Archives for category: The Outdoors

This post is better late than never, right? Just pretend it’s Monday while you’re reading this.

Five Guys September 25 2012

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I went to Five Guys for the first time on Friday night. The boyfriend lives a couple blocks away from one, so we thought we’d check it out. I got a little cheeseburger and we shared some Cajun fries. It was pretty good.

Saturday was mostly errands and laundry. Saturday night was a friend’s birthday party. You know you’re getting old when your friends turn 30-something and it doesn’t sound old. As a teenager I would have thought that was ancient! I had a barbequed burger and veggies and piece of pumpkin birthday cake for dessert.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary September 23 2012 (3)

Sunday I spent with the boyfriend. We ended up at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Neither of us had ever been there before. There were quite a few paths to walk along. It was really pretty with the changing leaves.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary September 23 2012 (1)

I swear there are birds in this photo! The Canadian Geese are by the closest island. Ironically we only saw one other bird there. Kind of funny that at the bird sanctuary we only saw two different birds.

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary September 23 2012 (2)

I would definitely go for a walk here again. Even though we were there on a Sunday morning with quite a few other people, it never felt crowded.

The bird sanctuary is in a pretty cute neighbourhood. On the way there we passed a Mexican restaurant, so we went to it for lunch. We shared a plate of nachos (oh so cheesy and delicious) and a chicken quesadilla. I may or may not have had a margarita.

Anne of Windy Poplars September 25 2012 (1)

Little Men Jo's Boys September 25 2012

We walked over to a used book store after lunch. I found the fourth Anne of Green Gables book I had been looking for. I also found the other two books in the Little Women series, which I haven’t read yet. The best part of finding these books is that they don’t look like they’ve ever been read.

Shaun of the Dead September 25 2012

Once we got back to the boyfriend’s place we decided to watch Shaun of the Dead. I don’t think that movie ever gets old. If you haven’t seen it I would definitely recommend it.

Garden Tomatoes September 24 2012

I thought I saw something read on one of the tomato plants, and when I went outside to check it out, I was right. I ended up picking quite a few tomatoes. They were perfectly sweet. No matter how many tomatoes I eat from the grocery store, none of them taste like garden grown ones.

Sunday night I had my second yoga class. We did a lot of the same poses, so it was great to be able to do them again because this time I kind of knew what I was doing. It was the perfect way to end the weekend.

What was your favourite part of your weekend?

Let me start off by saying that I had taken a couple photos with my phone while I was on my walk. But cause I’m awesome, I had my finger over part of the lens in all of them. That’s what I get for trying to use my phone and not being able to see it very well cause of the sun. So long story short, there’s no photo for this post.

I had some drama with a friend today. It’s been brewing for awhile, and today it finally happened. I was frustrated and upset with her.

When I got home from work though I had two choices: do something constructive or eat too much of something that I shouldn’t be eating in the first place. Lucky for me, I made a good choice.

Even though it was really windy this afternoon, I decided to go for a walk. On the drive over there were leaves all over the place, and there were lots of branches in the road. When I say it was windy, I mean it was REALLY windy.

I enjoyed myself though, despite the fact that I was almost blown away. Even though I had my hair in a pony tail with bobby pins, it was still everywhere when I got back to the house.

While I was out there a funny thing happened. The more I walked, the better I felt. By the time I got back to the car 40 minutes later, I was actually feeling pretty good.

Lesson learned: workout (or go for a walk) when stressed instead of eating. I felt better without the guilt of eating something bad for me.

 

Bowmont September 7 2012 (1)

Bowmont September 7 2012 (3)Bowmont September 7 2012 (2)

Bowmont September 7 2012 (4)

Yesterday afternoon my dad and I decided to go for a walk in a park not too far from the house. Even though it was a long weekend it wasn’t too crowded.

Baker Park September 2 212 (1)

The weather was perfect – the sun was shining but the wind kept it from getting too hot. There’s actually lots of paths to pick as you can see from the map. We ended up going pretty much the whole length of the park.

Baker Park September 2 212 (2)

There’s lots of trees there that provided some shade. It’s nice to be able to enjoy the big trees. Our neighbourhood is relatively new, so most of the trees aren’t as big as the ones in the park.

Baker Park September 2 212 (3)

The park used to be a hospital that treated people with TB. When it was built (in the 20’s) it wasn’t inside the city limits, but now there’s several communities between it and the edge of the city. When the hospital was torn down 30 or 40 years ago they decided to make it into a park.

Because of that history there are quite a few paths that lead off into nowhere, like this one that goes from a main path into some trees. It’s totally random, but kind of a cool reminder of the history of the park.

Baker Park September 2 212 (4)

The river was going pretty fast. Despite how nice it was the weather was the water still pretty cold.

Baker Park September 2 212 (5)

My dad wanted me to take a photo of him next to the bears. Don’t as me why. He’s kind of weird sometimes, but I love him.

Baker Park September 2 212 (6)

After our walk my dad “needed a little something”, so we ended up stopping at Starbucks. I got a passion tea lemonade. It’s my go-to warm weather drink at Starbucks since I’m not a coffee drinker.

This afternoon my dad and I decided to go on a walk in Bowmont, one of my favourite parks in the city. He wanted to tackle Waterfall Valley, so we set off.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (1)

Waterfall Valley goes down to the Bow River and is mostly boardwalk. During the spring when the snow is melting it’s pretty wet in the valley, even with the boardwalk. Waterproof boots are a must!

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (10)

There are lots of interpretive signs along the way, pointing out plants or natural features.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (2)

The first half of the walk is mostly shrubs, grasses, and flowers. There’s no trees. Going down to the waterfalls is slightly downhill. It’s so slight you don’t really notice it until it’s time to come back and you feel it in your legs.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (3)

The second half has lots of trees though, and it’s a pretty nice walk even on hot days.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (4)

Just before the waterfalls there’s a couple big rocks. They look out of place to me and make me wonder whenever I walk past them how they got there. I just don’t think they belong there.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (5)

Before you get to the waterfall you can hear it. It always reminds me of being in a fairy tale – it’s that cute! It’s hard to see in the photo, but it’s pretty cool how the water has carved away at the stone over time.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (6)

There are stairs at the very end just after the waterfall that lead to a lookout over the Bow River.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (9)

The brook joins the Bow River. There are steps that go down to it, but for some reason it was blocked off today. It almost looks like they’re going to do some repair work on them.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (7)

It’s amazing how blue the water looked today. It was gorgeous! Pretty much all the land in that photo is also Bowmont. It’s actually a pretty big park, with lots and lots of trails to explore.

Bowmont with Dad August 30 2012 (8)

The other side of the river is all houses. How cool would it be to have a house that backs onto the river? I had a friend who lived there in high school, and we got our grad photos taken with the river in the background, it was pretty awesome.

I have another walk planned tonight with a friend. We try to get together once a week to walk and hang out. Sometimes it’s just the two of us, sometimes her two kids and two dogs are with us. It’s always something I look forward to.

Do you have any exciting plans for tonight?

I thought I’d share about my vacation. We rented a condo on Shuswap Lake in British Columbia. It’s about a 7 hour drive from Calgary west through the mountains. While the scenery is beautiful along the highway, it’s also pretty curvy with lots of sheer cliffs on one side.

Blind Bay August 2012 (6)

Packing for this trip was surprisingly easy. I didn’t take too much (I only came back with two outfits I didn’t wear), but I also didn’t forget anything important.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (16)

This was the lake we were on. The only time it was cold was first thing in the morning. You could see tons of minnows from the dock, and one of my friends caught a fish.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (10)

We had a little dock, a picnic table, and a little bit of pebbly beach to enjoy. I was always the first one up in the mornings, so I always brought my journal down to the water and enjoyed the scenery and wrote. It was also pretty nice to have it so quiet. At 6:30 in the mornings there’s not a lot going on on the water.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (3)

This was the view we had from the condo. While it definitely could have been better without the power lines and trees, it was still pretty awesome.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (20)

I worked on my tan while I was there. Even though I work  outside I’m still pretty white. At least I came home a little tanner than I left, but I managed to avoid a sunburn.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (6)

We ate all our meals outside on the deck. Somehow the food tasted better with the pretty view. The first couple days I was there, there were 12 of us, so it was definitely a full table.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (59)

My friend’s little one had his first birthday while we were there. He opened gifts (with the help of his older sister) and had lots of fun playing with them.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (68)

We made him a birthday brownie instead of a cake. The oven broke earlier in the week, so we had to use the barbeque to bake them. Once we got the barbeque set to the right temperature it actually worked pretty good.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (71)

Of course half the fun of eating a birthday brownie is making a mess and getting it all over the place.

Blind Bay Vacation August 2012 (1)

The last night I was there were had a gorgeous sunset. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was a great way to end the trip.

We went on a hike my third day there, but since I look so many pictures on it I thought I’d make that a post of it’s own.

Have you gone on vacation anywhere this summer? Where did you go?

Shuswap Lake August 18 2012

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I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow. It won’t be a day too soon. This is will be my first vacation since 2006 or 2007. Needless to say, it’s been long overdue.

I’ll be spending my vacation on this lake. I’m pretty excited about being able to relax in those pretty surroundings. The plan is to bring a good book, take lots of walks along the shoreline, and spend time with some of my favourite people. It’s going to be awesome.

I’ll have a couple posts ready to go next week while I’m gone, so it won’t be completely quiet around here. Hopefully when I get back I’ll be able to share how awesome my time off was.

Did you go anywhere fun this summer?

 

Tonight I’m going to watch fireworks! I can’t even remember the last time I’ve watched some, it’s been that long.

They had them going last weekend too, and I got a sneak peek of them one night when I was driving home. They looked pretty awesome, so I’m really looking forward to tonight.

There’s going to be five locations in the city that are going to have fireworks going on at the same time, to celebrate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede.

Are you up to anything exciting tonight?

Better late than never, right? Here’s what I did over the weekend.

Greek Festival June 26 2012 (4)

Friday after work my dad and I headed down to the Greek Festival that was being put on. The main attraction for the two of us was definitely the food. We both ended up getting the chicken souvlaki and a side of pita and tzatziki. Both were pretty good.

Greek Festival June 26 2012 (5)

I asked my dad why he was making a face and he told me that was his “tzatziki face”. Apparently he had been craving it for awhile and thought that face conveyed how much he needed it.

While we were eating the Euro 2012 game was on – Greece vs Germany. The place just about erupted with cheering when Greece scored and tied up the game.

Greek Festival June 26 2012 (1)

We finished off the meal with baklava. Seriously, it has to be one of my favourite desserts. I almost (almost) couldn’t finish it cause it was such a big piece, but it would be a shame to let it go to waste, right?

Sugar Cookies June 26 2012 (2)

Saturday afternoon I made sugar cookies. They turned out pretty good (they didn’t last very long so they must have been tasty), though the only thing I would have changed was to bake them for a few minutes longer. You’ll hear more about these cookies later though.

Bowmont June 26 2012

Sunday I took it pretty easy. I went for a two and a half hour walk with a friend in Bowmont. Two and a half hours of walking and didn’t even cover half the park – I just gave her the “Highlights According to Fiona Tour”. It was from this spot that we saw a deer down in the valley. We both saw something moving down there and at first thought it was a dog (most of Bowmont is off-leash), but then we realized it was way too big to be a dog.

Dirty Socks from Bowmont June 26 2012

The walk started off a little bit rainy, but after about half an hour it stopped. Needless to say though that the grass, boardwalks, and trails were all still wet though. I wore my runners instead of my trail shoes like I probably should have. When I got home I realized how wet and dirty my socks got. It was definitely worth it though. It was a beautiful walk and I got to spend some time with a really good friend.

Today is the first day of summer! Can you tell I’m really excited about it? 6 months out of the year there’s snow on the ground here, so I try to appreciate the nice whether while it’s here.

Last summer seems like such a long time ago. Or maybe it’s just because a lot of things have happened in the last year – some good, some bad, all kids of stuff.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to this summer:

Lily June 20 2012

Flowers! Working the job that I do, I’ve come to appreciate natural beauty a lot more. I love summertime because the flowers are blooming. Not only are they beautiful, but they also smell good. You can’t help but smile when you see something so pretty.

Bowmont During the Summer June 20 2012

Bowmont! While I haven’t spent much time in the park yet this summer, I spent a good chunk of last summer there (like 4 or 5 times a week). It’s so beautiful. The scenery is always changing too. Because it’s a natural park, that means there’s all kinds of wildflowers. You never know what’s going to be blooming from week to week.

Hiking June 20 2012

Hiking! Even though the mountains aren’t very far from where I live (an hour away), it still feels like I’m a million miles away from the city and my life and anything I’m worrying about. There’s just something about the vastness of the wilderness and how huge the mountains are that puts things in perspective.

Hiking June 2012

And more hiking! I only got out to hike a couple times last year. I really wish I had gone more. But now that it’s June I can go. While I won’t be able to go with my dad anymore (he was my chief hiking partner last year). I did have a friend who mentioned wanting to go this summer, so I think I’m set.

Okanagan June 20 2012

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Vacation! I might even have a vacation lined up for this year! It’s been a loooong time since I’ve gone anywhere. Like the summer of 2006 when I was in Europe. Yeah, it’s been that long. While it’s still not 100% sure, I might be spending a couple nights in the Okanagan. Seriously, it has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Mountains, lakes, and vineyards – can you ask for much more?

What are you looking forward to this summer?