More of Edmonton, Alberta
As I’ve mentioned last time, my sister and her family planned to go swimming at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall (WEM). But after learning about the exorbitant fees, they decided not to go. We could easily go swimming in Manitoba for a family fee of only $20.00.
So when we came back to Comfort Inn that night after our first trip to WEM, my very resourceful niece started calling around for other places we could go to around Edmonton. I was intent on going back to the mall the following day since I didn’t have enough time to explore the entire mall yet. But my sister and her family wanted to go to places other than the mall.
I decided to join them the following morning before I went back to the mall.
We first went to John Walter Museum. Admission is free. But we didn’t know that the museum is open only on Sunday afternoons. It was Tuesday when we went there.
Well, anyway, since we were already there, we just had a look around. We learned that John Walter was one of Edmonton’s early settlers and industrialists. The museum includes the three homes that John Walter built and lived in 1875, 1884 and 1901. The first house displays his life as a bachelor. The second one was built when he was starting to develop and prosper in his businesses. The third and largest one (the green one in the picture above) had the luxuries of the day including running water and telephone. He was already a millionaire by then. We didn’t get a chance to go inside the houses because they were all closed so we just took these pictures outside.
Next, we went to the Muttart Conservatory. The four glass pyramid-shaped greenhouses were a sight to see as we were driving down towards it. The Muttart Conservatory is a botanical garden and the greenhouses showcase plants from arid, tropical, and temperate climates, providing a welcome oasis of warmth during winter. The fourth pyramid hosts a theme that changes throughout the year.
Look at this banana plant. This must have been planted in one of the greenhouses.
There are admission fees ranging from $4.50 to $8.75, depending on age. And there is also a discount rate for families, but we opted not to pay. Are you seeing a trend here? Yes, if we could avoid it, we won’t pay. Well, we are one big group. And if you add it all up, it’s a lot. But we always have fun just taking pictures and we were all like kids going up that hill, posing beside the pyramid structures and just enjoying the view from up there.
After several pictures, we went back to the hotel to have lunch. Five of us – me, Ryland (my youngest), Reggie (my oldest), hubby and Mama – then headed back to WEM. My middle son Ryan, decided to go along with sis and family. While the five of us went our separate ways inside the mall, sis and her group went to Telus World of Science. It’s a space and science museum with IMAX, exhibit galleries, planetarium, computer lab, etc. But they also didn’t go inside. Yes, there are also entrance fees.
They also went to Fort Edmonton Park, one of Edmonton’s premier attractions and represents four distinct time periods, exploring Edmonton’s development from a fur trade post in the vast Northwest, to a booming metropolitan centre after the First World War.
Before we leave Edmonton, here are just a few things I noticed about the capital of Alberta as compared to Winnipeg:
1. License plates on their vehicles are attached only at the back. Here in Winnipeg, license plates are attached at the front and back of vehicles.
2. License plates in Alberta bear the motto: Wild Rose Country. Here in Manitoba, it’s Friendly Manitoba.
3. I noticed that garbage bins, not only in Edmonton, but also in Banff are slanted. Here in Winnipeg, they’re upright.
4. Traffic lights in Edmonton are horizontal. Here in Winnipeg, they are vertical. I also noticed that they do have a lot of cable wires on the streets. I found out later on it’s because they have cable cars.
5. Transit buses in Edmonton are blue. Here in Winnipeg, they’re usually orange.
6. Their bus route numbers go up to three digits, i.e. 109, 120. Here in Winnipeg, they only go up to 98. (Note: Except for this four special DART routes 101, 102, 109, 110, which I didn’t know until I checked out the Winnipeg Transit website for accurate information. He he he. Who takes the DART routes anyway? ).
7. I didn’t see a single mosquito in Edmonton while we were there. The hotel rooms at Comfort Inn have sliding doors at the back so you can go to the parking lot easily, but they don’t have screened doors, unlike here in Winnipeg.
8. Legal working age in Alberta is 14. Here in Manitoba, it’s 16. Just look at this sign in front of the hotel. When we had lunch at the Food Court of WEM on our first day there, I sent Reggie and Ryan to buy their own food at A&W. They said that it took them a long while to get their orders because there was this kid at the till serving them. Ryan said he looked like he was only 12 years old. But I guess he must be at least 14, if that’s the legal working age there.
You can view my Edmonton album here.