This past weekend, Kevin and I took the family to Fort Edmonton, the city's "history" theme park. We're not much for theme parks (carnival rides make us both sick), but history theme parks--that we can do.
In fact, we both find Fort Edmonton so charming, we'd kind of like to move in there. It has a glamorous old hotel, The Hotel Selkirk, with a glossy mahogany bar. There's a replica of the original Fort Edmonton--a Hudson's Bay Company trading post for fur trappers in the early 1800s. Then there are wings dedicated to the city's pioneer days, its Edwardian boom, and its Depression-era bust. And even though the Edmonton of the past was a dirty, rugged place, in many ways it was a lot more beautiful than the city of the present--in my opinion at least.
Colin seemed to like it a lot, too. He loved talking to all of the farm animals in their many languages: "baaa" for the sheep, "naaay" for the horses," "wee-wee" for the piggies, and "duck-duck-duck" for the ducks. (If only he could speak English so well!) He loved running around on the wooden boardwalks, which Edmonton had in lieu of paved sidewalks at turn of the century. But most of all he loved the trains--especially the refurbished, 100-year-old Yukon & Pacific Railway train, which operated in the city from 1900 until about 1950. Colin's Granpa Bob was a lot less impressed. He rode the train on his first trip to Edmonton in 1940 and thought it was as uncomfortable now as it was then. (Yes, he's really that old.)
My only regret from our day at the park was that I didn't take more pictures because nearly every "scene" is picture-perfect, especially with a little one running around. And boy, did he run around! I had my hands full making sure he didn't run under the wheel of a train or a horse-drawn wagon. Oh, well! There's always next year.