Friday, August 12, 2011

Lloydminster and the Pysanka

When we were in Lloydminster for lacrosse provincials last month, one of the most unique things about the town was that it's split down the middle, half in the province of Alberta, and half in the province of Saskatchewan. We were VERY excited to visit one more province.

There were four large red markers at the border that we visited.

One the left is the crest of Alberta, on the right the crest of Saskatchewan, and in the middle is Lloyd's crest.

The town, I learned, existed before provincial lines were drawn. They also refer to themselves as the Border City (logically), though I haven't heard anyone call it that over here.

A nice memorial to Canadian Veterans in front of City Hall.

We took our obligatory I'm Half Here and Half There pictures.

Hmmm, maybe 60/40.

The next day on our way home we drove through Vegreville, and visited the largest Easter egg in the WORLD!! It's a Ukrainian Easter egg, and is called a Pysanka.

As we were pulling in, Andy mentioned they talked about it in Social when they were studying the Ukraine. Well, perfect!

It turns with the wind, ever so slowly. At first I thought it was motorized, but realized the breeze was causing it to shift.

There was also a caboose on the property that the boys enjoyed exploring.

It was very well- equipped; even had a little kitchen. I guess that makes sense, but I never thought about what might be IN a caboose before, I was always just excited to see it at the end of a train. Now you're lucky if you get a solitary flashing red light magnetically stuck to the last rail car. BO-RING.

We had fun hanging around, but soon needed to hit the highway again. Due west to Edmonton, where we hung a Louie and headed home to Red Deer.


Derek said...

I remembering driving cross Canada on the Yellow Head highway passing through Lloydminster as a kid.

It was the middle of summer, stinking hot, and the car didn't have ac. Ah, good times.

Ray and Gil said...

Dear Jessica,

( Please forgive me if I am being intrusive. I saw your comment at Discovering Sao Paulo )

Santos is a great city.
You are gonna love it, plus it is super close to Sao Paulo and it has very easy access to the big city, all connected by very nice, safe and clean buses that will connect you directly into Sao Paulo's equally safe and clean subway, about 45 minutes to 1 hour away, depending on the traffic.
Santos also has great quality of life, great schools, parks, shopping and lot's to do all the time.
The city is famous for it's vibrant life, full of great restaurants that serve the best fresh seafood you can find.
Please feel free to visit our blog and take a look at our blog list, there are many blogs of Americans, Canadians and people from all over the world living in Sao Paulo and even Santos that you can ask questions and they will be glad to share all they have learned so far with you.
Have a great trip!
You are going to love Brazil. :)


Jessica said...

Hi Ray,
Thank you for the feedback on Santos. My husband also relays that it is very nice there. We are excited to be heading down there at the end of the week!


Ray and Gil said...


My partner Gil wrote a little more information to help "welcome" you and your family to Santos and Brazil.
Please find his comment below:

Dear Jessica,

I understand your concerns about leaving your comfort zone to jump into the unknown with your family. I definitely walk in your shoes. That's why I decided to contribute with a little information about what you should expect of your new home in Brazil.
Santos is part of a metropolitan area of 1,476,820 inhabitants in the coastal area of São Paulo. It's the main city in this region called "Baixada Santista". Santos is a traditional summer retreat for retirees and middle class Paulistanos (people from São Paulo City). The city is known by its good quality of life. I lived in Hollywood, FL a couple of years ago, so, if I had to make a comparison, it would be with that Floridian city, although Santos is a little larger and more of a bustling kind of city. Like in most of large Brazilian cities, it has its poorer districts traditionally located a little further away from the central area of the city. I understand that poverty is commonly associated with crime and violence, but it's not always the case talking specifically about Santos. Like most of Santos inhabitants, the probability of you going to venture yourself into such areas is minimal to nonexistent. Nonetheless, all you'd find there are peaceful people trying to survive like we see in the outskirts of any big American City like New Orleans, Miami, Philadelphia or Washington D.C. The demographic in such areas is formed in its majority by darker skinned people of African or/and Native ancestry. Santos proper, where you're going to live is nothing like that, is more like living in another world where you can stroll in the city streets in piece with your family. I think it would be nothing different from walking in a Hollywood, FL street with the same amount of common sense and street smartness you should have. Simply don't show "bling" off in the streets, don't be like those silly typical "gringoes" wearing Hawaiian shirts, snickers with dark socks, safari hats, expensive accessories like a Prada watch or bag. Leave it all home! Just try to blend in with the locals, be simple and you'll be just fine. Try to learn Portuguese as best as you can. Remember that usually youngsters learn other languages much quicker than an adults do, so it would be a great investment for the family as a whole to invest in their language learning skills by encouraging them to socialize with the locals. If you want more great tips of living in a Brazilian big city, visit our blogger friend Rachel (Rachel's Rantings in Rio de Janeiro). Although she lives in Rio, it is a valuable source of information to any expat moving to Brazil. Rachel embodies both the American indomitably and the Brazilian-Carioca cheerfulness ways. I don't know any other expat that know how to navigate better in the Brazilian society like her. I think we all expats and even Brazilians have a lot to learn from her. It's always refreshing to see our own country through foreigner eyes, specially when these eyes are not blinded by bias and ignorance. That's exactly why I urge you to be smart and alert when you read all those expat blogs out there. Some are fairly reasonable, but many others are just frustrated folks whom are incapable to understand the place where they're living in, sometimes because they are too lonely or because they are not sure about the decision they made to leave everything behind and "sometimes" follow a young boyfriend to a far away land and leave their lives behind.

to be continued...

Ray and Gil said...

You will notice that expats who move to Brazil with their entire family have a completely different experience. Many people pour a lot of misconceptions, useless stereotype notions, a lot of wrong assumptions making you believe those are true, but that is only how they interpret what they are experiencing. So, if you want to be on the safe side, favor those older expat bloggers that actually are living in Brazil for a little while, and sometimes moved down there for good, like Rachel, Jim ("Qualidade de Vida" blog - Blogger) or Danielle in Brazil who lives in the a neighboring city to Santos, on the other city of the island (yes, geographically Santos is located in an island separated from the continent by a complex of canals), also she's a sweet girl from San Francisco, CA, whom is married to a young Brazilian doctor. "Born again Brazilian blog" is also written by a great American lady who married a Brazilian guy and moved to Sao Paulo, she has a great point of view from a perspective of an American living in Sao Paulo. "Paulista Pursuits" is another great blog from yet another great lady from Chicago who moved to Sao Paulo with her husband. She has a great blog too.

Maybe it would be relevant to point out the need of air conditioner in Santos as in the summer the weather gets hot and humid, just like it is in South Florida, think Miami weather. A lot of people in Brazil prefer to bear the heat than using an air conditioning set in their rooms. Most of expats think it's just a matter of economics as most of Brazilians live a frugal lifestyle. Although it is true, also it is true that a lot of Brazilians just don't get along well with air-conditioned ambiances (another Brazilian peculiarity). In many commercial places though, the A.C. is the norm, just like it is in the U.S.

Welcome to Brazil
Have a wonderful trip to your new home.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need help understanding anything about Santos or Brazil. You know where to find us. :)


Big D and Me said...

Looks like European cities to me