Calgary Tower: A Family Celebration
by Anita Mae Draper
What a great weekend! As many of my Facebook friends know, the Draper family spent this past weekend in Calgary, Alberta where we attended the Convocation ceremonies of Rocky Mountain College and watched our daughter, Jessica, receive her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services.
That deserved a celebration meal - a very special meal we'd remember forever...you know, the kind that everyone reminisces about when we all get together and someone says, remember the time we...
...and so a meal in the revolving restaurant of the Calgary Tower was in order. The observation deck is 525 feet up and the Sky 360 restaurant is one level below it.
|Calgary Tower, 2013|
In the above image, the Calgary Tower looks innocent enough, but Saturday was near freezing point with high winds that made me a mite nervous the closer we got.
|Glass Floor Portion of the Calgary Tower, 2013|
In the above photo, we're still a couple blocks away, but I zoomed in to take this shot and then cropped it for the best effect. Do you see those boxy things high up on the left side just below the overhang? That's what is commonly known in Calgary as The Glass Floor. You say those 3 words and people either smile or shudder. Why? Well, come along on the adventure and see for yourself...
|L to R; Nick, JJ, Jessie, and Nelson Draper|
As soon as we stepped off the elevator, I walked straight to the windows and started snapping pics. I was looking for my favorite mountains, the Rockies, but it was too low cloud cover to see them. And then I found my family standing on a layer of glass with nothing but air and God's grace between them and the pavement.
|Standing and taking pics of the Glass Floor|
I thought it very funny that after looking at the view, they all took out their phones and starting taking pics - not at the view, but at the ground far below. At this...
|The view from the 525 ft Calgary Tower Glass Floor, 2013|
Until I got there, I wasn't sure if I would stand on the glass floor or not. I mean, I'm sort of an adventurous sort, but I sometimes get dizzy going down stairs and escalators. And I'm very conscious of my weight. I know the glass floor is safe, but still. So I approached slowly, trying to make up my mind, but a couple feet away I felt like I was tipping toward the glass enclosure. It was a very weird feeling - like being sucked in. When the feeling passed, I stepped to the end and snapped the image you saw above by leaning over and looking down. It was all I could manage.
|Embracing the view from the Calgary Tower Glass Floor, 2013|
As you can see, others embraced the glass floor, including Nick who sat there for several minutes - taking pics and texting. I can imagine it went something like... Guess where I am? : )
|Nick texting while sitting on the Glass Floor, 2013|
Here's JJ checking out the spectacular view:
|JJ looking at the view of Calgary from the Calgary Tower Observation Deck|
On the western edge of the city - on the way to Banff - the COP ski jump stood as a lonely sentinel, reminding everyone of its role in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Yes, COP stands for Calgary Olympic Park and was the venue for the ski jump, snowboard, bobsleigh, and luge events.
|Calgary Olympic Park far in the distance|
I zoomed in the above shot and then cropped it until you see the image below. COP has lived up to its purpose of providing a convenient facility not only for training both amateur and professional athletes, but also as an affordable recreational family activity. Yes, that means you can go for an exhilarating bobsleigh ride in the winter or summer if you want to feel the wind in your hair while zipping down 1.4 kilometers of track (about 1 mile) in 60 seconds while travelling at speeds of up to 120 kilometers/hour (75 mph).
|Zoomed image of COP (Calgary Olympic Park), 2013|
Or maybe not whipping in your hair since at those speeds you'd better be wearing a helmet. But back at the Calgary Tower located in the heart of the city, we walked down one level to the Sky 360 revolving restaurant for a dining experience we soon won't forget.
|Sky 360, the revolving restaurant below the Calgary Tower Observation Deck|
Three of us ordered the Chef's special: Triangular Penne with Clams in a White Sauce with Anti-Pesto and a serving of Cornbread. I'd never heard of penne in a triangular shape before, but I sure enjoyed eating it.
|Chef's Special in the Sky 360 revolving restaurant in the Calgary Tower|
Although we hadn't prepared anything speical, we had told our server that we were celebrating Jessie's college graduation as part of our greeting. The delightful girl surprised us by presenting Jessie's Creme Brulee with a lit candle and a hearty, "Congratulations!" Another memory to treasure.
|Jessica Draper blowing out her candle - a gift from our Sky 360 server.|
After 2 hrs and almost 3 rotations, we took the 67 second elevator ride back down to the base of the Calgary Tower. In the gift shop, I found a machine that dispensed these souvenir coins for $2 a piece. Perfect. It almost makes me want to check the view from the other great towers. Well, maybe not.
|Calgary Tower souvenir coins "World Federation of Great Towers"|
I didn't get to see my favorite mountains, but I'll always remember the Calgary Tower because it was the time we went to Jessie's grad and took her out to celebrate. What a memory!
What's the most memorable thing you've done to celebrate something special?
is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/