Before last week, I had never really been to Saskatchewan. I’d been to Lloydminster (a town/city that straddles both Alberta and Saskatchewan), but that’s not really Saskatchewan. Why were we in Saskatchewan, you ask? Well, at Mr. Bean’s brother’s wedding, one of his uncles invited us to his retirement from being a teacher/principal party. “Once I hand my keys in at noon, the party starts!” Who doesn’t want to be at a party like that?
It was a bit of a whirlwind trip as we left on Wednesday and had to be back before Sunday. It made me very glad that we both drive! The first day we drove to Saskatoon, where we went to this Japanese restaurant in the Bessborough Hotel that cooked our food on a grill right in front of us. It was ridiculously warm (32C or 90F – warm enough for me, okay?), so we got ice cream and wandered along the river and through the University of Saskatchewan. I was highly entertained that they have their own farm and a poultry science building, but I guess that’s a uni with an agriculture program for you.
The UofS’s campus is SOO much nicer than the UofC’s. I think I said this about 5 times while we wandered through the campus, so by the fourth and fifth times Mr. Bean told me “no, you haven’t mentioned that at all!”. They have nice field stone buildings that all match and make sense – that definitely cannot be said of the UofC!
Both Mr. Bean’s parents went to the UofS and I always find it quite entertaining to hear about all the hijinks FIL Bean got up to in engineering school. Apparently there are these mushrooms that are outside the arts building, which unfortunately has to be next to both the engineering and agricultural buildings. One year, the engineers built an “arts fairy” among the mushrooms and burnt it in effigy. Things have definitely changed since then as we were not allowed to do anything remotely close to that while I was in school! (Probably because the university got fed up and disallowed such activities when some engineers burnt ERTW (Engineers Rule The World) with HCl on the hill by the prairie chicken at the UofC. Silly people spoiling it for everyone.)
The next day we headed out to the town that Mr. Bean’s aunt and uncle live in. We basically hung around and ate (too much) food for most of the day. It had its especially hilarious moments, like when some people from Mr. Bean’s uncle’s church decided to serenade him with a “retirement song.”
We also gifted him with some teacher’s scotch – appropriate, don’t you think?
Partway through the evening, we decided to go with my in-laws to see if we could take photos of the sunset by a bridge that crossed the North Saskatchewan River (remember it from my bike trip?)
We didn’t quite make it there in time, but we got some really nice sunset photos along the way.
I stepped out of the car after we crossed the bridge to take a photo without bug spray. Big mistake. I think in the 30 seconds I was out of the car, I got at least 3 – 4 mosquito bites and let another 5 mosquitoes into the car. Urgh.
In case you haven’t guessed, I seriously LOVE taking photos at night. The moment it was dark, out came my tripod and I completely ignored everyone to take photos.
I took some dusk photos initially as I remember the instructor of my night and low light photography course saying that it takes a long time for things to actually become dark on the prairies because there are no mountains blocking the light of the sun just over the horizon.
The above is my “red, white and blue” SOOC photo for this week’s Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit.
A while later I went out again to take some photos before the red left the sky, and to my surprise and delight, the northern lights came out! It’s funny because I was asking Mr. Bean what the probability of seeing the northern lights would be earlier in the day, so it’s like God answered a prayer that I didn’t even know that I had!
There are some really neat things in Saskatchewan, like the bridge in Saskatoon:
… and how idyllic the countryside appears…
… and this crazy all wood trestle train bridge. I didn’t even know that these still existed! (Click for the larger panorama:)
On the way home, we stopped at my friend’s family’s farm. I forgot to take photos because I was too busy being stuffed with food. Holy man is my friend’s mom a good cook. She also sent us home with 12 dozen eggs. We pawned some off to family and friends, but we still have 7 dozen to get through. I guess it’s a good thing that those farm eggs don’t really bother me!
Overall, I’m really happy we went on the trip as we got to spend some uninterrupted time together as well as visit with family and friends. We arrived home tired but it was worth it!
How was your holiday weekend?