Staycation in Downtown Calgary

It is Wednesday already! Where did Monday and Tuesday go? I have been frantically working and crocheting presents. I have to get them all ready to mail before the 11th so the pressure is on. Every time I think I have a free second it gets filled up by work, laundry, Xmas parties, chores, sick days.

This weekend was a much needed break from everything. I had a second to breathe in a huge drink of fresh air and be irresponsible and let go.

I got a Xmas bonus from the couple I babysit for. A staycation! They took our kids overnight for a sleepover at their house and we got a paid for hotel stay! It was so great!

We stayed at the Fairmont Palliser in downtown Calgary. We were a stone’s throw from Stephen’s Ave and Olympic Plaza, which was open for free ice skating.

We checked in to our gorgeous hotel room before heading out for dinner.


It was only almost 5pm but I was so hungry that I was starting to get shaky. My blood sugar plummets so fast and so completely. I am like a 90 year old woman, I swear. We were forced to kill time before restaurants opened! We walked around and visited Chapters, blessed by a mild night with just a small chill in the air. Stephen Ave has some of the prettiest brick buildings and I always try to soak up their architecture as we walk.


We found out my first choice for a fancy restaurant with gluten-free friendly choices was closed for a private function, but my second choice, Home Tasting Room,  was just a half block away. It should have been my first choice! Our server Jon (John?) was one of the best servers I have ever had. The wine I chose a perfect match with my meal and both of our meals heavenly. It was so crazy good. If I was better at writing about food I could write an accurate mouth-watering account of how it tasted. But it was such a complex and yummy flavour I feel at a loss. It was like eating the most delicious stew but in every small bite of meat. I had the Orange Braised Bison Cheek over a polenta cake and it is a meal I will dream of and crave from now on, and never be able to replicate.



Josh had the Sable Fish, and the Head Chef came over to check that it was cooked perfectly for Josh.



The atmosphere was also perfect, and when the room was full Josh and I could still have a conversation without shouting.

The flash blinded him. heeheeWe did dinner backwards since we were so impressed by the food, and ordered a tasting plate after our meal instead of as an appetizer. I was full but when it is food this scrumptious, you can fit more than normal in. Haha.  Our server suggested some things and we finally chose scallops. They came with the most delicious kale I have ever had, and white navy beans. We felt the navy beans detracted from the taste of the scallops and had a distracting texture, but otherwise the dish was amazing.

DSCN9755 DSCN9759


After we were nice and full, we went back to the hotel and grabbed our skates. We skated at the beautiful Olympic Plaza outdoor rink. I only fell twice even though it’s been 5 years or so since I’ve gone ice skating. I LOVE skating. So that was really fun.

Back to the hotel, where I soaked my almost bruises in the hot tub and steam room. Ahhhhhh….

At about 11pm we were back in our room drinking wine and then champagne and toasting being in a hotel. Since at home we only have Netflix we turned on the hotel tv to see what was on cable. Not much folks. I have never regretted pulling the plug on our cable tv and replacing it solely with Netflix. We found Food Network to be the most entertaining and stayed up until 1 or 2 am watching it and drinking.

Oh we did not feel well the next day. I almost never drink more than a glass of anything so we knew this would not sit well. We showered and headed out to a diner I saw on Stephen Ave the night before for some much needed sustenance.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE diners or restaurants in a diner style. It makes me so happy. So I was very glad to have seen this place the night before.

We ended up at Blue Vinny Diner. Great experience. Amazing service, first of all. Impeccably clean, hard working staff and pretty but simple decor. And the FOOD. Gluten free friendly options, HUGE portions and just incredibly fresh food that tastes amazing. And it did the trick. We walked out of there feeling human again.

The decor was tasteful and the lighting made everything slightly blue which my hungover eyes loved. Haha

DSCN9775Josh’s typical breakfast.


DSCN9774My herb infused omelette with fruit and greens salad. It was amazing. I would eat this every day for a month, no problem. Also, my coffee was kept full! Which was huge for me.

After that we headed to get the kids, very satisfied with our relaxing night “away”.

For more photos of skating and a couple of around the hotel, check out my Instagram.


Have a good humpday all!

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