“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”    -Matsuo Basho

Calgary, nestled in the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the Southern part of the province of Alberta. Growing from a small trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the late 1800’s, today Calgary is the 4th largest metropolis in Canada. 

The name Calgary originates from a compound of kald and gart, similar Old Norse words, meaning “cold” and “garden”. After spending a good deal of my childhood and school years in Calgary, I would agree with the naming structure. Winters can be bitterly cold, but are often broken up by warm chinook winds blowing in from the West, over the Rocky Mountains.

Just like the warm West Coast winds making their way East, my daughter and I flew out of YVR this week. We don’t expect to see that airport in quite awhile, at least a year, maybe longer. As I watched the receding smoke filled air disappear behind us, I was struck at how magnificent the view out the window is. I didn’t watch a movie this time. On this day, I watched British Columbia whiz by, turning into Alberta. 

But all that happened later. First, we had to hand over our house. In a small way, that was the start of our trip. We were homeless and counting down the days until next August. All our wordly possessions are packed up, getting a big rest, until we return. I thought it would feel so strange to get in our truck and drive away. Somehow it didn’t. I think we were happy to be done with the cleaning and ready to move onto the next steps of our adventure.

We had not originally planned to spend so many days in Alberta. When our tenants wanted to get into our house early, we agreed, shifting our entire year by 3 weeks. By next August, at this time, we will be settled back into our West Coast life, enjoying the last days of summer before our kids will go back to regular high school. 

In order to move our dates around, we are couch surfing with family. Starting with my husband’s parents in Agassiz, British Columbia. We took care of last appointments on the Coast, my son finished his summer job and had a milestone birthday. My daughter and I travelled first, arriving at my sister’s and parents house respectively. Each getting a private, long weekend with smaller groups of family. The boys will drive our truck out in the coming days. There is no rush, we have plenty of time, a luxury I don’t remember since being in school myself.

Instead of actually sleeping on a couch, I have the pleasure of using my nephews room while he is away at the best summer camp experience – ever! He was lucky enough to qualify, (excellent grades), for the ‘two course summer study abroad program’ through MEI International Academy in Central America. He will be home soon, the pictures online look amazing, I can’t wait to hear the stories of adventure. That has to be the best way to take grade 12 English and Biology!

That brings me back to Calgary, where I sit after one week of our trip. While we are underway, officially, we are also tying up some loose ends. My sister and I made a pilgrimage to The Camera Store. My favourite place to buy gear. Extremely knowledgeable staff, with an extensive selection. It is usually an expensive visit, but never disappoints. I added a few essentials to my kit:

  • 35mm f/1.8 Nikon prime lens
  • V-Mic D2 shotgun microphone
  • lens filters and rechargeable silica beads in a metal case, (for the hot/cold indoor/outdoor scenarios of condensation in SE Asia).

Shout out to my sister who has officially become the foodie, title has switched from me to her. She has secured reservations and busted out the best recipes for eating and drinking, every moment of my stay. I feel like I am vacationing at a spa. She loves to walk, so we get in at least 10km in the morning. The scenery close to her home is breathtaking. For all the years she has lived here, I had no idea how amazing it is. If you find yourself in North West Calgary, do not miss the Edgemont Ravine and Nosehill Park.

See the short video I made to highlight some of things we did this week:

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Christine Westermark

I am working on a movement to empower women to practice creativity everyday, in every way we can. I believe this will be able us to realize our full potential in all facets of our lives. Be bold! Join, start or share in this social movement.
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Kald and Gart – the meaning of Calgary?

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