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The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The maize maze, shopping, fancy dinner, and a surprise event!

On Wednesday, I had what could best be described as a random assortment of events which culminated in a pretty awesome day. You ever have a day like that? A day which you couldn't have predicted, and wouldn't have changed? Well, Brittany and I did, and here's how it went:

First thing was a drive out to the southwest of Edmonton, heading to The Edmonton Corn Maze! Or, as I love to call it, the maize maze, hahaha!

With the path through the maze at just over 5 km in length and featuring 85 decision points, it's one impressive maze, and they change it every year. As you can see on the link above, each year they feature a different design honouring or celebrating something special. This year, it was the 30th anniversary of a Country Music radio channel, which was nice of them.
Standing at over 10 feet tall, the corn is high enough that you can't see over, and thick enough that you can't see through it. I loved this because, while I haven't been through that many mazes, the ones I had were a little too easy for me to navigate. Adding to the general excitement of traversing through the maze were little CORNundrums as they called them. At the start of the maze, you could pick a category of either questions or tasks and, at specific points throughout the maze, solving or performing them would help you find the correct path. If you answer correctly, you are shown the short way, and if not, you loop around a couple of times and find out you had taken the wrong way, haha. Brittany, being the beautifully logical person that she is, took 3 cards. At first, I thought it was because the questions might not be difficult and it would be more fun to answer more, but I quickly realized that with more cards, you could cross-reference the answers to find the correct path.

Hey! It's not cheating, okay? Some of the questions were actually pretty tricky and while I'm pretty sure we got them all right, I wouldn't want to subject some of those questions to the children entering the maze, haha.

Thankfully, with it being a Wednesday, the maze was pretty empty. Brittany and I only ran into 4 others through the maze, a family of four. Interestingly enough, the 2 children were competing against the parents and both teams had chosen the same card, asking them to sing nursery rhyme songs to determine which word was on which syllable in order to make the correct choice. It was pretty funny to answer some obscure question about animals, only to hear two parents behind us singing, "Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes..."

While the forecast had called for rain, we were lucky enough to have it pass us by, but there were some particularly muddy spots throughout the maze. I like to think it added to the excitement of the whole event. It would be a really fun place to visit for Halloween, at night, because even during the day the isolation you feel along the path is spooky.
An added bonus was one section which featured a little walkway over which you could see the entirety of the maze. Of course, from that lack of height, all you could see was a field of corn, but it was really neat to not be able to see too many of the paths, made the maze that much more impressive, in my opinion.

After completing the maze, we wandered over to a racetrack, of sorts, where they had pedal cars on a circular track. It wasn't that developed and was probably more fun because I was just too large for the car and because I made racecar noises the whole time, but still. After parallel parking my cart, we mozied along to the petting zoo where you could purchase handfuls of feed for a quarter and feed goats, pigs, and lambs. I didn't get any pictures of these, although there was one cute moment where Brittany was feeding 3 lambs and the goat decided that it was his turn, but I couldn't get the shot what with the fence in the way.

There was also a haunted barn, closed until Halloween, I guess, and what they call the jumping pillow, a large "bouncy castle" without the castle. But, the ground was just wet enough, and there were a few too many kids on it for us to give it a try. In any case, the maize maze was pretty aMAZE-ing, and it was only the beginning of the day!

Brittany had been telling me for days how she had a surprise event for me on Wednesday, and while I've been pretty good at not trying to figure it out, the suspense was getting to me. Unsure of what it was, and without much to go on, I asked if she would like to go out somewhere fancy for dinner beforehand. I'd been wanting to try some fine dining in Edmonton, and wanting to take her somewhere nice to thank her for how much she's helped me acclimatize to this western city.

But, before we could go somewhere fancy, I needed something to wear! Not knowing what we were doing after dinner, I needed to don some dress-casual clothes. Something nice, but something that wouldn't make me feel over-dressed in case the event was a little casual. (Upon re-reading, my ever-logical nature is really showing here, haha) Anyway, acting as both chauffeur and fashion consultant, Brittany accompanied me to the South Commons where we took a look around for dressy-casual-y things. I've been re-watching BBC's Sherlock and really enjoying the show's style. While not that fancy, some of my choices, and Brittany's suggestions, began the move in that direction.

For dinner, we chose The Creperie, with images of its fancy decor here, as a suitable spot, what with its fancy, Old-World charm, and its supposed proximity to the surprise event. I must say that I really enjoyed this venue; the atmosphere, the decor, the food, all were exquisite and not too far outside my fine dining price-range. Not that you particularly care, but I had grilled chicken, with fettuccine and strawberry sauce. Contrary to a story told to me by a friend of mine, in which he used strawberry jam to flavour his pasta because he ran out of spaghetti sauce, this was actually quite tasty!

Moving on! Halfway through dinner, I guessed the surprise for the evening, it being a Dungeons and Dragons Improv night as part of Edmonton's Fringe Festival! Hosted in a nearby theatre, it featured an array of improv actors playing out the scenes in a D&D game, handling the twists and turns thrown at them by either the Dungeon Master's bidding, or the audience. For the nerd in both of us, it was rewarding to see the basic rules of D&D actually playing themselves out whilst still providing a unique and entertaining show. Since a significant part of playing Dungeons and Dragons is roleplaying, and making things up on the spot, it's a natural progression, and one thing which makes the show really interesting is the emphasis on improv means that every show will be completely different. It was a really fun event and a really great idea and makes me want to try it sometime with some friends back home, especially those who have done improv before.

After this wonderful, and eventful day, we ventured back to watch a movie and relax. Today marks my third month being here in Edmonton, and I'm glad to say that my time here has been as fun, easy, and adventurous as this day has been!

Next stop? We'll be taking a weekend road trip to Calgary, to see mountains and things!

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