Calgary, Canada

Hi
Next day the first thing we did was to go and find the kids friend Benjamin. He is from Venezuela and we have now known him since last summer.
We sneaked around to his house and saw him feeding his dog……the kids ran, he saw us, ran in, came back out again and ran to us. Oh the joy!!! We all jumped and screamed and his mum came out as well. Happy days again!
So kids playing we needed to sort out the haul out. Got a slot the next day so all happened very quick. Had a new crane driver so we were a bit nervous, don’t want to drop the boat now, do we…..

Boat on the hard we had to learn to live with no use of toilet, so always dashing over to the portaloos. Uugghhh! Some days good, most days awful….
Had to climb up the ladder, high, so always watching over Alice. No wind, extremely hot…
Then Chloe turned up, happy days again for Alice. Play, play and play….
The boys had sleep over around Benjamin, two nights in a row, needless to say they were shattered. Then a new girl on the block turned up, Noa. More kids, more fun….
Rock hopping, swimming and having fun whilst me and Chris cleaned and packed. Some days we had no rain and some days it poured. One day the dingy was full of rainwater….well come on, get the shampoo, wash in rainwater and use it as a pool. Fantastic!
All to soon it was time to go and leave Benjamin behind again…
As now we were heading for Calgary, Canada. A house sitt for a parrot, cockatiel and a budgie. Oh and two fish. We were very lucky to get the sitt as mostly people want just couples or singles but certainly not kids. This family has 4 children so it was perfect.
Went to Panama City first to pick up my passport and off to the hotel for the night.next day to Houston for another night and finally Calgary.
We met the family over next 6 hours as they were frantically packing and cleaning. It was chaos. We were tired and tried to take all the instructions in, bird feed, what to do and don’t etc. Finally they left and we sorted the beds out and crashed….

Next morning it was a case of finding your way around house, what’s where and took a walk down the road. Not a lot, houses and parks and the beautiful nose hill park. A huge vast expans of prairies and hills and when you climb up the top you can see the rockie mountains and how wide spread Calgary really is.
This is now in August so it was warm and of course with summer comes what??? My other pet hate….mozzies. Oh bloody no. Our first picnic effort we did lasted all 20 min as we are bombarded by them.
The first effort to find a food shop was a joke. We walked 4-5 miles, 6 km and found Safeway supermarket. We had no use of car as we were reassured that we don’t need a car…..hmmmmm.
Come to pay, card didn’t work. Couldn’t phone the bank, somebody lent their mobile phone but no luck. Suddenly a man steps forward and offers to pay for our shopping. What!! Seriously? How outstanding. And gave us a lift back. What an amazing person and our first taste of how friendly Canada is. We did pay him back the next day.
We soon realised that taking the bus to the shop was going to get expensive so we voiced our concern and luckily we got to use their car. What a difference that makes. We could join the library, go swimming and get to the cinema. Also wine proved to be expensive, how would I survive? I’m not really a beer drinker but soon found out that Costco liquor store was a good place. Happy days.

Took the bus in to Calgary city, a very small area of high rise buildings and parks. Stevens avenue is for pedestrians and a bit like Covent Garden in London. Just walked around and then needed a toilet. Well, McDonald’s will do and buy couple of coffees as well. As we came out of the toilet and Charlie has realised that they get nothing, we had sandwiches with us, he shouted” it’s the worst day off my life” …..
The lady who worked there stopped and started asking why. Well, Charlie pours his heart out, lady took a pity on them and gave them free ice creams. Needless to say it was happy days again!

In the evenings we sat with chris on the porch at the front in the high evening sun with a glas of wine. Past zooms couple of boys….so I told mine to chase them and we’ll see if they want to play. After a. Our,e of minutes we hear laughter from across the road. Then Charlie ran over and said they met these awesome boys and their mum is a flight attendant. We had been invited over as Charlie told them I used to fly as well. So off we went and met the mum and her friend. What a hoot, great people, great night and friends ever since, thank you!
We also had couple of other kids popping in and a sleep over came crashing on us….yeah sure….does your parents know where you are tonight???
So they have made some great friend, the house is always full of kids, the basement a great place for play as we don’t hear them at all.

James was flying on his own to London to see his friend and we had booked the ticket few weeks earlier. The day was drawing closer me dreading it and James exited. He was going for nearly 4 weeks although chris was joining him for the last week.
On the day we took him to the airport and I was allowed to take him to the gate. Wouldn’t happened in London…..at the end James was very upset, I’m trying to be brave and off he went, disappearing in to the plane. Omg, what have I done? My heart was ripped and I stood at the window looking at the pilots making sure they bloody well will be doing their job properly. They had the most precious person onboard…..and off he went….

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