Last night we wandered around the West Edmonton Mall for an hour or two and realized how attractive it must be to people facing the Edmonton winters. We escaped eventually and decided for dinner to take a chance on a place called the New Asian Village, not that far from our hotel.
We entered to find ourselves in a little bit of India, at least one of the more garish neighborhoods - it's just been redecorated. We chose the $20 dinner buffet and absolutely enjoyed it. It was a wonderful array of a whole variety of Indian dishes. It was only after we returned to the hotel to discover it had ranked so well on Trip Advisor. T.A., as experienced travelers know, isn't the last word in ratings, particularly since fans or foes can stack the ratings, but we'll personally star the New Asian Village.
After a late breakfast in our hotel this morning, we drive to Fort Edmonton Park, a starred attraction in some guides, only to discover it doesn't open until May. We're happy to walk for a half hour on one of the nature paths and enjoy the fresh air.
We next visit the Royal Alberta Museum, a magnificent place that appears to be only a few years old. We wander through the museum for a a couple of hours, and could have easily spent longer. Taxidermy as an art has never particularly appealed to us, but the exhibits in this museum take it to a new level. There were quite a few live animals as well, including a creepy collection of tarantulas - something for everyone!
In the afternoon we enjoy some time at the Telus World of Science. It's a science museum, and this one was deserted on a Tuesday afternoon. Kathy in particular loves playing the games, and we're among the last to leave at the 5:00 p.m. closing time.
We decide to chance rush hour and drive downtown to the Old Strathcona area, another recommended spot. By now it's raining fairly steadily and nothing looks that enticing so we return to the hotel.
We're now readying ourselves for tomorrow's flights back to Seattle. We ate tonight at a restaurant just around the corner, Zambelli's, on the enthusiastic recommendation of our front desk clerk ("some of the best Italian food in Edmonton"). We could say a fair amount, but let's just say that it caused us to appreciate our meal at Grazie in Seattle Southcenter the other night that much more and leave it at that.
We've really enjoyed our whirlwind visit. For a little over $300 each we've enjoyed two nights in a nice hotel, a rental car, and of course our roundtrip air tickets. On top of the 4000 qualifying and 4000 bonus miles we'll earn for this trip, we'll each receive 5,000 bonus miles from United Vacations, giving us each a total of 13,000 miles added to our United accounts, not a bad deal at all.