Family Day Weekend was super crazy busy for us but we had a lot of fun and so many great memories were made!
Our long weekend started on Thursday as the girls were off school for 5 days. We don't get a February break like they do in Saskatchewan or other parts of Alberta so we get a 5 day weekend instead. Finley had the flu the weekend before and I had a terrible head and chest cold that had kept us housebound for what felt like forever. So on Thursday morning when I saw that it was still relatively nice out - we put on our rubber boots and headed on our first adventure of the weekend to Fish Creek Provinicial Park.
We parked at the Sikome Lake entrance and then walked along the paths to the river. The girls were loving all the gigantic puddles that covered the roads. I really wanted to come here because my Aunty Patsy had passed away on Tuesday from a long battle with cancer and it was her who instilled my love for Calgary and Fish Creek. She lived in Lake Bonavista and I used to come spend part of the summer with her until she moved back to Saskatchewan after my Uncle passed away. I told the girls about the weiner roasts we used to have on Sundays and playing in Lake Sikome when I was a kid. They laughed when I told them that one summer the lake was closed down and I had a major meltdown when my Aunty Patsy told me I couldn't go swimming and we could only have a picnic. It made me happy to share these memories with the girls even if it made me look a little not good hahahahaha.
We kept walking until we got to the bridge that connects the two sides of the river. I am not sure if it is still Fish Creek on that part or the Bow River Pathway. The girls liked seeing where the flood damage still remained and where all the new things were because of the flood. The original bridge was washed away so this new one was built. They were watching the fly fishers and looking for fish in the river. All we saw was chunks were ice floating down the river. The girls loved it. We turned around at this point because Penelope was tired although I knew she just wanted to go get new art supplies at Dollarama haha.
They call themselves the "Adventure Sisters" because they love adventuring. They look forward to camping season where they can dress in camo and cover their face in mud so nobody could see them. I don't know where they get these ideas from but I have told them that there were will be no mud of any kind on any part of their body while camping or hiking or anything. They didn't agree with me but there is no negotiating that.
On Friday morning, we decided to do some more adventuring since Greg had taken the day off from work to hang out with us. We packed up the snow shoes and headed out to Chester Lake. The weather was perfect and we had a really good time but you can read all about that tomorrow in a blog post dedicated to this adventure. After a long day of driving and hiking, we came home and picked up Vern's Pizza before heading to bed early.
On Saturday morning, we headed to the Calgary Soccer Centre for Finley's very first tournament. She has played in Mini Fests and TimBits Tournaments but they were just games without scores and not really tournaments at all. This was the very first tournament for most of these girls and you can tell they were so excited for it. They are a U9 team playing in a tournament against all U10 players and if you think a year shouldn't make that big a difference, it for sure does. We lost both games on Saturday and only managed to score 2 goals total in both games. We have dominated the regular season in our U9 Tier B division so it was tough for the girls but they handled it really well. Despite 2 blow out losses, they played really well. I missed the second game on Saturday and the game on Sunday. They won 2 -1 on Sunday morning and Greg said they played really really well.
On Monday morning, they played their 4th and final game of the tournament for 6th place. Again it was against an older team and the goalie was as tall as me hahaha. Finley had a great scoring chance early in the game but missed and then the rebound was scored by her teammate. They led 2 -1 until the second half and then the other team tied it up before taking the lead. Finley's team never gave up and with 12 seconds left we tied it up and we were pumped but with 0.2 seconds left, they scored on a super weak goal and we finished 7th. The girls were more devastated over this loss then the 2 blow outs on Saturday because they were so close this time and they worked hard and kept up. We were all so proud of these girls!!
The reason I missed the games on Saturday evening and Sunday morning was because I went to Edmonton Saturday afternoon with one of my best friends Michelle for the Garth Brooks concert on Sunday afternoon. After we checked into our hotel, we headed over to West Edmonton Mall and it was so crazy busy. We each managed to find a few things to buy for ourselves and for all of our girls and then we were so hungry so we decided at around 8pm it was time for supper. However, everybody else in Edmonton who wasn't at Garth Brooks or Kinky Boots also had the same idea haha. Everything in the mall had at a minimum 90 minute wait so we went on open table to see what we could find close by and we ended up going to Chop. It was so good and exactly what we needed after a long day of traveling and shopping. Although, the pink lemonade wasn't nearly as good as the Calgary NE location. That was a huge disappointment.
On Sunday morning, I got up early and went to the hotel gym and then after getting ready and checking out of our hotel, we went to Red Robin for lunch. The milk shake was delicious and would definitely bring all the boys to the yard but I messed up on my burger and forgot to say no cheese so it arrived with a bunch of swiss cheese beneath the pile of mushrooms. It was a disaster and I tried to get most of it off but ended up having to smother it in mustard. I was able to get through half before I could taste the cheese and that was the end of my burger eating experience that day.
I was a little concerned about how we would get to Rogers Place to see Garth Brooks. For some reason, the City of Edmonton and Darrel Katz decided to build a hockey rink with absolutely no parking which is great if you are from Edmonton but if you are not, then you are kinda hooped. We knew that taking the LRT was the best option to get there but we were both a little nervous since we are not familiar with the LRT in Edmonton or where to park to get to one. So I googled how to get to Rogers Place and they suggest walking, transit, biking and finally they suggested using an app called Parking Panda. It is also available online if you don't want the app. Basically it will find you parking near by and then reserve the spot for you. So I downloaded the app, selected Edmonton and then the event that we were going and we were able to find parking for $12 and it was only about a 10 minute walk to Rogers Place. Basically they give you a barcode that you need to scan to get entry into the parkade and then to get back out. It was in a garage and very secure. You were allowed to stay there from 1pm up until 5 hours after the show ended. It was fantastic and I really recommend it if you are coming from Calgary to see a concert or a hockey game there.
The Garth Brooks show started at 3pm and gates opened to get into the arena at 130pm. It was a very quick process to get through security which gave us ample time to explore the 200 level before it got too busy. They had a few eateries that all served the same stuff but they were all named after Edmonton streets which I thought was pretty neat. They serve pepsi products which as someone who prefers coke was a little disappointing and they didn't have liquorice as one of their candy offerings. Everywhere has liquorice, this left us disappointed. It cost me $13 for a bag of m+m's and some pop. I did get a souvenir cup with it so I guess that helps swallow the cost of it although it will most likely go in the garbage if my sister doesn't want it hahahaha.
Garth hit the stage right around 330pm and played right until almost 6pm. It was so awesome. I think it was the identical concert that I saw when he was at the Calgary Stampede a few years ago except this time there was more Tricia and he had his own stage which was very cool. At the Stampede, he borrowed Johnny Reid's stage who was performing the following day. While there is no question that Garth Brooks may be the best performer around these days and I doubt he has a bad show anywhere, I didn't love this concert as much as I loved the one during Stampede and the number one reason was the crowd and the energy you felt from it. The crowd was very involved and energetic for a Sunday afternoon but it was nothing compared to the energy levels of Stampede. There was nobody up and standing and dancing unless you were on a floor. I mean there were a few people throughout the upper levels but nothing like before. I thought it was a little disappointing but that is not on Garth but on the fans themselves. It was definitely worth the $80 for the tickets and again like last time, if you ever get the opportunity to see Garth Brooks, don't hesitate because then you will miss out and he needs to be seen before you died. My only complaint about Garth Brooks and it has nothing to do with his performance but the fact that you can only stream his music on Amazon and that it is not available on Apple Music or iTunes. I hope he changes that one day so I can listen to his music and introduce it to my children.
Now don't get me wrong, when they build Rogers Place they sure made it look really pretty and made it sooooooo big but the seating is terrible! The seats are so small that even I had trouble not putting my legs and arms in other people's seat spaces. Thankfully they were my friends and not too annoyed with me haha. But I don't know how Greg would be able to come to a game and not be squished to death. I love that they have escalators that take you up to the section where you are sitting because it would be a long walk up to the 200 level or as they call it level 7. The worst part though was trying to get out of the arena and instead of being trapped like sardines on the tarmac at the Saddledome, they cram you into stairs instead and then you overheat and want to throw up before getting out finally at the bottom. I have no idea if this happens after a regular concert or hockey game or if it was because Ford Hall was closed because of the next show and that helps you get out of the arena faster but it was a disaster!!!!
The art outside the building near the LRT station was one of my favourite things. I would like a smaller version for my house hahahaha. We made the quick walk back to our vehicle and headed back to Calgary. And apparently everybody else had the same idea as us as it was a traffic jam trying to get out of the city and the highways were quite busy. We stopped at the Donut Mill in Red Deer because we had heard they had the best donuts ever but we were both disappointed. I don't know if they are really that bad or because it was 830pm and they had been sitting out all day and were no longer fresh but I didn't love my chocolate coconut donut. Maybe I will have to try it again earlier in the day.
We got home just before 10pm and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow but after I told Greg all about Garth Brooks and Rogers Place. I was awoke at 645 by Greg as we had to get ready for Finley's soccer game at 815. Greg had been super busy too while Michelle and I were kid free in Edmonton. He took Finley to 2 soccer games, Penelope to a birthday party and to get new glasses and did the grocery shopping and made bracelets with Finley. I am so grateful that he is such a great dad to the girls and husband to me.
We spent the rest of Monday not doing a whole lot. The girls went outside to work on their snowman that they had started the day before. They finished and then they came inside to re-organize our house. They put away the dishes, washed the table and countertops, cleaned out the tupperware and pots and pan cupboards as well as all the drawers, the fridge and my pantry.
They actually pulled everything out out of my pantry and put it back in the way they wanted it which I must admit, is not very functional or the way I like it but it will stay that way for now because I don't really have time to pull it all back out and change it and I don't want the girls to feel that I don't appreciate when they help me out.
After a late lunch, the girls each had baths and put on their pyjamas and we watched MasterChef Junior - which is their favourite and a few episodes of Family Feud that was on the PVR. They did some crafting out of all of the scotch tape and construction paper in our house before helping daddy make homemade pizza and pizza bread for supper. It was early to bed for all of us after a very busy but successfully fun family day 5 day weekend!!!