Weekend in Calgary

1/16/2012

We enjoyed a wonderful week-end in Calgary watching speed skating and visiting with family. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and were met at the airport by Soren's third cousins! I had not seen my cousin (2nd cousin) in years and years, and it was great to catch up. Her two boys are 23 months and 1 month. I can't believe she offered to pick us up... I have a hard enough time managing Soren on my own never mind two babies! The boys were all pretty well behaved considering they had been cooped up in planes and cars for a few hours. We went for lunch at a little coffee shop and likely scared out all of the other guests with our trio of 3 babies under 2 years old. We quickly stopped in for a visit with my brother Stefan, but had to cut it short due to overdue nap times. Finally, Soren and I arrived at my friend Carmen's house - or should I say 'Hondo'. She just purchased a beautiful new 'Hondo', which I am told is a cross between House and Condo (at least in Carmens world!). The 3 babies quickly accustomed themselves to the clean and sophisticated condo. The 2 older cousins even tried their hand at piano with a quick lesson from Carmen!
Then we lined the boys up on the couch for a photo. Someone was not too into it. Actually, he was not into anything that involved being separated from me! As is evident in the above photo... he was probably keeping a VERY close eye on me as I took the picture. I must say I will be looking forward to this 'making strange' stage to end, or at least calm down a little. As much as I love the little guy, it's tough having him burst into tears the second I am out of his eyesight. 
The cousins had to make the drive home, and Carmen and I ate a lovely dinner and enjoyed a glass of wine. Did I mention her house is beautiful?? She's a wonderful hostess, and it was really nice to catch up (and eat waaay too much.) On Saturday morning we went out for a quick walk around her area. It was a little chilly, but we decided to brave the cold.
Carmen dropped us off at the hotel, and when we pulled up there were a bunch of people hanging outside of a big tour bus. We asked the bellman what was going on, and it was the LA Kings, heading to their morning skate. They were staying in the Westin for their game against the Calgary Flames that night. Carmen and I wished we had taken the time to put on some make-up, or at least brushed our hair! 

Soren and I settled into the Westin and received a nice little 'kids package' which included a rubber ducky, plastic covers for electrical outlets, and an extensive list of all of the baby amenities available if we needed them. The room also had a crib set up for him, which he enjoyed more from the outside rather than in. Here he is with his aunts - showing off his standing skills.
We wandered over to the Eau Claire Market and ate lunch at Joeys Restaurant. 
Then we headed out for a walk around Prince Island. The weather had warmed up a lot by this point, and there were lots of people out skating, running and walking their dogs. We were wondering how they got the river to freeze well enough to build a skating rink, as the weather has been relatively warm this winter. The City of Calgary has a short video explaining what they've done here.  Soren missed it, as he was napping for one of the very few times during the whole week-end. 
 It was a very busy week-end before the Speed Skating had even begun! I will do a separate post on the Speed-Skating portion of our trip. 

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