August 22, 2013

We're Alberta bound!


   This piece of heaven that I've found
Rocky Mountains and black fertile ground
Everything I need beneath that big blue sky
It Doesn't matter where I go
This place will always be my home 


It is, with no small amount of elation, that I write today's post. You see, my sweet dears, for the first time in many years, Tony and I will soon be embarking an exciting multi-day trip. As you may have likely deducted from the title, as well as from the lyrics above that come from Paul Brandt's song, Alberta Bound (not to be confused with Gordon Lightfoot's 1972 classic of the same name), we're headed over the Rocky Mountain covered boarders for the gorgeous province of Alberta.

Calgary, Alberta, to be exact. This is a city that I know and love dearly, having resided there myself for a little over two years in my late teens. A thousand lifetimes worth of experience happened to me in that short span, in the shadow of the Saddle Dome, Calgary Tower, and those stunning Rocky Mountains themselves, towering majestically off in the distance.


 photo 220304029_b5561996b2_b_zps81eed43c.jpg

{A circa late 1940s/early 1950s view of downtown Calgary, AB looking southwest from Crescent Heights east of Centre Street. Though the view I knew when I lived there was a bit different, whether decades ago, ten years past, or today, the skyline is instantly recognizable to anyone who has spent time in Cow Town, as the city is sometimes lovingly referred to, before. Image source.} 


I left far less by choice, than by circumstances beyond my control, and for a good many years afterwards, I missed Calgary with the sort of yearning and embedded love that, hitherto, I had only ever felt for a small number of people – I didn’t know it was humanly possible to miss a place so very much. Life moved on and so did I, but I never forgot this rugged, bustling, amazing city, and vowed to return one day (and hopefully many more times after that).

Now, almost ten years since I last called Calgary home, Tony and I will be packing up the car and headed that way for a few days in mid-September, for some extremely needed R&R, as well as plenty of fun and oodles of vintage, antique and thrift store visiting!

I know the bones of Calgary inside and out, from Stephan Ave to Kensington Village, Olympic Park to Chinook Mall, but I'm sure a fair number of things have changed in the last decade, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing what the city looks like and has to offer today.

On that note, though I have been doing plenty of online research into the topic recently and come up with several names already, if you happen to have any recommendations when it comes to vintage, antique, thrift, secondhand or consignment stores that you love because of their mid-century offerings, I would be delighted to hear them anytime.

Traveling, even for a relatively short road trip, presents a substantial number of challenges to me due to my health (a topic I discussed in greater detail here), but sometimes - with a ton of advance planning - facing our challenges in life can bring us immeasurable rewards, and I truly hope that such rings true for this exciting holiday.

We'll be staying at a wonderful hotel with a kitchen (a must because eating out safely is almost impossible for me due to medical reasons) near the airport the whole time, taking our car (which does not have a big trunk at all, so strategic planning and a maximum of one moderate sized suitcase each will be a must), driving straight from Penticton to Calgary, and working on a bit of an itinerary, though few things will be set in stone - it's so much more fun to just go where the (chinook) winds blow you sometimes. Tony has never been to Calgary before, though he probably feel like he has based on how much I've told him about it over the years, so this will an extra fun first for him.

I'll be chatting more about the trip as our departure date draws nearer - and you'll definitely hear tons about it once we get back. I'm so exciting already that some nights it's hard to fall asleep, but I must because, I need all the strength and energy I can get for when the big day arrives, less than a month from now, and we head out on the open road, Alberta bound at long last!


53 comments:

  1. Funny, when I read the title of your post, the Gordon Lightfoot song was what popped right into my head. Have a great trip!

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    1. Thank you very much, sweet Juliana! I truly hope we will - and I can't wait to blog about it afterwards (no matter how it goes, posts will follow! :)).

      ♥ Jessica

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  2. Oh fab Jessica! How lovely to be going back to visit somewhere so dear to your heart. I am sure you are both going to have a wonderful trip, you deserve it so much. I look forward with excitement to seeing your holiday snaps! J.x

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    1. That's really touching of you to say, honey, thank you very much. I'm hoping to Instagram while on the road, as well as to get in plenty of digital camera shots to fill future posts about our travels with once we're home again.

      ♥ Jessica

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  3. Wow, that's so exciting! I can't wait to read your impressions about the city after ten years living somewhere else. I bet it will be very interesting.

    Have a nice day!

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  4. I'm so excited for you, Jessica. I know how hard travelling is when you have chronic health issues and my wish for you is a cooperative body and an amazing time filled with many adventures. Plus, of course some romantic times for you and Tony xx

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  5. Ok, Dr. Mom here,
    Pack Elderberry, Honeysuckle, and Olive leaf capsules and tea. All are mega immune boosters which will help you stay stable. Of course remember a good multi as well. And eat your greens, get your rest, and you kids have a good time! (Seriously, I understand all too well. The huskies and I will keep our paws crossed you stay safe and healthy.)XO Carly Carter

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    1. Thank you very much for the wise advice and happy trip wishes, dear Carly - as well as for the crossed paws, that's too cute! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  6. Yes, there are places that, for some reason, leave a sort of sign in our heart. I wish you a wonderful trip!

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  7. I'm so excited for your road trip!! How wonderful for you and Tony. I love a good road trip. I hope you'll be taking photos all along the way and plan to share them with us (and um, in a more timely fashion than me sharing my UK pics which hasn't happened yet ;).

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  8. Have fun! I wish I had known sooner! The Edmonton gals and I would have tried to arrange a trip down to Calgary to meet you!

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Jill, that would have been awesome! Though taking a road trip to somewhere in B.C. or Alberta was an idea that we started tossing around late in the spring, nothing was even close to being set in stone until just a few days ago (I had a lot of medical ups and downs this summer, so we really weren't sure if such a trip was going to be able to happen at all this year), including where we'd be going (three different cities were vying for the winning spot). I would have loved to have known sooner for sure myself and tried to meet up with you, too.

      Neither of us has ever been to Edmonton and are hoping to take a future road trip there one day, so hopefully we can get together then (and I will give you as much of a heads up as I possibly can, if one is in the works). It would be such an honour to meet you and the other awesome Edmonton vintage ladies.

      ♥ Jessica

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  9. My pal Rueby Retro lives there and knows ALL the vintage and antique places to go. Really, you should try to see Nanton if you want to antique....the town is basically just all antique shops now!!! xoxo

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    1. Oh my goodness, how has Nanton escaped my radar this long? I just Googled it and instantly fell in love. It's me to a tee! Thank you very much for the awesome suggestion, I am off to tell Tony about it right now.

      Thank you too for reminding me about Rueby Retro.

      ♥ Jessica

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  10. That is awesome!! :D I hope that you and Tony have an amazing trip!! :D

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  11. How fun! Enjoy your trip. I just bought a plane ticket for a trip next month and I am really excited. I haven't traveled in so long, I hope I can figure out how to naviagae the airport. :)

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    1. Thank you very much, honey! How exciting that you'll soon be jetting off on a trip of your own. I hear you loud and clear, I feel a rusty when it comes to travelling, too - especially packing (which I'm stressing way more than I probably should about). I really hope that you have an awesome holiday, too!

      ♥ Jessica

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  12. I cant wait to see what adventures you and Tony get up to. Planning a road trip can be hectic but so much fun. We've learned that if we take a cooler with food, we tend to make healthier choices and don't spend as much on drive-thru. We even eat less than we normally do.

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    1. ...And I can't wait to share them with you! Seriously, my excitement level is pretty much off the charts right now. Yes, I'm also very stressed and worried because I can only guess at how my health will handle all this (juggling the countless daily symptoms, pain levels, meds, dietary restrictions, etc of more than a dozen different chronic illnesses at home is a massive challenge unto itself, so leaving the "comfort zone" of home and attempting to do so for days on end while on the road is a genuinely frightening prospect for me), but with each passing day, the excitement and happiness is dwarfing the stress more and more, which must be a good sign of things to come! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  13. What fun! I will look forward to hearing about how you got on, on your return. Have a wonderful trip - I really hope your health holds up, so that you can make the most of every minute!

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Philippa! I truly hope so, too! I can't recall the last time I was so worried/stressed (due to concerns about how my health will fare throughout the whole drive and trip) and excited at the same time. I keep switching between my concerned face and my gleefully happy one. :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  14. Love Calgary! My aunt and uncle lived there for years and we use to go skiing all the time at Banff and surrounding hills. Looking forward to your post, especially if you talk about where to shop for vintage finds while in Calgary. Enjoy :)

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  15. How exciting! I am so glad that you have got a trip planned and are feeling up to it. It will be lovely for you to go back and visit a place so special to you.

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  16. Have such an amazing trip!! Best wished for a wonderful, relaxing, fun holiday!! Can't wait to hear all about it!
    xx
    http://thescreensiren.com

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  17. I hope you have a wonderful trip! I look forward to reading all about your travel adventures when you return :-)

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  18. I'm so very excited and happy for you! Have a wonderful trip!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn

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  19. Oh have fun lady!!
    Calgary is such a beautiful city!!! I love going there and checking out all the awesome restaurants!!
    Edmonton is not that far away!! :)

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    1. Thank you very much, dear gal!!! If we were going to be in Alberta for longer, we might have planned a "trip within a trip" to Edmonton, too (I've never been and soooo want to go), but in the span of such a short amount of time, just making it to Calgary is all I know my body will (if I'm super lucky) be able to handle in terms of long distance driving (usually going to Kelowna, which is an hour away, for an afternoon takes me one - three weeks to recover from, so I have no idea how my body is going to cope with the effects of the long drive to Calgary and the ensuing whirlwind of activity while there). Tony and and I both want to see Edmonton one day, so who knows, maybe the next road trip announcement post one day will be that we're headed that way! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  20. Ohhh how pretty! I hope you have a fabulous trip my dear! xox

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  21. Oh, that's sound really great - hope you will have a wonderful time!

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  22. I looorve Cowgalry! Lucky you.

    I'm doing a road trip with my young son this fall that will also include bringing all our own food (allergies make eating out impossible) and I'll be interested to hear how the kitchenette works out for you. I'm not sure what your food issues are, but if you can eat them, "Enjoy Life" snack bars travel well, and are free of most of the common allergens and gluten.

    My vintage sense (like "spidey sense", but with awesome shoes ) tells me you're going to find the winter items you've been seeking.

    Happy Trails!

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  23. You very much deserve this little getaway. I can already sense how exciting this is for you. Oh so much fun!!! I am so happy for you that you have something nice to look forward too!!!!

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  24. my dear, i wish you and tony a great and save trip!

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  25. Oh, how exciting! And if you ask me, planning is half the fun. Can't wait to hear what you find!

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    1. It is a ton of fun, I agree, and having some time beforehand really helps put my mind at ease, because I can make scads of checklists for everything that I want to bring, need to take, hope to do/see once there, etc.

      Thank you! I really hope I unearth some fab vintage treasures while thrifting and vintage store shopping to share with everyone here.

      ♥ Jessica

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  26. How exciting! I can't wait to see your pics and stories from the trip.
    xo

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  27. Eeeeee!!! I'm so excited for you! I can't wait to see/hear about your trip! I know traveling can be a bit risky with health conditions, but I think it's going to be magical regardless. There's no one else I'd rather have be my virtual tour guide. Tony is a wonderful photographer, and your words do more than a hundred images.

    Travel safe pretty lady! Don't overdo it, embrace some relaxation, and *enjoy yourself*.
    xo Sara

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    1. Echoing your eeeee!!! on this side of the 49th (I actually "eeeee!" aloud all the time when I'm excited - Tony will even say something along the lines of "I know you're going to "eeeee!" about this" when he had good news or spoils me a surprise present) to no end! You are the sweetest, thank you on every count. I will be Instagramming from my phone on the go and blogging all about our adventures once we're home, and I truly hope you'll love our vintage travel guide-esque look at good, ol' Calgary! :)

      Thank you so much, my awesome friend!
      ♥ Jessica

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  28. Jessica,
    The excisement is immense!
    I hope everything goes well health-wise.. and I wish you pick up some lovely memories.. and goodies. :)
    I'm sure we'll read all about it!

    Marija

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  29. You must be excited - I don't think I've ever seen you post about something which hasn't actually happened yet! I'm so glad you are able to plan such a trip and I hope it works out well for you (not meaning to be negative - I really hope your health holds out for you)! Looking forward to seeing your photos and outfits from the trip!

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    1. What an astute observation, dear gal, thank you very much for pointing that out. You know, now that I stop and think about it, this is one of the first things I've ever blogged about (save for say annual standards like Halloween or Christmas) in advance. I really appreciate that you picked up on that fact, thank you again.

      You're not being negative at all, fear not - I'm hoping the same thing with every fiber of my being. Fingers crossed as tight as can be!!!

      ♥ Jessica

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  30. Hope you have an amazing time and all goes to plan... or nicely off plan, for unexpected but delightful adventures! (My mother and I just went to Berlin together and managed to not-quite achieve any of the recommendations we received, but simply because we got happily distracted en route and were taking things as they came, rather than rushing madly!) I hope Calgary is as wonderful as you remember it. I certainly know what it's like to fall in love with a city... I cried and cried and cried when I had to leave London for the first time! And it was definitely about more than just the people I loved in it.
    It's great that you've found a hotel with a kitchen too. I think it's always best to have a kitchen when I holiday - even as someone with a stomach of steel, it's nice to have that home comfort of being able to prepare your own meals and not feeling obliged to eat out for every single meal.
    I do hope your forward planning allows everything to go smoothly, lovely lady!

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  31. Maybe you could come for tea at the Gothic Mansion while you're here? :D

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  32. Exiting! Have fun! :)
    http://balearaitzart.blogspot.com.au/

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  33. I hope you have a great well-deserved trip! I hope the trip all goes smoothly, not to compare the situations at all because I don't have chronic condtion like yours but I can empathise with certain personal circumstances can make travel more difficult as I have food intolerances which can be a bit of a challenge when travelling! But hoepfully it all goes smoothly! I would like to go to Canada one when I can afford to!

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  34. How exciting!!!! Adventure awaits and I can't wait to see photos from your trip!
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  35. I really am soooooooooooooooo happy for you both. I know I want to reply to that message of yours soon. :-0 Have loads of fun, take lots of pictures, and don't forget to relax. :)

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    1. Thank you very much, darling gal!!! I'm getting so excited it's not even funny! The trip is still more than two weeks away, and some nights I've already having a hard time falling asleep because of how excited I am. It's awesome to have something to feel that way about!

      ♥ Jessica

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  36. I am so excited for you!! I cant wait to hear more about your trip.

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  37. How exciting! I wish you all the health luck in the world.
    I'm behind again and starting from the bottom, but believe me - I read every word you have written. Just not always the same day it is posted. Wishing you both a lovely weekend. :)

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  38. Have a lovely time Jessica xxx

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