Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's a Stampede!!!! (Redux)

I'd heard rumors that the Stampede is essentially like the Disneyland of the West - everything is over priced. So we decided to pick up something to eat before hitting the rodeo. Since we were close to Chinatown (and much deprived of awesome Asian food) we headed to our favourite Calgary Chinese restaurant: The MBA Bbq Noodle House

It was a short walk from our hotel which was perfect since by this point the temperature had dropped and a storm was coming in. This type of weather called for a soup:

I'm a bit of a seafood fiend (it doesn't give me the heavy after feeling of meat or chicken) so I ordered the mixed seafood soup. It was delicious!!! I finished all the seafood, about half the noodles, and maybe a 1/4 of the broth.

On this go around we also tried something we hadn't previously eaten at this restaurant - dim sum! The fiance wanted something porky (lol - yes those were his words) so we ordered siu mai - a pork and shrimp dumpling.

Oh my word!!!!! I have had a lot of amazing dim sum in my day but this one was just out of this world! So light! So not oily! So delicious!!!!!! My two dumplings turned out to be the unexpected highlight of my meal.

After dinner we decided to take the train to the Stampede grounds. While waiting on the platform I unexpectedly ran into two friends from law school. It was kind of a crazy meeting considering none of us live in Calgary! lol In fact they were out there from Vancouver!!! We caught up with each other and said our goodbyes at the rodeo entrance.

The fiance and I took our seats and prepared ourselves to watch the chuck wagon races. Basically they are races with those wagons the pioneers used to get out West (or the one that Kevin Costner used in "Dances with Wolves").

It was kind of cool to choose a wagon and cheer for that one. There were a lot of close races and good laughs. Having said that apparently this is the original "extreme sport." It appears that there can sometimes be rough crashes and people have died. Thankfully nothing like that happened while we were there! Mind you I guess the potential was there because it kept on raining off and on during the races. At one point the rain stopped for a bit and we got to enjoy part of a beautiful rainbow:

Ater the chuck wagon races the organizers took an intermission to set-up the Grandstand Show - part concert, part circus, part fireword display, and ALL over the top! :oP The fiance and I headed indoors to do some shopping at this time and I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the masses in cowboy hats! Including a bunch of navy guys! lol

When the Grandstand show began we were treated to a cacophony of sights and sounds. There were little kids dancing in what looked to be acts inspired by High School Musical. There were some dancers from SYTYCD Canada. Some scantily clad misses and gents cheering here and there. An incredibly awesome set of stunts by some motorcyclists. And a hilarious comic!

Unfortunately in the middle of the show it started to pour. I mean the heaven's opened up and just let it rip! The stage was completely exposed (as were most of the spectators although not us) and the performers got soaked. In fact it was so bad they had to cancel one of the performances and showed us a video from the night before.

Still the fireworks went ahead and I'm glad because they are the second best fireworks I have ever seen (2nd only to the Millennium Fireworks in Toronto). While the fireworks raged above the singers and dancers performed to a song with lyrics to the effect of "This will always be my country . . . I belong here in Canada!" It was kind of really cool but at the same time the lyrics and the outfits were a bit surprising. You see us Canadians are very proud of our home and native land but we tend to show our patriotism in a less overt way than our friends to the South. But here at the Stampede they did it in style - no word of a lie I thought I was in Texas for a second! :oP

Here's a low quality video of the fireworks to give you an idea of the awesome finale:

To be Continued . . .


Marlene said...

No way! All of that sounds so fun! (Maybe not the torrential downpour...)

Krista said...

Seafood soup is a fave of ours, too!

The stampede sounds like fun even with the rain!

A Toronto girl out West said...


Thankfully we were covered so we didn't get wet! It's kind of crazy though 'cause we were in Platinum Level II tickets and the Level I people (more expensive) got soaked!


It was loads of fun!!

healthy ashley said...

How much fun!!!!

The soup looks delicious. I love eating soup during soup weather :)

A Toronto girl out West said...


This was some definite soup weather! It hit the spot! :o)

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

Asian food & stampede - talk about clashing cultures! Sadly, I have never been to stampede or had dim sum.