So after a month of trail riding and moving rocks in the Rockies, myself and my fellow Workawayer headed from the country into the city.
My first ranch was about four hours from Edmonton (that’s basically next door by Canadian distances) and one of our friends from the ranch gave us a ride into the city. When you google “Things to do in Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall (the biggest mall in North America) is no.1 and after a month of ranching, I badly needed some retail therapy!
West Ed (as the locals call it) has literally everything you could need and it did some serious damage to my bank balance. We ended up staying at the mall for THREE full days, it’s really just that big.
What shops are at West Ed? What shops aren’t?! I enjoyed binges in Victoria Secret, Sephora, Bath and Body Works, Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21… Everything that is non-existent or just crazy expensive back home in the UK. We also went to Lammle’s Western Wear (the same store I bought my hat from at the Stampede) at least twice!
One of the most important parts of retail therapy? Lunch! Or breakfast… Or dinner. Or all three. Cinnabon for breakfast, New York Fry Company for lunch (with malt vinegar yumm!), Tim Horton’s for dinner. OR, Tim Horton’s for breakfast, Dairy Queen for lunch and Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner… Can you see what we stayed for three days now?!
There are three classic mall food courts and one ‘Bourbon Street’ where the more formal sit-down restaurants are. There’s even a restaurant here (The Red Piano) that has a dress code, which unfortunately my cowboy boots didn’t meet…
Even with a full three days to explore we still didn’t have time to take in all the entertainment options. The one did make sure to do though was the Ice Skating. I love ice skating and go at every possible opportunity. It was a bit surreal to skate around a rink between Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters with the patrons of the upstairs Tim Horton’s and Starbucks watching you as you desperately attempt to not wipe out. One thing I did learn from this experience though, is that ALL Canadian kids can skate better than me. Now I’m not a bad skater, but I still got nothing on those Canadian kids!
Other entertainment options at the mall included a water park (which I’ll definitely be going to next time, everyone I’ve spoken to since has raved about it!), a shooting gallery, an entire theme park, a movie theatre and mini golf. One of my personal favourites though is the sea lion show. There are two shows a day and there is the option of paying for seats, but most people just catch a glimpse of it while walking between shops. We made sure to stand on the top floor and watch one whole show though, such a good view!
And so with my already packed-full and dead-heavy backpack now even more full and even heavier we left our cosy Edmonton Motel for the Greyhound station and Ranch No.2…