Posts Tagged ‘Road Trip’

Vancouver & Whistler Road Trip – Completed

1248 pictures taken, 668 published at http://gallery.s-mart.se – Enjoy!

Banff – April Stories – Calgary Trip

29 April – 1 May – The Calgary Trip

070429 – 0615 the alarm went off like most mornings, I was glad but still surprised that it actually did go off since I hadn’t set it the day before. I turned my barking dog off (that’s the alarm – a barking dog) and turned over, knowing that this Sunday I didn’t need to go to work, this Sunday, I was going to Calgary for my three day and two nights retreat.
I had received the keys from Janette the day before to her fine nice blue car so I had no time pressure of actually keeping any times or anything. I was laying there in bed thinking about life and the turns it have been taking the last couple of days/weeks/months and even years.
About seven thirty I went up, had a shower and a shave, got dressed up in my chinos and newly ironed shirt and my linen jacket – I was ready for business! Business was the primary reason for this trip to Calgary. I made half a fortune on my sale of my condo in Sweden and now it is time to speak to the right people on how to invest the profit so I can start of my life (even though I am almost thirty I feel I am just starting my life) in such a positive way and make the money grow, as much as possible.
My childhood and young adult financial goal was to be a millionaire by the time I turned thirty years old. I turned 29 a month and half ago and I am halfway there, in the Swedish currency that is. I doubt that I will be able to double that money in 10.5 months but I will for sure do my best to keep my goal and try to reach it.
It is funny how people can change you, like the last type of relationship I was in, I was unwarily transformed from being very affirmative and goal-seeking to be more laid back and not caring, and I am not saying one is better than the other, everybody can live their life however they want, but I have to say that I feel better if I am constantly, I repeat, constantly challenged and inspired my setting new goals and ultimately reaching them. The great feeling of accomplishment, when you realizing and making a goal into reality is just awesome and so wonderful.

That’s why I had to ask a friend not to come on this trip, to clear my mind, to get myself back on the track of what I want to do with MY life, what MY dreams are and what MY goals are.
After I was finished packing the most essential stuff into my backpack, like underwear, toothpaste and toothbrush I locked my door and was on my way. I stopped by the front desk to pick-up some of Janette’s CDs so I had some great tunes for the ride to CowTown (Calgary).
When I came up from the Dungeon (staff accommodation) I saw it was snowing, quite heavily as well!   I didn’t think too much about so I just did what I normally do…  SMILE!  ;)) I turned my head up towards the sky and just let the big cold snowflakes hit my warm newly shaved face… Mmmm it’s such a wonderful feeling! You and nature getting it on! ;))
After chatting with Mike for 10min or so I was on my way out to the car. I scraped the windows free from the few cm of snow with an old CD cover and I was on my way towards Calgary. I stopped by Shell to fill the car up with petrol and gain some more AirMiles ;))

After sliding around a bit and driving extra carefully the first 30km or so, the roads dried up and it quite a nice drive out.
I found the Sheraton hotel quite quickly and was surprised about the fast check-in process and the alertness of the bellmen at the entrance that parked the car for me, even though they take $29 plus tax to park it for 24h. I checked in and when I got the room it was a nice suite with a BIG king size bed and fairly large room. Nothing fancy, but still very nice! Please note that I am quite fuzzy and it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to fanciness in hotel rooms, but then again I only paid a symbolic sum for the room since I am here on business and I got some kind of industry rate discount.
The day today, I spent walking down to Stephen Street, and I went into my favorite store, the Patagonia Store. Last time I was there in December I bought perhaps the nicest of all my outdoor gadgets ever. It was the R4-jacket a fluffy fleece wind stopper which is absolutely phenomenal! Is super soft and warm, but, when I bought it I was actually there to buy another jacket that I have had my eyes on for years, and that’s the Classic Retro Fleece. Now it was on sale too! And in my size! Say no more, I bargained a bit and got another 5% discount (total of 22%), said and done, another $200 was gone *smile*
After being there I went to the Glenbow Museum, I persuaded the gentleman there about my mission in town so he gave the entrance ticket at a discount too ($8 instead of $12). *smile* I spent about four hours there, looking at the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and other civilizations of their birth, growth, development and ultimately death. There were some exhibitions about the native Indians, the military, the oil and gas industry and some other stuff which was quite interesting as well.

After the museum I went back to the hotel with a small detour to the Eau Claire market, and found a hot spot for free wireless connection and got all hooked up there for half an hour or so. I went to leave my laptop and went for a beer.
At the bar, this stranger started to talk to me and it was quite funny/strange with the Celestine Prophecy fresh in mind that things happen for a reason and you meet the right people for a reason (if you are open for it, that is), but he was an old environmental worker for the government of Canada in Ottawa (capitol of Canada for those who didn’t know), but he was quite the extremist and he basically told me the reason why he had quit his job and was now looking for something else to do here in Calgary. The theories and hypothesis he made up was quite mentally challenging for me with my previous experience and he got me to critically question things I never thought about and things I firmly believed in, in a way I thoroughly enjoyed. We chatted for two to three hours there at the bar and he gave me a few addresses to research, few book tips and also his website. I was scheduled to go to the bookstore tomorrow anyway so I might pick up something tomorrow that he recommended as well, if I find those specific books.

Now I am just back at the Sheraton and I am heading into my great, big King size bed and get a great night sleep. Tomorrow holds shopping at the Chinook Centre, IKEA and perhaps even the Calgary Zoo in its hands.
I’ll let you guys know how tomorrow develops!

070430 – What a night and what a day!
The night at Sheraton was quite pleasant! When I woke up I gazed over at the alarm clock, 0545! I felt I had been sleeping for 3days and I was ready for new adventures, but my mind said GO BACK TO BED! So I obeyed and turned over about 0730 I went up and got ready. I planned to go to Chinook Centre to do some shopping, I needed new shoes, new pants for work and a couple of new shirts. I was also on the hunt for new inspiring books, so Chapters was my first stop. Since I made such a large profit on my condo I am intrigued to learn more about investments and how the “big boys” think and do with their money for it to grow as much as possible.
So a handful of new books and a membership later I left the store heading for the other stores. The Bay was the next place that attracted me. Three shirts, two pants, a belt and pair of shoes later I left with two bags for the car. Before I made it to the car I had time to stop at Taco Time and engulf some kind of Big Baja Burrito, it was as Borat would say “Very Nice!” :))
After the 2,5 hours of shopping I was a bit tired (yes, I admit to all you ladies, it is hard work shopping!) *smile* so I decided to move on to the next stop on my journey, IKEA!

This was a very special event for me, going to IKEA overseas, since it was my first time doing so. If you are not Swedish you would NEVER understand, but it has I guess something to do with patriotism and country pride. I took a few photos on the outside, there was a Swedish flag, a Canadian Flag and the Alberta flag…   what a nice collection of flags!!
When I entered the shop it had the same smell, the same atmosphere and feeling as the IKEAs I have been to in Sweden. Fabulous! Talk about a feeling of going back home if only for a brief moment.   All the products have the same name all over the world I learnt. The bookshelf Billy, the pillow Gosa (Swedish for cuddle) *smile* and all the other fun things you could imagine, Sommar, Småland, Fårösund and so on. It was kind of interesting if people just try to pronounce it, or the just give them an English name, I wonder if the employees are thought what the names actually means or how they should pronounce it.
I knew since before that IKEA had a Swedish shop, so you can purchase “a taste of Sweden” with you home. There are ginger thins (Pepparkakor = Pepper cookies), lingonberries (lingonsylt), löfbergs lila coffee and so much more.
I ended up purchasing Mmmmmmarabou chocolate, Gifflar, Anna’s Ginger Thins, Löksill, senapssill, lingonsylt and a packet of Ballerina cookies! Thank you IKEA for bringing some Swedish flavor into my new Canadian life! I will for sure go to Calgary IKEA again to purchase things I “need” in the Swedish Shop.
After that shopping was done, I left to find the Delta South hotel and after some circumnavigating the shopping area, where I actually found Jysk shopping centre as well (Danish bath and furniture store from back home) just on the other side of this shopping centre, I finally found a route that took me out of there and on to the MacCloud Trail going south. Two intersections later I turned left and there the hotel was…

It was quite small compared to the Sheraton, but when I had checked in, and found my suite, it was actually a bit nicer than Sheraton and offered more for the buck like swimming pool, free parking, free Internet access and so forth.
I had an reservation with Murietta’s Resturant downtown at 19.30 and I was a bit stocked about going since my Front Office Manager, Jamie sent me there. I didn’t know what/if they would do anything for me, but after the manager Jeremy came unexpectedly to the table a chatted for a brief moment, I knew that he knew what was going on. I had a Caesar salad and some ravioli pasta. It was quite nice, and a couple glasses of wine. The bill ran away a bit, but I got 50% off due to me explaining what I was doing in Calgary and that they understood that this might help them to more business!
And that’s how you spend a few hundred dollars in a day and end up at a four star hotel charging normally $419 per night and feel pretty good laying in a king size bed and just philosophizing *smile*

Tomorrow will be exciting! Business meeting with ReMax and going back to the mountains!! !