Zombie Run

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As a family “bonding” exercise – my brother, my sister-in-law, John and I entered the Zombie run in Calgary. We were Team Batman (thanks Rhett and Wyatt – you were great cheerleaders.) It was a 5 km run with obstacles – all the while trying to avoid zombies looking to steal your “lives”. Each participant was given a belt with 3 flags(lives) attached to it – and the goal of the race for most was to get to the finish line with at least one life left. The goal for myself was just to finish the race – which was perfect as I lost 2 lives within the first minute of the race. They corralled each pool of runners in a holding area, and when the race started – gates were opened and it was a free for all to race through a hoard of zombies. We raced uphill, had to climb over walls, under obstacles and through water and a slime-pit – all while trying to dodge zombies. The final obstacle was a couple of mud holes to wade/struggle through to get to the finish line.

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Corri and I finished with no lives – so we received “I Got Infected” medals.

John and Scott both finished with one life each – so they received “Survivor” medals.

I really enjoyed the race – no too competitive – but lots of fun.

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Good Eats – part 6

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Last night was our final evening in Alberta, so we took Kaitlyn and her friend out to another of our favorite Calgary restaurants – Charcut Roast House. Some of you who watch “Top Chef Canada” may be familiar with this eatery – Connie DeSousa, the chef/owner was one of the top three finalists on Season 1.

An interesting feature of this restaurant is that the menu changes daily, but this should not be a concern as everything we have ordered has been delicious. Locally sourced ingredients add to the appeal of the menu options.
For an appetizer, our table – without question, always orders a Charcut Board – a selection of house-made sausage and cured meats. Anyone who appreciates quality cold cuts will want to order this platter. The meat varieties are served with whole grain mustard and toast rounds.
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We also ALWAYS order the Duck Fat Poutine – hand cut fries are covered with cheese curds and truffle gravy. Once you eat the Duck Fat Poutine, New York Fries will seem like an abomination.
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Each of us had a different entrée – and all were equally delectable.

Finally desert – Blueberry Cheesecake. This was the culmination of a terrific meal.
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Telus Spark Science Center

I am a die-hard enthusiast of science centers, and so our tourist stop today was the Telus Spark – Calgary’s Science Center. This new facility was opened in 2011 with a price tag of $160 million. Annually, more than 300,000 people visit the Telus Spark.
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Unfortunately we were sadly disappointed. Cost may be the first prohibitive factor for many families wanting to visit the Science Center: $64 which covered admission for the two of us into the center, two tickets to the Dome Theatre show, and the parking fee. I can overlook cost, as long as there is value in the visit – and we just couldn’t find it at the Telus Spark.
For the size of the facility – 153,000 square feet, there weren’t as many displays as I expected, and what was there was pretty basic. Plenty of hands on educational experiments to engage participants but they aren’t interesting enough to hold attention for long.
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I don’t want to be too negative – there were some intriguing displays. “How to Make a Monster – the art and technology of animatronics” had interesting exhibits. Not suitable for younger children – lots of scary creatures that will peak the curiosity of pre-teens to adults.

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We went to see Tornado Alley at the Dome Theatre, which is state of the art. 245 seats allow viewers to recline and watch the film projected on the 360 degree dome above them in a resolution of 17.7 million pixels. Both John and I had seen the film before, but not in this format.
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The movie follows storm chasers as they try to research and film a tornado from its inception. The prologue to the movie was presented by Tim Samaras – one of the three tornado researchers killed this May during the Oklahoma F-5 storm.
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If you are travelling to Calgary and looking for someplace interesting to visit, I would give the Telus Spark a pass. Your family will get much more entertainment value by going next door to the Calgary Zoo.
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Canada Olympic Park & Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

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On our trip to Calgary this time, John and I decided to stop in at some of the tourist spots we have not visited before. We have cruised past Canada Olympic Park numerous times on Highway 1 – but today we drove in.
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During the 1988 Winter Olympics, Canada Olympic Park was the venue for luge, bobsleigh and ski jumping. The park is now used for athletic training and by the public for recreation. In the winter, there is downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. There are 6 lifts for those who don’t want to make a trip out to the mountains. Canada Olympic Park has 25 kms of trails for mountain biking in the summer, as well as challenge courses and a zip line.
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The Athletic Ice Complex is also on site – and includes 4 ice rinks, fitness center, public sport development center, and a high intensity training center for athletes.
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Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame opened to the public on July 1, 2011 on the Canada Olympic Park site. Calgary had been chosen out of nine bidding Canadian cities to permanently host the nation’s main sports hall of fame.
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It is 44,000 square feet dedicated to Canada’s sports history, with over 500 athletes inducted. The facility features 11 exhibit galleries representing 58 sports, with more than 50 interactive experiences. Admission was $12 per person, and was well worth it.

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Sports fans could spend hours here.