Ok, we've been here for over a month now, and I figured it was time to jot down (well, type) some of my first impressions. Things I like and dislike, differences and similarities to St. Albert, and just some random thoughts.
People look you in the eye a lot more, and smile a lot more. I could probably write a whole post all about this, (and maybe one day I will!) but for now I'll just say that I like it. I really like it. In the grocery store, on the street, in the coffee shop, and *especially* on the street- people look up when you walk by, smile and say hello.
This leads into my next point which just how neighbourly our neighbours are. We've met and chatted with the neighbours on both sides, which is normal and to be expected, but what I really like is how often the smile or wave over the fence or in the front yard turns into actual conversation. Also, it's not just the neighbours directly beside us, but all the surrounding houses too- anytime we see anyone there is always a friendly smile or wave, and more often than not the person will actually walk towards us to say hello (rather than just a quick smile, then averting the eyes and walking inside.) One lady last week even crossed the street when she saw us in the front yard, just to come introduce herself and say hello. So great!
The grocery stores are pretty good. I was worried about moving to a small town and having to drive to get groceries, but we have a Sobey's and an "Independent" which is kind of like a mini Superstore. It has all the President's Choice items, which I really love!
The eating out options aren't bad either. We haven't tried everywhere, but we really like Apollo Pizza (great pizza!) Ramzi's* (delicious donairs, fries and ice cream!) and there is also a Boston Pizza if we're in the mood for something more familiar. For fast food we have a McDonald's, A&W, Subway, Quizno's, Pizza Hut, and Domino's. Really can't complain when it comes to convenience food!
*Disclaimer. Before we started eating Keto (I'll save that for another post too) we had a bit of a problem with Ramzi's. We live dangerously close. Like, half a block down one street, and half a block down from that corner. It takes us maybe 4 minutes to walk? Did I mention they have 24 flavours of ice cream...?
Oh! And there's this amazing little coffee shop called Fifth Meridian Coffee Co. It has all house made sandwiches, soups, salads, baked goods, and delicious coffee! It makes me sad that it's only open Mon-Fri 7-5 though. It's pretty hard for me to get there without the kids (which is obviously the way to do it!) Still, I'm happy its here!
We've explored around a little to check out the parks, and I was really excited to find one that has actual sand the other day! The rest of them have tiny rocks as the base, which A- Isn't as fun as sand, and B- isn't awesome for a 3 year old who likes to throw them up in the air.
One thing that I've found really amazing (though it seems silly to mention because I haven't actually gone to any yet!) is how many free play groups and activities there are for preschoolers. There is literally a different group every single day of the week. Library programs, playgroups the meet at a playground in the summer, and a group called "Growing Up Wild" that meets at the lagoon to explore nature. All free!
That's all I can think of for now. Overall, everything is coming up aces. We just love our little town!