Tuesday, November 12, 2013

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Looking Forward ~

We are heading into the Christmas season!  Wahoo!  It's the most wonderful time of year.  I heard someone say that once.  I find myself looking forward to so many things.

1.  I am looking forward to making our house look festive.  Since we have new furniture and rearranged things I have an extra challenge this year.  Still it should be so much fun decking the halls.

2.  Breaking News:  there is a 98% chance Hubby and I will be staying home this year.  It was Hubby's idea.  It will be the first time in 12 years that we will wake up in our own bed on Christmas morning.  I am beyond thrilled.

3.  I am drastically cutting down my Christmas card list.  I am tired of putting in effort and remembering people who don't return the courtesy.  I am also not writing my customary newsletter.  I feel that anyone who cares about us knows what we've been doing or has kept in touch.  I also don't want to give Canada Post money for stamps.

4.  Stamps.  Ick.  MY Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the BC Lions in a thrilling game on Sunday.  Next Sunday is the Western Final in Cow Town against the Stampeders.  They have a horse called Quick Six that gallops along the sidelines when they score.  I hate that horse.

5.  We started our Christmas shopping.  I am so not impressed with Walmart.  Hubby stood waiting to get help in the electronics department while staff messed about not helping people.  We got fed up and left.  We ordered what we wanted online instead.  Zero customer service = loss of sale.  This is one other reason to shop at the new Target.

6.  My Brandy had her 14th birthday yesterday.  Every day is precious now that we spend with her.

7.  The New York trip is totally paid for.  Hotel and flight.  Cannoli here I come!  We aren't into the planning stages yet but I hope we get to hit up a few new places.  This is my main reason for making it through the winter and a great reason to look forward to April.

8.  I am looking forward to doing some Christmas baking.  I have plans to make sugar cookies and shortbread.  I also have a fantastic recipe using Hershey's Hugs....which I bought on sale at Target 2/$6.  Making cookies is something my mom and I always did together.  It's a special thing to do.  I think this year I will make some baggies to share with neighbours....you know...good will towards all men.

9.  To help you get motivated and look forward to Christmas like I am....check out this website.  http://www.xmasclock.com/

10.  One last thought.  Please pray for the people in the Philippines.  I teach many families who are from there or still have family there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Winter ~

It snowed Sunday night and into Monday.  It was the sticking kind.  I actually said, "Goodbye grass, I'll see
you in April."

I may have lost my marbles.

For some reason I feel excited about the change in weather.  Maybe it was because this year we were totally prepared for it.

Bring it on, Mr. Winter, I'm not afraid of you!

1.  For the first time in 11 years, we don't have to put plastic on the windows.  Yay!  Our new windows mean better insulation against the cold.  The worst part was always kneeling on the kitchen counter with the edge of the sink digging into my legs to install the plastic.  It is also the same reason that the kitchen window blind still remains uninstalled.

2.  The Christmas lights are up.  They are pretty much hooked up and come December 1st we just need to flip the light switch to light everything up.  Love it!  No it's not too early.  My neighbour, Nice Neighbour, has his Christmas tree up in his living room already.  This is actually late for him.

3.  Two Sunday's ago we had the winter tires put on the car.  Am I ever glad that got done even though I wasn't impressed with waiting in line in the cold on a Sunday morning at Costco.  I still have to drive cautiously but the tires sure help on the icy slippery roads.....because our snow removal sucks.

4.  I am so tired of hearing about the corrupt Senate.  I am also tired of hearing about the crack smoking Toronto mayor.  So tired of it.  I'm sure there is other news happening in the world, but I wouldn't know what it is because no one seems to cover it.

5.  I have been blessed with some really great piano students this year.  Some were returning while others were beginners.  It makes me excited for the future.  One of my students keeps asking about getting her Grade 8 piano.  I think she's going to be a future teacher.  She's working on Grade 5 now.

6.  This Sunday is the CFL Western Semi-Final.  The Riders finished in second place in the west so we are playing the BC Lions in this game.  The Riders have home field advantage.  //=S=//

7.  I have decided to drastically cut back on Christmas cards this year.  I am so tired of mailing out a ton of cards and barely getting any in return.  I've always written a letter too, but not this year.  I'm tired of it.  The people who matter already know all our news.

8.  We finally took the door off the china cabinet to get the glass replaced.  About 10 years ago, Hubby tripped and grabbed onto the lamp and fell over into the china cabinet and broke the glass on the door.  DOH!  We took it to Speedy Glass.....and it's taking a week to be fixed.  Not very speedy if you ask me.

9.  I got new fleece sheets.  OMG they are amazing!  It's like being wrapped in a fuzzy blankie all night long.  Love it.

10.  I've purchased some new pictures for the dining room.  They are yellow warblers.  I'm adding some yellow to my blueish house.  How surprised are you that my house isn't green?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Thought Tuesday ~ The Day Before the Night Before Halloween ~

Yup.  It's the day before the night before Halloween.  So what does that make today?  Absolutely nothing
but a regular Tuesday.

1.  Last night I made pumpkin whoopie pies to give to my students who are amazing enough to still come to lessons on Halloween.  Actually, I just made the pie part.  Today I'll make the whoopie.  Wait.....that doesn't sound right some how....

2.  I went to the mall on Sunday to Halloween Alley.  I bought an amazing witches hat that is a glittery purple with black spiders and webbing on it.  I got a black spider web cape, purple and black striped socks and little buckle things to put on my shoes.  I already have a black dress.  Oh yes and I got these spectacular glasses with a witches nose attached.  I plan on being a new age witch.

3.  I realized that I do not have a witches broom for my costume.  All I own is a swiffer sweeper.  Can a witch carry a swiffer?  It's either that or the vacuum and man, carrying around a hoover all day would really suck.

4.  I am happy that many schools are returning to the Halloween tradition.  I can't remember anything more exciting at school than the costume parade and then the pizza parties to follow.

5.  When I was about 8 my mom made a fantastic clown costume.  It was blue and white.  She made a great hat that stood up.  The costume was big enough to fit over my coat.  #CanadianHalloweenProblems  There's a picture of me somewhere that Dad took where I'm standing outside wearing the costume.

6.  When I was 15, a group of friends and myself borrowed my brothers hockey jerseys and masqueraded as a hockey team.  We went to a few places to get candy until people got mad at us.  It was funny then, but now I understand that we really were too old.  It was fun though.

7.  As an adult, there was a year that I made the costume for Betty Rubble.  It was a great costume, but there was one problem.  It snowed.  I was so cold!

8.  The last two years I've dressed in all my Roughrider garb.  It's not much of a stretch for me.  Is it game day or halloween?  We don't know.

9.  Brandy~puppy the Super Dog has dressed up as an angel and a clown in previous years.  The angel didn't work very well as she kept trying to knock her halo off her head.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10 Thought Tuesday ~ It's Autumn ~

Here I am and I've finally found enough time to sit and tap out my thoughts.  What a whirlwind it's been!  Someone shot off the start gun after Labour Day and I've been off to the races ever since.

1.  Yesterday, we woke up to the very slightest dusting of sn*w.  I mean, it was like someone gently sprinkled icing sugar on the ground.  It melted right away.  Everyone was freaking out!  All day on the radio, everyone was depressed and moaning and groaning about it.  Suck it up!  This is Canada.  Guess what?  It snows here in the Winter.  It always snows around Halloween.  Put on your snow suit and deal with it!

2.  I am not a morning person.  I had to wake up nearly 3 hours early today to get to my medical appointment.  Hubby said I was very chatty.  Medical appointment was fine.  No worries.

3.  Thanksgiving weekend we spent the weekend being sick and picking up/assembling new furniture.  When something says 'some assembly required' you better be getting your Ikea degree because they aren't joking.  4 hours later we had an entertainment credenza and heaven help you if you can't follow directions.  The house is slowly coming together.

4.  I've had lot's of internet trouble since about January/February.  We upgraded our service to HD and they came and installed a new modem and cable box.  Hubby phoned them to complain about service.  One thing led to another and by the end of it our internet speed got upgraded and we got a pvr AND they knocked $25 off our bill.  All Hubby did was threaten to go to the competition.  Problem solved!

5.  Teaching has been going great.  Next week we pick out Christmas recital songs.  I have a new batch of beginner 7 year olds as well as nearly 10 adult students!  It's a fun year. 

6.  There are two regular season CFL games left.  Where did the season go?  My Riders are 2nd in the western division and have a chance of being 1st again.  It depends on other teams though.  Then we are Grey Cup bound!

7.  Brandy~puppy the Super Dog has been a little angel.  She got very anxious with all the changes in the house but she quickly settled in.  Crazy dog likes to stand and look at herself in the mirror I took off the wall.  I'm never going to be able to put it back.  The other morning she was barking in her sleep.  I wonder what she was barking at?!

8.  There are 63 days until the jolly fat dude slides down the chimney.

9.  I have not done one thing to get ready for Halloween.  We bought a box of potato chips to hand out.  We don't get many trick'or'treaters here during the week.  The box has 58 so I'm sure that will be plenty.  Plus we are not left with a ton of chocolate either.  I bought "screme eggs" to hand out to my students.  They are basically Cadbury cream eggs but with green centers for Halloween.  I need to pin point my costume!  What should I be????

10.  I've decided that weather will not get me down.  Don't let it get you down where you are either.  We should be fortunate to live where we do.  We have jobs.  We have people who love us.  Let's embrace our lives :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Natural Habitat

Every morning, when I let Brandy out to do her bizness, I'd wander out in my pj's and gaze at the garden.  Every morning I'd be greeted with a new surprise.  Maybe it was the white bleeding heart blooming, a new lily springing to life or just watching the garden fill in with colour.

The part I don't enjoy very much is the weeding.  I hate weeding.  Now that the garden is almost filled with plants the weeding isn't so much work.  I no longer have to crawl around on my hands and knees.  I can do it in an evening when the heat from the day is gone.

I love my little Kermie frog looking over my garden.  He is perched on a log.  Unfortunately, I'm going to have to get him a new log as it's now crumbling.  I love my twinkle lights, but they have malfunctioned and haven't twinkled for a while now.  I will have to replace them next weekend.

I've really enjoyed taking Hubby's new fancy camera out and snapping close ups of the flowers.  Renter Person wondered what I was doing one day.  I told him, "I'm taking pictures so I can look at the flowers in February."  Renter Person thought I was funny.  Perhaps, but, at that time of year we yearn for those mornings gazing at the garden.

I had hopes of sitting in the back yard enjoying the views, but the skeeters were out in full force during the summer.  Now that the mosquito's are gone the wasps have appeared.  Still, I found one evening to sit on the bench swing and read my book.  I read half of the book outside until it got too dark to read anymore.

The leaves have started to dry and curl.  The plants aren't blooming anymore.  It's only a matter of time before we need to clean the garden off to get ready for next year.  There is a love/hate with the turning foliage.  I've enjoyed what you've given me but sad to see it go.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A One Hour Tour

For several years.....well, at least the last three years I've wanted to go on a riverboat tour on the South Saskatchewan River.  There used to be two riverboats named Saskatoon Princess and Meewasin Queen. [Meewasin means 'beautiful' in Cree.] The appeal grew greater last year when a new riverboat was brought in called the Prairie Lily.

Prairie Lily was born in Wisconson.  She was a charter ship sailing on the Colorado River until last year when Sheerwater Marine Services of Saskatoon bought her.  The Prairie Lily is a 63 foot 107 ton passenger riverboat.

The forecast was good and I convinced Hubby that we MUST go.  We've waited long enough.....and for what?!  Tickets were purchased online for $20 a person.  Boarding time was 6pm Wednesday.

The plan was that Hubby would come home from work and I've have toasted tomato sammiches ready to eat.  It was so we could get to the Mendel Art Gallery loading dock in time.  I did have it all ready, but when Hubby arrived home the weather had gotten unfavourable.  The wind had kicked up and I was becoming disappointed that it wouldn't be a nice evening like we had been experiencing.


I ended up wearing capris, my black sparkly sneakers, tank top & a bunny hug.  That's a hoodie for all you non-Saskies.  We were on time for boarding but others were not.  It seemed that there was a group of coworkers and they weren't arriving on time.  Boarding seemed to take forever because of it.  We finally disembarked around 6:30.

" I'm King of the World! "
We sailed by the tents of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan on one side of the river and the University of Saskatchewan on the other.  Something I did not know before was that attractive graystone building near the top end of the University bridge was built to house University Presidents, which it has done to this day. And, in fact, whenever British royalty visits the City, they are accommodated in this grand old house while the University President of the day is moved temporarily to the Bessborough Hotel.  I would have thought the royalty would stay in the hotel!

The Prairie Lily sailed under 4 bridges.  Saskatoon has many bridges both for cars and trains.  It seems like there are never enough either!  

On the cruise we found out facts about the river.  We were told that it's really not that deep.  It's only 1 or 2 metres deep and the riverboat has to follow a particular channel of 2 or 3 metres deep.  Because of this, we were shown how to use life jackets and boats but were told we could likely just take a leisurely walk to shore!

Next we sailed by the Bessborough Hotel.  I've blogged about it before.  Again, I learned things I did not know!  This grand old lady was built by the railroad between 1928 and 1932, but was unable to open until 1935 because of financial woes caused by the Great Depression. The hotel boasts 225 rooms; its modern French Renaissance design is similar to the other famous railway hotels across Canada.  Design features include 32 unique gargoyle - like statues at front and sides. Of course, Grotesques and gargoyles are normally images of mythological creatures but the ones on the hotel are images of Saskatchewan creatures like buffalo, beaver, moose, and deer and even a giant bumblebee!  I would have never known this!  I also learned that falcons make homes on the top of the Bess! So cool!

We were told about the role of the South Saskatchewan River during the Riel Rebellion.  We were told about the Victoria Bridge which is being dismantled.  We were told about a ship wreck!  Then everyone became quiet as we passed some very stately homes.  I marveled at the yards....the winding paths to the river and gorgeous flowers.  How lucky those people are to be able to enjoy our river.  However, it was ruled that the land along the river will no longer be used for homes and be for public purposes instead as parks etc.  I love that idea of conservation.

We turned to return to our launching point.  We were told to look off one side of the riverboat as we were being welcomed back by a beaver!  You can't get much more Canadian than that!

We loved the cruise.  Hubby was so glad I insisted on going and wondered why it took us so long to do it.  We walked very happily back to our car just as the sun was setting on another memorable adventurous evening.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Out There

When I was a kid I saw the movie I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  It was on one of our then called Super Channels which was a 24 hour movie channel.  I've never watched the movie since but I remember how it showed the hysteria of the culture surrounding the Beatles and their fans.

When I was in junior high school I went through a whole 50's and 60's phase.  I made mixed tapes [remember those?] of music from that time period.  I borrowed records from the library and recorded them onto cassette tape.  I borrowed all the Beatles greatest hits albums and transferred them to cassette tape.  This was also around the time Duran Duran hit it big and I quickly transferred my obsession to them and the new British Invasion.

In a million years I would have never thought I'd ever have a chance to see someone of the calibre of Paul McCartney in concert anywhere near my home.  People like that only toured in the US and maybe had one or two concert dates in Canada.

As a piano "mackdaddy", I've taught many students to play Let it Be, Hey Jude, and Yesterday.  I've felt it is my duty as a music teacher to educate the up and coming about relative music.  I teach the songs and I try to teach the story behind it.

In 2012, I went to New York and saw the building John Lennon was killed in front of.  I walked through Central Park which contains Strawberry Fields and a memorial to John Lennon.

This year.  I got to go to Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan for an evening of magic with 40,000 other people.  I saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert for the final night of the North American Out There tour.

It was EPIC.

We drove into Regina about 4pm and checked into the Days Inn which has the highest beds of all time.  Seriously, when I stood beside the bed, it was hip high.  We couldn't find a restaurant so we had to get a quick and untastey burger at McDonald's before we lined up for the shuttle buses to the stadium.  We were there at what we thought was early.  Within a very short period of time the line traveled around the entire parking lot.  The buses could only take 45 people at a time.  There weren't enough buses.  Some people were opting to drive instead but the city strongly urged people to take the SGI sponsored shuttles instead.  So we stuck with the shuttles.

That wasn't the worst of it.

When we got to the block before the stadium there were streets blocked off with police everywhere.  The line up for the gate to our seating was a city block long.  The signage inside the stadium was poor.  It was hot and we had been standing forever.  Bottled water was $4.  So finally we found our seats and settled in.  I use the word 'seat' generously because it was a bench basically.  The guy on the isle got the worst of it by only  half perching on the seat.

Because it was taking such an enormous amount of time for fans to get there the concert did not start on time.  It started an hour after it's supposed initial start time of 8pm.  But something was happening and does tend to happen when 40,000 people are in a stadium together and the sun is setting making the moon [and I'm not talking about Jon Cornish here] over Mosaic a magical place. 

A spontaneous wave broke out.  Have you ever seen that amount of people participating in the wave?  I bet we set a record.

Finally, Paul appeared on stage and from there on out.....it was purely 3 hours of legendary music spanning 50 years.  We heard tributes to Lennon and Harrison.  We heard songs dedicated to two of his wives.  We heard stories of recordings and playing with Jimmy Hendrix and it was all incredible.  At one point he took a certain section of the stage to himself.  It was himself and his guitar, which he played about 5 different types.  McCartney talked about telling people how much you love them while you have the chance and how he didn't with John Lennon.  Then he sang a song about him and the stage began to rise up while water falls emerge on the screens below.  Paul wiped away a tear when he was done.

At another point in the concert, he took to his piano to sing Let it Be.  I've heard it billions of times.  This was the most emotional time I've ever experienced it as the entire stadium lit up with lighters and cell phones.  Again, Paul was clearly moved by the outpouring of emotion from the crowd.

The most mind blowing part of the concert was the rendition of Live and Let Die.  I can't even hardly explain the jaw dropping excitement as flames were shot off the stage and fireworks streaked into the night sky.  Wow.  Just plain WOW.

During the 1st encore Hubby pulled my arm and said we should go and catch our bus.  We were clearly leaving early as by the time we hit the bottom of the stairs Paul had broken into Yesterday.  So we stood outside on the street with tons of other people listening in the night.  When it was over we headed to our bus while more fireworks went off and could be seen for blocks around.
Today we were lucky and beat the rush to the continental breakfast which was delish!  We needed it because we were sight seeing before heading home for the 3 hour drive.  The first place we went was the Legislature Building.  This is the massive building which our Premiere Brad Wall conducts all provincial business.  It is on the bank of Wascana Lake and features immaculate gardens, sculptures and walking trails.  There was a tour which takes a half hour but we had other places to get to.

Rider practice!!!!!  We got a little lost trying to find Leibel Field but finally found it.  It was 32*C so we didn't stay as long as originally planned.  It was fun to watch the team practice.  It was cool to hear the 'wolf pack' howl in unison a number of times.  I snapped a few shots before we left for lunch.

Lunch was at the Star Italian Deli.  The main objective was cannoli.  And yes, they did have cannoli!  It was really good too.  We also got assorted Italian meat sandwiches and an orange Boylan soda, another treat from our NYC trip.

Because of the heat, we decided to drive and eat.  We found the highway and zoomed off with enough vivid memories to last a life time.  I am still drinking it all in.  It is amazing to be Out There.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Wheels on the Bus Go.....Hot Diggety Dog!

Hubby was at the kitchen counter gulping down fresh cherries left and right when I wandered in.  I said, "You know, if you wanted to take your fancy schmancy camera and go for a walk I have an idea.  I've always wanted to go to the red double decker bus.  We can get a hotdog and wander through the park."

He looked at me.

Then he looked at his cherries.

Then he responded, "Well, I may as well eat the rest.  There's only 5 left."

So we hopped in the Honda and cruised into downtown Saskatoon and found a very lucky parking spot right down the street of the picturesque Bessborough Hotel and across the street from the Red Bus Refreshment double decker bus.  After perusing the menu we decided on the Riverbank Frank for $5 each.  We had a choice of  4 toppings.....I got the usual ketchup, mustard, relish and mayo.  Hubby had pickles, sauerkraut, mustard and salsa.  He is adventurous after all!

The back view of the bus.
We walked to the corner where there were several park benches and sat and ate our huge hot dogs.  The bus offers many things ranging from ice cream, frozen yoghurt, ice tea, lemonade, floats, popcorn and our dogs.  This is the first time that I've ever gotten something from the bus and yes, it was on my Sand Bucket List.

The view from our park bench.
When we were finished our lunch we walked across the street to the Bessborough Hotel.  The Bess was built as many were for the railroad.  It is an outstanding feature for our city.  It's known as the Castle on the River and is a major landmark.  It's a very interesting building and some say it has ghosts!  I tried to take pictures of some of the interesting architecture including the gargoyles sitting atop the roof.

Can you spot the gargoyle?
We walked along the paths of the park adjacent to the hotel.....it is the same place the Taste of Saskatchewan was.....but this time, being empty of food tents, it was reminiscent of the great lawn in Central Park.  I found a maple leaf on the trail and picked it up and carried it the entire way with me.  [I set it free before we left :) ]  In the middle of the park is a band stand that is dedicated to those who fought at Vimy Ridge.
Hubby's Hand, my leaf, the Vimy memorial & South Saskatchewan River.
Saskatoon is known as the City of Bridges.  In fact, we just had a brand new bridge, the South Bridge, open last week!  We ventured close to one of them, the Broadway Bridge, and snapped a few neat pictures.

Right under the bridge!

We meandered down the paths and found the ornate back gate open to the Bessborough Gardens.  I bet it was an interesting place back in the day. 

We continued on until we got to the spot where the skating rink is during the winter.  Hubby remarked, "No one is skating today."

Riding on the Prairie Lily is also on my Sand Bucket List!

By this time we were getting a little thirsty and a Tim Hortons was nearby so we went there.  I had a gift card to use.  I got an ice cap while Hubby got a raspberry lemonade.  On our way back to the car we walked by his work and a couple other business.

Street fleurs with church in the background.
It was fun and relaxing and made for a beautiful day!  I love where I live and I am so appreciative of the things we have here to enjoy.  In the words of my brother in law, I can't believe you have this here!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taste of Saskatchewan

I'm thinking it's been at least 5 years since we've taken in Taste of Saskatchewan.  I remember it was so hot and there wasn't any place to sit and we had to huddle under a tree to eat.  That doesn't sound like much fun does it?  Well lot's can change in that length of time and I thought Hubby and I should take the opportunity to sample the cuisine from different eateries and listen to some local talent.

Parking was INSANE!  We had to park about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the park where it takes place.  I'm sure they call it Kinsmen Park but it's located to side of the picturesque Bessborough Hotel.  We bought 11 tickets at $2.50 each.  Most dishes were 2 tickets each with some desserts and drinks being only 1.  Each venue offers 3 choices.

Both, Hubby and I had scouted out the website which had the list of 30 restaurants taking part in the event.  We decided our first stop would be to a brand new place.....so new in fact that it doesn't open until tomorrow.....the Bell & Whistle Bar & Bistro.  We ordered the Sundried Tomato Bruschetta.  Hubby is all over Bruschetta lately since he got it at Pizza Pirates.  It was presented to us in a cup much like those from the fro-yo places.....the bruschetta was in the bottom and the bread was rising out of it like the rocks of Stonehenge.  It was good.  No it wasn't the best we've had.  The bread wasn't toasted but yet was almost....I have no idea what they did to it.  The tomato was a little too tomato sauce like and not really chunky as we've had it before.

We ate under a tree.

In the next booth was Saboroso Brazilion Steakhouse.  It was my turn to order so I chose Picanha Taco which was a shredded prime cut of beef.  How it was presented was a taco with the beef on top and then I got to choose from toppings.  I choose guacamole and a tomato/corn salsa.  I really enjoyed this dish.  The beef wasn't really anything special, but the toppings were amazing and really made it delicious!

Moving along we stopped at La Bamba.  Now, a loooooong time ago Hubby and I tried to go to this place and people were lined up out the door.  After tasting some of their food, I now know why!  We ordered the Tostadas de Pollo with refried beans.  Holy smokes were the refried beans amazing!  I don't know what they did to them but I've never ever had refried beans like that!  The tostada was filled with a flaked chicken and had a lemon cilantro sauce.  The combination was really good.

We wandered around looking at the various booths.  Some of them were places we've already been to while others Hubby had heard didn't give very much for the tickets.  Some of his coworkers had already been there for lunch.  So we stopped at a place and a restaurant which we found last fall and totally fell in love with the Louisiana cuisine.  Hubby ordered Jambalaya from Mardi Gras Grill.  It came with two giant shrimp and nice pile of rice and the sauce.  It was perfect.  It wasn't too mild and wasn't too hot.  Then Hubby decided we should get the dessert from that booth too.....Flambe Bananas Foster Cheesecake.  This might be the most incredible dessert I have ever eaten since New York.  PLUS we got to see the chef actually flambe the bananas.  They tasted like cinnamon and rum but it wasn't over powering and those flavours along with the bananas and cheesecake.....well......*faints*

To finish things off, I went to the booth right next to Mardi Gras Grill - the Winston's English Pub and ordered what I had seen everyone walking around with.....the Saskatoon Berry Iced Tea.  I've had it other places before but I really liked this drink.  It wasn't too sweet and yet was very refreshing.

On the bandstand during the whole even is various entertainment.  When we first got there, my coworker who is a violin teacher was performing with one of her bands.  By the time we got to the bandstand that band was done and packing up.  Phooey!  So with our tummies full we decided to take a scenic walk back to the car along the walking path of the South Saskatchewan River.

The Bessborough Hotel & Garden on the bank of the river.
Kinsmen Fountain with the Bessborough in the background.
The University Bridge.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day Trip & Picnic

I can't take the credit for coming up with the idea for packing a lunch and going on a day trip to Lake Diefenbaker.   It was all Hubby.  He mentioned last week that we should.....and we did!  We packed the car with sandwiches, chips, carrots, water and lot's more water and even more water, peaches.....oh and water.  

We headed out on the highway.....

     .......looking for adventure.....

Brandy~puppy the Super Dog came with us too.  As soon as she realized we were going somewhere and we had her leash and some dog food, she was raring to go.

Lake Diefenbaker is a very interesting place.  The main attraction is the Gardiner Dam.   Gardiner Dam stands 64 meters high with the ability to discharge 7,500 cubic meters per second. The Gardiner Dam was the largest earth-filled dam in the world and continues today, 36 years after completion, to regulate the flow of water into the South Saskatchewan River.  The South Saskatchewan River is the river which runs through Saskatoon.  See this link for more information:  http://town.outlook.sk.ca/skytrail/skytrail-4.html

Standing on top of the spillway.

Panoramic from the side.
The calmness of Lake Diefenbaker.
The bottom of the spill way.
Across from the Dam was a visitors area.  There were picnic tables, a beach and an information centre that had a place called Top of The Dam Cafe that had burgers and ice cream.

Does this make anyone else think of the Simpson's?
We got back in the car as dogs were not allowed in the visitors area.  Brandy thought that was very wrong. 

We found a Provincial Campground called Danielson.  The lady in the kiosk let us in even though we are supposed to purchase Provincial Campground day passes.  We drove through the loops of the campground which were very spacious and nice.  They were electrified and had really nice washrooms, including showers.  On one of the loops was a camp kitchen so we decided that would be the perfect place to have our lunch.

When we were leaving Danielson we asked for directions to another campground called Douglas.  We were able to tour that one as well and found the campsites even nicer because they had more trees.  The amenities weren't as nice, but then it's supposed to be 'roughing' isn't it?

Our next stop was the town of Elbow.  The main street had quaint little shops, a school house museum and a sod house.  It looked like an interesting place to visit if a day turned cloudy or rainy and camping wouldn't be so enjoyable.

Elbow, SK has a marina and yacht club.  It was very cool to see such large boats.  You'd need a large water craft for the size of Lake Diefenbaker, but it looks like you'd also need lot's of money too!

Since it was already getting late and it would take us at least an hour and a half to drive home.....we headed for home.  It was a very fun car ride, adventure and picnic!  I think next summer if we camp in this area we will have no problem finding things to occupy our time.  We barely scratched the surface of what attractions are at Lake Diefenbaker.

Tired Brandy thought the trunk was the best place to ride on the way home!