How to Enjoy the Fleeting Days of Summer in 24 Hours
You have one weekend left before fall is officially here
In not too much longer, this view will have snow. Make the most of the last days of summer.
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is almost over. Officially: September 23 marks the first day of autumn.
That means you have just one more weekend to enjoy summery weather and summery activities until 2015. This weekend, with expected highs of 22C and still 12 hours of sunlight, you can make the most of those dying days of summer.
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Enjoy one last summer brunch al fresco. Head to Vendome Caf in Sunnyside – early in the morning to beat the rush; they open at 8 a.m. on weekends – and choose to sit outside on one of the picnic tables. Enjoy the cool morning with an $8 breakfast panini and endless cup of coffee. Take your time: summer days mean relaxed, languid breakfasts.
(Vendome Caf, 940 2 Ave. N.W., 403-453-1140, vendomecafe.com)
9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
While you’re in Sunnyside, take some time to wander around the neighbourhood and prepare for the day. Browse the fresh produce at Sunnyside Natural Market (the market opens at 9 a.m.) and find the perfect loaf of baked bread from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. You’ll be here just as they open, so the smell of fresh baked bread will be irresistible. Choose items that can travel well, as these items will be enjoyed picnic-style later in the day.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For the next part of the day, you’re going to need two cars. Make sure everyone drives downtown, and park one car in Eau Claire Market (200 Barclay Parade S.W.). It will cost $32 to leave your car here all day, but you’ll be glad it’s there later in the day.
In one car, drive to Lazy Day Raft Rentals and rent a raft. Or, bring your own to avoid having to come back to the store to return it. Floating down the river in a raft is something to take advantage of now; it won’t be that much longer before it’s frozen over. Float all the way to Prince’s Island Park. It will take about three hours to get there, so sit back and enjoy the view.
(Lazy Day Raft Rentals, 720 3 St. N.W., 403-258-0575, lazydayraftrentals.com)
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Once the raft has docked by the island, eat your picnic lunch in Prince’s Island Park. Pack up the raft in the car parked in the Eau Claire Market lot before enjoying the rest of the afternoon.
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
As you’re already on the edge of downtown, spend the afternoon soaking in some local art and culture. Calgary’s 31st annual Calgary ArtWalk takes place on both Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21. Stop by Art4Five Artist Collective, Gibson Fine Art and Webster Galleries to peek inside artist studios, chat with the artists and admire the variety of work.
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Take some time to window shop in Calgary’s Design District before returning to Eau Claire to pick up your car. Return the raft to Lazy Day Rentals – get there before they close at 5 p.m.
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Now that you’re in Bowness, eat an early dinner at Notable. Choose summery menu items, such as the artisan greens salad with house pickled vegetables ($9) and the Salt Spring Island mussels and frites ($17). Finish off the meal with the dark chocolate and roasted beet torte raspberry sorbetto ($11).
(Notable, 4611 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-288-4372, notabletherestaurant.ca)
7 p.m. to 7: 45 p.m.
After dinner, prepare to spend the last few hours of sunlight enjoying a breathtaking view. Drive to McHugh Bluff and park at the lot outside of the Calgary Curling Club before walking up the famous McHugh Bluff stairs. Once you’re at the top, admire the sunset and the view of the Calgary skyline.
8 p.m. until late
Finish off the evening in traditional, summery style: enjoying a few drinks on a patio. Kensington is very close by and there are plenty of great patios to choose from: Oak Tree Tavern, Kensington Pub and Container Bar all offer great atmosphere to soak in those last few hours of summer.