Edmonton: Love at First Sight


This was written prior to making Edmonton our home. Our first visit was all it took for us to fall in love with the city.

When we rolled into Edmonton, Alberta my wife, Julia, instantly fell in love with the bright city lights. We discovered that Canada’s “Festival City” truly lives up to its name. We had heard there was something to do almost every day of the year and apparently there really is.

In our case, we had arrived smack in the middle of the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. It looked fun, so we decided to park the RV. It took awhile to find a place to park but knew I’d find something if I kept at it. I finally found a decent spot in the parking lot of a nearby mall. I waited as my wife grabbed her purse, then we climbed out of our RV.

We strolled past Edmonton City Hall and the beautiful fountains that lay before it  Julia and I stopped to admire them before we headed toward Churchill Square where a crowd had gathered to witness a band that was performing. I never caught the band’s name but they sure had a good sound. As we wandered through the area I spotted a large chess set. The pieces were taller than I was! My wife decided to take a picture of me standing next to the knight.

We stopped to eat at a nearby local establishment before venturing on to something new. Pico Bello Cafe was where my wife wanted to go. It was a nice Italian/Spanish restaurant that also offered some Mediterranean dishes. Julia absolutely loved the turkey cob salad sandwich.

I was in the mood for something else so I ordered the Italian Burger. Our waitress was excellent and highly attentive but we had to wait awhile since they seemed to be a bit understaffed that day. I was very impressed overall with not only the food, service, and atmosphere, but the prices weren’t as steep as I initially thought they would be given the portions of the food. We didn’t even have room left to sample dessert!

After we left Pico Bello Cafe, I wanted to scope out the Art Gallery of Alberta. While I never studied French, I did appreciate the exhibits. There were numerous contemporary drawings from the national gallery of Canada and artist Amy Melbeauf had some of her work there as well. I didn’t really get her whole concept of the physical to the immaterial but Julia did a good job explaining it all to me.

When we got back to our RV, we noticed one of the tires was a bit low on air. There was no nail or screw sticking out so that was a good sign. I was ready to call AAA but then I realized my son had let us borrow his portable air compressor for our trip. After a minute looking at the air compressor manual, I learned how to work the thing and got us back on the road. The tire pressure remained and the issue didn’t come up again. The $50 Central Pneumatic compressor saved us a whole lot of time. I’ll probably have to pick one up after returning my son’s.

We had a great time in Edmonton, Alberta. There was too much for us to see in one visit but Julia took plenty of pictures of what we had time to explore. I’d like to come back one day. Until then, we’ll be focusing on our next destination. My wife and I can’t wait to see more of this beautiful country.