I’m back from Calgary and the trip was amazing. Here are some highlights. Warning to the hungry: Many food photos ahead:
My boyfriend Tom, my sister Caitlin, her boyfriend Micheal and I left Regina at 4 a.m. on Thursday and decided we would drive straight to Cross Iron Mills (I’m not one to waste time when it comes to shopping). After the long drive, we arrived to 27 degree weather with not a cloud in sight. We freshened up in the parking lot (classy!) and the shopping commenced. This mall is huge and we barely covered half of it. After Cross Iron Mills, we went to check into our hotel.
First, however, we stopped at Crave to pick up my favorite cupcakes in the entire world. When I went to Olds College, one of my college friends would go home to Calgary on the weekends to work at Crave. She would often bring back cupcakes for us and I totally fell in the love with them. They are still my favorite cupcake ever and having not had them for 6 years, I put in an advanced order. No way was I missing out on Crave for my birthday. We picked them up, checked into the hotel and I promptly ruined my supper with one. We got an assortment but my favorite is the Vanilla Vanilla. I also just found out that Saskatoon has a location now so Crave is a lot closer than it used be. That’s good news.
Our hotel was awesome. We stayed at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Calgary Airport East. It was super clean, beautifully decorated, a reasonable drive to everything we wanted to see and, for the most part, we got free run of the hot tub whenever we wanted.
The lobby (isn’t that chandelier amazing?!):
Big round sofa with a million pillows:
Cool wine bottle display:
After checking in, we got ready for supper at the Olive Garden.
I got a celebratory Peach Sangria to start:
We also ordered these lasagna rolls that were stuffed with cheese, breaded and fried. Uh, yum?
We had the traditional Olive Garden breadsticks and unlimited salad.
The boys ordered the “Tour of Italy” which included Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo all on the same plate:
Caitlin ordered the (unpictured) Fettuccine Alfredo.
I ordered the Portobello Mushroom Ravioli:
All of it was fantastic and we left stuffed. I also totally want to create those fried lasagna rolls at home. They were insane.
We ended the day with a swim and a hot tub. It was a perfect birthday.
On Friday, we woke up to this:
Seriously. We decided to do more indoor activities in the hopes that it would be nicer the next day to do the zoo and other sightseeing downtown.
We headed to Chinook Centre.
For lunch, I had Bourbon St. Grill:
And my partners in crime had New York Fries:
After lunch, Caitlin and I spent too much money here.
Then, we left Chinook and headed to the Le Chateau Outlet:
We also went to the 911 store and to a paintball store. Many, many purchases were made.
We went for supper at Buffalo Wild Wings. Tom is a HUGE chicken wing fan. They are his absolute favorite food in the whole world. Our chiropractor (random, I know) recommended this place last year when we went to the States but we never made it. Before we left, I checked to see if Calgary had one and they did, so off we went. Tom was so excited and he was not disappointed. He dubbed them the best chicken wings of his life. We all loved our orders and highly recommend this place. Everything was perfect and the service was awesome.
Tom had the medium wings:
I had the Honey Garlic Crispy Chicken Wrap:
Caitlin had the Blackened Chicken Naan:
Micheal had the Big Jack Daddy Burger (topped with onion rings and pulled pork! I’m still regretting not trying this):
We ended off the day stopping off at a couple stores before heading back for a hot tub and bed.
On Saturday, it was still snowing so we headed to Sunridge Mall. In addition to shopping, we got the craziest massages done. Basically, you lie down on your stomach in this machine. A sheet of plastic covers you and water sprays the plastic (which is touching you) with a lot of pressure. 20 minutes in this thing was equated to a one hour full body massage and I believe it. We were getting tired and shopped out by Day 3, but we all felt good as new after.
We had lunch at Sbarro.
Six cheese pizza and a bread stick:
We shared a Cinnzeo bun for dessert:
We stopped by Chinook again to see a couple of places we had missed.
Then we decided to hit up Buffalo Wild Wings again for supper because we had loved it so much the night before. We had been told to try the Parmesan Garlic sauce that they are famous for, but Tom was not interested. UNTIL he tried ours and flipped his lid. He then ordered a half medium and half Parmesan Garlic order of wings. Now he has a new favorite wing sauce and expects me to recreate it at home. Challenge accepted.
Micheal got the Crispy Chicken Wrap that I had ordered the previous night. Caitlin and I wanted to try a few different things.
Parmesan Garlic and Honey Garlic Boneless Wings:
Soft Pretzels (these were awesome):
And some (unpictured) Mozzarella Sticks.
As usual, we finished up with the hot tub, hoping and praying the weather would be nice enough to do some touring downtown.
No such luck, but we made the best of it.
We went to the hotel restaurant before heading out for the day:
The breakfast buffet was amazing:
We walked in the rain through Kensington.
Checked out lots of graffiti:
We saw lots of little shops but my favorite was this crazy candy store, Gummi Boutique:
They carried a ton of hard to find candy, chocolate and soda. I’m ashamed to say how much we spent there.
Looks at these giant Gummy Bears!
We also stopped at Crave again, because I’m obsessed. This time we tried a few cookies.
After that we headed to the Tower.
The view from below:
And views from above:
We decided to try Fatburger for supper to see if it would rival Five Guys (our fave):
It did not. I will say, however, that my Oreo Shake was killer.
We stopped at a few random stores that evening, and went down for our last hot tub soak of the trip (sigh).
We packed up and headed out early Monday morning.
Aaaaaand now we’re broke.
I could not have asked for a better trip or a better birthday. Spending time with a few of the people I love most made it so meaningful.
We made a lot of great memories and are already planning our next trip.
Also, if someone wants to get me a hot tub as a late birthday gift, be my guest.
Photo credit goes to Caitlin on several of these photos!