Tag Archives: June 2016

Floating at a Float Spa

I think meditation is an incredible feat and I am inspired by those who can successfully silence their mind and meditate, but I don’t believe everyone needs to meditate, nor that they even have to want to try! What I do believe is that everyone needs to spend some time with their own mind every once in a while. Every day we are inundated with technological stimulation. Our phones, our computers, our tablets, even our watches, are there to join us with everything and everyone around us. The internet is the place to feel connected. But often, the connections that really matter are forgotten, like the connection we have with our own mind. One of my favourite moments of the day is just before sleep, when I’m just hanging out with my brain and thoughts.

Photo by Shannon Yau.

With this in mind, I decided to try out a float spa. I heard how wonderful it is for silencing everything around you and really encouraging the mind to relax. I figured I would give it a go! Clear Float Spa is Calgary’s newest place to float. It is located in Mission on 18th Ave, just off 4th St SW. I met Bryce and Jesse, two very relaxed, very barefoot people, who welcomed me in and showed me around. Jesse took me to the room that contained my float pod. The pod has ten inches of highly concentrated salt water— 1000 pounds of epsom salts to be exact. After a brief run through of what to do pre- and post-float, I hopped in my pod.

The float pod! Photo by Shannon Yau

I giggled as I lay back in the water and my body lifted off the floor of the pod. The motion activated light in the room went off, and the pod was all aglow with a blue light. I was somewhat startled by the pleasant voice recording of a British woman who welcomed me to my pod. She told me to relax. I tried. I turned off the blue light and listened to the relaxing mediation music.

To be completely honest, for the first bit of my float, I thought, “this is straight up boring.” I played with my hair, and pretended to be a mermaid. I moved around in the water, feeling how soft and silky the salt was making my skin. I played with the eerie blue light— on, off, on, off. I imitated the British voice of the recorded lady who welcomed me to my float. Finally, I realized I couldn’t sit still because my body just wasn’t relaxed. I was aware that the muscles in my neck were holding my head out of the water. “There are 1000 pounds of salt in this water, neck,” I thought to my neck, “you need to trust that my head will float without you.” I felt the muscles in my neck relax and I felt the water creep up my face a wee bit more. The next thing I knew, I woke myself up snoring.

They say everybody ‘floats’ differently, especially the first time. The mind and body do what they need to do while lying weightless in the salt water. I encourage everyone to try it! Clear Float Spa has a great introductory deal— three floats for $49. I am definitely going to go again. I am very curious what the second, third, and fourth floats will be like! Check them out at http://clearfloat.ca. Thanks for the relaxing float, Calgary!

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Climbing the East End of Rundle

This morning, Ryan and I decided to go to the mountains. It has been far too long since I spent time in and around those majestic Rockies, and so we planned a hike. We drove out on Highway 1, and took exit 93 towards the Three Sisters. We originally planned a nice, leisurely hike up the Grassi Lakes trail, but once we arrived at the trail entrance, we decided a new plan was in order.

I recently downloaded an app called AllTrails. This is an app that anyone who likes walking in nature should download. Whether you are an avid mountain climber, or like to take leisurely strolls along the river, this app is for you. We were able to find our location and chose nearby hikes that had excellent views. AllTrails suggested the “East End of Rundle” hike. Sure! Why not! The sign for the trail entrance wasn’t visible, and we spent about 10 minutes wandering back and forth, trying to find the footpath. We finally found it, shared a quick and exuberant high five, and were off!

We quickly lost the trail. We ignored the fact that we were no longer on any sort of path, scrambling up the side of a mountain, and just continued to head up. We finally found what appeared to be a path. It was covered by trees and the sun shone through in just the most magical way. Ryan suggested this was like level 2. Level 1 was there to see if we had what it takes to arrive at level 2. We did! We ran into a few more hikers and upheld the unspoken tradition to greet them and engage in as much small talk as can possibly fit in the time it takes to walk by. We reached the epic views of level 3, stopped for a sandwich break and the “mountain dance” – the dance you do on a mountain – of course!  The mountain dance became a reoccurring event throughout the rest of our hike.


Level 4 is where I frolicked in a field and sang the title song from The Sound of Music. Then we reached the top! We sat for a long while, looking out at Canmore, feeling humbled by the massive sky above us, and feeling as though we were looking out over the entire world. The health app on my phone told me I climbed 162 flights of stairs. We ate another sandwich, danced a few more steps of the mountain dance,  took a zillion photos, and turned right back around to head down.


Level 4, level 3, level 2. Then we found this really delightful path. it was shaded by trees, and was so smooth it appeared to have been planned. “Wow! How delightful!” I said to Ryan. He agreed. The path took us right back to the road. We realized that it was the path we lost when we began our hike this morning.

If I learned anything from today’s adventure, it is to a) bring more water, b) film the next time Ryan does the mountain dance, and c) I should have downloaded AllTrails a long time ago. Thanks for the radical hike, Calgary!


At the Indie Comic Coffee Klatch

I believe everyone has at least one creative bone in their body and it is just a matter of being in a safe, non-judgmental, and super fun space, for that creativity to start pouring out. I discovered a space just like this! I was introduced to the Indie Comic Coffee Klatch, more lovingly known as I.C.C.K.

I.C.C.K happens every second Wednesday evening at Phil & Sebastian in the Simmons Building in East Village. It works on a drop-in basis between 6-9pm. Show up at 6pm and stay the entire time, or drop in for an hour. The point of the klatch is to provide a fun, safe, and motivating place to create and to overcome the creative blocks we all feel from time to time.

When I met Stacey, the founder, it was as if we were old friends. Trevor, the cofounder, offered me a piece of paper and pen immediately, and asked if I wanted to join their table. I sat down and introduced myself to the folks around the table. There was Steele, Graham, Trevor, Jules, and Erickson. Everyone was working on their own thing. Jules was practicing drawing eyes and had a full page filling up with sketches of eyeballs, Erickson was working on hands, and had a page of hands in various poses and positions, Steele was working on vehicular characters for a fictitious world he is creating, Trevor had drawn a ‘peliconstruction’ worker – a pelican mixing concrete in his beak, and Graham had a full page with panels and a comic book in progress!

Erickson finished his hand practice and asked the group what he should draw next. Someone suggested he draw a cyclops! Then this whole cyclops thing began. Trevor drew a cyclops with a beard. Graham drew a cyclops at the opera – a “cycl-opera-goer” if you will. Erickson made his cyclops into a “cycl-optometrist.” I am not so good at drawing realistic things, and so I stuck with absurd characters. I drew a bucket, proclaiming the fact it is a bucket, a jellyfish wearing a hat, and I wrote the theme of our evening, the word “portmanteau,” in big, blocky script.

I stayed for two hours and wish that 9 o’clock never came. It was so fun to meet new people. It was fun to challenge myself and be vulnerable in front of new people. It was fun to be inspired by these new people! I have continued to draw absurd things and even attempted painting my little characters! Thanks for the inspiration, Calgary!

The next meeting of the Indie Comic Coffee Klatch is on June 22 at Phil & Sebastian in East Village. Bring a pen, a piece of paper, and an open mind! See you then!


At Lilac Festival!

One of my favourite things about Calgary in the spring and summer is that we celebrate everything. Let’s face it, the number of festivals in June, July, and August is just absolutely ludicrous — in the best way, of course. We have festivals that celebrate films of all genres, and music of all kinds. Festivals that celebrate both the cooking and eating of food, and the art and majesty of Canadian beer. We have art festivals, children’s festivals, and pet festivals! We have comedy festivals that make us laugh, science festivals that make us think, and cultural festivals that open our minds. We even have a festival that celebrates the sun and a festival that celebrates salsa. That’s a lot of festivals—so many, in fact, that ‘festival’ is looking less and less like a real word.

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Lilac Festival on Sunday, June 5. Lilac Festival is one in which Calgary celebrates Lilacs— the beautiful trees, the purple blooms, the delightful smell, and the fact that these delightfully smelly blooms are actually blooming! As any Calgarian will tell you, our winters are cold, and summer often teases us with a short, somewhat wintery spring. But when the lilacs are blooming, we all know summer is coming.

Thousands of festival goers flocked to 4th St. on Sunday, checking out the vendors, partaking in the activities, listening to the music, and soaking up the sun. I arrived just in time to catch the parade. The colour guard wowed me with their uncanny ability to throw flags in the air, and the Calgary Stetson Show Band, that played Carly Rae Jepsen’s instant hit, Call Me Maybe, had me dancing in the street. The parade was full of dancers, music makers, and politicians. I even caught a wink and a wave from Mrs. Calgary! I perused the books at Shelf Life Books, I ate a few delicious, and irresistible mini donuts, I fell in love with the art at Rural Creative and Paperlove Co., and I am the proud new owner of a beautiful kimono from Lost in Layers! Thanks for the market in the sun, Calgary!

Lilac festival was the perfect way to kick off the festival season in Calgary. Tune into “Where the F is Beth?” to discover more of Calgary’s endless celebrations, and whenever you catch yourself thinking, “whoa, I just love this activity/food item/music” you can bet your bottom dollar there is probably a festival for it. You name it, Calgary celebrates it with a festival. And why not?