No more dreaming – A White Christmas
We flew into Calgary around 2:30pm on Saturday. Sharlene, Sir’s aunty was picking us up. We had gone through customs and security when we arrived in Vancouver, so it was nice a straight-forward once we got to Calgary. Only dilemma… I hadn’t figured out in my head that flying Vancouver to Calgary then makes our arrival domestic – therefore we waited for about an hour for Sharlene, and she waited about an hour for us – both at different ends of the terminal!
I had been warned about just how cold it would be in Calgary. But I assured you, nothing could have prepared me for just how cold cold is. When we arrived it was about -20’C. In cold places (real cold like Calgary, not my version of cold being 10’C in Newcastle), in addition to measuring the temperature, they measure the wind chill which tells you what the temperature actually feels like. I imagine any of you who have skied know this. I did not. Not sure what the wind chill was when we got there, but this was my first experience of real cold.
Oh, how rude. I forgot introductions. Meet the Canadian Kiwis – the Christies. This was my first time of meeting them too – well that is mostly true. I had met a few years ago, Josh, the eldest of 3 kids, as he lives in Australia now. Uncle Lance is Sir’s uncle – his mum’s brother and that forms the basis of our family connection. He works at the local hospital and is an avid marathon runner (so inspiring!). Aunty Sharlene is obviously married to Uncle Lance, she too works at the hospital, she is a Nurse. Two of the three kids were around, Daniel who lives and studies in Vancouver, who when home works at the hospital and Shoshanna lives in the South West Quadrant of Calgary (about 20 mins away) and has just completed Nursing at uni and is working at the hospital. Yep – the hospital is a family affair – is also goes further into the extended family! 🙂
Speaking of the extended family. We had dinner that night at Sharlene’s mum & dad’s place. I love that they welcomed us like we’re family! It’s a funny thing joining in on another family’s celebrations, they always think they are the crazy ones – but no, I assured them that our family was just as crazy! Dinner was awesome – what I imagine to be a traditional Canadian/North American Christmas.
On Sunday we headed downtown with Lance, Sharlene and Daniel. Sir had heard that Calgary has built an elevated network of walkways between buildings so that you hardly need to go outside! It’s called the Plus 15. We walked a bit of it and just generally had some fun together, chatting, getting to know each other. We also looked at the Peace bridge – a possibly arguably unnecessary bridge that did the opposite to its name. It was was cold out, so we didn’t wander too much..
Oh and so there was lots of snow around too! This was my first real experience of snow which was pretty cool and oh so pretty!!
That night we Skyped my family. Oh so much love right there! My mum cracked me up – she bought Moose salad servers in memory of Sir and I! hehe. It’s such a wonderful thing technology! So cool to be able to see my family on their Christmas eve. These two little ones melted my heart as always!
On Monday (Christmas Eve) we convoyed to Banff National Park. This was really the only thing on our must-do-in-Canada list for this trip, since we were super keen to just hang out with the family! It was spectacular and cold out in Banff, the scenery was amazing!
That night we Skyped Sir’s family, which again, it was so lovely to see their faces! ❤ After that most of us went into the kitchen to prep some things for Christmas day. For some reason we decided it was an awesome idea to have 3 different desserts! While Daniel made the crepe mixture for breakfast, Sharlene prep Pumpkin Pie, Shoshanna made Pavlova and I made Trifle. Not sure what we were thinking, but this made for a very sweet Christmas!
Christmas morning was a relaxed affair. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast together, opened some presents and then us kids made our way downstairs to watch a Christmas movie. It took a while to decide, but due to movie availability we watch Elf! So many laughs! 🙂 We had a late Christmas lunch of Lamb and roast veggies cooked by Lance and later we enjoyed our 3 courses of dessert. Between all of that though, Shoshanna braved the freezing conditions outside (-22’C with chill feeling like -32’C) to build a snowman and snow angels – it had to be done!
Well worth getting icy cold to be able to truly experience the snow! The snowduck came about because the snow was so dry we couldn’t get it to stay together and as I put the head on it kind of turned into a head with a beak, so we ran with that!
Boxing Day saw us ladies brave the Shopping Center. Not sure what we were thinking, but I was stoked to get a selection of my new favourite brand Davids Tea half price! I first heard about Davids Tea through blogger’s Meg & Christina and was so glad to find some for myself while in Canada!! Exciting stuff in my book! Just you wait until I start blogging about all the different flavours! 🙂 We also spent a lot of time playing 500! I love a good card game!
We flew out at 6am on Thursday, so we had to be up by 3:15am to get to the airport by 4am. Wow, that was an early, cold start! Ah, I am so glad that we got to spend Christmas, on the other side of the world but still with family. It was such a blessed time that we had together as we celebrated Jesus’ birthday! I look forward to returning to Calgary in warmer months though!