Wednesday, May 30

The kindness of strangers...

Or, "The Yarn Crawl that Wasn't"...

Yesterday was a very strange collection of events. I was in the mood for Chinese food, and wanted to go to that "walking distance" LYS I had looked up. Catherine {my roommate and recipient of the super-secret project} and I trekked off in search of this LYS and then pick up the food on our way back. Silly me, I didn't write down EXACT directions on how to get there... and obviously the day that I was perusing the phone book map of the city, I wasn't paying as close of attention as I should. Fast forward about an HOUR, and you find two ladies drowning in Lake Erie {there was like 15 different Lake Erie streets and such!}.

Then we tried to walk back to the main street that we knew. For those of you that know Calgary, we're staying at the Delta Calgary south which is bordered by Macleod, Bonaventure and {I think it's} Southland. Anyway, Macleod and Bonaventure are parallel here, and we went down Bonaventure. Well somewhere along the way, one or the other moved.... REALLY FAR!!! I *think* we were walking south, and somehow the 1 block west to go from Bonaventure to Macleod turned into a mile or more. Finally, on some strange street, we asked a lady for directions on how to get to Avenida Place, which is the mall where the LYS is. She tried to explain where it was from where we were, but it was quite difficult. For all of Calgary's street planning, this particular neighbourhood is full of winding and curved roads. When I showed her my sheet with the listing of the LYS, she then offered to DRIVE the two of us there. I couldn't believe my luck! This particular lady was very grandmotherly, and the two of us were {well me at least!} in no shape to continue walking into oblivion. I'm guessing that the fact that we were looking for a yarn shop took care of any concerns she may have had about two strange ladies coming up to her and asking for directions! As she drives towards the mall, we discovered just *how* much further from Macleod we were than we though {that street REALLY moved far!!!}, and how far we were from our hotel! I'd say that we were at LEAST a mile *past* the mall, which was well over a mile from our hotel {I'd estimated about half that!}. She pulls into the mall and takes us to the shop.... WHICH WAS CLOSED!!! gone, kaput, no longer of this earth. I was beyond devastated. I *had* checked the phone book to double check my listing, which is how I found out that Avenida Place was a mall, and not just a street address. Unfortunately, due to major hotel issues {will blog that later}, we have *no* local phone service available in our room... I can only call other rooms in the hotel, so I neglected to phone this particular place and confirm their hours and such.

Anyhoo, this kind soul {I never got her name :( } then offers to drive us back to the hotel. I pause slightly and say, "Well, actually, we were going to stop for lunch... if it's no trouble, could you drop us off at Willow Park so that we can go to the restaurant?" Willow Park is a small strip mall that was about half-way between where we now were and our hotel. She agrees to take us there, and when we arrive, she refuses to take any money that I had offered her for gas. At around $1.20/L right now, gas ain't cheap!!! I thanked her profusely and into the restaurant we went, extremely grateful for her absolute kindness. If this is the worst thing that happens to me during my stay here in Calgary, it will be a great trip indeed!!!

Our adventures *still* weren't over though! We placed our orders, and had them to go, as all I could think about by this point was getting back to the hotel and resting! Good thing I didn't go to the exercise room beforehand!! It ended up that the hotel was a *lot* further from the restaurant than I had remembered from the walk the other way. I can't get over just *how* out of shape I am!!! We *finally* get back to the hotel to discover that this particular Chinese restaurant has customer service out the ying-yang!!! I had ordered separate dishes, which were packed very well... cardboard separating the layers so that nothing got damaged, HUGE portions, and even after the 15 minute or so walk back to the hotel, was *still* too hot to eat!

Sooooo... in the light of all this, I don't care what I have to do to phone first, I'll figure out *something* before attempting any more yarn crawls, and I'm forever indebted to the kindness of some generous grandmother in South Calgary!

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