Playing Hostess

For years I have asked my good friends the Carlos' to come up to Canada to visit me.  For years I have gone down to California to visit them, they have always opened up their homes for me and been willing to drive me around the Bay Area, helping plan trips to Disneyland, going on shopping excursions and just treating me like family.  I desired nothing more than to be able to do the same for them.  And after 20 years I was finally able to play host to Alex, Monica, James and Oscar.  It was a very happy occasion for me, I love these people as if they were blood family.  They are definitely part of the family I choose.

Of course knowing they were finally coming up I had some planning to do, where was I going to take them, what did I want them to see, how much driving were we going to be doing?  All very important questions you see because I wanted to make sure they had a great time.  So I asked what they wanted to see, and they mentioned Saskatoon and Shannon Tweed Lane, and they wanted to see part of Edmonton or Calgary.  So I began planning around the Stagette and all the other things I had to do while they were here and here are some of the things we did.

The arrived late at night on Thursday.  They were hungry and wanted to go somewhere to eat.  I attempted to take them to Mohave Grill, but apparently we were too late, and they wouldn't seat us.  Mohave Grill is right next to a Canadian must so we went over to Tim Horton's.  It was a hit, James was excited because it was the coffee place in Wayne's World.  They even said they liked the food, which I think is ok, but James did not like the honey mustard they put on everything.  But Tim Horton's became a place we went to everyday they were here.  They even did the touristy thing and took pictures of Tim Horton's, which I can not say anything too, because I have done that to In N Out Burger.

Initially on Friday we had planned to go to Edmonton to show them West Edmonton Mall, but after the long days of traveling they needed to sleep in, so we just hung around Red Deer.  We went out for lunch at Moxie's, then we went to hang out at Bower Ponds.  Bower Ponds is one of the big parks in Red Deer, it's very pretty and it's fun to walk around.  As we were walking around the pond I noticed storm clouds rolling in, I told Alex and James we had about ten minutes before we got rained on so we started back to the car.  At first they hadn't noticed the clouds, but when they did they were impressed with their size.

As we were driving homes the heavens opened up.  And did they ever come down on us.  It wasn't just rain it was hail, so I drove slowly home.  James and Alex took pictures because this isn't weather like they get back in California, James even asked me at one point why I wasn't freaking out.  I just said I was used to this weather.  Growing up in the prairies you get used to our weird weather and it doesn't seem weird or scary, but when you see it through a visitors eyes it's a new perspective.  We made it home and no one was damaged.

That night I took everyone, well James, Alex and Monica, with me to the gym.  Nicole had a killer workout for us and we made it through.  That was the last night I went to the gym and I will be going back again soon, I just have to get things lined up here for someone to be home to watch the child.

Saturday, James was taken golfing and camping with Adrian.  He was surprised that we still left things in the back of trucks while we were in someplace like a golf course.  He felt we should have moved them into the cab because they would get stolen, like back at home.  He was rather stressed about this, but the boys assured him it was fine and that everything would still be there when they were done, and it was.  Not sure all that happened that night with the boys as it was Adrian's bachelor party, but they seemed to have a good time and only one person got punched.  We girls had a less eventful day.  I had to drive to Calgary to pick up Laleh and Chandler.  So we picked up Laleh then went to Cross Iron Mills to do some shopping then we picked up Chandler and headed home.  We then got ready for the stagette and headed out to Sylvan Lake.  Read the previous blog to see how that went!!!

Boys at the Berry Barn

Sunday we all woke up, some of us hung over, but mostly we were just a little tired and we drove to Saskatoon.  Laleh was picked up by her Aunt and we said our farewells then.  It was nice having her over and I was glad she got to see my house finally.  Alex, James, Monica, Oscar, Chandler, Little Man and I all stayed for supper at my mom's then we checked in at the Travelodge for the night. We were all beat except the kids who went swimming for a couple hours.  The next day we did some traversing around Saskatoon.  I took them to the Berry Barn, to the University and down by the river.  We even drove by Shannon Tweed's school but we never found her lane, apparently it's by the school.  We spent another night at the Travelodge then we headed back to Alberta.

I really wanted to take them to Drumheller as it is a really unique place.  So we took the long way home and explored Drumheller for a couple hours.  It was fun taking the kids through it, Little Man didn't appreciate it much but it did enjoy walking around, at one point he was scared because the floor was see through and took some very hesitant steps.  I think the Carlos' enjoyed their time in Drumheller they took a lot of pictures and really spent a good amount of time walking through the museum.

The next day we went to West Edmonton Mall.  The place still holds a lot of charm for me so I try to remember how I felt when I first saw it to be able to explain how Alex, James, Monica and Oscar felt.  It really is an amazing mall with all the different attractions and the shopping isn't too bad either.  We spent the day in the mall walking around and shopping then we headed back to Red Deer.

Thursday the Carlos' left back for California and Adrian and began to finish our packing and preparing for our trip to get hitched.  In the next few blogs we will talk all about that part of the journey.


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