07 February 2006

Travelling - just Nathan and me!

Ahhhh, finally something exciting to report. It started very early on a Thursday morning. First I dragged myself out of bed. Then I dragged everyone else out of bed. We got ourselves into the car and on our way

to ...

the ....


Paul, though sad to miss the trip, was gracious enough to care for Emily while I took Nathan on a trip cross country.
OOOOOOOOOOH, it was FUN! We got to our gate, just in time to find out that it wasn't our gate and our flight (which was clear over on the other side of Terminal 3, of course) was delayed.
Undaunted, I hustled Nathan and our carry-on gear over there. Our plane was 2 hours delayed. "Oh. Now what do I do with a four year old in an airport for 2 hours. Oh, right, this is Nathan. We watch planes!" And we did. For 25 minutes. Then we went to the book store, had snacks, played with trucks, and read books until our plane arrived.
Just before we were called to board (yay for pre-boarding courtesies with small kids!), Nathan said, with a worried look on his face, "Mommy, I don't think I want to go on the plane. I don't want my ears to pop." "Too late now, honey. We're here and we have to go. It will be okay." They called us to board. Nathan asked if it was time to go to the gate. "Yes," I said. I didn't see his face until we got to the doorway of the gate. I looked and saw that face. You know, the face that thrills us all to the insides of our bones. Full of wonder and excitement. It filled me with wonder and excitement, too.
The actual flight was very pleasant. Nathan is a great traveller, and how could he not be, with a TV screen no more than a foot and a half from his face! I still managed to limit his viewing to an hour on the almost four hour flight. WHew! Besides, he needed time to open and enjoy his plane presents.
I really enjoyed the flight. I loved seeing the clouds from the other side and the fields of white cut through with dark lines that I assumed were roads. It was sunny, warm and very nice to get away.
Once we arrived, we were met by my friend Sarah. She and her husband Ryan were our hosts for our trip.
Oh, didn't I tell you where we were going?


Brown. Very brown.

Calgary was, well....brown. I was shocked by the large expanses of dormant grass. I wasn't quite aware that Calgary was still prairie-land. The mountains, the little mountains way off in the distance were quite pretty. But they were really far away. Not to far for driving, just far for seeing.
Anyway, after we met Sarah at the airport, she whizzed us back to her house and scooted back to work for a meeting. Nathan attempted to nap and I re-organized the items in our suitcases. We didn't do much that first night but Nathan really enjoyed getting to know Sarah and Ryan a little better.

On Friday, we headed downtown. We discovered Aslan lying outside of City Hall, said "Hello," and went up to see Ryan's office. After Nathan explored Ryan's office, we meandered over to the C-train stop and went to the Science Centre.

My lasting memory of the Centre will be the coat hooks. No lockers. No need to cart our stuff around. Free coat hooks. Safe coat hooks. It was thrilling!!
Nathan's best memory of the morning was working a 'crane' with sponge blocks to transport. It was a very fun morning.
We then grabbed some lunch and met my longtime friend Bea at the Calgary Tower. Though there were magnificent views of the mountains and the river, Nathan most exciting moment was watching the train pass by and stop at the train yard. Such a boy! We headed back home, with Bea in tow, and whiled away the time at the Fish Creek bus stop.

There were lots of firsts for Nathan on this trip. First time on a plane, on a train, in a bus and on a mountain. Yes he likes it, Sam I am!

On Saturday, we travelled to Canmore and Banff. Now I can say I've been to Banff. It was a nifty tourist spot but I'm still a little scared of mountains. They were cold and grey and mockingly inviting. Yet beautiful.

Here we are! At a small waterfall, amidst the mountains. This spot was beautiful.

I know this is just a taste of our trip. More later, as I get the chance.