One of the things I was most excited about for our visit to Edmonton (aside from the -20 temperatures, of course) was the chance to do BIG CITY things! This is something I have really missed, living in small towns for the past ten years.
Both small BC towns we have lived in have been blessed with natural beauty: easily accessible hikes, unspoiled wilderness, beaches and rivers and forests a mere five-minute walk from our front door. I have been spoiled with all of this nature over the past decade and truth be told I have probably even started to take it for granted, as one does, because the thing is, I am not really an outdoorsy person.
I am more of a picnic in the park on a sunny day after a successful library trip nature person than a hike for four hours then camp for three days then summit a mountain nature person. So the abundance of natural wonders, though gratefully appreciated in the abstract, was also somewhat lost in practice for this lady who was really just craving a quiet afternoon wandering through an art gallery which featured something other than paintings of eagles.
When we planned this trip to Edmonton it was one of the first times that we were spending an extended amount of time in a city that offered these sorts of cultural experiences, with Olive finally old enough to enjoy them too. This was VERY exciting.
So, bright and early Wednesday
morning afternoon we headed out to the Royal Alberta Museum and ended up spending about three hours there touring the various exhibits. Watching Olive’s excited reactions to the displays, eagerly running from room to room signing ‘cat!” at the cougars and “bird!” at pelicans, it was incredible. This is one of the best parts of parenthood, in my opinion, seeing your child discover the world. Through her unabashed joy at the smallest things, I feel like I am able to reclaim some of the pure, unadulterated glee that is sometimes crushed beneath my cynicism, world-weary boredom and sarcasm.
It was a delightful way to spend a snowy afternoon, and something that we all really enjoyed (Do you see how into the pattern displays Adam was? Olive was over it in a few minutes, Adam was like “Hold on! I’ve almost made a flower!”) and at the end of it, after wandering up and down and around two floors of a museum for three hours, Olive was all tuckered out and went home to have a mega nap, which was also quite delightful.
This little taste of city life was really welcome, and I have to admit it made me long for it- the vibrancy, the ever-changing attractions and festivals, the swell of people and noise and life. It thrilled this small town girl to her big-city roots, and made me miss it, just a little bit.
Well played, Edmonton. Well played.