A Little Taste of a Big City ~ Dipping into City Life in Calgary
Wednesday we arrived in Calgary, Alberta after a 4+ hour drive and have been here since, departing today for Edgewater right by Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs. Our time in Calgary has been balancing, adding in a little city life immersion to all of our nature time, but also integrating, relaxing, and revealing of more pieces to the puzzle. City time seems to always bring us food explorations and timely arrivals for festivals, fairs, and farmer’s markets. We found ourselves simply wanting to be, and actually spent half or more of our days at our very peaceful and lovely RV home site when not feeling led to explore city life, which I feel to be much more removed from these days, after knowing more of who I am as a nature, mountain girl.
Calgary seems like a lovely city with a lot to do and I know a lot of people love it, but we weren’t called to do that much or go out of our way to explore every nook and cranny. We were feeling more mellow and just letting ourselves be guided to what felt right. So, although this won’t be in any way a full spectrum of what Calgary has to offer, it’s simply a dip-in perspective of what it was like through our eyes and how we navigate by intuitive guidance.
Our campground was really nice, especially for being in a big city, sitting on the west end of Calgary. We were able to choose a back site, ending up with no side neighbors, nature as our back neighbor, and being up high above the other RV’s below us with a view of the city. We also had a great wide site with plenty of room to hang out outdoors on our picnic table and with our lawn chairs.
Our first day we just settled in and then did some city errands including stocking up on groceries.
We sure lucked out being just minutes from an amazing market called Planet Organic here in Calgary so that we could stock up. A Canadian friend of mine shared that this is a chain we’ll be able to find in other areas we explore while here the next few months. Cool!
This market sure made shopping easy when everything in the store is organic. We found a bunch of good stuff including these non gmo sprouted rappleberry bagels made with a blend of apple, raisin, and cranberry, which went perfect with our wild huckleberry jam from Montana for a little morning indulgence.
Our second day we were still taking it easy and slowly getting back into city life after a morning of hanging out at home working/painting.
We had some mailing errands, then took in lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant in the cool Kensington area, a friend of mine that lives in Calgary had mentioned worth checking out.
We hadn’t had Ethiopian food for a while, so it was a fun and yummy treat. I do love eating with my hands! We ended up having a late lunch, which made us the only ones in the restaurant. I found that an interesting theme here that continued.
The Kensington district of Calgary is a great walking and bike friendly community with a village feel and lots (250 +) of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and the nearby Peace Bridge.
After lunch we decided to take in the Riverwalk in Calgary’s new downtown and lively urban village called East Village with more walkable streets, services, unique entertainment, and merging with nature.
This Riverwalk gave “riverwalk” a literal meaning, as there’s a little walkway that takes you across the water, where you actually ARE walking the river in about a foot of water. A fun place for kids and the kids at heart indeed!
The Riverwalk takes you past where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet, which is rich with Blackfeet history.
We then gave our car a much needed car wash and then gave each of us a much needed hair trim (me) and hair cut (Dave). We just wanted something quick and inexpensive, so we found ourselves a Supercuts.
I have never actually been to one in my life, but I would have to say my first time going to one in Calgary was a more than pleasant experience. I did a wash, trim, and blowdry, but the head massage I received during conditioning was more like a cranial sacral, energy, and massage all built into one. I haven’t had my hair washed and trimmed since Moab, Utah, so it was a welcome treat and now my hair will look nice for a few days at least and be fresh with the one inch off the ends trim. 😉
Seems I was in need of a little nurtured self care other than by myself, so this was a nice little treat.
As mentioned, we’ve spent more time at our RV site at this location, as we have a big one and nice grassy area to work or relax on, so we’ve taken advantage of it more as a dip-in city stop, but only taking in city life that merged the outdoors and nature in some way. At other stops we have so much outdoor nature to explore, we tend to mostly only spend time at our site for work, eating, and sleeping.
Friday we were at it again with the food fun, trying a new place called It’s All Good Organic, which is an all vegan, all organic kitchen and vendor sharing their vegan foods, juices, smoothies, and produce for sale inside The Market on Macleod Thursdays – Sundays.
This is a year round indoor Farmer’s Market dedicated to building community through local food and culture. Not only can you get fresh local and organic foods and produce there, but you can also enjoy a variety of ethnic restaurants, cafes, meals to go, and goodies. They even have some unique items for sale.
We didn’t know what to expect, but omgosh was this place amazing! Some of the best vegan food ever.
I had the garbanzo coconut curry and Dave had their famous vegan burger.
I was not only astounded by the beautiful attention to presentation, but the amount you got, not to mention variety of fresh goodness, quality, tasty blends, and array of veggie, fruit, and herb delights per dish, for the money. Wow!
I overheard the owner talking to someone about their burger saying they have plans to get it out commercially. So glad to hear that, as it was delicious – Dave let me try his, which is how I know. 😉
And mine was incredible, every single beautiful bite.
After our delicious lunch, we explored the market a bit and ended up walking out with a box of two vegan cupcakes, two vegan pies (apple and peach), and a new comfy and versatile outfit for outdoor, relaxing, and recreational fun. We didn’t end up with produce, as I’d already stocked up majorly at Planet Organic. So a little fun indulgences were our focus. 😉
It started to sprinkle and although it ended up not lasting we were feeling this as an inviting time to relax. For some reason I was very tired this day, chalking it up to different energies of the city I was feeling, compared to all the nature time I’d been immersed in. It also indicated to me, a time of surrendering into letting all of the energies and changes process through and take root.
This all made it very clear for me how much I am a nature girl and how, at this point in my life, small mountain village living suits me most supportively.
City is fun to dip into and have around when we want to do something different or check out music, symphony, restaurants, but overall, I’m much happier and nurtured in nature. Makes sense to me, as this truly is my roots and nature and animals have been the strongest calling to me from birth forward.
So we stayed in the rest of the day, but did venture out again, for you guessed it!! Food!
We tried the Village Flatbread Co., which makes gourmet flatbread pizzas with natural and organic ingredients sourced locally. They also give part of their proceeds back to the community. They are 100% gluten free, dairy free, and have vegetarian and vegan options.
Once again, other than a table of two outside for just the first portion of our being there, we were completely alone in the restaurant, which is more of an order and pick up or quick stop in place.
This theme of being on our own in the restaurants, or just ordering food and taking it to eat at a little side table or area in our own little worlds wasn’t something we purposefully were doing, but seemed to be supportive of what we needed while in the city immersed in so much energy around us.
Or, it was a reflection of our being in our own reality bubble and world and this carrying forward very obviously and literally when around a lot of people and not just something we thought was happening while in nature, away from a lot of people.
Anyway, back to food!
At the Village Flatbread Co. we started off with the Knob Hill nachos – vegan style, which were light and yummy with all the chips laced with toppings (no extra ones hidden underneath that were naked). Then this 12″ pizza with Rise kombuchas, which are from Quebec. I had the Rose and Schizandra flavor and Dave had the Blueberry and Maple. Super yum!
Our city ventures seem to usually end up in food explorations, as I mentioned, because we like to sample the vegan offerings around and it becomes a fun indulgence and change.
After our yummy dinner we came home to a beautiful sunset and just took it easy again. The colors and display in the sky felt mirroring of renewal and something new on the horizon opening.
Our days in Calgary have been a resting point for us to reflect on much in a subtle, in-the-background kind of way without effort of analyzing and figuring things out. It also has been good for catching up on things and embracing that in between void space before the next big shift hits. In this way, relaxing into change and allowing the natural process to unfold in the best supported experience of that.
Basically surrendering and not trying to DO anything about it, one way or the other.
I thought wearing my magick rabbit butterfly pants would be a way to support that process by wearing something that is so me, second-skin like, and yet my real skin, to melt into and flow with the transmutation unfolding.
And so I did wear them on our last day (and actually twice during our time here perhaps as another nature connection), which was a literally flowing day, as we decided to take the Magick Boat for a float.
We parked at Prince’s Island Park, got our inflatable kayak together, called a taxi, got dropped off at Baker’s Park, inflated our kayak, and then enjoyed the Bow River through Calgary for 9 and a quarter miles of floating and light paddling.
It took us just under 2 hours to go the whole way, but it was a beautiful day and perfect way to just “be” and flow with the currents of life right now.
There were some areas of rippling waves and up to 1 class rapid-like fun, but basically low key and complete serenity…nothing to worry about, no stress, and lots of “being” time.
At the end, after deflating and loading the kayak back in our cargo box atop our car, we decided to walk the Prince’s Island Bridge over to Prince’s Island Park where a huge music festival (Calgary Folk Music Festival) just happened to be going on with some great bands playing at three stages, along with Pet-A-Palooza outdoor festival at the Eau Claire Market just on the other side of the park.
Even though we didn’t have tickets it was easy to hang out in the park and listen to which ever band you wanted to hear or just stroll and take in the lovely surroundings.
There were tons of people enjoying the beautiful day, park, and music and I’d never seen so many bikes! There was a huge bike area and there had to have been like a thousand bikes or more in it. At least that’s what it looked like. So cool so many people biked there.
Calgary is a very outdoor friendly city with lots of parks, river walks, biking and walking trails galore. A lot of people were enjoying floating down the river in rafts and kayaks too, which was great to see.
We ended up picking up some yummy Thai food we found and brought it back to the park to enjoy, then took a relaxing nap in the grass under a tree, listening to the music.
After which we returned home for a relaxing late afternoon and evening with the “kids’ – our fur babies – and downtime.
Dave wanted to try another pizza place – he LOVES pizza – and if I ask him what he would like me to make he will also say pizza…so I don’t ask. 😉 Anyway, we indulged his joy since we’ll be back to daily meals at home likely for a while, and went out for yet another pizza evening at a place just minutes from us for vegan pizza so he could compare.
This one was called Avatara Pizza, which is a little place that also makes fire-roasted healthy gourmet, 100% gluten free flatbread pizzas with vegan and vegetarian options (70% of their menu is vegetarian).
We started off with the Popeye salad which was a mix of spinach, with sun-dried tomatoes, organic sweet peppers, red onions, green olives, artichokes, pine nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette.
We ordered the Rise kombuchas again, this time both trying the Mint and Chlorophyll flavor – again really delicious.
Our pizza choice this night was the Crusty Cowboy, which combines chili-lime bbq sauce, vegan cheese, mushrooms, crushed pineapple, in-house made bruschetta, and crushed cashews.
And once again we were alone in the restaurant. Hmmmmm! 😉
I’m now officially all pizza’d out, myself, and ready for home cooked meals again, but it WAS good and fun to try what’s available and popping up in terms of vegan options all over.
Again our evening ended with another different, soft and lovely sunset and our day today began with a fresh sunrise, putting our time here in Calgary at closure and kicking off another new start, as every moment is a new beginning.
Our city time has wound down and been supportive. It was a softer immersion that felt right for us at this time without overkill and still enough balance of nature, outdoors, and good food.
But it is interesting how our time has been like we were figments just floating through, much like our river experience.
We were in the city, but not of it. 🙂
Off to dreamland we went to rest before our journey to our next stop in British Columbia where we’ll be just 10 minutes from Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs at a peaceful resort where there’s only 7 RV sites. I can’t wait!