A good day in Cowtown.

Calgary has been a hoot and a half. No unintentional nudity, I didn’t get lost, the folks are nice and not to many of them had read yesterdays blog before coming out last night. (Timing is everything.)

Getting off the airplane I was greeted by two of Calgary’s “White Hats”


(Don’t they look like Calgary? You couldn’t get those two anywhere else. They were really cute about holding the sock, though the lady did say “People from Toronto are really strange….” as I walked away.)

I checked into the hotel yesterday after an absolutely uneventful trip from Edmonton (What were the odds on that?) and immediately took the sock for a walk around this pretty, pretty city.

My Mum and my grandparents lived in Calgary (on the base) for a while and I’m just the sort of dork who thinks that it’s cool that some of my furniture used to be here, especially my piano, which has lived lots of places in Canada. I’ve actually been to Calgary before, but I was 8 years old. There’s a lot I remember about that trip, but I was 8. I remember the hot tub and pool that my grammy and I swam in on the top of the hotel (anybody know what hotel that is?) and I remember my grammy convincing me to feign a tummy-ache so that we didn’t have to go to a business dinner with my grampa. It was brilliant. After he left we got a disgusting amount of junk from the vending machines and snuggled in the bed watching old movies. (I did get a tummy ache then.) My grampa caught us too…but I was 8 and she was beautiful and he forgave us everything.

I don’t remember if I saw the tower


but I made sure that the sock did. The Calgary tower is where the Olympic flame burned during the “88 winter games. (Speaking of winter, I’m freezing my arse off. The high here yesterday was only 16/61 and I’m trying to layer summer dresses and tee shirts. My hands keep going numb. This is what happens if you pack when it’s 40/ 104. Your luggage reflects your hometown. Is Toronto still steaming?)

I also took this shot,


which is a lousy attempt to show you the aboveground paths that Calgarians can take all over the city without going outside. You could totally get all over the place without ever breathing fresh air. That’s got to be totally brilliant in the depths of a soul-threatening February. Toronto has something similar (called PATH) but this one is way more extensive.

We (the sock and I) reported for duty at McNally Robinson, and I laughed at myself. (Pretty hard actually) Can you believe I thought no-one would come?




Here’s local blogger Gina


and Morgan


and Cate? I met Tallguy and he’s darned nice. (Then again, so is everybody in Calgary.)

After the event, Gina, Morgan and Dana took me here….


Calgary’s oldest pub, where “The Unicorn” was playing on the stereo. We sort of wondered if knowing all the words to the song was a bad thing (There’ll be green alligators, and long necked geese…and humpty-backed camels and chimpanzees….) but decided it was just really Canadian to know that song on a molecular level. My sincerest apologies to Canadians who know have the Irish Rovers in their heads. I drank local. (Good beer guys.)

Momentarily I’ll throw myself out the door and onto another plane, headed for my last stop, Winnipeg. I’ll be at McNally Robinson there at 7:00, and then it’s one more sleep until home, home, home.

Joe? Don’t forget to buy dishwasher soap.