a week in my own bed. It was a truly special evening. You do not have to travel far to enjoy camping. A tent or camper in the backyard is awesome.
- Salsa Dancing
Nothing is spicier than a good salsa…dance. One lovely summer evening, I went to a Latin festival in Prince Island Park. Outdoor snacks, local artisans and lovely music filled the air with magic. After a snack and chatting with friends, it was time to fulfill the mission to dance and have fun. Various Latin dancers got up on stage and showed how it’s really done. Their moves were so fun and energetic that I had to join in. So I found a cute gentleman and twirled, dipped and danced until I could dance no more.
- High Tea
Dainty sandwiches, exotic teas and big scones. Oh my! Sometimes after a big workout you want to treat yourself. How about a sweet little café called the Doves Nest that does high teas. Enjoy little finger sandwiches, pastries and interesting teas. The food was lovely and a must try is the little cheese biscuit. I also recommend the Lucky Dragon Green Tea. This tea is a good booster and goes with everything on the plate. High teas are not for everyone and certainly not for everyday but I love them when I want to feel pampered.
- Sky Luging
Sky luging at Canada Olympic Park is a lot like tobogganing in the summer time. It’s good for kids and fun-loving, young at heart adults. So all of us! The beauty of the sky luge is that you can go as fast as a race car or as slow as a golf cart and it’s easy. All you have to do is follow the instructions, steer, and ride your sled down a hill at the speed you want. Although you can stay all day, it can be a quick and inexpensive way to get an adrenaline rush. It never hurts to have one of those every now and again.
I hope you all had a wonderful summer and made a whole bunch of your own good memories. Please tell me about what you all did so I can look forward to trying new things next year.