Category Archives: Seasonal & Public Holidays


Fiddleheads are back in supermarkets here in Canada. We always have to stare at them in wonder, but we haven’t yet got round to trying them!!!

As we understand it, fiddleheads need to be washed well and then you cook them like asparagus although they do need to be cooked thoroughly as undercooked fiddleheads may cause an upset stomach.

Another reason we never get round to it is because the season is incredibly short.  Perhaps next year!

Fiddleheads - May 2014


Christmas Day at South Mountain Park

Happy Christmas!  As it is Christmas day or options were a bit limited.  However, South Mountain Park was open, so we took a drive up to the top where you get fantastic panoramic views – we weren’t the only one who thought to do this on Christmas Day – it was pretty busy up there!

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Here is the Mystery Castle, where we were the other day!

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And here we are – looking a little super-imposed!

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114 South Mountain Park

I just can’t help myself!

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By the entrance (or exit) are a few old stone buildings.

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That evening we went to La Hacienda (thanks for the recommendation Linda & Andrew) where we had a lovely evening meal.  The restaurant is located in the Fairmont Hotel which had some beautiful grounds.

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It was a very relaxing and pleasant Christmas Day.


Christmas Day 2009

It was a quite beautiful Christmas Day here – brilliant sunshine and a clear blue sky – with little by way of wind, so the low minus temperatures, once you have a layer or two on, were absolutely lovely to take a walk in, so that’s what we did.

From up by Okotoks Junior High School, the views across town and towards the mountains were magnificent.

Then we made our way down to the walking paths along the Sheep River and strolled along.
By the time we had returned home, the lake behind us had become very busy with Christmas Day skating and Hockey…
Okotoks is a beautiful place to call home, especially on days like this.
To our readers from all over the world, thank you for spending another year with us.  We look forward to sharing more of our lives with you in 2010 and for those working with Eamonn in relocating to Calgary and surrounding towns, we look forward to meeting you or meeting you again over the weeks and months ahead.

Once Upon A Christmas at Hertiage Park

Each year Heritage Park puts on its Christmas event.  As there has been a lot of work and upgrading of the park during this year, we thought we would go, not least because we wanted to see some of the changes and new additions.
This picture shows the entrance with its new “ice” rink which is comprised of a synthetic material which is a close alternative to ice. It will never melt or become lumpy.

Also new are shops, restaurants, a train station (restaurant) and the new gasoline alley.
Gasoline Alley used to be housed in the red barn in the park, but the collection has now grown and it is housed in this huge building.
Here are some of the new statues which are really lovely.
One of the many old style vehicles you see driving around.
There are horse and carriage rides around the park.  Here, the horses are just passing the Prince House, one of our favourites in the park.
This is the tree inside the house.
And of course, the lovely Wainwright Hotel.
The perfect place to post those letters to Santa.
And carol singers, dressed in traditional dress.
This picture shows the beech twig they used as a Christmas Tree in years gone by. There wasn’t always a plentiful supply of trees in these parts.
Big red barn that used to be Gasoline Alley.
Grain Elevator with remnants of the Chinook Arch that bought us such mild temperatures on the day.
Reservoir, just starting to freeze.
What a nice way to get in the mood for Christmas!

Spruce Meadows Christmas Market

Feeling the need for a nice day out, we decided to take a stroll around the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market.
It was another beautiful day, but the firepits were still lit and lots of people were making good use of them.

Before we started our shopping, we watched the chap doing ice sculptures for a short while.  This guy is incredibly talented.

Here are just a few shots of the Spruce Meadows grounds.  We really must make it a priority to go to a tournament sometime soon.

It’s a terrific place to visit and is so convenient being right on the southern edge of Calgary.


Light Up Okotoks

Christmas has officially arrived in Okotoks.  We went to watch the lighting of the tree down in the Okotoks town plaza on Elizabeth Street last night.  We were very fortunate with the weather, so there was a very good turn out.  There were firepits, hotdogs, popcorn, carol singers and of course Santa and it was great to catch up with so many of our friends.

This is the lighting of the tree countdown:

Horse rides
Carol Singers

As we were walking back to the car, we had to stop for a freight train which was passing through.  We filmed this for anyone who has not been to Okotoks.  The train passes through on the tracks in the old downtown core, in the Sheep River valley and it’s horn can often be heard all over Okotoks – it’s one of those sights and noises that really lets you know that you live on the North American continent. It isn’t really a disturbance – it is strangely comforting!


Chuck Wagon Cafe in Turner Valley

As today is a public holiday in Alberta, we decided to take a drive down to Turner Valley, and the Chuck Wagon Cafe was the perfect spot to stop for lunch. We have heard a lot about it, and we can safely say, we’ll be back.

Jan had Huevos Rancheros which was very tasty and I had the most delicious burger.

As we were eating, we saw a really cute red VW Beetle drive past the window. Later, we were fortunate enough to see it parked around the corner so we managed to get these pictures – we so love this car with its wind up key!

After lunch we decided to drive on a bit further into Kananaskis.  Driving closer to the mountains from the sunny, snow-free roads of Turner Valley, it felt like we were passing through the seasons at pace and so few miles from where we had started our drive, we were surprised to see so much snow up there.

All in all, it was a lovely, relaxing day off.