Friday, August 31, 2012

Spoiled...

My friend came over for tea yesterday and she brought me the most lovely bouquet of flowers, all from her own garden.  It was a lovely surprise and I'm feeling very spoiled.

Aren't they lovely - my photo does not do them justice!
My favourite flowers in the arrangement are these purple balls of interesting.

I also love these shaggy yellow blooms.

Her beautiful, artful arrangement puts into perspective the bouquet I picked up for 75p from ASDA a couple of days ago....pitiful really.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little Boy Goes to Nursery

Today was Little Boy's "long" settling in period at nursery - he stayed for 1.5 hours.  He did well, he ate lunch, made a friend and used the toilet.  And he barely cried.  That's really all I could ask for.

So, what did I do with my 1.5 hours of sweet freedom?  Did I lounge and munch on bon bons?  Did I meet up with some ladies who lunch?  Did I have a soothing bubble bath or a long massage?  Did I browse the local boutiques for this season's latest and greatest?  

No....I live in the real world.

I picked up drycleaning, went to the cash point and then rushed home to dust and clean the bathrooms...and as a bonus I had enough time to do a load of laundry and empty all of the garbages.  

Ooooh the bliss of freedom....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Thistle

The thistle is the emblem of the Scottish nation.  I have seen a lot of thistles since we moved here, but until this weekend I have not taken a picture of one.  They are really lovely plants, here are photos of a thistle in Stonehaven and one near Dunnottar Castle.






Aberdeen City Gardens Project


Just this week, the Aberdeen City Council rejected a proposal for a project to revive Union Terrace Gardens.  The rejection was by a narrow vote and it was a hotly contested issue.  There was even a public referendum a while back on the issue.

Union Terrace Gardens is a park that is centrally located in Aberdeen, just off Union Street (the shopping street in Aberdeen).  I'm not a huge fan of the park because access is via a steep series of stairs and it's a hassle for me with a stroller.  That being said, we've been there a few times.

Anyways, I'm not usually an outwardly "political person;" while I have strong political, moral and ethical opinions I tend to keep them to myself - political debate does not inspire me.  The political debate surrounding the renovation project for the Gardens has been heated and I have heard a lot about it on the radio.  Normally I would listen to a debate, and while I would have a natural leaning to one specific viewpoint, I could see the merits of both sides.  Not so with this debate.

I could not believe that the City Council would even consider this project, given the massive cost and required financing.  Although I realize that finances are not the only consideration, I would have thought that funding issues would have stopped the proposal dead in it's tracks.  I was pleased to hear that the idea was voted down - to me that was clearly the right choice.

I seem to be in the minority.  The radio has been playing interviews and call-ins constantly of other Aberdonians who passionately wanted the project to go forward.  I have not heard one of these people make a sound proposal for how the project would be financed.  What I really don't understand is the rejection of any suggestion for a scaled-down project that would be more affordable (fiscally responsible) was not considered...the gardens do need a revival, but the costs should be carefully considered.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Duthie Park

On Sunday, our guests left for Edinburgh so we did not do any activities with them.  We had a day of errands and cleanup.  On our way home from an errand downtown, my husband unexpectedly turned off Riverside Drive into the lower carpark at Duthie Park.  We spent a few minutes in the sunshine letting the kids slide and swing....sometimes it's easy to forget that a fun outing can be this simple.

Fun slides!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dunnottar and Stonehaven

Yesterday we took our guests to Dunnottar Castle, a seaside ruin about 30 minutes from Aberdeen.  Dunnottar is a striking castle perched on an isolated cliff.  Yesterday we chose to go to the castle area, look around and walk through the fields but not actually tour the inside of the castle.  As you will see from my photos, the weather yesterday was overcast but it was not actually raining or cold.  


Some cows relaxing near the castle.



What a photogenic castle! 




After we viewed the castle, we drove into nearby Stonehaven for lunch at the Boathouse.  I had mussels (the first time I ever ordered them for myself) and they were delicious!


Mmmmm...
The view from the boathouse.

After our lovely lunch we took a walk around Stonehaven and here are some photos of the charming fishing village.

The harbour in Stonehaven

We picked up an indulgent dessert from Little Miss Muffets
I love their toffee muffins (more like a cupcake really...)


The view from the beach at Stonehaven.
After our walk around Stonehaven we drove back home and then we took the 3 older kids to Wynford Farm Playbarn for a run around before supper.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Footdee (Fittie)

Yesterday I took our guests to Footdee, a small fishing village located near Aberdeen's Beach Esplanade.  This is another local tourist attraction that is always a hit and we had a lot of fun wandering through the tiny streets.  The kids really enjoyed the newly-improved playground as well.  Its really well done - a subtle addition  of play pieces that are really fun for the kids but are not ugly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Drum Castle

Yesterday I took some guests to Drum Castle.  We have been to Drum Castle many, many times, but it never fails to please us.  The weather yesterday was generally nice with short patchy rain showers.  Here are some photos from yesterday taken from the battlements of the castle.





OK, this is a photo of the battlement, not from it...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I made chicken pot pie last night (again....the kids liked it last week, so I thought I'd give it another try) and I made 2 pies, so that I could put mushrooms in the "grown-up pie."  I used a store-bought crust because I was lazy.  I wasn't sure how to divide the crust between the 2 pies, so I tried a creative solution....what do you think?

Teddies and flowers for the kiddie pie...

...flowers for the adult pie...

...and jammie biscuits for dessert!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Helpful?

Yesterday I was in a hurry to unload the groceries so that I could get Little Boy down for his nap.  He was "helping" me put away the groceries when all of a sudden I heard a loud smacking sound.  When I looked over, here is what I found...


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

I love soup (it's my favourite food) and I really like recipes from "Company's Coming" cookbooks so when I was back in Canada for the summer, I bought the "Soups" book (here is a link to the website: http://www.companyscoming.com/cookbooks/original-series/soups/1/SP/).  This weekend I made the recipe called "Chicken and Dumpling Soup" and I would give it a mediocre review.  

The soup is chock full of yummy veggies and the dumplings are delicious.  It is made in the crock-pot (slow cooker) so it is easy to manage.  My complaint is that although I put in everything called for in the recipe, it tasted under-seasoned.  In the future if I make the soup I will have to add extra spices, although I'm not sure what spices I'd add.

I really liked how the dumplings formed a crust on top of the soup and the chicken pieces made it a hearty meal-soup.  Next time I make it I will add extra spices and cut the cabbage smaller.

Yummy dumplings encrust the top!



Monday, August 20, 2012

Breakfast at Sainsbury's

Most of the time I like to treat my husband by letting him sleep in one morning on the weekend.  To do this, I need to take the kids out of the house, so that it is quiet enough for him to sleep.  The kids love breakfast food, so I generally take them out to breakfast.

We have been out to breakfast to a lot of different places (in Canada, my go-to was Tim Hortons), but here in Aberdeen, my favorite by far is the cafe at Sainsbury's.  The cafe serves good food, relatively quickly, at a good price.

At the cafe there is a junior breakfast that is a small version of a full Scottish breakfast.  Generally this is what Big Boy orders, and I order an adult plate and then we both share with Little Boy.  This Sunday I let Big Boy order off of the adult menu (it ended up being the same price because I usually add extra eggs to the junior plate for Little Boy to eat) and he picked scrambled eggs and bacon.  It came with a mushroom and toast.  I ordered an omelette with baked beans and fried bread.  The kids were incredibly hungry and enthusiastic eaters (like piggies at a trough) and at the end of the meal all I got to eat was 1/2 of the omelette!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aberdeen Beach


We have had a lovely weekend, in terms of weather, here in Aberdeen.  On Sunday, we decided to go for a walk on the Aberdeen Beach.  So, it turns out, did a lot of other people – the beach was packed!  I have never seen it so full.

Busy Beach
We lucked into a good parking space and then we got ice cream cones for our walk.  Little Boy and I each had a “99” (a vanilla cone with a Cadbury Flake stuck in), while Big Boy had a plain vanilla.  Little Boy was not too interested in his cone so he ate the Flake and gave the rest to my husband.

Mmmmm...99

We strolled while we dined on the ice cream cones, and meanwhile the weather turned chilly.  We decided to head back to the car when an older gentleman fell down a hill and cut his head on the pavement in front of us.  My husband helped to stop his bleeding and made him comfortable while another fellow called for an ambulance.  We waited for a few minutes until the police and ambulance arrived and then we headed home.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Canadian Patriotism

I took the boys on a walk to a field near our house this week and Big Boy wore his new jean jacket.  It was a gift from his paternal grandmother that he received while we were in Edmonton.  It is from the Olympic line at the Bay and I think it is cute and patriotic at the same time!


Awww....picking flowers for his mum!



Friday, August 17, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten


Yesterday was Big Boy’s first day of Kindergarten.  Last year we missed the first day of school (we were still in Canada), so this was really his first first day of school.  My husband decided to accompany us to school because it was a special day.  This meant that he drove us instead of walking (my original plan) because he had to head straight to work.  Unfortunately a lot of other parents wanted to accompany their children on the first day of school and the carpark was absolutely packed.  We ended up parking on a shoulder near the staff parking.

As we entered the school a piper piped out a welcoming tune and we definitely knew we were back in Scotland.  After a quick photo we joined a massive queue at the security desk before making our way to Big Boy’s new classroom.  Big Boy changed his shoes and settled in without any fuss.  I stayed to chat with friends while my husband went to work.

When I went to pick Big Boy up after school, him and his mates were all very happy and hyper.  Their smiles were huge!  My friends and I took the kids to the playground because it was a gorgeous afternoon and so that they could run off some of their extra energy.

All the way home Big Boy chatted about how fun school was and what he did all day.  His favorite class was art (so far…).  I hope he maintains this level of enthusiasm for school!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Gruffalo


Yesterday I took the kids to see Gruffalo Live at His Majesty’s Theatre here in Aberdeen.  Here is a link to the website for the show:  http://www.gruffalolive.com/

The website contains a video preview and it is pretty much exactly (with some difference in the costumes) how the show looked and sounded.

The show started at 11:00 a.m. and was just over 1 hour long.  Tickets were £12 each, and I made a mistake when I was buying the tickets.  I did not need a ticket for Little Boy, but in error I bought 3 instead of 2, so he had his own seat.  I was so glad that I made this error – he sat in his own seat for the whole show and would have been a handful on my lap. 

For the people who are reading this because they are considering buying tickets for their young kids, here is what I consider to be the “low-down” - my boys are 1.75 and 5 years old.  Neither of them was scared during the show, although the younger one was confused about what was happening at first when the house lights dropped.  There are two scenes that I would consider potentially moderately frightening – the very first and the very last, and they are both pretty short.  Otherwise, even the references to eating the mouse are quite light and humorous, although the mouse does play a greatly exaggerated feigned terror.  Also, both of my kids could sit through the show without any major issues.  At the point where Little Boy got squirmy, there were some audience-interactive bits and he settled right down.  Some of the other mothers were not quite so lucky and their kids were whiny, crying or downright horrendous.  As usual, instead of judging, I count my lucky stars that my kids were not horrendous.  Anyways I would say that this is a good show for younger kids.

His Majesty’s Theatre is an historic theatre in downtown Aberdeen.  It does not have it’s own carpark, so I drove to the Harriet Street Carpark and we walked about 1.5 blocks to the theatre.  This worked out quite well, and it allowed us to run into Boots to get snacks for the show as well.  The theatre is beautiful and we sat in the stalls (that would be called the “floor” in Canada) in row G on the end – our seats were pretty incredible.  We arrived right before the show, so we had only a couple of minutes to look around and settle in.

I first became familiar with The Gruffalo after a friend gave Big Boy the book for Christmas.  It quickly became one of his favorites and he still loves almost any book written by Julia Donaldson.  I like the book because it is an interesting read for adults and it is beautifully illustrated.  I thought that the Gruffalo Live production would be similar to the animated film made by the BBC.  The film basically stays true to the words of the book and is illustrated in a similar style to the book.  Gruffalo Live was surprising because it added a lot of dialogue to the book and it is a musical, so there are songs as well.  I really enjoyed the Live interpretation of the book, even if the characters did not look like the ones in the book.

Big Boy really enjoyed the songs and dancing, while Little Boy was fascinated with the fact that there were bits where the audience shouted at the stage.  Little Boy loved the “roaring” and thought it was really funny – he roared all through dinner last night.

Parts of the show were similar to a pantomime and Big Boy is right at the age to appreciate the slapstick humor.  He loves it when a character is looking for something behind them and he can shout, “It’s behind you!” with the rest of the audience.  Personally, I don’t see the appeal, but I’m not 5 years old.

Overall we had a good time and I’m glad I took the kids.  One thing that I thought was funny – during the show, when a particular child was misbehaving, the ushers would shine a flashlight on the child – almost as if to shame the child or parent into better behavior.  I’m happy to report that no flashlights were shone on my kids!

Rundle Park Bike Ride Pictures

When we were in Edmonton this summer, my dad and Big Boy took a bike ride to the Clover Bar Railway Bridge.  Here is a link to my post about that adventure:  http://janiceljlj.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/rundle-park.html 

During the bike ride, Big Boy took a number of pictures on my camera.  I think they are very good (remember, Big Boy is 5 years old).  I wanted to share them with you...the photo credit goes to Big Boy on all!





I recognize that this is blurry - but it is artistic!

Monday, August 13, 2012

1 Chicken, 2.5 Meals


It is Tuesday and we have been home since Saturday.  We are adjusting to the new time zone (7 hour time difference) and I am hoping that by the time school activities start we will be back on track.  So far it is slow going – Little Boy does not want to sleep in his crib and wails when we put him in for the night while Big Boy has a large number of excuses to get up in the middle of the night.   I am trying to keep both of them awake as much as possible during the day so that they will sleep at night.

I have been inspired to cook a couple of nice meals that were a hit with Big Boy since we got home.  On Sunday I made roast chicken.  I made it with corn, peas, raw carrots and mashed potatoes.  I wanted to make roasted potatoes, but Big Boy really wanted mash.   



On Monday I used the leftover chicken bits and peas and made a chicken pot pie (from some recipe searches on the Internet, I realize that it is perhaps not an "authentic" chicken pot pie, but I really don't know what else to call it).  It didn't take long to make and Big Boy really liked it.  On Monday I also baked buns and Little Boy preferred to eat those for supper along with raw carrot and hummus (he also decided to call the buns "cookies" which was really confusing).

This pan is the perfect size for almost everything I make!

We still have a few chicken pieces left, so I will serve them up for dinner tonight (hence the last 0.5 meals).  It is a stormy day so I think they will go nicely with a big bowl of soup.

Highway 2 Drivers

Over the course of our visit to Alberta this summer, I have had a few opportunities to drive (or be driven) on Highway 2.  “Highway 2” is the longest provincial highway in Alberta.  The stretch between Edmonton and Calgary and is also known as the “Queen Elizabeth II Highway” or the “QE II Highway” (although most people just call it “Highway 2”).  This piece of the highway is the one I have travelled most often and the one referred to in this post.
I have travelled Highway 2 many, many times.  One summer about a decade ago, my fiancĂ© (at the time, husband now) and I were separate by Highway 2 and one of us drove the Edmonton-Calgary stretch nearly every weekend.  For years I lived in Calgary while family was in Edmonton and I commuted Highway 2 for holidays and visits.
Highway 2 is, generally, a divided highway with 2 lanes in each direction.  The stretch between Edmonton and Calgary is 110 km/h and it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to drive.   There are only a handful of exits and rest stops and the road has minimal curves and hills.  The scenery is basic prairie stuff – farms, cattle, horses and various oil and gas structures.  Every once and a while there is something interesting to look at: the mannequin perpetually running on the treadmill; the doughnut windmill; the giant guitar; and the novelty playhouses for sale.  There is not much to distract a driver from concentrating on the road - inclement weather is the major issue faced by drivers.
Given the general pleasantness of the highway and the benign nature of the drive, I always wonder why it is that so many drivers seem to lose their patience and ability to execute sound driving decisions on this road.  Often I have been travelling at a speed close to the posted limit and I have been passed by drivers going at least 20 to 30 km/h faster than me.  These drivers are not obeying the law and are taking reckless risks with the lives of everyone on the road.  The posted limits have been selected for a reason and we should all be respectful of them. 
When I am driving down Highway 2, I try to stay around the speed limit and I stick mainly to the slow lane.  When I approach a slower vehicle (usually a camper, large commercial truck or farm implement), I wait until the fast lane clears up and then I make a move to pass.  This usually involves increasing my speed, signalling, checking for cars and then moving briefly into the fast lane.  When I am passing, it is fully my intention to signal and return to the slow lane once I have overtaken the slower vehicle.  Quite often on Highway 2, this intention is not sufficient for faster drivers – they ride my bumper while I am passing at a distance that is dangerously close to my car and a speed well above the posted limit.  Obviously this is dangerous for both vehicles – so I try to speed up and get out of the way as quickly as possible, thus reinforcing their boorish behaviour.  But what else can I do?  I don't want their car or truck in my backseat. 
Don’t people realize that this is the type of behaviour that causes accidents?  Aren’t there enough accidents on Highway 2? 

Slow down and back off people.  Leave a safe stopping distance between your car and the one in front of you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sweet Home Aberdeen


OK, so maybe the skies aren't "so blue," but we are back home in Aberdeen, and right now, it does seem "sweet."

We started our journey by catching the 10:20 pm Air Canada flight from Edmonton to Heathrow on Friday, August 10.  The flight was uneventful – the kids slept for most of the way and my husband and I got some sleep as well.  It is incredibly difficult to get a solid sleep in while holding a sweaty, shuffling, sleeping toddler, but we did our best.  We were lucky to land earlier than expected.

In Heathrow, we could have had a nightmare experience, but it all went well, and this can mostly be credited to: my husband’s leadership; our well-behaved boys; and the kindness of a stranger.  When we landed we had about 2.5 hours to do the following: successfully pass through customs; collect our luggage (luggage list:  3 carry-on sized wheelie suitcases; 4 full sized wheelie suitcases marked “heavy”; 1 purse; 1 backpack; 1 kids backpack; and 1 kids-sized bike box); travel to a different terminal by rail with all of our luggage; locate the departures check-in desk for domestic British Airways; check-in, including all of our baggage; pass through security, including a facial scan for everyone; locate our departure gate; and pass through another facial scan.  The reason that we had to “re check-in” at Heathrow is because we were switching airlines before our second flight.  Our first flight was booked with a credit that we had with Air Canada (it would have expired if we did not use it for this flight) and our second flight was a domestic journey on a different itinerary.  Normally we have been able to check our bags all the way though to Aberdeen, so the only issue we usually have at Heathrow is a terminal change.

We did well.  At customs, the lineup was short and we had no issues.  Collecting our baggage took a while, and in the end we had 2 baggage carts filled to the maximum capacity.  Big Boy was a good helper and carried both his brother’s backpack and wheeled his carry-on suitcase.  He was tired but he walked quickly and did not complain.  I pushed a luggage cart and my husband pushed a luggage cart while carrying his (extremely heavy) backpack and Little Boy.

We got to the rail station and there were barricades that did not allow us to bring our luggage carts onto the train.  My husband took control of the situation and set the kids and I up on the platform with a little “camp” of baggage while he fully emptied the carts.  Just before our train pulled up, a very kind man asked me if all of the luggage in the pile was ours and if there were just the 2 of us adults.  When I answered, “yes” to both questions, he volunteered to help out (despite having luggage of his own) and he helped load our luggage both onto the train and off of it once we arrived at our terminal.  Without his assistance, we would have had serious issues with getting all of our baggage on and off the train before the automatic doors closed.

Once we disembarked the train, we found luggage carts, dragged the bags through another set of barricades and loaded the carts.  We took a series of elevators and hallways to the check-in desk in the terminal.  Once we located the correct desk, my husband processed our luggage while I distracted the kids by sitting on the floor and playing with novelty elastic bands.  If you are not a parent, you have probably never seen these toys, but I really do not understand their appeal.  The toy consists of different-coloured elastic bands that are different shapes.  When I was at one of the closing Zellers stores in Edmonton, these elastic bands were $0.14 per package so I bought 2 packs – dinosaurs and bugs.  The kids spent quite a while trading, playing and stretching the elastics.  All I could think was “why would anyone want to play with those?”

After our bags were checked in, we went over to the security desk.  We had a little trouble with the facial scanner.  Little Boy, who up to that point had been completely good-natured, decided to cry instead of keeping his eyes open and face neutral for the scanner.  His crying face did not match the neutral face in his photo and it took a while to calm him down (I could sense the annoyance of the passengers in the gathering queue behind us).  Once we were through security we had about 20 minutes for a quick snack and a trip to the washroom before boarding our flight.  The facial scan was repeated without incident just prior to boarding – Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons worked wonders in keeping Little Boy’s expression happier.

Our flight to Aberdeen was short and uneventful with Little Boy napping most of the way.  It took a while to retrieve our bags at the airport (it always does in Aberdeen – I guess the smaller the airport, the longer it takes to load the bags onto the carousel?) but we were pleased to find a lengthy queue of taxis, one of which was a huge van that fit all of our possessions.  The kids remained relatively calm and well behaved through all of these travel activities.  I am proud of my boys!

We arrived home at about 7:00 pm on August 11 and we kept the kids awake until 9:00 pm because we hoped that it would encourage them to sleep through the night in our new time zone (a 7 hour time difference).  It seems to have worked…it’s 4:00 am and they have slept through…. unfortunately I have been up since 2:00 am!

One final note - the London 2012 Olympics end this weekend and we were warned that there would be horrible traffic, both on flights to and from London (for people catching the end of the games and closing ceremonies) and in Heathrow Airport.  This was not our experience, our flight from Edmonton to London had about 1/3 empty seats and Heathrow Airport traffic seemed completely normal.  In fact, I found it quicker to pass through customs and security than usual.  My understanding is that next week and the week after will be much busier.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mill Woods Spray Park

On Tuesday afternoon it was hot with looming thunderstorms, so we took the boys to nearby Millwoods Spray Park (here is a link:  http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_rivervalley/mill-woods-sport-park-history.aspx) to beat the heat.  My logic was that if the storm broke while we were at the park we could get home quickly.  

This is one of the oldest spray parks that we have visited this summer and it shows.  The park is not as fancy or brand-new as some of the others, but it is clean and in good repair and the kids had a great time.  The park is themed, and I would call the theme "plumbing nightmares" - there is a gushing fire hydrant and a manhole with an exploding fountain.  Big Boy liked the gushing features, while, predictable, Little Boy preferred the stream running through the park.

The park has a short waterslide with water spraying down it that I thought both kids would love and I was wrong.  Neither boy was particularly interested in the waterslide.  Big Boy slide down a couple of times and Little Boy looked at it and walked down.  This slide is was big hit with most of the kids - there was a lot of pushing and queue jumping.

The storm threatened during our last 1/2 hour at the park, but we did not experience any serious rain.  We watched the lightening in the distance while sitting in the blazing sun.

The park has a sign crediting it to the Rotary Club.  It is a great addition to the community!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kinder-Gardeners Day Camp

Last week Big Boy and a friend attended a day camp at the Muttart Conservatory called "Kinder-Gardeners."  The camp ran from 9:00 am until noon for 5 week days and the cost of the camp was $110.  The camp was for children aged 4 and 5.  Here is a link to the description of the camp on the City of Edmonton website:  http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/sport_recreation/kinder-gardeners.aspx

The Muttart Conservatory is an indoor garden nestled in the Edmonton River Valley.  The structure consists of a series of pyramids and inside each pyramid there is a garden of plants from a different climate (such as "arid" or "tropical").  About 15 years ago on a very hot summer day my cousin was married in the Muttart Conservatory and it was a wonderful spot for both the ceremony and the reception.  This summer I had brunch at Culina in the pyramid and it was delicious!  Here is a link to the Muttart Conservatory website:  http://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/attractions/muttart-conservatory.aspx

During the camp, the kids explored roughly one pyramid each day and they learned about gardening, bugs and planting.  They went on outdoor hikes and to a spray deck.  They learned a song and each child grew a plant.

Big Boy enjoyed attending the camp with his friend.  It is nice for a child to have someone they know at a camp or activity, but on the other hand that can cause the pair to exclude other kids.  It seemed to me that Big Boy and his friend found a good balance at this camp - they did some activities together and some separately.  Both children made other friends.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rundle Park

On Sunday, Big Boy rode his bike with my dad from Cloverbar Park to Rundle Park, with a slight detour to the trestle bridge near the Rundle Park golf course (Clover Bar Railway Bridge (apparently casually known to Edmontonians as Beverly Bridge): http://www.rewedmonton.ca/content_view2?CONTENT_ID=485 ).  My mom and I drove with Little Boy and we met my in-laws at the playground near A.C.T. Recreation Centre in Rundle Park.

The playground at Rundle Park has been re-built since I was a kid living in Edmonton and it is spectacular.  Here are some photos of the project:  http://www.greggdistributorscharity.ca/rundle.htm

Little Boy found a corner of the playground that he liked and he played until Big Boy and my dad arrived.  Big Boy was exhausted after his bike ride (it was over 10 km long!) but he dug deep and managed to get some playtime in as well.  

It was a beautiful day at the park and the best part was that crowds were thin because of the draw of other parks (such as the Heritage Festival at Hawrelak Park).