As many of you know at the beginning of the month I headed out to Calgary with my husband and son to spend our two week vacation seeing the sites and hitting up the Calgary Stampede. It didn’t exactly go as planned. I posted about it during the vacation how several things went wrong in the first few days. I had thought it would get better from there but apparently it had to get worse before it got better.
After the kid got sick on the way there and forced us to pretty much spend two days in the hotel room we finally thought we had a break. He was feeling better so we decided to hit up a few stores within walking distance of the hotel. It all started out fine that day but very quickly dissolved into more unpleasantness. It was apparently my turn to get sick, and not just sick but I’m talking really sick. The go to the hospital for several hours it was that bad sick. Yeah, I was far from impressed. After several hours and tests the doctors figured it was a really nasty infection I was fighting and told me to take it easy for a few days. That was not what I wanted to hear, especially since the Stampede started in only a few days. Well turns out I had no choice in the matter, whatever it was knocked me flat on my butt and had me trapped in the hotel room for nearly five days.
So while I was stuck with no energy and no desire to do anything the boys spent a lot of time together doing things I had wanted to do but was unable to. They went to several pancake breakfasts. They went to the new science center and spent a whopping eight hours there – needless to say that day I was exceptionally bored. They hit up the pool in the hotel each day. They even went to the Bass Pro Shop.
Now that may not sound like a fun place to go unless you are into fishing but apparently that is not the case. Calgary is home to the largest Bass Pro Shop in Canada and from what we heard from several people it was something everyone should check out if they have the chance. I didn’t get to see it, but apparently it was downright enormous. There was a plane hanging from the ceiling, huge tanks filled with large fish and more aisles of stuff than you can imagine. The boy each got a toy stuffed fish from there, hubby bought a rainbow trout while our son picked up a catfish.
After spending far too much time in the hotel room I was finally sick and tired of it. Even though I wasn’t fully recovered I forced myself to go out to have some fun. These trips were somewhat short due to my lack of energy but at least I was finally doing things. And it was a good thing too as the Stampede was upon us. I opted not to go see the parade, planning to save what little energy I had for the main event, so the boys went to see it on their own. The rodeo was great though our son didn’t really want to stay for it, it is quite long after all. The highlight of the day for him was sitting in the helicopter that the army had set up there.
The second day at the Stampede was spent dodging the heat by sticking to the shade, sitting down lots to drink and spending a lot of time at the indoor attractions. By the time the chuck wagon races were set to start I was beat. After a few races the child wanted to go and I was more than willing to allow that, leaving my husband behind to watch the remainder of the races and the grandstand show.
With our two scheduled days at the Stampede out of the way we were free to do what we wanted when we wanted. So it was time to head out to the Royal Tyrrell Museum so the boy could check out all the dinosaur fossils and get a friend for Dippy (that would be his stuffed dinosaur we bought him four years ago there). The strangest thing happened when we got there, our son the boy who lives and breaths dinosaurs was scared of the displays. We had never expected that. Needless to say we made it through the museum in record time. He did end up getting a friend for Dippy before we left.
Just down the road from the museum was a new place that we decided to hit up. This place had several activities that kids could do that related to dinosaurs so we figured it would be a good place to stop after the museum. The boy could collect small rocks, dig for and keep a fossil and play on their small playground. He certainly enjoyed it.
He was having a great time, but then as all things went this vacation something bad had to happen. After taking his turn digging for fossils we rounded the corner and ran into this.
That would be the animatronic T-rex that they had. It was pretty big too, about the size of a juvenile T-rex. At first the boy wasn’t too scared. The it moved and started making noise. That’s when I was dragged towards the exit at a near run. Turns out he’s not only afraid of fossils but downright petrified of moving dinosaurs. And this is the kid who watches Jurrasic Park on a nearly weekly basis. Guess it’s a whole new ballpark when you see them up close and personal.
As our vacation came towards the end we decided to hit up the Stampede one last time to play some games and get some fudge. You can’t leave the Stampede without having bought fudge! To add to the fun that day the boy participated in the children’s tractor pull. Though he didn’t win he had tons of fun and got a ribbon for participating.
It was a pretty impressive feat. Not only was he one of the youngest kids to join in but the trailer they had to pull weighted 250 pounds, plus he was given an additional 50 pounds of weight on top of that. He made it about ten feet before he couldn’t petal any more. That’s pretty darn good for a five year old. After that we hit up the nearby agri-discovery center and he was able to milk a cow (a fake cow of course).
The last thing we did on our final day was hit up the mall down the road one last time. It would be our last chance for some good shopping for quite some time. A trip the toy store was in order, where everyone walked out with something, I got a really great looking stuffed rhino, the boy got another stuffed animal and oddly enough my husband bought himself a stuffed lobster. No we don’t have an obsession with stuffed animals!
The drive home was long and boring. The highlight of it was stopping in Thunder Bay so we could see the new Ice Age movie. Once again we were glad to have the DVD player in the truck to entertain the boy, our MP3 players to entertain ourselves and our home to greet us when we got there. The boy also slept plenty on the drive which helped pass the time and boredom for him.
For those of you wondering, yes that is a stuffed squid that the child is holding while taking a nap, along with his catfish beside him. Not the most standard stuffed animals but it’s what he wanted and he has loved them ever since. And so this wraps up our vacation to Calgary, it had it’s good moments but sadly it also had a lot of bad moments. In the end it came to an end and that is the saddest part of it all.
Now it’s time to return to life as normal, the post vacation funk has come and gone leaving me with a list of things to do and whole lot of books to read. Did I mention used book stores are dangerous? Well they are, I came home with a box full of books from this trip, and it was a pretty big box too. Time to get reading and reviewing!