Saturday, 19 July 2014

Days 4 and 5 - July 18th - 19th

Rockies Trip - Days 4 & 5 - July 18th - 19th , 2014

Winnipeg, Manitoba - Calgary, Alberta

This is being composed on Saturday, July 19th, as we were up until gone 1:30 a.m. - an unusual occurrence for both of us. 

Friday, July 18th 

After checking in at the departure lounge at Winnipeg airport, Mark was drawn to this patriotic polar bear, so a picture had to be taken. 

True to form, we had arrived at the airport with more than 2 hours to spare, so time was spent reading and texting until boarding time. Beautiful view of the city and the Red River when we took off. 

The flight was smooth and very quick (less than the 2 hours 5 minutes indicated on the map above). Hazy weather in Calgary precluded taking pics. Our friend, Sylvia (with whom we are staying for a couple of nights), was there to pick us up and, after stopping at Tony Roma's for lunch, we arrive at her lovely home. 

She lives just a proverbial stone's throw from the site of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games (remember 'Eddie, the Eagle'?) 

Unpacked and refreshed, we relaxed in the afternoon until Sylvia's guests (and some of her friends that we knew) arrived for supper and a wonderful evening of conversation, laughter, and fun. 

Pat is an amazing woman and, since we saw her the last time, we have moved to Elliot Lake. We found out that Pat went to school there and lived there for many years. She was familiar with some of the town as it is now, but was filling us in with a lot of details of the history of the city. Very interesting to hear it from a personal point of view and, together with similar information from our friend, Doug, we've been able to put the pieces together to build a fairly good picture of earlier times. If you want to feel better about yourself, spent time with Pat!

Claudia has a beautiful personality and a heart of gold, full of compassion and understanding. She also has a wicked sense of humour, which rises to the surface to add to the general frivolity of the occasion. She is an easy person to talk to and you know that she is really listening to you - not only with her ears, but with her mind and her heart. It was such a joy to spend some time with her. Unfortunately, she had left before we remembered to take some pics, so we're including her professional picture from LinkedIn (she looks even more gorgeous in person!)

I met Victor a few years ago when visiting Calgary for an A.G.M. He is one of the kindest people you could ever wish to meet and I've always been impressed with his honesty, integrity, and genuine personality. Originally from Brazil, he settled in Calgary attending the University there and is now studying for a degree in Engineering. Victor has a great appreciation of humour and is another person who really listens intently when you are speaking with him. Mark met him for the first time today, and we all had a great time. It was great to see him again. 

Sylvia, our gracious host, is one of those individuals who has a genuine interest in people and always brings a sense of realism into the conversation. She has such a generous heart and nothing is too much trouble for her. An amazing sense of humour, she enjoys a good belly laugh - which, very quickly after we met, endeared her to us. We spent a few days with her at the summer house of our mutual friend, Vera, back in January when we visited Fort Myers in Florida. Sylvia never changes - you can rely upon her to be the same each time you see her. What you see, is what you get - and we get all of her wonderful traits every time we see her. No wonder that we gravitate to her whenever we can. She has made some amazing quilts and has gifted two to us. I love my wolf quilt! 

Saturday, July 19th

Slept in this morning, and then, after breakfast, Sylvia took us to the Enterprise Car Rental place for us to pick up our car for our trip out to Banff and the Rockies. We're very pleased with it - smooth running, smart looking, and very comfortable. We're looking forward to being a little higher than what we are used to. All the better for viewing and taking pics. (Hoping we'll see some grizzly bears on our trip). 

Just relaxing for today, shooting the breeze with Sylvia and sitting around doing nothing in particular. We'll probably take her out for lunch at one of her favourite restaurants. (Must get back on program soon!!! lol) 

Looking forward to seeing our friends from the U.K. tomorrow. They are arriving in Banff sometime today after taking the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Vancouver. We'll be meeting them around noon tomorrow and then we'll move into our official roles as tour guides for our British visitors!

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