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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Unexpectedly comes often

published 27th of july, 2022

What do you do on an uncomfortable and rainy day if you don't have a huge couch or a TV? Exactly, you go shopping. Especially when the internet reveals that the West Edmonton Mall is North America's largest shopping mall with more than 800 stores. In general, shopping malls are not necessarily a big attraction, but in this case we were surprised when we suddenly stumbled across an ice hockey field where a game was taking place.

We were also amazed that you could paddle around the mall in a pedal boat and that the pirate ship just barely fit under the huge glass dome roof.

The fact that a sea lion was doing its lengths in a much smaller pool right next door and had to be used regularly for shows had a rather bland aftertaste.

Especially since there was space a few hundred meters away for a huge water world with slides and all the trimmings... and there was even a second one on the other side of the mall.

Sensory overload on every corner! The endless number of shops and food corners were more of a sideshow for all of this. And so the dreaded shopping frenzy didn't materialize, thank goodness. 😊

In the afternoon we drove to the Gull Lake Honey Company (near Red Deer, ALBERTA 🇨🇦) where I was able to get a spot in the yard for the night.

The family run farm was away from any hustle and bustle and as the name suggests near Gull Lake (Alberta). The farm mainly produces honey, but we also spotted bison. How many ways had we traveled to see bison and suddenly there they were unexpectedly! Instead of a decent greeting from our hosts and a cozy chat, we maneuvered ourselves to the sidelines. Actually, we only tried to park behind the building so that we don't disturb the yard and still stand relatively straight (so that I don't roll back and forth uncontrollably in the bus), but instead we gave our hosts "action" for the time being. Embarrassing!!!

Ray "the head of the family" stalked over. I was afraid we'd "fucked it up" by now, but he was chilled and calmly called a tractor to the rescue. After a few simple steps, the bus was on the hook and the mission "Save the Skoolie" could start.

The whole action was done faster than "parking". The rain had left its mark... and now so have we! After our de-swamping, it was time to get to know each other properly and visit the Honey Farm shop. A cute little shop with lots to discover. Above all, Seb’ discovered the different types of honey and jam. And while I was with the little hostages

Seb' ate part of his purchases that same evening.

With stuff like that, I have to hold on to even get the chance to try some of it. The next morning Ray offered us a little trip to see the bison. We gladly accepted the offer, as our previous hunt to see the stately animals up close had gone rather miserably. We drove Rays' SUV over many fenced-off meadows separated by gates, where Seb' got out every time and helped to open and close the gates. Except for one, the last. So he stayed seated...why? 🤷‍♀️

Although not a wild herd, they should still be treated with respect. It was very impressive to be able to see and smell them so close.

The fur that hung down on them so shaggy and gradually falls off by itself didn't smell at all as expected; at least not the specimen, which is why Ray stopped in the middle of the animals, opened the car door, got out and collected for us.

It felt super soft, didn't smell like a flower meadow, but smelled surprisingly neutral. And if Seb' has torn his hair out by the end of this journey, he definitely has an alternative coat of hair, even if it's not quite his natural shade.

Back at the farm there was educational instruction on bee colonies and how the honey is made... which led to Seb' buying even more honey.

A few bison burgers and sausages also ended up in the shopping basket. Can't believe we only got a short for 30 canads in North America's largest mall. dollars, but we left a good 5 times as much money in the small farm shop for 2 T-shirts and food.

Around noon we left the farm and drove to Red Deer, with a small stopover at Sylvan Lake before meeting up with an "internet acquaintance" in the afternoon. June has been following me on Instagram for a while and once mentioned that she'd like to meet me when I'm in Alberta. She seemed very warm to me, so I thought "why not". I wasn't wrong. At the agreed meeting point - in a not very cheap restaurant called Heritage Ranch - June and her husband Ronnie were already waiting for us. A very warm welcome followed, a huge bouquet of flowers and a big bag with gifts - from her for me. I wasn't prepared at all and greeted the two with empty hands and a bad conscience. She even thought of Lennox and got him a great colorful leash. We spent a nice evening with good food and interesting conversations. Not only were we not allowed to pay for the food ourselves, they also offered us to spend the night at their holiday property 70 km away. It was on our route anyway, so we drove there. So we were able to meet for brunch the next day - on the bus with us - on their property. Ronnie brought home-made pancakes of various flavors and sausages from a local farm, while we served whatever we could find in our fridge suitable for brunch. As a result, we ate leftovers for the next 2 days. Saying goodbye at noon was very difficult, because with June and Ronnie we were able to get to know two really great people who, if in doubt, we will unfortunately never see again. 🥺

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