Our itinerary had us spending two nights in Calgary, with our actual tourist day slated for that Saturday. We woke up with the sun, partially due to habit of the past weeks of living in a tent, but more likely due to the floor to ceiling glass windows that our Airbnb was outfitted with flooding the room with light. While Dani showered I got our massive pile of laundry together, breaking it up into separate loads to fit inside the tiny washer and dryer we had in the unit. Once the first load was in and we looked presentable to the world, we wandered out the door and into the local urban neighborhood that surrounded the apartment building. Our first priority was to get caffeine in a cup for my girlfriend, at which point she became much more enthusiastic about the day. We found a really unique corner shop called Analog Coffee, a small establishment with white walls lined with vinyl records on shelves, mismatched photos, and a lively atmosphere created by the long lines of a younger crowd.
Once coffee was in hand, Dani and I began the search for a late breakfast/early lunch. As it turns out, Calgary is not the most gluten-aware city, and we struggled to find a place that could tailor to our dietary needs… making the most of it, we turned our search into a bit of an adventure, wandering the streets going restaurant to restaurant looking for a place to eat. I spoke to my parents on the phone as Dani eventually turned to Google searches, and updated them on our whereabouts and upcoming plans. By the time I got off the phone we had found a destination for lunch and began our walk a few blocks to get there. Passing through Calgary’s Central Memorial Garden, we enjoyed the symmetry and beauty of the fountains, pathways, and flowerbeds. On the opposite side of the small park I noticed a restaurant called The Beltliner, a diner-style venue with bright red lettering that looked like a modern take on a decades past establishment. We checked out the menu, delighted to find a gluten free bun for sandwiches, and quickly decided to scrap our initial plans and eat at The Beltliner instead. With the clock moving closer to noon we thought it appropriate to enjoy a local hard cider called Broken Ladder and perused the menu, ultimately deciding on a large bowl of tomato soup and each our own entrée, hers a sandwich of some sort while I went with chicken and waffles.
The idea that the trip was coming even closer to its end was weighing on my heart and spirits, but I fell asleep that night remembering the past three weeks, smiling at the thought of how lucky we were, all the things we had done, and all that we had seen.