We've booked it! We're going! Our Babymoon is coming!
What is a Babymoon, one might ask? Well, that actually depends on whom one is asking. There are two version of the story. One says that the Babymoon is the first week or so at home when the parents get to bond with the new baby they just brought home from the hospital. The other one (and the one to which I am referring) says that the Babymoon is one last big date night or trip that the expectant parents do before the baby comes.
We did have a big date night before Gabe came - and actually were celebrating our first anniversary when I went into labour - but I wouldn't call that a Babymoon. When it's your first it doesn't seem as important. Matt and I had time to ourselves every night back then, so our date nights really were only nights that we went out for some nice food.
Now, however, we feel the need for a bit more. Gabe is at a point, finally, where we can leave him for a night and none of us will be freaking out. However, it does take a while to get to that point so we know that once the new baby comes we won't have the chance to spend a night away for a number of months. We decided that right now was the best time to go for the trip. I'm pregnant but not too pregnant to have any fun or be comfortable on a short car ride.
So what are we doing for our super awesome Babymoon? We are going to Downtown Calgary! Cool, eh? Wait - you don't agree?? Well, here's why you should:
We wanted to leave town but while a short car ride might be doable for me, a long one (say, to Fairmont) would not be.
We wanted somewhere that could keep us heartily entertained for the 24 hours we spent there. (Therefore eliminating small towns)
Lately I have been craving some foods that you seem to only be able to find in Downtown Calgary (The best salt and pepper squid in the world is in this run down little fast food hut on the back side of a food court in TD Square)
Lastly, I miss Downtown Calgary and while Matt visited there with me once, it wasn't a very thorough trip and I wanted to be able to share all the things I love about that place with him.
We've actually got a pretty sweet plan for our trip, too. We're staying in a nice little hotel with a balcony, room service and a king sized bed that's a couple blocks away from Au Claire market. (We had been looking at the newly renovated Westin or the Palliser, but the package we got in on for our hotel came with free parking, whereas the others did not) When we first get to Calgary we're going to hit up the Telus World of Science. They've got a display there on the Titanic - an artifact exhibit of things that have been recovered from the actual wreckage. I think it'll be worth seeing. After that we're going for dinner. That was actually the hardest part of our trip to plan. All of the restaurants that would normally seem fantastic to me are out because just reading their menus makes my stomach turn. One place was offering a BLT Consomme with Bacon Foam and Smoked Tomatoes. That almost did me in, while normally it would delight me. The pictures were even worse than the descriptions. The only places that I could stand to read the menus and look at the pictures were, oddly enough, a Korean restaurant called Anju and Japanese Village. Anju looks like a really neat little place and they've got "weird" things like Ox tail tortellini with truffle oil, but also serve a teriyaki chicken dish. So depending on how I'm feeling I can either go all out and try something new, or I can just get the chicken. In any event, Matt would like it (he loves trying different ethnic foods) and some of their sides like their salt cured blue crab and their dried squid, while they may not be anything I cook at home, they sound basic enough that I could stomach them most days. Japanese Village puts on quite the show for their evening dinners. You watch the chefs prepare the food with all the fancy twirling and flipping of foods and utensils. I've never been anywhere like that so while the food doesn't seem as "out there" as Anju's menu, it would still be a fun new experience. I wish I could say we were going to both, but we will have to choose just one.
Depending on what time we finish dinner and all, we might opt to go hit up the games room at Au Claire for some pool or try and hop into a venue with some live music. That night I also want to order room service. I know, it's probably not going to live up to the 18% service charge, but it's just something that I've always wanted to do and this seems like the perfect time to do it. The hotel has a good dessert menu and what looks like a nice imported cheese selection so we'll probably order some of those for the evening.
Saturday morning after we eat breakfast at the attached cafe and check out we may need to move our car so we'll drive it the two blocks down to Au Claire and pay for parking there for the day. Then the real fun begins. After going through Au Claire market we'll walk up to TD Square and hit the shops that I used to frequent every lunch hour when I worked at the law firm. It'll be neat to see what's still there and what's new. We'll see the Devonian Gardens, get some Cookies By George, maybe try some of that phenomenal salt and pepper squid and hopefully not buy too many things we didn't need :) After lunch in the food courts connected by the +15s, we'll hit the streets - namely Stephen Avenue Walk. We'll see all the shops along there and walk up to Art Central - a massive communal art space for selling and creating for over 50 artists. They've got some great cafes in there and while I'm not a typically "artsy" person (I have a very limited range of appreciation for modern or post-modern art) it would still be neat to see everything that's done and sold there. From Art Central we'll probably hop over to Olympic Plaza, although the water will probably be frozen still, so no foot soaking. We might hop over to Prince's Island Park then - I've never seen it in the winter.
We'll be right near our car then, so we may decide to hit the road, but, we may also decide to have a bit more of a refined dinner than the Wendy's we would probably grab on the road. If that's the case, we'll take one more walk up Stephen Avenue Walk and go to Saltlik, a steakhouse. I've heard they've got great calamari (if I won't already be squid-ed out) and their Baja Shrimp appetizer sounds really good: Pan-flashed shrimp, coconut cream, crunchy tortillas and avocado salsa.
It'll be interesting to see how much we have time for and if we feel we need to rush anything... So long as I get to walk around downtown again, with my hubby in tow this time, I think it'll be a good Babymoon any way.
Mrs. Vander Leek ;)