Jul 30, 2018

The rest of my trip to Edmonton

I really like staying at the Varscona Hotel in Edmonton.  For $140.00 before tax I get a great room ( as per my photos two posts ago ) with many amenities including shower cap, premium soaps and cremes, shampoo & conditioner, etc. and an opening window not to mention a very comfy chair.   It is all about location and being central plus my chiropractor is only a few blocks away.  Every morning they have a full buffet breakfast ( a value of $18.00 ) and then there is the wine and cheese 😆

After seeing my chiropractor Saturday morning and finding out that my treatment had held, I was good to go. He also gave me a wee touch up just to solidly everything .  It is a good idea to walk after a treatment and so I did but I didn’t have as much time Saturday as I had on Friday.  This photo is from my Friday stroll.  I noticed the streetcar crossing sign, walked across the tracks and figured it was not a current sign.

I was almost 3/4 of a block past the crossing when I heard an unusual sound.  Could it be?  By the time I turned and ran back the streetcar had passed.  I managed to catch this photo.

Where was it going? Where did it come from? Who uses this? Is it part of the transit system or a tourist thing?  I want to go on it next time.

After my shortened walk, compared to my 8000 steps on Friday, I barely had time to collect my luggage from the concierge and meet my long time friend Libby.  We graduated from nursing school way back in 1973.  Libby, as many of you know has MS, but nothing stops her.  She is of one the most independent people I know not to mention strong willed.  Libby insisted on driving from the North side of the river to the South side to pick me up in her specially equipped van.  Colin and I had picked up some things that Libby wanted moved to Edmonton from where she stays in the winter in Lake Havasu.  Much easier for us to bring back in the RV than for her to try and deal with it in her small carry on luggage each spring plus I always travel to Edmonton to see my chiropractor during the summer.  As a Westjet member I don’t have to pay for my first piece of checked luggage so it all worked out.

Once we parked in her garage we went across to an Italian restaurant nearby.  The place is so popular that I couldn’t get anyone to take our picture until we were ready to leave.  I ordered a penne fettuccine that was served hot and perfectly cooked and they used fresh mushrooms.  Because I was going out for dinner later I didn’t eat the entire order, although I really wanted to as it was so good.  Instead Libby got the leftovers and she will have a prepared meal in the fridge.  Once again thank you my special friend for lunch.

Libby lives on the 10th floor of a high rise over looking the North Saskatchewan River. Her view to the left. She sees so much from her huge windows, from activity on the river including dragon boats, fireworks, the colors of the changing seasons and much more.  There are several paths between her and the river, biking, walking, including the Trans Canada Trail which you can see in this photo.


I had never heard about this trail before.  Most interesting, be sure to Google it for more information.  This is an excerpt from an online article about the trail.

The view to the right from Libby’s windows. These photos were taken through the window. Yes she has a lovely balcony but there is an almost 12 inch step up onto the balcony itself which of course a wheelchair is unable to manage.

My time with Libby went much too fast.  Suddenly my phone was ringing to let me know that my friends Jannose and Colin were waiting downstairs.  They had come to pick me up so that we could enjoy a dinner together before they dropped me at the airport.  I really can’t remember when I first met them but it was likely forty years ago.  So Ena ( who I mentioned in my first Edmonton post ) is my oldest friend in Edmonton, from grade six.  Then came Libby whom I met in 1971 and then Jannose and Colin give or take 40 years ago.

A very bad photo by our server. We were at Earl’s enjoying a discounted happy hour dinner with a variety of appetizers.  When we first sat down there were clouds in the sky and then the sun came out and I could feel the heat of the sun.  Good thing I had my hat.

The food was fabulous. I  have to check if the Earls here in Kelowna has the same happy hour deal.  We dined, wined and chatted for over two hours.  Afterwards we headed to a new mall right next to the airport to walk around and to wear off all that food.  We also checked out the Sketchers walking shoes that Dee, a blog reader, had recommended.  Jannose will probably buy them but the arch support was not quite high enough for me.

Thanks to Jannose and Colin I got to the airport with enough time to relax before my flight.  Within ten minutes of them dropping me off, thank you again for the ride, I discovered that my flight has been cancelled 😯   You can read about that episode and what came after here.  Wow 😯  Nothing I could do but go with the flow.  Looking back I realized that between Friday night and Saturday night I got just about eight hours sleep.  It takes me a while to get used to a new bed and pillow and air flow or lack of in a new place.  Sadly the room that the airline provided was older, smelly and on the ground floor.  I did not feel safe in opening the window and the A/C kept me awake all night.  That is once the kids stopped running up and down the hall 👿

Got to the airport at 6AM as I had been told to do and unsuccessfully was unable to check in.  So after discovering that my 7:45AM flight was also cancelled, I finally went on to go through security.  I managed to catch the sunrise while in line.

It says that the estimated wait time is 15 – 20 minutes.

It was over 35 minutes and then there was my personal pat down due to my two hip replacements.

After my free breakfast  ( see last post ) I went to the Priority Pass lounge.  Remember the credit card that Colin got before we left for Europe, the one that has no 2.5% foreign exchange fees.  Well it also comes with a free membership to the Priority Pass system with lounges all over the world, close to 1000 if not more.  We get six free entrances within one year ( then it renews year after year ) and then pay a mere $27.00 after that should we need more lounge visits.  I was surprised to see these prices but it does say that everyone is welcome.

I was  also surprised to see how lovely this lounge was, quiet, good light, lots of privacy as well an amazing array of food.  Having just eaten I was not hungry but it was nice to sit in a quiet area for 90 minutes and relax.  Great value for this new credit card, no foreign exchange fees, $345.00 annual amount of use in premium lounges, all included plus a one time $250.00 amount added to our travel bonuses.   Not bad for a credit card fee of $159.00 annually.  Neither Ena nor Jannose & Colin who all have the same membership have tried out the Edmonton lounge.  It’s great, go for it.  Also close to the USA and international gates.

View from the lounge looking down.

Another prop job but it did get me home.

The last flight that I was booked on, finally left about 30 minutes late but made up some time in the air.  I was so very glad to get back to Kelowna. While unpacking I noticed  that my very secure and heavy duty TSA luggage lock was missing as well as my ID luggage tag.  Nothing inside my suitcase was missing.  However it will cost about $20.00 to replace those items.  Fortunately when I contacted Westjet this morning to ask about compensation for my inconveniences I was given a $100.00 credit to my travel account which I was able to bump up to $130.00.  All’s well that ends well.

We got up to 99F today and are still socked in with smoke.  No matter, I am happy to be in my own home.




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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “The rest of my trip to Edmonton”

  1. Katie says:

    Quite the trip. I’ve never had the opportunity to use a lounge but now that I see it…. hmmm… Too bad about the smoke, hope they get it sorted soon.

  2. George Yates says:

    What a fun trip meeting with friends and enjoying good conversation. Love riding the street cars especially In Toronto and New Orleans always a great experience. At one time every day for me when I lived in Toronto.

  3. Jannose says:

    Glad to see you finally made it home safe and sound. We have been to one of the lounges is Edmonton. (Are there 2? ) It was closed last time we wanted to use it ??. The street car you saw runs from Whyte Ave to downtown Edmonton. $6 return trip. You will have to do it next year. We have also had our TSA lock cut and actually thrown in our suitcase after a search. So much for a special lock. We don’t even bother locking our luggage anymore. What is the point!

    • contessa says:

      Thanks for the input about the streetcar. As far as I know there is just the one lounge, across from gate 54.

      Once, many years ago we were paged at the Vancouver airport while in the boarding lounge for a trip to Hawaii. They wanted to know the combination for our built in lock on our hard sided Samsonite suitcase, something was ticking. Turns out it was an alarm clock. THis was in the days of old when we used that kind of suitcase and alarm clock.

    • Dee Tillotson says:

      Jannose, “We don’t even bother locking our luggage anymore. What is the point!” I see your logic there, but I don’t want someone in my luggage who is not authorized to open my luggage. Therefore, I use these throw-away lock plastic ties to secure the zippers on my luggage. An authorized handler has to cut the plastic ties to get in the luggage; once examined, the handler leaves me a flyer sheet indicating my luggage has been examined. When I do not attempt to lock my luggage in any way, no one lets me know my luggage has been examined. This is the only way they let me know.

      • contessa says:

        I think that is a brilliant idea Dee.

        • Dee Tillotson says:

          The only drawback is that you need to wait until you arrive at the airport to secure the zip-lock plastic ties because you may have forgotten something you needed from the luggage to transfer to your carry-on bag. Also, in my carry-on bag, I keep a medium size nail clipper (altered by removing the attached pointed file) in order to remove the plastic ties once I arrive at my destination. Airline Security will not allow me to carry the clippers on board with the pointed file attached. Heck, Beach always carries a corkscrew with him to open wine bottles, but this last trip Security took it away from him; he keeps forgetting to get the newer one out of the drawer which removes the wine cork via two levers; Security doesn’t have a problem with those.

  4. Dee Tillotson says:

    It seems we are all living in a world now where the odds are great that our travel arrangements will have to be readjusted. At least you were able to use a great lounge for some peace and quiet; Colin’s new card turned out to be a winner. Playing catch-up on my reading after a colonoscopy today; thank the Lord I only have to do that every 7-8 years.

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