Summer Breezes

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Summer” The word itself conveys warm breezes, lazy days basking in the sunshine on a local patio,sipping on a fruity cocktail, and the many, many Edmonton festivals to enjoy! Oh how we enjoy this shortest of seasons and its limitless possibilities. So many fun and interesting things for a mother-daughter duo to do! We have been busy gallivanting all over town and the surrounding area. The best part? We’re only halfway through!

3 Mother – Daughter Generations Enjoying Summer Together

Farmers’ Markets and Fruit Picking Galore!

All the local Farmers’ Markets have been bursting with fresh produce. August brings with it even more bountiful ripeness. We’ve been enjoying the fruits of our amazing farmers and growers’ labour. We’ve been to the Downtown Market on Saturdays and its’ new Sunday location (due to the LRT expansion, the Downtown Market will be permanently moving away from 104 street Saturdays and Sundays), the constantly growing 124 Street Grand Market’s two locations, and the brand new Bountiful Market in its’ bright indoor southside spot, and the Saint Albert Market just to name a few. (Please see upcoming events for a list of local Farmers’ Markets)

The new Bountiful Farmers’ Market

Last week we enjoyed a wonderful Saskatoon Berry picking and pie baking trip courtesy of Fifendekel’s. Ali had never baked a pie from scratch before. This was quite the fun experience. We were whisked away by Limousine and treated along the way to a variety of tasty Fifendekel sandwiches made with their house roasted beef, turkey and ham. These meats were served between slices of their daily-made, moist and flavourful sunflower seed bread. So yummy!

Ali with her Bucket of Saskatoons

We arrived at Alberta Country Orchards, which belongs to the Thiel’s Greenhouses family. There, we learned all about the different varieties of Saskatoons. Then we were let loose in the orchard to fill our individual buckets, and stomachs, with juicy purple berries. This berry can be used in so many different ways. We were spoiled with samples of Saskatoon ice cream and spread. So much deliciousness! Then we returned to Fifendekel where we got to use our berries and prepare homemade pies using their famous crust! We all got to take them home to bake them. Mmm!!!

Monique Reaching Top Berries

If you are interested in picking Saskatoons or any other fruit and vegetable, there are many farms and orchards offering you this experience. Alberta Open Farm Days is coming up soon. That’s a great opportunity to visit farms and pick your own produce. If you can’t make it for this, please see our upcoming events page for a list of local U-Picks.

**Country Orchards will have Saskatoons available for picking until August 21. Call Malcolm at (780) 974-3099 to book a time.

Saskatoon Berry Pie Oh My!

Picnics in the Park

Government Park

An activity we love to do together and as a family is going on picnics in one of our many local parks along the North Saskatchewan River. Our favourite location is at Government House Park just off Victoria Road. What we like about that specific location is that it has paved trails, lots of picnic tables, BBQ’s (bring your own wood/briquettes), benches and port-a-potties. Best thing about it too? It is right on the river front with lots of space to see the river from your picnic spot. It is a well used park. Lots of joggers, bicyclists and boaters to watch. On-leash dogs allowed.

A special trip to the Italian Centre Shop is always called for to find fresh breads, meats, veggies and fruits to pack along. And if we are lucky, we can pick up some tasty pastries too!

Patio Time!

Nothing like a sunny day to entice you to one of Edmonton’s lovely patios! We are always searching for a new location to share a bite to eat and relax. A lovely spot we like to go to is Little Brick. We took Monique’s mom, Mona (Ali’s Teta) for Brunch there on a Sunday. What a perfect location in Riverdale. They have a large fenced yard and deck where they serve brunch on the weekdays and weekends.

Viejas

We enjoyed Chai and Lattes. The brunch Menu is filled with your regular fare presented with a spin. Monique ordered the Viejas, a tasty bowl of crispy corn tortilla strips, Four Whistle Farms scrambled eggs, vegetables, cheese, crème fraîche & hot sauce.

Ali had the Eggs Benny – Gull Valley tomato, apple cider hollandaise sauce & 2 soft boiled Four Whistle Farms eggs on a toasted bun.

Eggs Benny
Gravlax Bagel

Mona had the gravlax bagel with house cured salmon, herb cream cheese, grainy dijon, pickled onions, mixed shoots served on a toasted bagel. All three were very tasty. Little Brick is a perfect spot for a quiet brunch. If you prefer to sit inside, they have two lovely rooms to accommodate you. They also have a cute little shop section displaying local products for you to take home. (For a list of local patios, visit our upcoming events page)

*Dogs are welcome on the patio too so you don’t have to leave Fido behind.

Day Trip to See the Dinos

Ali at the Royal Tyrell Museum

Day trips can be lots of fun. We took one recently down to Drumheller. We hadn’t been since Ali was a little girl and decided that it would be a nice day excursion. It is a longer drive day trip but is still doable. We chose to do it in one day and not stay overnight. It worked out great for us. We did the obligatory stop at the Royal Tyrell Museum which had, not surprisingly, remarkably changed over the years. We highly recommend a visit, even if there are no children with you. It was a totally different experience without kids. We got to stop and take our time to read all the interesting information and try some of the interactive exhibits. Give yourselves at least 2 to 2.5 hours to visit here.

We took the Dinosaur Trail and made a few stops along the way to check out many local must see attractions. Some natural such as the Hoodoos and the Horse Thief Canyon, and some man-made, such as the Atlas Mines Suspension Bridge and the World’s Largest Dinosaur. You must take the time to see the Hoodoos and the Canyon. They may not look like much from the road, but once you are out of the car and up close to them, they are breathtaking. If you want to visit a canyon and go down into it but have mobility issues, we recommend you go to Horseshoe Canyon instead. It has more easily accessible trails.

Picture 1 – Mother-Daughter Badlands Fun. Picture 2 – Hoodoos.

Of course we had to stop for lunch… We discovered a cute diner, Bernie and the Boys Bistro. Their fries and hamburgers were INCREDIBLE! Definitely worth searching them out. We were hungry and they more than satisfied our burger cravings. The beef patties are freshly ground and the toppings are more than generous. We also HAD to have milkshakes. Take it from us, you too HAVE to have a shake when you stop there. We will make it a point to stop there again next time we are in that part of Alberta!

Bernie and the Boys Bistro Burgers

Shopping!!!

The “As Old As Time” Mother-Daughter activity. One we have perfected to an art. We love shopping almost as much as going out to local food haunts. Our next shopping outing will be on August 15 to the Wild Rumpus on Whyte! Over 60 Whyte Avenue participating businesses will be offering in-store deals and promotions. Bonus: The Fringe starts that evening!! Keep an eye out for Monique and Ali and be sure to say “Hi” if you see us!

Don’t forget to check our Upcoming Events and Activities page for more things to do in the Edmonton area!

Do you have any recommendations you would like to suggest for a mother -daughter outing or activity? Please contact us via our CONTACT page and we will try to check these out.

Note: The majority of our outings and food are paid for by ourselves. If we are a business’ guests or receive an item on the house, we mention it.

Welcome to our first Blog!

Ali is a world traveller. She has roamed the world by herself, and with her boyfriend. She has lived in London, England and in Toronto, Ontario. Monique, who has also lived abroad, loved to see her daughter follow in her footsteps and travel… but she missed her so much! Now that she has returned home to Edmonton, we are catching up on lost time. We decided to explore Edmonton and its surrounding towns and cities, looking for things adult mothers and daughters can do together. Follow us along on our adventures. We have no idea what we will find nor experience but it will be fun to do so together.

Our first blog is about the things we did on our first outing together in Edmonton. This is when we talked about our blog, what we wanted to do, and what we wanted to write about. Subscribe to it and keep up-to-date. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram too. Drop us a line to tell us about places and activities you think we should explore and share with others. We look forward to the adventure. Won’t you come along?

The Adventures Begin… Donuts, Taiwanese Food and Behind the Scenes at Winspear!

Our adventure began when Ali and her boyfriend Brett moved back to Edmonton.  While helping them unpack boxes, We talked about all the different things we wanted to do together. Of course a lot of it involved trying different places to eat as we both are what some might call “Foodies”. We just love to try new foods, restaurants and places.

Coffee and donuts are a great way to spend quality time together. Sipping on a nice cup of java while nibbling on some freshly baked treats makes for a perfect setting for conversation.

We discussed our plans for our blog over some donuts picked up at Destination Donuts on 124 Street. It was the second time Monique had tried their wares. The majority of their fancy donuts are created using regular honey dips with a variety of interesting toppings such as Oreo Cookies, S’Mores, Crème Brulée and Lemon Meringue. This time around we tried the Morning Sunshine and the Cinnamon donuts. Our advice?  Share one, not two as we did. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. These donuts are large, pretty rich and greasy. The Morning Sunshine had a thick meringue topping and was filled with sweet lemon jelly. The Cinnamon donut was a fritter with swirls of cinnamon sugar running throughout. We split each in half and could not finish them. But we certainly made lots of plans!

Have You Ever Tried Taiwanese Food?

In a shopping strip mall, on the south side of Edmonton, snuggled between an Iraqi sundries shop and bakery and an East Indian boutique, is a tiny little Taiwanese restaurant by the name of Formosa Bistro. It is bright and open, the owners and staff are extremely friendly, and the food is to die for! It has become one of Monique’s favourite places to get together with friends for a meal. It was obviously a no brainer for her to want to take Ali there.

Formosa means beautiful. Jeango, one of the owners, told us that Formosa Bistro was named after Taiwan’s former name, Ilha Formosa – Beautiful Island. This quaint restaurant is a local secret, but definitely not for long. It has won national and local awards for best Taiwanese restaurant in Canada and for best Popcorn Chicken in Edmonton. After trying several of their dishes, created by their amazing Taiwanese chef, we both had to agree that it more than deserved the accolades.

Popcorn Chicken
Sweet Potato Fries

When you go, you must absolutely try the Popcorn Chicken. It is moist and extremely flavourful. A delight to one’s taste buds.  It came with a Taiwanese take on Kimchi. This cabbage and root vegetable pickled dish is quite tasty with a bit less of a kick than the Korean version. We also ordered the Sweet Potato Fries, these are not your red yam variety, but real sweet potatoes. They tasted just like mini donuts. We kid you not. Same taste, less calories. Okay, maybe not less calories but they are veggie calories. Tasty, veggie calories.

Ali loves noodles so we had to try one of these dishes from their menu. We chose the Braised Pork Noodles. What incredible rich broth, tender pork and tasty noodles. A mouth-watering dish we are sure to re-order on our next visit.

Braised Pork Noodles

Jeango brought us a special treat she wanted us to try out, Thick Cut Toast with Custard. It is really a traditional breakfast dish but is sweet enough to be served as dessert. A thick cream and butter layer spread on sliced Taiwanese fluffy white bread. So good!

Cheers

We found Taiwanese food to be less greasy than other Asian countries’ dishes. They use different spices and most items on the menu are not “hot”. For those who do like a bit more bite to their food, there are several dishes that will meet your wishes. We will definitely be returning to Formosa Bistro and highly recommend that you give it a try.

Formosa Bistro has a few special events coming up in the next few weeks. The first is a puppet demonstration by Shinergy Puppet Show which “combines the traditional puppet show with high quality animation and visual effect technology. Tickets are $15.00 per person for the May 19th morning show, and you will be credited that amount towards your meal at the Bistro. The offer is in effect until June 9, 2019. You can purchase tickets online via their Facebook Page.

Formosa Bistro is located at 9314 – 34 Ave NW, Edmonton Alberta

Behind the Scenes at the Winspear Centre

Ali and Monique above the Winspear Centre Hall stage

Did you know that the Winspear Centre offers free behind the scenes weekday tours of their facility? When we found out, we just had to sign up for one. All you have to do is call them or register online for one of their monthly tours. These tours also include a light lunch that you get to enjoy in the performers’ Green Room. Did we mention that it is free? The tour, including lunch, lasts between one to one and a half hours and takes you to various levels of this incredible building. Each tour is a bit different as not all the halls and rooms are available to visit each time due to various performances that are either rehearsing or using the facilities.

We found out during our tour that the Winspear Centre and ESO ( Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) are not for profit. Money raised goes to fund special events, camps and community music programs for kids and adults. Construction will soon begin to expand the Centre and add a 650 seat music box music hall, classroom space, a restaurant, and more.

Staff at the Winspear Library

Valerie and Michelle took us behind the main concert hall and showed us where 3 separate buildings connect to make up what appears to us to be the single building Winspear Centre. They are connected by soundproof foam to ensure that the LRT line that runs below it does not cause noise that will affect the concerts being performed.

We also visited the Library where staff are responsible for all sheet music used in performances. They verify copyrights, ordering what is needed for performances, look for possible music errors in the sheet music received, etc. Others also use the Library for research, such as the Edmonton Opera who perform out of the Edmonton Jubilee Auditorium.

Davis Concert Organ


We then followed Valerie and Michelle up to the Davis Concert Organ and its’ 6551 pipes. We will not share with you everything we learned, you will need to check it out for yourselves. But we will tell you that the tour involves a “live” organ performance… Such a thrill when you are sitting right in front of it!

This was Monique’s second tour experience. We will both be returning to tour it again as we want to find out more! We hear that the Rolling Stones made history there…

Ali taking a picture of the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s carousel animal display in the Winspear Centre lobby

To find out more about the Winspear Centre’s behind the scenes tours, you may contact Michelle at mjones@winspearcentre.com.

Coming Up Next

Our next blog will include a Planting Party at Thiel’s Greenhouses in Bruderheim, a visit to a local café and diner, and a gem of a hidden local craft & art gallery.

Do you have any recommendations you would like to suggest for a mother -daughter outing or activity? Please contact us via our CONTACT page and we will try to check these out.

Note: The majority of our outings and food are paid for by ourselves. If we are a business’ guests or receive an item on the house, we mention it.