when i'm overseas, and someone asks me where exactly in Canada i'm from, i usually say edmonton. unless the person communicates that they're familiar with the area, i leave it at that, not explaining that i actually grew up 30kms outside of edmonton, surrounded by farmland and cows. lots of cows.
it wasn't until i met my awesome friends sasha and chelsea when i was 14, and started spending the weekends at their houses in west edmonton, that i started to get to know this place they call 'river city' for myself. even so, as i have been out of the country for 7 of the past 8 and a half years, and the time i have spent in edmonton in that time has mostly been confined within the four very large, and very window-less walls of Toys R Us, i have some exploring to do.
last friday i set out on an adventure to get to know this little oasis in the prairies. wandering around in a new city is one of my favourite things to do...and aside from the first photo, there were definitely some interesting and inspiring discoveries. enjoy!
|everyone in every city OTHER than christchurch thinks this is hilarious. i don't. but then, i also feel phantom earthquakes at least once a day, perhaps i am biased.|
|after perusing the city centre library, i walked out the front doors and was greeted by LMFAO's 'Sexy And I Know It' playing very loud...i made my way towards the music, as i'm sure you would too, and found myself in churchill square, watching a policewoman do zumba amidst a crowd of eager outdoor exercisers. this definitely put a smile on my face. ok, edmonton. i see you have a sense of humor.|
|other things in churchill square that made me smile: i found a HUGE cup of coffee at Three Banana's Cafe. they also do a grand panini. i recommend.|
|i have always loved the city centre mall. it's no West Edmonton Mall, but it definitely has class. i was spoiled for choice for all the flowery hair accessories! my fave.|
|not edmonton-specific, but definitely exciting: leaves are finally on the trees! it was pretty bare and brown when i got here.|
|Canada Place....this big pink glass building is pretty iconic and houses all sorts of official-type agencies. like what, you ask? i have no idea. all i know is that this is where you go to get a new passport. and it's pink. cute.|
|another one of edmonton's most iconic buildings, the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. i just read up a bit on it, and construction on this beauty began a hundred years ago! it was completed and opened in 1915.|
|and on the other end of the spectrum, the Art Gallery of Alberta was recently renovated and re-opened in 2010. kinda reminds me of the christchurch art gallery, no? i didn't get a chance to go in, as i hadn't left myself enough time to thoroughly enjoy it, but i look forward to a trip here in the future. art galleries are one of my favourite indulgences, especially in new places!|
|i was pleased to find that this wee beauty can still be found inside The Citadel Theatre. i remember eating my lunch in front of this thing when i was on a field trip to the citadel as a kid. i have always loved their little indoor garden, and this happy little sailboat chillin in calm waters.|
|ko north saskatchewan te awa. here she is, complete with the Edmonton Queen Riverboat, and the sneaky pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory peeking out above the trees on the right. i'd like to check out both of those attractions this summer - its been a looooong time since my last field trip to the Muttart.|
|last, but certainly not least, here's a photo of the Hotel MacDonald at dusk...stunning!|
All in all, it was a pretty nice afternoon in Edmonton. I'd still like to have a few more 'tourist-in-my-hometown' adventures, and definitely spend some more time exploring this place... it has it's nickname, 'festival city,' for a reason, and i'm looking forward to a summer full of outdoor music, ethnic food, and market shopping. Come visit, we'll explore this town together!