Sep 23, 2019

Back home but oh so much more to share from our trip

We returned home Sunday afternoon but I was too weary to complete my Edmonton post.  So here goes.

I had a bit of a rest after my luncheon with my school friends. Colin and I then went down to the wine & cheese included with our hotel stay. We sat in the breakfast room away from the crush of people.  That is how this photo came to be.  A lovely piece of glass set atop this lovely piece of wood.

As we had the evening to ourselves we decided to head over to a 7 PM movie at the old Princess Theatre. Where we were located we could walk to everywhere we wanted to including the chiropractor.

The theatre was constructed in 1914 and more details can be found here. I took the photo above the next day as it was dusk when we arrived Friday evening.

Such a neat building. There is even a balcony. That is me on the left.  Not too many people attending the show.  Cost for seniors was a mere $8.00 each.  Even the popcorn was a bargain.

Does anyone remember these rooms?  A viewing room for parents with infants.

A lovely foyer. The movie we saw was Official Secrets based on a true story. Most interesting with a surprise twist at the end.

Some funky photos as we walked Whyte avenue after the show.

As you can see Mist is all about hookah pipes.

We think that this was a souped up barracuda.

I wonder if this is the last Army and Navy store in Canada.

So many street musicians and some are very good.

Some excellent wall art in this area.

A long line to get into the Beercade.

Next stop was where else but back to Chianti for another pasta meal.  We have been here before ( not just last night ) but in past visits and this is a special place as it’s in the old post office building ( built between 1911 & 1913 ) which makes it distinctive and interesting, with very high ceilings and a good deal of character.  There are years and years of  past Fringe Festival posters strewn all over the place. We only had half portions of pasta as we had enjoyed popcorn with the movie.  Colin had the Fettuccine Du Chef ( prepared with spinach noodles, smoked salmon, mushroom, cream and pesto ) while I indulged in Ravioli Alla Gorgonzola. It was smothered in blue cheese sauce, fortunately there were only eight ravioli.

So much life and light to enjoy on our walk back to the hotel.

Looks like I will have to complete my post on our trip to Edmonton tomorrow.  Stay tuned.



Sep 21, 2019

Our first 24 hours here in Edmonton

The only view I could get of the flight as we were boarding.  A regular 737 but an older plane. The flight was non eventful but there was no service, not even water. Apparently they do sell some things but they were not serviced prior to departure so there was nothing. I always pack an empty water bottle in my small personal time and then fill up at the water fountain before boarding.  We landed at 4:15PM local time Thursday afternoon.

We took the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. We saw this bird and his owner in the next lane. Originally the bird was on the steering wheel and was being petted as the car moved down the highway. Later we saw it on his shoulder. You could see bird poop all down his back, on the steering wheel and the dash. By the way this was how the driver was positioned as he drove.

Got checked into our room but had to go back down to the desk and change rooms.  Long story, but the only other available room in the entire hotel was fine. We got unpacked, went out and bought water as the water in Edmonton has fluoride which we avoid.  You can Google the negative effects of fluoride if you are interested. We make a point to buy toothpaste without it and when we get our teeth cleaned we turn down the fluoride paste. There was just enough time for us to stop in at the hotel’s complimentary wine and cheese for a small glass of wine.

An unimpressive sunset from our window.

We met our friends Jannose and Colin ( they came to visit us in Kelowna just a few weeks ago ) at Chianti’s for an excellent pasta dinner.  The food is so very good there.

The city has put strings of tiny lights in all of the trees along Whyte Avenue.  Very pretty at night.

Neither of us slept well that first night as we had a queen instead of a king bed and the mattress is extremely high and when one moves it rocks the mattress.  We are spoiled at home and in the RV  (also a queen ) as our mattress is made so that if one turns over the other is not disturbed.  However I have to say that those six weeks in Europe with all the different beds we were in, we slept well.  They were all good mattresses and pillows.

Our room also includes a full breakfast everyday, we started Friday morning there.  So many choices from homemade porridge to cold cereals and granola, yogurts, fresh fruits, home baked pastries and croissants warm from the oven, egg, bacon, sausage, toast, juices and many types of coffee including lattes and expressos.

Next stop was to see our chiropractor, Dr McKenna. We both needed to be adjusted. He is a wonderful practitioner considering I only need to see him once per year.  I image if I lived here I might see him 2 or 3 times per year.  He spotted  a weakness in my right leg which was turning outward to the right and would be a tripping hazard when I became fatigued.  He fine tuned several other areas.

We went for a walk afterward and managed to check out two music stores. It was cool and we were wearing our jackets.

One of the stores has a showcase full of vintage and extra special guitars. This a 1995 custom mother of pearl Fender guitar.

I was meeting some of my class mates for lunch. When I am in town we try and get as many of us who are available to meet. We went from grade 7 to grade 12 together and attended Academie de l’Assomption, a French based school for girls here in Edmonton. Colin wanted to take my photo before I left.

The Greek restaurant was just a few blocks from here.

We spent close to three hours chattering away and reliving some memories. Besides great food there was a special and wine was half price be it a glass, a carafe or a bottle. Wonderful afternoon.

So ended my first 24 hours in Edmonton.  Fortunately the sun came out and it was a pleasant Friday afternoon.


Sep 19, 2019

We are leaving on a jet plane

Colin and I are sitting here at the airport waiting for our flight to board.  We are jetting off to Edmonton to see the chiropractor for my annual visit.  At the same time we will be seeing friends every day.

For the first time ever we are flying on Flair Air, one of Canada’s new economy as in cheap airlines.  Unlike the USA, Canada only has two main airlines and they charge a lot as they have the monopoly.  In the last few years a few cheaper airlines have cropped up.  It only works if they are traveling to where you want to go and they are restricted to certain days of the week with usually just one fight per day and maybe 2 or 3 flights per week.  Fortunately this trip to Edmonton worked out with a bit staggering of dates and adding an extra night away.

I was going to fly West Jet on my own but Flair came up with a 2 for 1 seat sale so it worked out that we could both fly to Edmonton and back and back for less than my return flight on West Jet.  I had to pay the same for the hotel whether I was on my own or not so we decided to both go.  Which has turned out to be perfect as I can now lean on Colin due to low energy levels.  We checked one suitcase and  also did seat selection for less that the cost of the other airline for one person.  Great deal.

Speaking of saving money, I was able to save over $600.00 on trip cancellation insurance for the October 2020 trip.  Yesterday Colin called Shaw Direct and cancelled some channels that we never watch.  All told that gives us a savings of approximately $1,100.00 over the next twelve months.  Our provincial monthly  health care costs are decreasing to zero effective January 1st so that is another $900.00 to be saved over the next year.  With the cancellation insurance it took a good deal of online research but it paid off in the end.

Life is good.  I will be checking in from Edmonton.


Sep 18, 2019

Reservations for 2022!!

Went to the doctor today.  Unfortunately  my GP is away until mid November so I am having to deal with a locum MD.  Sort of like a substitute teacher, who is just filling in and no extra mental energy required.  I already knew more that what he had to add to my current medical situation.  In fact he told me that he would have to do some research tonight based on what I had told him. He did try to help within his allotted ten minute session. He was already running 40 minutes behind so I knew my time with him would be brief. I had no confidence that he would be of help so my main purpose was to review my last test results ( all normal ) and to get my ears flushed.  I have been having trouble hearing, mostly due to wax build up.  So here I am seven hours later and not able to hear out of my right ear at all.  Too much water flushed in.  It had better sort itself out tonight as we are flying out tomorrow.

Meanwhile back home, Colin was starting to put our yard to bed for the winter.  Turns out that there was a bat in that umbrella and he had to put it back together to get the bat out.  No way did we want to deal with a dead bat next spring.

Kayak loose on the loose from the wind storm yesterday.

Our rain chains needed attention.

We had no idea that they were as clogged as they were.

Quite a bit of debris.  This task has been added to the annual to do list.

The sky last evening.

We are in the process, well actually, we have booked a trip for October 2020.  The fact is that we were forced to make a decision quickly as there were only two spots left.  I will admit to that contributing to my stress level these past two weeks. We finally were able to sort out all the details yesterday including the cancellation insurance.  We have never ever purchased cancellation insurance for a trip but as this is 13 months away we did.  In fact this is the first time we have booked a trip so far out but it is worth it. It seems that this destination is a top vacation location of late.  Will I tell you where we are going?  Of course not, you just have to stick with me.  This is a huge incentive for me to get my body back together.  A wee hint, the cost is more for a 19 day tour than our entire six week recent vacation to Europe 😯


Sep 17, 2019

Antico Pizza Napoletana


This past Saturday Colin had to deliver a flash drive to a client and pick up a cheque. As we were already in the downtown area we decided to stop for dinner.  We have been hearing about this fabulous restaurant for close to two years.  So why not stop and try it?

Per the owner “Pizza Napoletana is baked in a wood burning oven at 950c for 90 seconds or less (like our sign says) – otherwise it is not considered Neapolitan as per it’s UNESCO registration. Our kitchen is open to the dining room and you can easily watch us prepare them from scratch”.  He has a Unesco registration!

Per the owner “Pizza Napoletana is made with imported soft wheat (low gluten/protein) flour and is by design soft and foldable. It is impossible to have a crispy Neapolitan pizza”.  Also a comment he made to a comment on Trip Advisor  “Even our flour is imported from Italy since our wood fired oven should only use a low protein/gluten tippo 00 blend.  So for the sake of anyone reading this review I would like to point out that Pizza Napoletana by definition is a dough made with imported soft wheat (low gluten/protein) flour (tippo 00). The dough is naturally leavened for approximately 36 hours at room temperature making it easily digestible.” There is long and high pile of flour sacks in the middle aisle of the restaurant. Most impressive.

Everything is imported from Italy. Per the owner “the finest olive oil in the world shipped directly to me from my own orchard in Kalamata”. The oil is for sale in the restaurant.

Per the owner “We source only THE BEST ingredients possible for our pizza. That means REAL DOP San Marzano Tomatoes, REAL DOP Parma Prosciutto, REAL Mozzarella Di Bufala flown in from Campania, Italy”.  “Our tomatoes are real DOP certified San Marzano grown on the mountainside of  Mt. Vesuvius (3X the price of regular tomatoes) seasoned only with sea salt and fresh olive oil as per Neapolitan tradition”. I saw flats of these tomatoes sitting in the aisle.

It was chilly so we sat inside but there is a lovely patio overlooking Bernard.

They play vinyl. Sadly Abba had just finished.

Our Margherita Di Bufala did not disappoint.  It was right up there with the best top two in the world that we sampled in Naples in May of 2018.  Excellent pizza.

We enjoyed the first pizza with our wine and then ordered a second, the Isola, but substituted mushrooms for the ham. Equally good. This has to be one of the top pizza restaurants  in Canada. As you can see we ate  before I thought to take a photo. Our theory was to order the first pizza, eat it and then the second when we were ready.  After all it only takes 90 seconds to cook in that 950C/1,742F oven. I like my pizza warm.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. My motto is one day at a time and today was a good day. I am counting on more good days to come. My research has paid off and it appears that the natural supplements may be the beginning of my healing.  Time will tell.  It may be a temporary fix but it is worth the effort.  I remain positive.


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