Northern Intelligence

(Not A) Rinestone Cowboy

Okay, so maybe turning (gulp) thirty hasn’t been that bad. Maybe I did overreact a tad. I’m starting to suspect that I was treating the whole situation in the way that my dogs react to going to the vet.

There was a lot of kicking and growling but I was only inconvenienced for a little while and even got a treat out of it.  For one thing, it was the perfect excuse to finally treat myself to the thing I have spent years searching for and coveting. To date, I have purchased no less than three fakes in my quest to own one. It`s been my vision, my dream—to own an authentic Louis Vuitton purse.

Technically, it was my husband`s gift to me, even though I found it, bought it and promised never to speak of its cost again. (Whatever; he got a snowmobile and a covered trailer last year.) I also decided to treat myself to a trip to Calgary (where I had never been) to visit my friend. (I was warned beforehand not to mock anyone in a cowboy hat because they are REAL cowboys and not just on their way to a club)

Can I just say that I had a blast in Calgary, cowboys and all?

Besides getting to spend time with Jess, who is definitely one of my Top Five Favourite People on Earth and the best tour guide in Calgary, there were many highlights:

  • Watching the women’s bobsledding competition at the Calgary Olympic Park.
  • Developing a mild addiction to Big Cheese Poutine. (Uptown 17th Avenue. Amazing!)
  • Discovering that heaven on Earth is Crave Cupcakes. (I pretty much ate cupcakes for four days straight. At one point, I realized I had said, “cupcakes” at least once a day and promised to stop)
  • The adorable salesman at Louis Vuitton who did not laugh once when I asked if I could hold the Rouge Fauviste Sherwood PM handbag and even told me the price as if I could actually afford it.
  • Watching two salespeople almost get into a shouting match in the middle of Holt Renfrew over a free gift bag. (And then discovering that our salesgirl slipped us two free gift bags to spite the other salesgirl.)
  • Going to Ming, a martini bar with drinks named after Communists and other political figures (then spending the rest of the night texting friends, “I just drank Lee Harvey Oswald and Ghandi and they were delicious!”).

As much as I love living in Yellowknife, I do sometimes feel a little removed from the rest of Canada. It’s easy to start feeling like you’re living in a Northern bubble, so it was kind of nice to visit a place where the main industry isn’t mining or Buffalo Joe. Since moving here, I’ve learned that travelling down South means something entirely different than it did in Ontario. I was expecting Calgary to look a lot like Edmonton, and was pleasantly surprised to discover how the buildings looked older and more cutesy and historic.

And for all of you in Edmonton who may be gasping in indignation now, I’ve only been to Edmonton once, didn’t really get to see the downtown, and my attitude towards the city may have been coloured by the other motorists I met on the road there. ??– Slow down.

And yes, there was shopping. So much shopping.

As always, though, it’s been a little hard to get back into the normal swing of things now that I’m not on vacation anymore.

Vacation Leslie does not give up her position easily, what with her ability to convince me that mornings are for sleeping and that alcohol is acceptable at any time of day. (God help my husband if we ever actually do travel down South. It won’t be pretty when he has to have security drag me off a sandy beach, kicking and screaming and holding a Mojito.)

But all good things must come to an end, right? Vacations have to be earned (Snookie!), so it’s back to work for me. But don’t worry, Calgary, your siren song still calls me and I will be back.

Why?

Cupcakes.

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