Alberta Bound, it’s good to be Alberta bound.
A trip to the Past
When junior was little, we went on a dinosaur adventure to Alberta. Dinosaurs were his world and he was sooooo excited to see the real things.
Unfortunately the Royal Tyrell Museum had some dark areas and the poor little guy was too scared to enjoy them. So I vowed we’d go back when he was older.
Ten years later, I decided that for his graduation present I was taking my little boy back to Alberta to re-live the dinosaur adventure.
The Build Up
Once I’d decided to go, I started planning the road trip.
We’d fly into Calgary, rent a car and relive the adventure. I created an itinerary that covered all the places we traveled to plus a few places that were, I thought, interesting to see.
I was getting excited and tried to convey that enthusiasm to junior. His teenage response was, “Sounds okay.” “Okay?!?! We’re going to see dinosaurs, we’re going to see giant things, we’re going to see bombers and Vulcan,” I’d say. “Cool.” Not the response I was going for.
The day finally arrived and we flew into Calgary. I was stoked.
We’d head to the hotel, get settled in, check out Cow Town and then go for a Crab and Shrimp boil with some barbequed flesh.
Into the car and we headed down the road. The first thing I noticed was that lack of proper signage. Not for the first time on the trip, we had to turn around and try again a couple of times before we were on the right road into downtown.
Once downtown, it was another matter. Like Surrey, Calgary is where the streets have no name. As an example there is a 4th avenue and 4th street, both NW, NE, SW, SE. Unlike on the damp coast, where streets running east/west are numbered and north/south are named. Sooooo much easier.
Eventually I figured it out and we made it to our hotel. The whole direction thing threw junior off and he just wanted to stay in the room. I went out to forage and when I came back, managed to convince junior to come out and see the town, with a promise of finding a place where he could buy a cowboy hat. Not that he’ll ever wear it on the coast but he likes collecting hats – and he does look good in them.
The town was buzzing on a Friday afternoon, the weather was lovely. It turns out Calgary is quite a charming little town, even though it is in fact a big city.
After a trip to THE cowboy store, Lammle’s, we wander about. It was about ½ hour before our reservation for the crab and shrimp boil restaurant so I suggested to junior we go early. “I’m really tired. I just want to go back to the room and sleep.” MAWAHHH!??!? “Seriously!?? You don’t want to come for barbeque?” I stammered. “No, I’m not hungry.” He said. “On what planet?” I replied. I’ll spare you the explicatives that I lambasted junior with on the way back to the hotel, but suffice to say, I didn’t get my crab boil.
Alone again, naturally.
I was too furious to stay in the room with my lame travelling companion, so I headed out into the now deserted streets of downtown Calgary.
Not much was open so I ended up a Joey’s (!??), a place that I wouldn’t normally EVER eat at.
My theory is that if more than 2 continents or cultures are represented on the menu and the women have to wear short, tight black dresses, it’s not a place where I want to eat. BUT I needed a martini, and I needed it fast. I was pretty sure they could get that right.
So here’s my foodie review of Joey’s.
Despite the obnoxiously loud music, the food was decent. Personally I wouldn’t bring young kids to this restaurant because they will suffer permanent ear damage, but there were tons of families in the place. It was like eating in a dance club with the house music pumping.
The ladies in the tight dresses and the kitchen staff were all working hard and the machine was well oiled.
Normally I don’t order seafood in a place where I can’t access the ocean, but the Hawaiian Tuna Tacos looked intriguing Besides, tuna gets flown everywhere. Nice, fresh, good blend of flavours, citrus soy marinade, avocado, chili miso sauce, and surprisingly filling.
Then I had the large and filling Chicken Market salad. At first I thought there may be too many elements in the salad making it one big mess. Delightfully there was just enough of each item to add a little something. Good fresh ingredients that left me feeling quite satisfied indeed.
But it took 2 martinis before I got the one it the way I liked it. Three times lucky!
Back to Grumpy Pants
While I dined, I contemplated sending junior back on the next flight to the damp coast and carrying on myself. The money I was going to spend on the trip could easily have gone toward paying a portion of my roof. But it was important, I thought, to have one last trip with my son. So I decided that he was coming with me whether he liked it or not. And he was going to endure every embarrassing moment with his mom.
When I got back to the room, junior had smartened up a bit. “I guess, it’s just because we went from one big city to another. It doesn’t really feel like we’re on holiday yet,” He said. “I think when we get out and see the real Alberta, it’ll be better.”
And just like that, my son was back.