Monday 25 June, 2012

Days 12, 13 & 14 – Edmonton


Surrounding Edmonton is a landscape that is highly reminiscent of the photo of the Knudsen’s farm in The Big Lebowski. Still, it has a certain pastoral beauty. I’m visiting my friends Brad and Ramona and their two daughters Emma and Abby. (Brad is Melanie’s brother, for those of you keeping score.) Exploring Edmonton was like [...]


Surrounding Edmonton is a landscape that is highly reminiscent of the photo of the Knudsen’s farm in The Big Lebowski. Still, it has a certain pastoral beauty.

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I’m visiting my friends Brad and Ramona and their two daughters Emma and Abby. (Brad is Melanie’s brother, for those of you keeping score.)

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Exploring Edmonton was like being in an alternate reality version of my hometown of Milwaukee. The feeling of the place was very familiar, a city that sometimes feels like a really big small town.

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My inner nerd came out and I ended up visiting the used bookshops, comic stores and high end audio emporiums all over town. Surprisingly, they were all as good or often better than their bay area equivalents. I’m still getting used to the surprising friendly demeanor everyone I run into has. I’ve been in California so long, I’ve forgotten that not everyone views interaction with customers or strangers as a necessary evil. As I wandered through the city I thought – I could live here. Then I remembered the bitter winters.
A river runs through the center of Edmonton giving it a lot of character. On either side are some beautiful neighborhoods full of brick houses with tree lined streets.

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Monday night we had a BBQ at Brad’s Mom’s house (hey Jude!). The girls are seen here doing their monkey dance, a routine whose odd repetitive nature is matched only by its ability to continue to the end of time with no lessening of manic energy.

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At hour 13 with no end in sight…

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Last night we saw Brave at the West Edmonton Mall, a gigantic mega mall with its own water park, theme park, gun range, bowling alley, theater, collection of food courts and the largest bunch of retail stores I’ve ever seen. It’s nightmarish and impressive all at once.

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Saying goodbye after dinner really brought home what I’ve been feeling lately about my trip. I enjoy the new sights and the discovery, but it’s the people that pull me forward, make each stay special, and then leave an empty space when I go.

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