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#1 Marlene

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:56 PM

This seems to be a good place for this. It doesn't really fit in cooking since we'll be covering a bit more here than just food. I'll run this till I go back East for the summer, then pick it up again when I come back in the fall. My regular meals will continue to go in the various threads. Here we'll deal with new discoveries in Calgary including restaurants, groceries, markets and sometimes the absurd, such as what it takes to get a license plate here. The occassional hotel as well possibly.

We'll see where my travels take me, but for now, let's take a tour of the house. Please note, we are not fully unpacked yet, as you will see.

Starting with the kitchen. The kitchen and living room are together in true "open concept" style. Take two steps away from my island, and you'll be in the living room. The dining room is just behind the kitchen and it's right there when you open the front door.


Let's start with the island, so you can get oriented. It's massive. And fortunately, it has three cupboards of storage underneath. (yes that is a stock pot on the stove. I set up a chicken stock last night since I could not transport any frozen or refrigerator foods here)
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Now, facing towards the island, on your left, will be the prep sink area and the fridge, which is a bottom drawer Viking professional.
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To the right of the island, are the rest of the cupboards, pantry etc.
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in behind the island we find the range, which is a 36 inch Viking Professional Dual fuel range.
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The drawer to the right is not really a drawer, it's a pull out cutting board, which in theory, is a wonderful idea, but in practice, it really needs to be a drawer, so it will be the first thing to be replaced!
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Standing behind the island looking out to the back yard, we find the Miele dishwasher, and a humongous stainless steel sink! I love this sink! I can lay a sheet pan down it it and it fits. I can put my stock pot in either sink as they are so deep, and fill with cold water and cool my stock down pretty quickly. Although I will only need to do this in summer.

In winter, Calgary can get colder than a witches you-know-what, so simply parking the pot outside will work beautifully.

That far cut out is where the microwave was, but it now holds my Breville toaster oven. I got a Viking Professional convection microwave to use as my second oven, and it doesn't fit in there. You'll see it in a minute.
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The most amazing sink
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The ceilings are 10 ft high so these cupboards are somewhat impractical for 5ft 3in little old me! They have fallen into the category of things I use once a year, can go here.
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From the island, I look out into our back yard and garage. This inner city living thing, means most garages are several feet away from the house in the back yard. The garbage cans live out in the back lane and garbage pick up is a story for another day. I can't wait for winter, because I'll be watching Don take the garbage out while I drink hot chocolate inside! Our cars will live in the garage in the winter, but right now, we pretty much just park on the street in front of the house, as does the rest of the neighbourhood it seems. With cars parked on both sides of the road, it can be sort of like playing thread the needle as you navigate towards your house.

Towards the back door is a blank wall, which we've temporarily filled with Ikea bookcases to hold my cookbooks. I have plans for this wall, I tell you!
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In the living room, on either side of the fireplace, the builder will be building enclosed shelves. The beverage fridge and microwave will get built in here, and there will be shelves for some of my Le Creuset which is currently hanging out in the dining room on a stand. The other side will hold shelves for more books.

One side of the fireplace
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And the other.
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Anyway the back yard fireplace. This, as you can see, is still a work in progress. The builder put a new gas insert in it and it didn't fit, so they took a bunch of the stone off to make the opening bigger. I'm told they will fix it next week along with the rest of the landscaping that needs doing Of course, we need the 40 days and 40 nights of rain to stop first! To be fair, it hasn't rained today, but then again, the day's not over yet.

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And Don's new toy. A fire magic BBQ. I'd never heard of them before, but I'm assured by three different appliance places that is is a cadillac of a bbq. Is there a recall on Cadillacs? Because the second time we used it, the ignition system wouldn't start. Yay, yet another service person will be knocking on my door before long. But it is pretty! And it cooks a mean steak. We're going to try a roast pork on the rotisserie on the weekend.

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Don is under pain of death instructions to make sure he keeps this one clean/

Moving on to the basement, we find the bar. Can you say too much booze? THis is where we really haven't finished unpacking yet.
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And the wine cellar. There are two of these racks on either side and I can't get all of them into the picture
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Shelving in the wine cellar
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And the bar comes with its own pub bench.
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And this wine fridge came with the house. The wine cellar is filled with my reds, and this holds Don's whites. Perhaps a touch uneven in terms of quantity.
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Down the hall, lives my second freezer and fridge
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and the rest of my kitchen and baking equipment. There's another room that holds overflow pantry foods but we haven't got that set up yet.
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Ok there you have the tour and are now well placed to follow along on my various adventures and misadventures.

Next, (either tonight or tomorrow), adventures in getting a license plate in Alberta and some highlights from my exploration trip yesterday, including my new, very cool Japanese knife.
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#2 Marlene

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:22 PM

Getting a license plate in Alberta. So we moved here from Ontario. We didn't come from outer Mongolia, or Spain, or even from Outer Space. This is my country. This should be simple right? Bwahhhaaaaaa.

The Alberta Registry is right around the corner from us, so we took the opportunity on Tuesday to go deal with driver's licenses, health cards, and plates for our cards. My car is 2 weeks old and has 52 km on it. Don's car is 6 months old and has 20,000 km. on it.

As with all driver's registry places everywhere in the world, there's a line up. We wait patiently and it's finally our turn. Here, I meet my first grumpy Calgarian. We tell her what we're here for. We need photo id (we brought our passports) and something like a bill that shows we live here. I received something from the city of Calgary saying I had to file my school preferences for taxes. Ok, I think that's official enough, so we bring that. We don't have any bills yet. We've only been here a week.

The house is in my name alone, so the notice from the City of Calgary is to me alone. All of the bills are in my name. Don possibly doesn't exist in this context. So they won't register him because he can't prove he lives here. Even though I'm standing right beside him and am willing to swear an affidavit that he lives here. With me. He's my husband. Our last names are the same. Nope. The girl is pretty testy, so I sweetly enquire if he can get a letter from his employer as proof. She goes off to her supervisor. Yes, that will do. Great. Don's a senior partner in a large accounting firm, He owns the place. Should he write his own letter? His business card will not do either. So he texts his secretary to get one of the other partners to sign a letter, on letterhead and scan it in and email it to him. We've got time. We're going to be here a while.

We start by trying to register the cars. The girl tells me that we need to have both cars inspected before we can get plates here. (y'all recall upthread how old our cars are right?). I turn and very pointedly stare at a car in the parking lot with it's right fender busted off and the driver's side door is holding together with a few threads of rust. I look back at the girl and say "you're kidding me right?" She almost smiles at this point and starts to relax a bit. I point to the car and say that car would never even see the light of day on the streets of Ontario, and I need to get my brand new car inspected?

She finally unbends and says she can apply for an exemption for me but it will take a couple of days. That's great! I'm not in any rush. I can drive for three months with my Ontario plates. So we finally agree on that and we get busy filling out paperwork for license, heath card etc. She finally unbends enough to go explain the circumstances to her supervisor and to find out if she can register Don for a health card and driver's license. And Glory Hallelujahthe answer is yes. By this time, Don has the letter in his inbox. However, Don's car is not available for exemption because it is over 5,000 km.

Apparently any car shop can do this, unlike Ontario where only certain shops are allowed to perform emisssions test. Don moves off to the side to find a place to get his inspected. Well well. Midas muffler can do that for you and, hey it will only cost you $150.00! Can you say cash grab?

My exemption came through today and I picked up my plate. Back plates only, here. Today, the girls were very friendly. I'm thinking my girl either missed lunch or had the customer from hell before us.

And our licenses should arrive in the mail in a couple of weeks. Except of course, for the postal strike that is about to begin. I may be going back to Ontario with my passport for photo id. We are still in Canada aren't we Toto?
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#3 Dana

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 01:20 AM

The house is stunning, as I knew it would be. I love those dark cabinets and that island!!! and that sink!!! and those Viking appliances!!!
For the record, I see nothing uneven in terms of the wines. Seems perfectly fine to me. :D
You can't have too much booze - you never know when a major storm will hit and you'll be stuck in the house for days (or even weeks) at a time.

As far as the license plate fiasco - what a giantic mess. I need to renew my driver's license, but now I'm chicken. Maybe I'll see if I can do it online.....

Bless your heart.
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#4 kim shook

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:11 AM

I'm ditto-ing Dana! Gorgeous! I love the sinks and the black - I really love those black Ikea shelves - very stylish! Can't wait for everything else, Marlene!

#5 Marlene

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:36 AM

We like the black as well, although none of our furniture matches it. We have ordered a couple of lazy boy love seats for the living room at which time, the chairs that are currently there, will go downstairs. I love the appliances and the sink as well. The kitchen is very nice, it's just a lot smaller than what I'm used to. I've tried to keep upstairs everything I use most often and the other things that I don't use as often downstairs on the shelf.

The upstairs is not unpacked completely yet. I'll have a few photos of it next week.
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#6 Marlene

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 10:53 AM

We've begun to explore Calgary. On Tuesday, we went in search of a butcher. There is one, not to far from us, called Bon Ton Meat Market . This is as close as I've seen to a real butcher store in years. While they do have meats on display, it's a small selection. The real action happens when you tell the clerks what you want. The butchers are right there cutting various hunks of meat, and as I ordered things, they cut them fresh for me. They vacuum sealed everything for us and even carried it all out to the car for us. They also carry homemade stocks, make some fabulous homemade meat pies and salads.

I got talking to the butcher and asked for English cut short ribs. He knew exactly what I meant. They get bonus points for that! I ordered some rib eye steaks, pork chops, a pork roast, some short ribs a prime rib roast (I didn't catch him in time to make sure he left the fat cap on, but we discussed it and next time he will). I bought some stock because I hadn't made any yet.I got some huge veal bones for veal stock next week.

We ordered three deli salads. Potato, coleslaw, and a Thai sesame seed noodle salad. Of the three, the potato salad was the best and clearly housemade. The coleslaw was good, but with all due modesty, I think mine is better. The Thai salad was ok, but it didn't agree with either of our systems.
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In terms of the quality of meats, I'll let you know after the weekend. We ordered a couple of T bones which we had that night, and found them pretty chewy. However, the pork chops the next night were quite tender. We're going to have a pork roast and the rib eyes this weekend so we'll see how they are.

They are more than happy to take large orders and custom cut and vacuum seal for me, so I am hoping the T-bone was just a fluke. I'll let you know.

In the same plaza, is Cobb's bakery. I think there might be a couple of them in Ontario as well. Beautiful baguettes fresh bread and dinner rolls and other wonderful bakery things. We got a loaf of fresh bread, a loaf of fresh cinnamon bread, some dinner rolls and a baguette that we both went nuts for when we had it with our steaks, with some really good olive oil and balsamic for dipping. While I make a lot of my own breads and rolls, this is a good go to place for when I don't have time, or really don't feel like it. Besides, I need to get the altitude thing down here for bread baking. Something I may experiment with next week.

Back down the Trans Canada highway (it runs right through the city), we stopped at the larger Safeway. So far, I haven't been overly impressed with the grocery stores here, particularly in terms of produce. However, we loaded up at the Safeway with all the condiments etc that we weren't able to move.

As it stands now, for quick picks ups, my first choice will be the Co-op, then Lina's the Italian market just up the street from me. There is some great produce in the South East, which I'll get to in a few minutes.

Over on eG, I "met" a Calgarian who also owns the Modernist Cuisine set. I honestly thought she was a girl, but "she" turned out to be a guy. Oops. Llyn offtered to pick me up on Wednesday and take me around to a few of the food and kitchen places in the city.

So far, almost all the good shopping I've seen, is in the South East. What's up with that? While I'm loving living 10 minutes from downtown (Don practically dances for joy at the 10 minute commute), I wish I didn't have to hike all the way over there to find the things I want. To be fair, there may be some great places in the North West, and I just haven't found them yet.

I couldn't find my small camera (it's likely still in a box somewhere, so I couldn't take pics, but I'll give a rundown of the places we went.


Cookbook Company
This is a kitchen store with a decent range of cooking stuff and cookbooks, although they didn't have the high altitude baking book I was looking for. They also offer casual cooking classes in the evenings and on weekends. When you mention cooking to anyone in Calgary, this is the store they mention first. I didn't buy anything here this time around.

Metrovino
Through the back of the Cookbook Co. is Metrovino. You can also access it from the street. I loved this place. These guys are passionate about their wines and spirits. They actively search out wines and spirits that can't be found anywhere else. They'll talk to you for hours about wine, while you sip on something they have open at the time. Ok, it didn't suck to be sipping wine at 10:30 in the morning with people who know so much about it! Here I bought Don a single malt scotch (it's getting harder to find ones he doesn't have!), an Alsace gewurztraminer and two reds, but I don't have them to hand to be able to tell you what they were.

Knifewear
Now here's a store I could spend a lot of time (and money) in. In fact, I may take their knife sharpening class, as I could stand to improve in that area. I tried several Japanese knives, but finally fell in love with this one
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This is a carbon steel gyuto, made by Teruyasu Fujiwara. He is a forth generation swordsmith and his family has been making blades for 130 years. This knife has a more Western style handle, so when I'm switching back and forth bewteen this and my Wustofs, I don't notice the grip change very much. It also has a finger notch which I've fallen in love with. It is a hand forged knife. they had a santoku in this line that I may just have to go back for. And, I can take all my knives in and they will sharpen them. I wonder what they'll think when I walk in with 25 Wusthofs, and three Misono's?

Without Papers Pizza
This is where we stopped for lunch. Fabulous pizza! We sat at the counter so we could watch them tossing the dough and baking the pizzas in their giant oven. Llyn and I thought it might be a gas fired oven but we weren't sure. In the interests of tasting as much as we could, we each ordered a pizza and then shared. Llyn ordered the Parma and I ordered the Hawaiian 5-0. While we were waiting we indulged in a glass of wine each, and our server offered us a complimentary salad she had made up by mistake, of Shaved fennel, frisee lettuce, poached pear, wild boar prosciutto and parmigano. It was also very good. The pizza is a very thin very crispy crust which is exactly the way I like it. Both pizzas were awesome. When I go back to the knife store, I may have to go here again for lunch.

DJ's Market
No link for this one, but here is where I found the best produce I've seen so far. I got some shallots, broccoli crowns, green beans and carrots.

Savour Fine Foods
A cute little kitchen place across the street (more or less) from the knife store. I picked up this salt box while I was there. Apparently, I now have to go back and get another one for Jake!
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I've been looking for a salt box with a flip up lid for a long time!


Bite Groceteria
This is mostly an Italian pasta place, although they do carry a variety of things including veal glace, which of course I had to buy along with some papardelle pasta



Hendrix Supply
And this is the store of my dreams, although I didn't buy anything this time around, until I figure out where I'm going to be able to put it!

Thanks so much to Llyn for taking the time out to pick me up and take me around! In a follow up email, he sent me a whole list of other places to check out: take a look
Grazin Acres (meats and eggs)
Kingsland Farmers Market
Calgary Farmers Market
Second to None Meats
Mercato (Italian restaurant and market)
Petitie Restaurant
River Cafe
Boxwood Cafe
Thai Sa On
Decadent desserts
Brulee

Ok. so I'm going to be busy for the next few weeks!

We've decided that Friday nights will our restaurant discovery nights. I'll hop a cab to downtown and meet Don at the office and we'll dine and grab a cab back. Tonight we are going to Trib steakhouse and next week we're going to try Charcut Roast house, because I was given a gift certificate to it for my birthday, and then it may be time to try the Italian place.

We are also hoping to take a trip to the mountains next week, and hopefully I find my small camera in time to take some wonderful mountain shots for you.

In the meantime, the adventure continues. Stay tuned!
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#7 Marlene

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:48 PM

More on dinner at Trib tomorrow, but for now, Being a Pedestrian in Calgary

So, if you're a walking person, you're going to be in heaven here. In Calgary, pedestrians have the right of way. Everywhere. We first noticed this the other day. We went and did our license thing, then crossed the street to the dry cleaners. As far as I know, it wasn't a pedestrian crosswalk, but as soon as it even looked like we wanted to cross the street, traffic stopped in both directions and cross we did. Then I walked home and the same thing happened at a busy cross street, again, where there was no visible crosswalk.

I asked Llyn about this during our tour, and he confirmed that basically, Calgary is a pedestrian heaven. Pedestrians have the right of way in most cases here. We noticed it again downtown tonight while having dinner. Going outside for an evil smoker's break, I again noticed how traffic comes to a complete standstill when a pedestrian gives even the slightest hint that they want to cross the street, traffic lights or cross walks be damned. And pedestrians are polite about it. They don't venture out on the street. They just wait until traffic comes to a stop. And it will. Oh the power.

Kind of makes me want to go walk the streets and make like I want to cross. It's almost like Moses parting the Red Sea. In Toronto, you'd get run over trying to cross a street.
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#8 suzilightning

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:15 AM

though it's a pain it looks like it may be fun to move just to explore for interesting shops! the appliances look fabulous but those dark shelves made me feel claustrophobic. the knife looks lethal and the salt cellar is darling.

are you sure you aren't in nj? the money grab sounds like here in the Soprano state. i could also introduce you to some real butchers - regular or german.
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#9 Dana

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:58 AM

Marlene, you are cracking me up. :lol: :lol: :P
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#10 Dianne

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:17 AM

A great thread, Marlene. Alan described your house to me and it sounds super.

And the shops and restaurants will be fun to explore. Keep it coming.

#11 Marlene

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:17 PM

We ate dinner at Trib last night. It wasn't particularly remarkable, although it was pretty good.

I had a couple of martini's (Buchannan's makes better ones) and Don tried a couple of different scotches and we shared a bottle of Chateau neuf de Pape. We both had the ceasar salad which was supposed to have a pancetta crisp but it came with strips of bacon instead. The dressing was pretty good and had lots of garlic.

We shared a Chateaubriand which came with Kale, spaghetti squash, asparagus and green beans, and roasted fingerling potatoes. I also had some seared foie gras to go with it.

We finished the evening with two Taylor 30 year old ports, coffee and a cheese plate. The cheeses were Cambazola Bleu (very good), and Oka (good) and a sage Darby (not so much good). There was just way too much sage in this for both of our tastes.

While this restaurant is decent, it's not making my top 10 so far, while Bucannan's is very likely to become a favourite.

Next week two restaurants because we have a partner dinner to go to Thursday night at Teatro Ristorante, although that will probably be a fixed menu because it's a large group, and Charcut Roast on Friday.

In the meantime, we'll keep emptying boxes and trying to find the little camera so I can take some pics at these places.

Today, I won't have much to report. We're staying in, and unpacking the rest of our boxes, and interviewing pet sitters. Tomorrow morning, we're going to get to Sunterra Market at least and maybe a few other places. We'd like to get it all done in the morning, because the weather is nice, so we'd like to spend some time in our back yard staring at our unfinished fireplace. :D
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#12 Marlene

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:23 PM

though it's a pain it looks like it may be fun to move just to explore for interesting shops! the appliances look fabulous but those dark shelves made me feel claustrophobic. the knife looks lethal and the salt cellar is darling.

are you sure you aren't in nj? the money grab sounds like here in the Soprano state. i could also introduce you to some real butchers - regular or german.


If I was in NJ, at least I'd be closer to Jake! It is not fun that we both moved miles and miles away from each other! I've actually heard that NJ has pretty good butchers. As far as the dark cabinets go, I wasn't sure I'd like them at first but they've grown on me. The problem with the dark hardwood floors is that they show the dust and dirt pretty quickly and vacuuming just isn't my thing. :D

Marlene, you are cracking me up. :lol: :lol: :P


Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll be here all week. :P :ph34r:

A great thread, Marlene. Alan described your house to me and it sounds super.

And the shops and restaurants will be fun to explore. Keep it coming.



Thanks Dianne! It is fun exploring.
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#13 Marlene

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:10 PM

Yesterday we continued our quest for grocery stores etc. I wanted to go to a Sunterra and there are none in the NorthWest so we decided to head out to their main store in Springbank Hill. Springbank is a suburb community of Calgary and we initially started our search for homes here. While we liked the area, (and I certainly would have been close to shopping), the commute for Don, particularly in the winter would have been awful. We left our house at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and it only took 20 minutes to get there, but coming back took us 40 minutes once Calgarians finally woke up and hit the streets. Double that during rush hour and triple that when it snows.

Sunterra, is an upscale Market, and it is similar in many ways to Whole Foods, with less emphasis on Organics, although they do have a large organic section. They do have a cut to order meat counter, but they failed when I asked them to cut me a prime rib with a fat cap. Apparently, their meat comes pre-trimmed without fat!!!! Boo. We did pick up some nice looking baby back ribs, a small pork shoulder and a nice looking ham though.

This is a hike and I won't be making the trip very often, (although there's a rumour that they deliver), but it's a place where I can at least find things like diamond kosher salt, which I can't find in the various other grocery stores.

I'm accumulating grocery rewards cards at an alarming rate. Soon, I will need a bigger wallet to hold them all. I now have a CO-OP card, a Safeway card, a sobey's card, and now, a Sunterra card.

In the next community over, Signal Hill, we found a Real Canadian Superstore (it was huge!), where I was able to find some of my beloved PC products like butter puff pastry and Normandy style butter. We also found a Canadian Tire. It's not easy to find a Canadian Tire in Calgary. There are 5 of them, none of them near us at all.

There are, as I've mentioned a great deal of wine and spirits stores in Calgary. I've now been in several, and so far, still cannot find Frambroise, Nolly Pratt or Molson Dry. If you like Bud, you'll be in heaven. This is obviously Bud Country.

And so far, none of the grocery stores carry beef or veal shanks. For that, I'll have to go to the butcher I guess.

We were back by noon and were able to enjoy some time in the backyard. Staring at our finished fireplace. Still.

Next, we'll discuss driving in Calgary.
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#14 kim shook

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:21 PM

Those stores sound fantastic! It just sounds like a marvelous adventure, Marlene! I am one of those odd people who love to move - REALLY move - not just a different house, but a different city, state, even country (never have, but I'd be up for it). We've been in our current home for over 15 years that that is the longest I've ever lived anywhere. I'd love to discover a new place, but I think this is probably IT for us (The Home is next :rolleyes: ). It is exactly what I dreamed of when I was a kid and we were moving every couple of years, but I guess that conditioned me and now I get 'itchy' every few years! When I met Mr. Kim, he had lived in 2 houses in the same city. We figured out that my CAT had lived in 3 TIMES as many places as him! :lol:

#15 Marlene

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:08 PM

It's been interesting so far, Kim. If we didn't have to put everything away and buy a bunch of new stuff every time we moved, I'd be all for moving about every 5 years. Otherwise, I hate it.

Before I get to driving in Calgary, I forgot to mention that all the shopping carts here require money to liberate them. And it's not consistent. At the Co-op and Safeway it was 25 cents. At Sunterra, it was actually free! At the Real Canadian superstore, it was a whopping dollar. Nor do they charge for bags here. You can have your groceries bagged in plastic to your hearts content if you so desire. Of course, we are now conditioned by Ontario's rules, so we cart our various Sobeys, Metro and other bags along with us where ever we go. In the grocery bag green department, Safeway wins. They have the best bags I've ever seen. I'll take a picture of one tomorrow to show you.

So, enough about groceries for a minute, although as a last note, I have been unable to find either Lay's Roasted chicken potato chips (although Sunterra lists them as available on their site), or Old Dutch Roastin Chicken (Old Dutch lists them on their site. ) I am now on a mission.

Driving in Calgary is rather interesting. On the one hand, Calgarians are some of the politest drivers I've ever seen. You want to move over a lane? Put your signal on, and the chances are, the person in the next lane over, will slow down and let you in. Every time. In Toronto, it's the "I'm not letting you into my lane, because then you'll be ahead of me and it will take me a whole five minutes longer to get where I want to go". On the other hand, these self same drivers think nothing of pulling a u-turn, right in front of you. With no warning. u-turns are really really popular here. Everyone does them. Everywhere. On the other hand, EVERYONE (well with the exception of the one or two usual idiots) does the speed limit. Not 10km over or even 5 km over. The limit. On. The. Dot. And if you're really smart? Don't speed through a school zone here. The limit through school zones here is 30 km . In Oakville, it's 40 usually. Here, a couple of kms over in a school zone will net you a ticket of about $180. They take their children's safety seriously here. As least the speed is only 30 during school hours. In Oakville it's 40 all the time, day or night, weekday or weekend.

The cops here wear stetsons and cowboy boots, and they'll smile and call you ma'am as they hand you your ticket.

Most of the roads in the suburbs have speed bumps. Big speed bumps. You're risking the underside of your car by pretending you don't have to slow down for them.

Calgary is laid out in a grid much like New York. There are Avenues and streets. We'll talk about the wonky suburb street naming in a minute. So Avenues run east and west, and streets run north and south. So you could be on 20th Av NW and want to go to 20 Street E. At least I think that's how it works. I can get lost going in a circle around my house right now. Downtown is full of one way streets. I have enough trouble finding my way around streets that I can go in both directions on, never mind having to go in a square to get to the building you want to end up at. Not that I've done a lot of driving here yet. Once. I've driven once. I went to the Registry office to get my plates. It's like two blocks from here. Could I get lost? Of course I did. This could get interesting fast, because I can't wait till the weekends for Don to drive me around and I pretty much have to drive to get to any of the interesting stores. As Scarlett would say, "I'll deal with it in September when I get back from the cottage".

Suburb streets. Calgary is divided into quandrants. NorthWest, SouthWest, NorthEast, and SouthEast. Each quadrant has communities. Some are "inner city", like the community we live in, Mount Pleasant. All those communities have numbered streets. Go out into the suburbs and it's naming hell. Let's take Springbank Hill, where we were on Sunday, for an example. Within that suburb, the various street names are: Sprinkbank Cres, Springbank, Rd., Springbank Way, Springbank Place.. Etc. It makes it really easy if you're drunk, to remember what community you're in, but you can drive around for hours before finding the right "Springbank" that you need to be on. Plus, It's not only Springbank , it's Springbank way 100, the next street is Springbank way 200 etc.

Let's talk about drinking and driving in Calgary for a minute. It's never a good idea anywhere, but here, it's a really really bad idea.

here is a link to the rules here. What is noteworthy is this paragraph

Drivers charged with impaired driving in Alberta may receive a temporary driving permit
valid for 21 days. Following the expiry of this permit, the province of Alberta will impose an
automatic 3 month driving suspension, to commence regardless of whether the charge
results in a conviction
.

.

So you could be without a license for three months if if you're not convicted. And if convicted, an additional 12 months in addition to some hefty fines and other possible consequences. It's another reason I'm happy we live 10 minutees from downtown. It's not very expensive to take a cab into the city if we're meeting for dinner and we alway always always, take a cab home. Don will either take a cab in the morning or he'll leave his car at the office and pick it up the next day.

So driving here is going to be fun. All that, and I have to stop for pedestrians too!
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#16 Madge

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 06:52 AM

Great thread Marlene. House looks great but oh, the confusion of getting it all put together. I know zero about Calgary so this is really interesting. My partner lived in 14 different houses up to Grade 12, I lived in 1. I hate the physical act of moving but do enjoy exploring a new area.

#17 James

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:35 AM

Yesterday we continued our quest for grocery stores etc. I wanted to go to a Sunterra and there are none in the NorthWest so we decided to head out to their main store in Springbank Hill. Springbank is a suburb community of Calgary and we initially started our search for homes here. While we liked the area, (and I certainly would have been close to shopping), the commute for Don, particularly in the winter would have been awful. We left our house at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning and it only took 20 minutes to get there, but coming back took us 40 minutes once Calgarians finally woke up and hit the streets. Double that during rush hour and triple that when it snows.

Sunterra, is an upscale Market, and it is similar in many ways to Whole Foods, with less emphasis on Organics, although they do have a large organic section. They do have a cut to order meat counter, but they failed when I asked them to cut me a prime rib with a fat cap. Apparently, their meat comes pre-trimmed without fat!!!! Boo. We did pick up some nice looking baby back ribs, a small pork shoulder and a nice looking ham though.

This is a hike and I won't be making the trip very often, (although there's a rumour that they deliver), but it's a place where I can at least find things like diamond kosher salt, which I can't find in the various other grocery stores.

I'm accumulating grocery rewards cards at an alarming rate. Soon, I will need a bigger wallet to hold them all. I now have a CO-OP card, a Safeway card, a sobey's card, and now, a Sunterra card.

In the next community over, Signal Hill, we found a Real Canadian Superstore (it was huge!), where I was able to find some of my beloved PC products like butter puff pastry and Normandy style butter. We also found a Canadian Tire. It's not easy to find a Canadian Tire in Calgary. There are 5 of them, none of them near us at all.

There are, as I've mentioned a great deal of wine and spirits stores in Calgary. I've now been in several, and so far, still cannot find Frambroise, Nolly Pratt or Molson Dry. If you like Bud, you'll be in heaven. This is obviously Bud Country.

And so far, none of the grocery stores carry beef or veal shanks. For that, I'll have to go to the butcher I guess.

We were back by noon and were able to enjoy some time in the backyard. Staring at our finished fireplace. Still.

Next, we'll discuss driving in Calgary.

There are supposed to be a few good wine stores in Calgary, but I haven't kept up my lists.
It is disappointing that Sunterra apparently cuts from boxed beef, but that is so typical now.
In most places butchers have been replaced by meat cutters, with no carcasses on site.
I think most Canadian Wagyu is raised in Alberta, so that should be a fine option.
One thing I find hard to get in Ontario is Peace River clover honey, graded water white.
Once in awhile PC has had it, but it's great to be close to the source.
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#18 suzilightning

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:33 PM

wow-

i identify with you on the shopping carts. ours don't cost a loony, just a quarter.

interesting take on the dui. is that the new bud with lime or regular?

i remember visiting quebec when i was younger and my grandmother was driving. course it was like driving in boston when you look the other person in the eye and turn left in front of them - and don't get me started on rotaries!!!

uhhh.... and how do you know that the officers call you m'am?! are they municipal, provincial or rcmp?

blog on until you come east. it is fascinating.
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#19 Marlene

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:50 PM

uhhh.... and how do you know that the officers call you m'am?! are they municipal, provincial or rcmp?


Trust me, not from first hand experience,I haven't driven far enough to get any tickets yet! Although I did have a foot cop downtown tip his stetson to me and say afternoon ma'am. It happened to someone in Don's office and she told me the story.

We are out at a company event tonight and then our friday night date night tomorrow night. Not quite sure what the weekend is bringing, as it will depend on the weather. But I will have some thoughts on Goods and Services here and the relative costs between the two provinces.
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#20 Marlene

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:39 AM

There are supposed to be a few good wine stores in Calgary, but I haven't kept up my lists.
It is disappointing that Sunterra apparently cuts from boxed beef, but that is so typical now.
In most places butchers have been replaced by meat cutters, with no carcasses on site.
I think most Canadian Wagyu is raised in Alberta, so that should be a fine option.
One thing I find hard to get in Ontario is Peace River clover honey, graded water white.
Once in awhile PC has had it, but it's great to be close to the source.



There are several very good wine stores in Calgary, Kensington Wine and Spirits being one of them, and it's not very far from us. It is pretty typical now for the meat to be pre cut before arriving on site. It's one of the reasons I like Bon Ton meats because they definitely have carcasses on site and butcher the old school way.

I've not seen any waygu beef here yet at all.

I'll take a look for the honey and send you some if I find it!
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.




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