August 28, 29
This morning we packed up at Jenn’s and had a late breakfast in Calgary at the Lido Café in the Kensington area. The trip to Edmonton was uneventful. We arrived early enough to begin visiting bookstores. We started with “New Beginnings” bookstore at Beulah Alliance Church. As usual, the manager wanted to read the books before deciding to take them. So we left a sample of each and moved on to the “Fig Tree” bookstore in the West Edmonton Mall. Wow! The mall is huge and noisy and full of excitement. We took pictures of the skating rink and the water park, as well as leaving samples at the bookstore.
We got to Tom’s son, Will’s, place in time to go out for a late supper with him. Will suggested that we walk to the restaurant. One of the best parts of where he lives is the community. It’s similar to Yorkville in the early 60’s. The university is a healthy walk, so the area caters to young adults. The street is lined with restaurants and coffee shops and places young people need. Will took us to a fancy restaurant with white table cloths, candles etc. We had a wonderful gourmet meal. Our visit with him had begun. We met his housemates and settled down for a good night’s sleep.
Saturday morning, we walked in a different direction to have breakfast. We followed this by a tour through Muttart gardens where flowers and plants of all varieties are growing in glass pyramid shaped greenhouses. Each of the four pyramids houses a different climate. The garden benches, tables and chairs that were scattered throughout the displays beckoned me to sit and meditate or write. Unique, beautiful and peaceful are the words I would use to describe this place.
Edmonton is divided by the lush green North Saskatchewan river valley. After the gardens we escaped the noise and heat of the city by walking the river valley. About fifteen minutes into our walk, we spied an old fashioned paddle wheeler tied up at a dock – tourist trap of course. Well, Tom and I are tourists, I thought, so why not. Tom went down to investigate sailing time and cost.
“She’s leaving in ten minutes. You have time to get tickets up there at the office,” the captain said as he pointed back up the hill.
Tom volunteered the climb. Will and I found a bench in the shade and waited. The cruise was lovely. The boat went just fast enough to make a light breeze. We sat idly in the sun, and watched the Edmonton sky line slip silently past. Eventually, I decided to walk a bit. I stood on the opposite railing and talked with a lady who lived north of Edmonton.
“That’s my husband, there in the chair. We’ve come to Edmonton to celebrate our first wedding anniversary,” she said. “It’s tomorrow.”
We watched the green water slip past the boat’s hull and talked some more. When she asked about me, I told of our book tour.
“What kind of books do you write,” she asked?
Once again, I pulled the books out of my purse. She showed them to her husband. They bought them both. When I was signing them, Tom and Will joined us. We discovered that Dave was a part of “Alternative Solutions Canada Corp;, “Energy for Life”. He sold horizontal windmills, that don’t have to be as high as the vertical ones, and don’t take as much space. Our books enable us to meet the most interesting people.
When our ride was over, we were famished.
“Let’s go to the Cheese Factory Restaurant,” Tom said.
“Yes,” Will and I declared in unison. Within half an hour, we sat at a table laden with delicious Russian food.
Once fed, we realized we were tired. We returned to Will’s to complete our day with a game of Euchre with Will’s housemate Race. Sleep came easily.
Today we went to the Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller. That was superb. I thought the Dinosaurs at the ROM were amazing. These were just fabulous. We took heaps of pictures. We also went on the guided tour. The temperature was at least 30 degrees Celsius. We trudged up and down the hills of the Alberta badlands in the blazing sun for an hour and a half, while our guide pointed out the seven wonders of the badlands and told its history etc. I wondered if I might be extinct before the tour was over. We were glad to return to the cool dark museum and look at dinosaur bones.
We had supper at Gus’ restaurant in Drumheller. A young family sat at a table across from us. The two kids (age 8 and 5), entertained us. Eventually, a conversation started. In the end we sold them a copy of each book. The children were pleased to stand and watch me sign them. For a few moments I felt like an important author.
Everyday we sell one, two, three, six….books. All we have to do is show them to people and they buy them. That feels good.
We drove home watching a beautiful sunset. This is truly a grand holiday.