Cowtown Day 1

Despite not knowing which timezone I was in, we woke up at “feeding” time and got ourselves sorted out for breakfast downstairs.  The dining room in the hotel is simple however, the breakfast on offer was more than we would eat at home.  This is always a challenge – not to eat just because it is laid out before you.  To assist us in making the “right choice” the size of the majority of our dining partners convinced us that we only needed the continental version of what was on offer.  Like a lot of other western nations Canada’s population is not only growing older but substantially larger!

We weren’t able to pick up a rental car yesterday because a recent hailstorm that swept through Calgary caused damage to a lot of rental cars (and private cars) and the company we chose didn’t have any vehicles.   However, this morning we were able to arrange for a car through Enterprise and they even came to the hotel and picked us up.  They gave us a very good rate for the week long hire and the car that we were given was brand new – nice!  To add to the bonuses, the car was red and we know that they always go faster.

With the car sorted we headed of for Kane’s Harley Davidson in downtown.  I had previously arranged for the weekend hire of a Electra Glide Ultra Classic Harley and we had to drop down to the shop to arrange the paperwork and confirm that the bike was indeed available.  Finding the shop was relatively easy although we did manage to circumnavigate a little of the area.

Craig, the guy that looks after the rentals for Kane’s was very helpful and before we knew it we had the paperwork sorted and the bike confirmed.  However, before we were able to leave the shop I had a lot of dribbling to do so we spent time checking out the bikes and accessories (nothing like a bit of dream building).

After Kane’s we checked ourselves into the nearest Starbucks and topped up the caffeine (for me) and tea (for The Princess) reserves before heading back out to the airport.  Leaving so soon?  No.  The other admin’ that needed completing for today was the formal application for my Foreign License Validation Certificate for my pilot’s license.  My other plan for the Calgary visit is to take The Princess flying and I need to get my Australian license validated before I can fly in Canada.  So, it was off to the airport in search of the local office of Transport Canada.  Easier said than done.  Calgary airport is geographically spread out over a large area and, you guessed it, we went to the wrong area initially.  After quite a bit of driving around (read wasting time) we finally gave in and called the office for instructions.  Ah…. who would have guessed – the office was on the other side of the airfield (quite a distance away).

The staff at Transport Canada were very helpful and after handing over $CAN45.00 and submitting the paperwork we were on our way (correct way this time) back into town with a promise that the certificate would be ready on Monday – very efficient.

We downed some tasty Subway (eat fresh!) for lunch and then went “window” shopping in the local Glendeer Circle Shopping Mall.  I picked up a very nice jacket that will come in handy for riding the Harley this weekend and The Princess walked away with a nice pair of hiking shorts.  We also picked up a holder for my Nokia X6 phone so we can use the GPS function for our upcoming driving holiday on the east coast.

The Princess’ sister, Diane, lives about 20 mins east of Calgary in a small town called Langdon and this was the focus of our attention for the evening.  Uncle David and Aunt Sandra had an appointment with 5 children and their Mum and Dad.  Diane recently moved in with Scott and today was the first time that I met Scott and his three children and also the first time (for this visit) that I got to catch up with Diane, Aidan and Ciara.

The drive out to Langdon is is quite scenic – flat paddocks with canals running through them and, at this time of the year, the yellow flowered rape seed as far as the eye can see.  Occasionally the landscape is broken up by oil well pumps (Alberta is renown for its oil and gas).

We arrived at Diane and Scott’s place around 1600 and spent a very pleasant afternoon wearing down the kids (or maybe that was the other way around?), playing with the very active dog and downing a couple of cold beers with Scott and Diane.  We “dined in” with some take away from the local pub and saw the evening out by getting the kids to bed at a reasonable hour.

The Princess and I arrived back at the hotel around 2300 and it wasn’t long before we were scanning the inside of our eyelids – ah…… timezone changes and an afternoon of running around a backyard with excited children.

Share This Post

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply