Summer 2022 Recap

Summer 2022 Recap

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I read blogs that have recaps of what the blogger has been up to that month. I never seem to do enough in a month to justify a monthly recap, but I’ve done a few things this summer (June to August). Many of the events I’ve attended this summer I’ve written about before. That’s why I’m posting this seasonal recap of what I’ve done in summer 2022. Will I continue this tradition for autumn, winter, spring, etc? Sure, if I do enough stuff to justify a blog post.

Edmonton in the summer. Best time of year imo.

Festivals

Summer is a time for festivals and while I didn’t go to every festival I did attend three.

Taste of Edmonton

A friend and I went to Taste of Edmonton and got to eat some delicious food. This festival, which had been at the Alberta Legislature for a few years due to renovations downtown was now back at Churchill Square. We split a 40 pack of tickets, which at 20 tickets each gave us enough food to be very full. I planned out what I wanted to get ahead of time, as I am a nerd. Some booths I wanted to visit had long queues so I made a few minute last minute switches for something else. From the dishes I tried my favourites were the mushroom and truffle arancini from Italia Mia, the bannock from Native Delights, and the nalysnyky from Yo! Baba.

Edmonton Heritage Festival

I went to the Edmonton Heritage Festival on the Saturday. For the first time they got rid of their ticketing system, and instead had debit/card machines to buy food and drinks. This was easier than buying tickets, but I probably spent more money. I got to watch some dance performances at the Thailand, Palestine, Ireland, Hungary stage, as well as drumming at the Japan stage. I bought a few items including some hibiscus tea and rose water, and ate a couple of dishes (my stomach was bugging me that day so I only had a few things). This is one of my favourite festivals so it was nice to be able to attend it for a bit.

There wasn’t a performance going on here, but I had to take a photo of this stage cause I loved the slogan. If you don’t know Ethiopia uses a 13 month calendar, hence the 13 months of sunshine.

Edmonton International Fringe Festival

I don’t claim objectivity; The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is my favourite festival. This year I did something hadn’t done before and bought a festival pass. It cost $120 got me tickets for 10 shows. I booked 4 of the shows on Friday, 4 on Saturday, and 2 on Monday. I also got a ticket to another on Monday meaning I saw a total of 11 shows; they’re listed in the performance section. Another thing I did that I hadn’t done before was I booked a hotel stay for the Thursday and Friday night. This wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to save on some driving, and have staycation. This year’s Fringe was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to attend it.

Travel

This summer I didn’t do much travelling, I didn’t go anywhere outside of Alberta. I went to Red Deer on a day trip to visit a friend who lives there. We and another friend went out for dinner at Cilantro & Chive, a restaurant I’d heard great things about, and the food was fantastic. I ran into a former coworker who now works there, which was a delightful surprise. I’ve got a couple of friends who are in Red Deer, so I have lots of excuses to go back. We also went and saw Ovo (more about that in the performances part).

My grandma might not think this counts as summer travel, but I drove her to an eye appointment in Wetaskiwin. While she was at her appointment I visited the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum downtown. It’s a free museum to wander around in if you ever find yourself in Wetaskiwin. After we drove to Camrose to get some lunch.

A mural on Main Street in Camrose.

In August I went back to Camrose to visit a a friend who lives there. Camrose is a small city I’ve driven through lots, and I’ve wandered around a bit there as well. I didn’t do much touring on this trip (the priority was for me to meet her adorable new cat). We did go out for supper at Mike’s Steakhouse, and I made a point to stop in at Fika Coffeehouse in the morning. They’re a a great local coffee shop in a cute heritage home close to downtown. If you’re in Camrose definitely give them a visit.

Performances

I saw quite a few live shows over the summer months. Here’s what I saw in the order I saw them.

A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder

Foote In The Door Productions put on the musical comedy of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in June. The Broadway run of this show won several Tony awards back in 2014. This show was new to me; I’d never listened to the songs or knew anything about the story or characters. The musical itself was fun with lots of dark humor. This production was to have played at another theatre, but was moved to a different venue due to flooding. Despite this hiccup the show was great, and the performances were excellent.. This was my first time seeing a show by this theatre company, but it won’t be my last.

Hamilton

I saw the touring production of Hamilton at the Jubilee Auditorium at the end of June. Originally, this musical was going to play in 2020. It was nice that everything has calmed down enough this show could finally tour. I won’t go into too much length here since this was my second time seeing Hamilton (first being in London). I do love this musical, and this production of it was fantastic. I used this viewing of Hamilton in episode 19 of my podcast where I talk about lighting design in musicals.

Ovo

When visiting my friend in Red Deer we went to see Ovo, a touring show by Cirque du Soleil. I’ve never reviewed a Cirque show on here before, but I’ve seen a couple of them. Cirque shows are always great to watch because of the performers. The stunts, acrobatics and athleticism the performers have are incredible. Ovo had a loose story of sorts, but with any Cirque you’re there to be amazing by the people doing backflips off the wall and hanging upside down in the air. The story is secondary. If you haven’ seen a Cirque du Soleil show they’re always a lot of fun to attend.

Fringe Shows

I saw 11 shows at the 2022 Edmonton International Fringe Festival and I enjoyed all of them. The Fringe has been over for a few weeks, so I’m not gonna review the shows here. Instead I’ll list the shows and theatre companies behind them. I’ll put links where available so you can follow the theatre companies/people who’ve put these shows on. Some of these shows may play in the future at a Fringe near you so if they do you can get tickets. These shows are listed in the order I saw them (earliest at the top).

The Fringe sign out at Old Strathcona.

Work

Just before the summer I wrote an article for a local paper about a new walking tour in Edmonton. I also started doing some work for a family friend creating a guidebook for their vacation rental property. This wasn’t something I ever expected to do, but I kind of enjoyed it, and wouldn’t mind doing it again if the opportunity arises. And I’ve been working a retail job (that’s not new cause I’ve been there almost four years). There’s another work related opportunity for me coming up, but I can’t say too much about that yet. Maybe I’ll include it in the autumn recap.

Random Stuff

Bountiful Market

This summer wasn’t my first visit Bountiful Market, an indoor farmer’s market in Edmonton, but I did visit it a few times. Bountiful runs year round on Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays. I always love to stop and check out the Celtic Kitchen for Scotch eggs and Taste of Ethiopia for delicious Ethiopian food like doro wat and injera. This is probably my favourite local market and I’ll definitely be back again.

My Birthday

My birthday is July 23. On that day a friend came by and we did a few things. First we went shopping at Days With Gray, a local gift store in Leduc that was celebrating their 1st anniversary. I bought myself a travel mug, a candle that smells like coffee and vanilla, and an air freshener. I also got a coffee from Alternate Route. We then went to Bountiful Market and this was the day we did Taste of Edmonton. I love my birthday, but I’m also not gonna insist on a huge party so heading out for a bit with a friend and eating some delicious food at Taste was a great way to start my 38th year.

Tattoos

I got my first tattoo a few days before my birthday. Tattoos were always something I liked on other people, but never had a strong desire to get for myself. Why? They’re expensive. I get why tattoo artists charge what they do. It takes a lot of skill and work to be a tattoo artist. And tattoos are a permanent piece of art going on your body; you don’t want someone who’s gonna half ass that. The people I know who get a tattoo never have just one, eventually they get another and then another, etc. People would tell me how addicting tattoos are. I’ve never had tons of money to throw around, and any extra money I did have I’d use on travel and theatre. A tattoo wasn’t a priority for me.

At my retail job I used to worked with a lady who decided one day (a year and a bit to when I first met her) that she wanted to learn how to draw. She’d watch drawing tutorials, bought some art supplies, and started practicing giving herself assignments to hone her craft. And she did all this while working, and being married and the mother to two young kids (so someone who’s quite busy). Last year she left retail field to start the process of apprenticing as a tattoo artist at Black Gold Tattoo. It takes a while before you can start tattooing people (rightly so). I told her once she needed people to tattoo that I’d get a tattoo from her. I wanted to support someone I know who has put her heart into this, and has worked really hard to get to where she is now.

I went pretty basic with my first tattoo, and got a black music note (an eighth note to be specific) on the side of my left calf. I picked a music note as music has always been important to me, and has been a part of my life ever since I could remember. It only took about 45 minutes, and wasn’t as painful as I’d thought (although a couple moments stung). Since she’s apprenticing it only cost me the supply fee, which was about $30.

A few weeks later she put on her Instagram that she was have a flash sale. I looked through the designs and picked one I liked, a bottle with stars and the moon inside. So less than a month after my first tattoo I got a second tattoo. This one I got in colour with blue and yellow (to look like the night sky). I also got this one at the apprentice rate as well (only paying shop supplies). I know this won’t be the case for the next tattoo I get.

My first two tattoos.

Conclusion

This summer I did a some things I’d never done before like getting a tattoo. I also did a lot of things I usually do in the summer like going to The Fringe and the Heritage Festival. While I didn’t travel too far I had a pretty enjoyable summer. I’m looking forward to autumn (as long as the weather doesn’t get too cold right away).

What did you do this summer? Any big plans for autumn?

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