Calgary – Bring on the zoo – Days 73-75

Fun playground at the Calgary Zoo

Even though the family was sad to say adieu to the mountains, we were still looking forward to Calgary as the kids would get to hang out with their cousin Lorron. Calgary would also serve as the location where we hopefully put our passport woes in our past. Julie and Mike both submitted passport applications in early spring (and by early I mean March). Mike’s passport arrived in July but kids’ passports are not considered renewals and take longer (the website said 6 weeks when I submitted it). After 20 weeks and many phone calls of nothing, I drove to Calgary to have our application transferred to a local office with my proof of travel. With two visits to the Harry Hays building, two new passport photos and only 3 hours for me in a chair, we had a passport!

Mike’s cake decorated with dinosaur bones

Mike’s birthday also took place in Calgary and my passport visit the day before served as the perfect “alone time” to make some plans. I found a MEC and was able to find him some great t-shirts to replace the ones that are clearly worn out in his backpack (I could have bought more replacements). I also found a really cute bakery named Sucre which had a Tiramisu cake which I knew he’d love. The kids and I had earlier found dinosaur bones to decorate his cake which seems appropriate since Mike always wants a dinosaur cake on his birthday (yes he is like a 5-year-old). Isabella bought him a new cap since his Parks Canada one was actually falling apart. All in all, we tried to make it a special day for him.

Mike making Sukiyaki

We arrived in Calgary on Mike’s birthday and so we also got to go to dinner with cousin Lorron and her boyfriend Jamie. We went to Sukiyaki House where we seemed to be the only ones actually ordering the Japanese hotpot for which the restaurant is named. We all thought it was fun creating our soups. All in all we did a good job with on-the-road birthday #1.

We stayed in Calgary with Jamie who is our cousin’s boyfriend. He has a really nice townhouse and was so generous to welcome us there. Whenever we stay in a house, we find it hard to be as productive in the “site-seeing” because we are missing the comforts of a home like a couch and a kitchen. Lorron had stacked the fridge with all the kids’ favourites so they never wanted to leave! We did, however, make it to the Calgary Zoo which was a great zoo. We loved the penguin exhibit and it was neat to see all the Canadian animals up close that we had seen in the wild just a few weeks before. Zoos are something that our family loves and we’ve visited many in the world (and I am sure we will visit many more his year). Of course there is controversy about zoos and whether we should keep captive animals at all. Personally, I feel that the benefits of teaching us about animals and driving us to care about them outweigh some of the negatives (again assuming the animals are treated with love and care). The Calgary zoo also had an animatronic (is that how you spell that?) dinosaur park that Mike feels is essential to mention. Visiting this park was a moment where we wished our nephew Luke was with us to admire the dinosaurs. We tried to send him facetime videos but we wanted to have them there squealing and yelling out the names of the dinosaurs as we passed them. Maybe next time.

Isabella at the zoo.

Where we stayed (five words or less)

  • Jamie and Lorron’s – Great atmosphere, awesome bike storage

By the numbers:

  • Time Spent at the Calgary Zoo: 6 hours
  • Score out of 10 Isabella gave the first Harry Potter Movie: Ten Hundred
  • Viva Puffs Mike Consumed over 3 days: 12
  • Lorron’s tacos consumed by Izzie and Julie: lots

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