Posts Tagged With: Calgary

Flash Mob for Ellen

By chance I saw a billboard advertising a flash mob for Ellen. I love watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show, so I went in search of finding more. The dance was to be held at Cowboys Casino, here in Calgary, to welcome the new Ellen slot machines that the casino just acquired. One of the employees also loves the Ellen show, so she decided to do a flash mob and post it to Ellen Tube, You Tube and on their Cowboys Facebook page. You can watch it here for Ellen Tube and here for You Tube. Can you spot me in the crowd?

Ellen Video Flash Mob

Ellen Video Flash Mob

Cowboys has asked us to share the video and hopefully get noticed by Ellen. Share away on twitter, Facebook and blogs. If you share don’t forget the hashtag #laughdanceplay

 

 

Categories: unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , ,

Grid -Photo Challenge

This week’s challenge asks for a photo framed in a grid like fashion. As WP says we often use the invisible grid, or lines within the viewfinder, to frame photos into the ‘rule of thirds’. The photos in this week’s challenge will show the grid.

My first pic was framed in the Lake Agnes Tea House, a little wooden cabin, at the top of the trail from Lake Louise. A rainy hike had a little surprise rainbow. I snapped the view from inside the cabin looking over the valley with Lake Louise below.

Room with a Rainbow View

Room with a Rainbow View

As I searched for the above picture I came across this one, which I didn’t think about when considering the theme. It doesn’t have the clean sharp lines, but the interesting shape and view I decided to include it. The unique tube like bridge made me feel I was inside a fish or a snake. We went for a walk along the Bow River in Calgary through the parks. In various places bridges crisscross the river making both sides accessible for walking and biking.

Inside Looking Out

Inside Looking Out

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Nature, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Road Trip -Going West

August 10th would have been the day I returned to work in Shanghai. Instead we traded in the 14 hour flight for a road trip across Canada. We left early afternoon (much later than we had hoped) and the 3 day road trip stretched into a fourth day. The car packed and ready to go we set out on a new adventure.

20150811_182650I documented the journey through the car window with a few stops along the way.

Willow came along for the ride too since we would be out here about 4-5 weeks. Poor thing crossed the world a month ago and was about to embark on a cross Canada road trip. She quickly settled in with a cat nap. We’re so lucky she is good in the car.

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

We hit pouring rain in Toronto shortly after we started out, which snarled traffic. Once past the city traffic eased. We made it to Northern Ontario, just outside of Sudbury, where we stopped for the night. Due to the possibility of deer and moose we stopped driving around dusk. The next morning we made good time and a side trip to get breakfast we encountered our first wild life sighting. We stopped to grab a quick pic from the safety of the car.

Later that day the rain followed us. It made for a cooler drive and wasn’t so heavy that it caused slippery roads or poor visibility. The scenery changed from cities and farms to more and more trees. Soon we were getting closer to Thunder Bay up around the Lake Head. Driving along the highway Lake Superior came into view through the trees and as we reached hill tops. Stunning. We stopped at a look out point and took it all in. Back in the car we continued on the longest leg of our journey. From the Niagara area to Thunder bay it is a 12-14 hour drive. We stopped for the night between Thunder Bay and Kenora, ON.

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Winnie the Pooh, White River ON 'Where it all began'

Winnie the Pooh, White River ON ‘Where it all began’

Now into our third day of the road trip we were still in Ontario, definitely the longest stretch of our journey. We passed more trees, lakes and logging trucks. A few hours later we passed into Manitoba. The landscape started to change as it went from forests and lakes to more wheat fields, as we entered the prairie areas. We hit heavy rain as we approached Winnipeg, but quickly drove through it. Not long after we arrived in Saskatchewan. The rolling hills had made way for the traditional flat prairies filled with wheat. More construction slowed us down and we put up in Regina for the night.

Calgary was about 8 hours away, but we made a side trip to Rouleaux, AKA Dog River from the popular Canadian show “Corner Gas”. The show has been off the air for a few years, but last year they made Corner Gas the Movie. The small town, with a population around 500, still draws fans of the show. We stopped by the iconic Corner Gas and Ruby restaurant, the TV show set. We walked main street, saw the Dog River grain tower and filled up for gas. I was tempted to call the guy Brent, but thought that would be an old and tired joke by now. After a few pics John was anxious to get to Calgary and miss rush hour traffic.

Corner Gas and the Ruby in 'Dog River'

Corner Gas and the Ruby in ‘Dog River’

Dog River

Dog River

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

After the heavy rain the day before there were hundreds of white cabbage butterflies everywhere! It was a beautiful warm sunny day, but it looked like it was snowing. There were THAT many butterflies. A customer at the gas station in Rouleaux said they all came out after the heavy rain the day before. The butterflies continued for miles and miles. Once we reached Alberta there were less and finally just the normal random few.

It isn't snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

It isn’t snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

More views along the road… salt flats that are farmed for… salt.

The flat prairies made way for rolling hills as we got closer tot he Rocky Mountains. Lots of farms with beef cattle lined the highway. Wild Buffalo used to roam here… could it be?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Willow continued to do well. Each night she fussed as we put her in the crate, but became curious once we got into the hotel. She would explore a bit then be fine. Each morning she would meow and check out everything in the car ensuring it was all in place. After her exploration and she was happy everything was in order she would stretch out and enjoy the view and nap. People passing us would spot her and point. One trucker even got out his phone and started to snap pics. She is a well-travelled cat!

Soon the city was in sight and we made it. It was the first time I had driven out west and great way to connect to my home country.

20150818_151856

Downtown Calgary from the highway. City to the east and mountains to the west.

What a welcome back home to Canada…

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today was a Good Day -Photo Challenge

Today was not just a good day, but a great day! Since we drove out west to Calgary, Alberta we have been enjoying the scenery and fresh mountain air. On the weekends we have gone to Lake Louise, an hour and half drive from Calgary.  Lake Louise is known for its surreal blue green waters and snow capped mountain back drop. We have hiked up the trail starting at Lake Louise to Lake Agnes. It is a 3.4KM hike one way, up a trail surrounded by pine trees. The smell is heavenly and keeps you distracted as your muscles ache with the steep trail hike.

Half way up the trail is Mirror Lake. A small little still lake. At the top is Lake Agnes which falls over the edge creating a small water fall. The tea house is a welcome sight, after an hour and a half hike, to relax and take in the views before heading back down the trail. The tea house serves amazing teas, fresh homemade baked goods and soups. Today was a good day 🙂

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Sunday we went for a walk along the Bow River which winds its way through Calgary. The weather was perfect with a comfortable temperature and blue skies with a few clouds. You could see the mountains in the distance. Everyone seemed to be out walking, biking, boating and running. We enjoyed the leisurely stroll along the river bank and through a park. Another good day.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

Unfortunately we went from clear skies and clean air to a poor air quality. Smoldering fires burning in the US Northwest have drifted many miles North blanketing Calgary and many other parts of Western Canada. There is a smoke so thick it has caused prompts to stay indoors and close windows. Monday the sky looked similar to the ones we experienced in Shanghai. Dreary gray that blocked out the sun rays. Tuesday you could smell the smoke and it irritated your eyes. The aqi went from 8 to 239, which happened to be much higher than the 59 reading in Shanghai. In Canada the scale is different; a 10 point scale. The TV news reported today that readings from yesterday came in at 17! Yes 7 points over the max. This is not normal for this area and reports are saying this is the worse the city has experienced.  So many people have lost their homes and have been evacuated. At least we know the cause and it will be short lived, rain is in the forecast. Hopefully that will get things back under control before more damage is done. I do not mean to whine about the poor air, as some people have experienced great loss. I only made the comparison to our life in China. Well wishes and positive thoughts go to all those involved in the areas affected by the fires.

Today things are improving and soon we will be back to blue skies and ready for more great days.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,