I got home last night after an uneventful day spent traveling. Ian and Gozer picked me up from the airport so I had a chance to get lots of hugs and kissies from Ian and Gozer right away. Even though I had a wonderful time in Edmonton - and one of, if not the, best trip I've ever had there - I was very happy to come home because I missed home. It seems Gozer missed me, too, given that she's been cuddling up to me a lot since I got home.
I didn't do all that much while I was there: everything was kept fairly low-key this time around. I'd been a little nervous about being there for the first time in a year, especially since the last few times I'd been there had been so stressful. Being able to spend time with my sisters without freaking out or getting upset or hearing that darn voice tell me I was unworthy was something my psychologist and I had been working on and I'm pleased to say that all that work paid off because I had a great time with my sisters.
I visited with my sisters individually and with all three of us together and each visit went really well - better than I could ever have imagined. The atmosphere during each visit felt relaxed and easy-going and I found myself truly enjoying the time I spent with my sisters. Sure, sometimes we got quiet or tired or whatever and where before that might have turned into some kind of argument, this time things stayed calm. It was wonderful and I can hardly wait to go back there.
The main events I was in Edmonton to see were my niece's IB art show and her dance recital. The art show was amazing! The students, including my niece, are so talented. There were paintings, sculptures, murals, and interactive art pieces all done in different media and I could have spent quite a lot of time looking at each piece. Well, I did spend a lot of time there with my niece and one sister but I could have spent even more. I especially loved my niece's art which was unique and very much her style. I am buying one of the smaller pictures she did because it inspired me.
My niece danced in a bellydance recital and she was very good! I was thrilled to see how well she danced: she's a beginner bellydancer and her movements were quite good. I was so proud of her, too, for getting up and dancing on-stage because I know how hard it is to do that. I enjoyed the rest of the show as well because I do love bellydancing! I especially liked a burlesque/tribal/bellydance troupe and one of the soloists. This recital included two performances by Dr. George Sawa playing the Qanun, a traditional instrument. He's very good and it was a pleasure to listen to him.
When not doing something with other people (I got to see some friends of mine, too), I spent some time wandering around the university campus and area. I was staying right on the edge of campus and I wanted to revisit areas I remembered and to see how things had changed. On one lovely day I did a huge walk over a route that I used to take late at night one summer. I did the walk during the day, of course!
Being able to retrace my steps, revisit old haunts, and visit new places turned out to be a good thing for me. I'd had a couple of really bad years back around the time I finished my first degree and somehow seeing all of the changes and things that were the same let me see and remember all these things with new eyes and to think about them in a different way. There's a lot more work to do around those years throughout the city but I feel like I've made a start.
The best thing about this last trip is that I don't dread going to Edmonton the way I did before. I'll be going back there at the end of June because my niece and one nephew are graduating high school and I want to celebrate that by doing something yet to be determined. I know I'll miss home with Ian and Gozer and my bed and all my stuff but having such a happy time in Edmonton will be worth it.