Lynda's guide for Americans in Alberta

Where do Americans like to live (aside from in the U.S.)?

Which country (aside from the U.S.) has the highest population of Americans?

Popular legend says that more Americans live in Mexico than any other foreign country, with estimates close to one million people. But the U.S. State Department says 500,000 Americans live in Mexico, and the Mexican government’s best estimate is 125,000 – according to the permits they’ve issued, which everybody but the Mexican government laughs off as much too low. Finally, a consulting firm tackling the problem, (most likely for big bucks) issued a report and states there are around 150,000 legal American residents of Mexico and around 300,000 to 500,00 0 living there more or less illegally.

Americans living in Mexico as illegals? Well, why not?

So, although you can read in blogs and such that the American population of Mexico is over one million, this is not supported by the numbers. (If you can believe those or find two reports that agree.)

Why then, that would make Canada the country with the highest population of Americans outside of the U.S. (Which goes to show you – most people don’t like to travel too far from home.)

In all of Canada, there are roughly 750,000+ Americans as permanent residents, or 3% of the national population -- around 33,000,000 give or take.

But in Calgary, Americans make up 11% of that city’s population, or around 110,000 to 125,000 U.S. ex-pats living in a city with a population of one million. This makes Calgary the city with the greatest American influence. After all, 11% of the population is a sizeable chunk, no matter how you look at it.

Of course, all of these numbers are rough estimates. It seems the U.S. ex-pats don’t all register, so it’s hard to get a true picture of just how many Americans live among us. Who knows how many live outside of the major cities? It appears those in charge of statistics don’t look at the smaller settlements.

For example, the hamlet of Cheadle, Alberta (pop 79) boasts 5 Americans, all married to Canadians, most of them residents of the country for ten years or more. Three have Canadian citizenship, but still call themselves Americans, and two are ‘landed immigrants’ enjoying all the rights of a citizen except that of voting.

How do I know this? I lived there for 11 years, and my husband was one of those five Americans. He’s from Louisiana; the others were from Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan -- all in one tiny hamlet of 26 houses.

In Strathmore (pop 11,000,) ten miles away, we met dozens of Americans – the dean of the local Bible College -- from Utah, the owner of a beef genetics lab – from Missouri, an accountant from Chicago, a lawyer from Schenectady, and oodles of young people working on pipelines (illegally), stock yards (illegally), construction (illegally.) We even had some friends of ours from Florida come and stay with us for six months so he could work in the construction trade when things were so slow down here --- also illegally. Lots of illegals – yes, sir.

And twenty minutes away sits the city of Calgary, with an 11% American population. One night, my husband was thrilled to find a restaurant owner from some little town in Louisiana, and they were immediately brothers. Our neighbor from Colorado met someone he’d gone to school with at a Stampeders football game. We practically trip over the legal Americans (120,000 of them) but what about the illegals? And the tourists – don’t forget Banff is just an hour away. On any given day – how many Americans are in Alberta? Anyone's guess.

And why do they like Alberta so much? With an American population density almost four times the national average, it’s a valid question. Did Alberta attract Americans because of its U.S. like qualities? Or does the number of Americans living there give the province that flavor?

Who knows?

Well, this Albertan, sitting here in Florida, decided to do those Americans planning to go to Alberta a favor, and tell you all you need to know to fit in there – important information (especially if you’re illegal.) These rules don’t matter much in the cities,(cities all being the same these days no matter where you are)  but out in the rural environs – they make all the difference.

A sampling of Alberta's beauty

Here's a map of the place.
Here's a map of the place.
Alberta prairie landscape.
Alberta prairie landscape.
Peyto Lake in the Rockies.
Peyto Lake in the Rockies.
World famous Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
World famous Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
Southern Alberta prairie-scape
Southern Alberta prairie-scape
Beef and wind power -- southern Alberta
Beef and wind power -- southern Alberta
Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta. The First Nations people would drive the bison over these cliffs to harvest meat, bones for implements and skins.
Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta. The First Nations people would drive the bison over these cliffs to harvest meat, bones for implements and skins.
Castle mountain in between the town of Banff and Lake Louise.
Castle mountain in between the town of Banff and Lake Louise.
Downtown Calgary - home to 120-125,000 Americans
Downtown Calgary - home to 120-125,000 Americans
Calgary Stampede -- rodeo is not just for show in Alberta -- it's a way of life, with junior rodeos, high-school rodeos, small town rodeos, big town rodeos and then the biggie -- Calgary Stampede.
Calgary Stampede -- rodeo is not just for show in Alberta -- it's a way of life, with junior rodeos, high-school rodeos, small town rodeos, big town rodeos and then the biggie -- Calgary Stampede.
The First Nations peoples play a major role in the Stampede, with a traditional village, ceremonial dancing and parades.
The First Nations peoples play a major role in the Stampede, with a traditional village, ceremonial dancing and parades.
Self-explanatory
Self-explanatory
A view of the Bow River which begins in the Rockies and flows through Calgary.
A view of the Bow River which begins in the Rockies and flows through Calgary.
Alberta Rockies.
Alberta Rockies.
The Alberta badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park -- a World Heritage site, famed for it's fossil riches and worked by the Royal Tyrell Museum -- a fabulous museum of paleontology in Drumheller.
The Alberta badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park -- a World Heritage site, famed for it's fossil riches and worked by the Royal Tyrell Museum -- a fabulous museum of paleontology in Drumheller.
Mount Saskatchewan (in Alberta)
Mount Saskatchewan (in Alberta)
Pump jack in southern Alberta -- a common sight throughout the province.
Pump jack in southern Alberta -- a common sight throughout the province.

Rules for rural Alberta

CLOTHING

Men: Okay, listen up. You want to blend in, not stick out. So throw away your LLBean catalogue (and those plaid Bermuda shorts and Arnold Palmer shirts) and go out and buy the following:

  • One pair boot cut jeans (preferably Wranglers, but definitely not designer labels.)
  • One pair cowboy boots (one color preferably though two tones of the same color is acceptable. Do not buy snakeskin, alligator or black and white.)
  • One belt – leather, tooled is fine, patent leather – definitely not.
  • Silver buckle for belt – the bigger the better. If you don’t want to wait till you arrive, acceptable models can be found in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and parts of California.
  • Shirts – tee shirts are acceptable but perhaps leave your stars and stripes co-ordinated outfit at home, although strangely enough, the Confederate flag has been appropriated by many Albertans. Also, don’t bring any with slogans like “America for Americans – report an alien.com”. However, anti gun control, anti NAFTA, anti Kyoto – all these are appropriate for Alberta. Oh – definitely no mad cow slogans – uh-uh! Albertans take their beef very seriously and they own a lot of guns. Snap down western shirts are considered formal wear – so grab a few in various colors.
  • Hats – cowboy hats are definitely appropriate for Sundays and ceremonial gatherings, and caps are for everyday – but don’t wear them backwards or sideways unless your head is attached that way.

Note: recognizable U.S. urban wear – droopy pants – no; sports team apparel – yes

Women:

Same as men.

RULES FOR DRIVING

  • Highway 1 runs east/west; Highway 2 runs north/south and both these highways are twinned. All others are single lanes and don’t forget that.
  • We do not drive six inches from the bumper of the car in front of us.
  • We do not pass on a hill.
  • We do not give the finger to farm machinery.
  • All other roads are gravel or dirt. There are rules for gravel and dirt roads: if you don’t drive a four by four avoid dirt roads during the spring thaw. If you drive a Lexus, a Corvette or a Cadillac – stick to the paved roads because no matter how slowly you drive you’re going to get dirt on your car, and you’ll get paint chips from the flying gravel when the frustrated locals speed by yelling, “Drive it, fool!” and “Get out of the way!”
  • Gas is sold by the liter (spelled litre in Canada) and yes it is expensive. Don’t complain to us about it. The reason it is expensive is a mystery to us, because you buy Canadian gas (3/5 of your domestic supply) cheaper than we do, and we don’t like being reminded of that fact.

CATTLE

  • Beef is a very important industry in Alberta. It’s an interesting fact that most of them start out on range in the fields, then go to a feed lot for “finishing” and lastly are loaded onto trucks and shipped across the border to the U.S. slaughter houses and then to your supermarket. Like steak? Then don’t complain about the smell. Get over it. Don’t mention it. You’ll only be told that’s the smell of money. Got it?
  • If the smell of the stockyards really does make you sick, then avoid the town of Brooks. There are four major stockyards there, giving the town a ratio of fifty cows to every person. You can try putting Vicks under your nose, but it’s only a short term solution.

RESTAURANTS

Of course Calgary, Edmonton and the other larger centres (Cdn spelling) like Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Lethbridge, all have a good selection of restaurants, not up to New York’s level, but enough to keep the old taste buds happy.

But that changes once you leave the cities:

  • The rural areas have a more restricted choice – meat and potatoes -- don't complain. You do have another choice -- don't eat.
  • Don’t look for vegetarian specials (although you can order the chef’s salad and pick off the two pounds of turkey and ham.)
  • Don’t ask for sushi; you’ll be sent over to the bait shop.
  • There are three spices available: salt, pepper and ketchup. Don’t ask for anything else.
  • And just in case you get homesick, you can find a McDonalds just about anywhere in the major centres, but not out in the booneys. There you’ll have to break down and eat a real hamburger.

HOCKEY

  • When you greet new Canadian friends, a safe subject for conversation is hockey, so you need to keep up.
  • Remember if your friend is male and Canadian, he loves hockey.
  • If your friend is female and Canadian, she drives her kids to hockey.
  • Saturday night is official “Hockey Night in Canada.” Do not try to make plans to go out on a Saturday unless it’s to a sports bar.

Note: Think football and multiply it by a factor of one hundred and you have it.

  • Do not make fun of hockey. This is the equivalent of spitting on the flag.

SPEECH

  • The traditional greeting in Alberta is “Hey, how’s it going?”
  • And the appropriate response is “Not bad.” If you are feeling poorly you may say “Not too bad.” But one is never good, or great. This will mark you as an outlander. Remember and repeat “Not bad.”
  • When you want to know the location of something, you do not ask, “Where’s it at?” No, you ask, “Where is it?”
  • We have roofs (rhyming with hooves) on our houses, not “roughs” and yards behind our houses, not “yahds.”
  • It is easy to transform a declarative sentence into a query with the addition of “eh?” -- no need to rearrange the thought. For example, the statement “What a nice day” becomes a question when we do this “What a nice day, eh?” Simple, eh?
  • You may say you all, but not y’all. They are enunciated as two distinct words. “Where are you all going?”
  • When parting from friends, the last phrase uttered is “See ya.”
  • The biggest city in Canada is Toronto (found in Ontario not Alberta) and considered by its inhabitants to be the centre of the universe. However, resist the urge to sound all its syllables as in To-ron-to. The appropriate pronunciation is “Tranta.” On that note, Calgary is “Calgry”. And Alberta is usually “Alberda.” These may sound picayune – but can spell all the difference between being spotted as a foreigner or fitting in. (Especially if you like working on that oil rig without an SIN – Social Insurance Number.)
  • One last item, though it relates to spelling. When you go to the bank, or pay a bill, you do not write a check – it is a cheque. A check is one of this little marks put beside an answer that is correct. Don’t confuse them.
  • We pronounce our Rs. I know this will be hard for many of you, particularly those from the eastern seaboard and some parts of the south, but Rs are a must.
  • Good luck.

SNOW

  • Anything less than five inches is not a blizzard; it’s a flurry and it can happen anywhere, any time of year.
  • Be prepared at all times.
  • Southern Alberta has the most changeable, fickle, unpredictable weather to be found on the entire planet. It has something to do with the Rockies curving east and south, the high plains, and the expanse of the prairie.
  • Snow arrives to stay around Halloween, and will accumulate all season long in the northern parts of Alberta.
  • The southern half of the province is subject to a phenomenon called a “Chinook.” (Pronounced she-nook) This is a warm dry wind from the southwest that takes a day or two to build up and arrives suddenly. You can tell when a Chinook is building by the distinctive arch in the sky, called appropriately enough, a Chinook arch. These winds can raise the temperature by thirty to sixty degrees overnight, melting everything and bringing in enough barometric change to cause migraines and bone discomfort to the entire population. They recede as quickly as they arrive, leaving all that melt, the water and slush to freeze again, causing mayhem on the roads.
  • If you drive a pick-up truck, you must put weight in the back or you won’t go anywhere.
  • If you drive a front wheel drive, have fun on the ice.
  • Invariably, it snows immediately following a Chinook, coating the ice with a sloppy covering. Alberta driving takes a lot of practice and is not for the faint-hearted.

CULTURAL THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • People in rural Alberta wave. You should wave back. If an oncoming vehicle approaches have one hand ready for that little salute. We call it being friendly and I know it’s a major adjustment for those of you who deliberately avoid any contact with strangers.
  • When walking on the streets in our small towns, it is not only acceptable but mandatory to make eye contact and greet those you pass. A simple “Morning” will suffice. If you don’t, you are automatically suspect as being mean-minded, not from these parts and possibly a dangerous pervert.

So remember, wave while driving, make eye contact and have a greeting ready for everyone you pass.

MONEY

  • We have coins for one dollar called a “loony” for the picture of the loon on its face.
  • We have a coin for two dollars, called a “twony” for obvious reasons (though I think a doubloon would have been better.)
  • Our paper notes for 5, 10,20,50,100, and 1,000 (which I’ve never seen) are all color coded, handy in dim lighting so you don’t mistake a five for a twenty.
  • We don’t appreciate comments like “What the hell is this – monopoly money?” or “Look at the funny money,” or complaints that the coins weigh too much in your pocket. You’re in a different country – remember? What did you expect Canada spent – U.S. greenbacks? So keep the ridicule to a minimum.
  • If you find it that amusing, you don’t have to carry any. We’ll gladly take your U.S. currency and pay just slightly less than the bank in exchange (if there is any.)

Remember, you’re trying to fit in, not advertise.

CANADIAN VIEWS ABOUT AMERICANS

I was shocked while researching what information was out there for Americans considering a visit or moving to Canada. Many articles wrote about anti-American sentiments in the country. One U.S. lawyer wrote an article “So you’re thinking of moving to Canada” in which he states:

"Consider the anti-American sentiment in Canada. This country’s only claim to existence is that it is not the U.S. You will find yourself lonely, unaccepted and cut off from your compatriots. And prepare to be sick, because the health care system is terrible."

Well, aside from the insult I feel in the second statement – what a hateful thing to say and so very untrue – the Americans living in Canada I know, and I do know quite a few and live with one, are as happy as they choose to be and I’ve never heard from any of them that they feel prejudice against them. It rarely comes up, because we’re not that different. Any anti-American sentiment you may run into is not the norm.

Alberta has the largest proportion of American population in all of Canada, and they are Albertans, same as everyone else. I don’t think it’s something to worry about. Not to say you won’t run into a nutcase now and then, but that happens anywhere.

I’ve spent my life in both countries and I’ve taken some nasty shots as a Canadian in the U.S. but don’t judge the entire country by it. My advice is take the same attitude.

As for the health care, my own experiences have all been good ones. Two years ago, my American friend had an accident fracturing a bone in her knee, and she did not have travel insurance. Her American insurance refused to cover her medical costs in Canada, so we had a problem.

The hospital in Strathmore charged her $500, for which she had eight x-rays, a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, treatment, a removable cast, crutches, pain killers and two follow up visits. Not bad.

My advice – carry travel insurance. And if you should need care, go to the emergency room of any hospital, or a neighborhood walk in clinic. And don’t be afraid – you’ll be taken care of. Contrary to popular U.S. media myth, our doctors and facilities aren’t from the Stone Age, and our waiting lines don’t wrap round the block. An emergency will get immediate attention, but if you can wait, you will, while those sicker than yourself get priority.

Of course, if you are moving there, you’ll qualify for Alberta Health after three months of residency, and you too can fume about waiting two months for a diagnostic procedure (unless it’s an emergency) – but you won’t have to mortgage your house.

And if you’re one of the many illegals, try and put $500 aside – just in case.


BYE -- SEE YA

I hope you’ve enjoyed my introductory course to being an Albertan and my guide to life in rural Alberta.

I’ve posted some photos of Alberta – isn’t she beautiful?

And welcome!

More by this Author


Comments 47 comments

papajack 7 years ago

I'd move tomorrow, but I have two problems, cold and altitude.

My auto-immune disorder is aggrivated by both these conditions. :>(. Thanks for the travel log, They sound like my kind of people.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

hi papajack,

I'd hate to see your disorder aggravated so I've arranged for Alberta to come to you via these pictures. Glad you enjoyed.


martyjay 7 years ago

As an American living in Alberta for many years, I have found that acceptance of Americans is quite normal. In fact, not like other places in Canada, Albertans share many of their neighbors to the south views. They are very independent and also like Texas don't mess with us.

You have presented a very good view of Alberta. It is not so much unlike its neighbor to the south.


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Hey, how's it going? I could do the wardrobe, but the weather sounds like a killer and I see why you need a little break in the winter! I enjoyed this very much - gave me some insight into our Northern neighbors! Perhaps I'll end up an illegal in Tronto where I can order a latte when I need one! eh? See ya!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Martyjay -- thanks for your view. I've lived all over Canada and yes, Alberta does have its own perspective on things -- and the don't mess with me -- oh,yeah. And I've always loved the wide-open spaces. Saw it was 5F in Calgary today. BRRR. I also love Florida, my adopted home and it's much warmer this time of year. Even so, I miss my home up there.

Hi Kartika. Not bad. It's a lovely 83F today but we're expecting rain. (At least I don't have to shovel it.) What gave you the idea we don't have lattes in Calgary. My piece is about rural Alberta. Calgary is a major city with all those high-faluting commodities like lattes. Did you never hear of Tim Horton's, Canada's huge coffee drive thru chain? Best damn coffee you ever had. Have a good day, eh? See ya.


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

lmmartin, good to know - thanks for setting me straight on that one! Then Calgary is my kind of place if the coffee is great - and, I have never heard of Tim Horton's - more research is needed on that on! A drive-thru, eh? cya!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

lmmartin, this is a great travel piece, and your photos are glorious. I've never been to Canada, but would love to visit some day.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Amanda.

Well perhaps you should. Remember it's a very big country. One of the things I find amusing that happens in Florida a lot is people say, "Oh yeah, I've been to Canada. Your home is lovely" and they've been to Nova Scotia or Niagara Falls. That's like saying you know Montana because you've been to Baltimore. Thanks for visiting my hub.


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

I enjoyed this hub. It's good to see Canada in a good light! Your humour (Cdn Spelling) shines through. Maybe I'll do a hub and educate our Friends to the South on "Timmies".

:)


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hello Duchess, haven't heard from you in a while. Must be busy. Yes, I think on article on Timmies would be a great idea (considering it's taken over Canada.) I've never seen one that doesn't have long lines at the drive thru. Our Friends to the South don't know what they're missing. Thanks.


Chris 6 years ago

I'd think anyone American would fit in well in Ontario. Toro has 5 milliion people and counting, a big cosmopolitan center with a Starbucks on every corner. Ottawa cheers the US national Anthem in the hockey playoffs (i.e versus the Ducks from So-Cal. Lots od US visitors travel up to Georgian Bay as well. Just don't go to Quebec, even I as a English Canadian don't feel too welcome there!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

I agree. And there are a number of Americans living in Ontario, more than Alberta, but as a percentage of population, Calgary is four times the national average. Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Gosh-wonderful.

I thought Canadians spelt the same way as the Americans!

My sister and her husband lived in Alberta for many years-now in Vancouver Island!Kids hockey mad- and mum a hockey mad mum.Hope to get there in August for a wedding.

Great article -love your humour.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Itakins, No, Canadian spelling can be different -- cheque/check(Am), centre/center(Am) and we put U's in words like mould, neighbour, etc. Plays havoc with spellcheck. You will enjoy Vancouver island, one of the most beautiful places in Canada and yes, hockey is a national mania. Hope you have a great time.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I travelled through Alberta on a tour of Canada. I found the people to be great and the whole place spectacular. A bit cold for my Aussie blood though!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Yes, I can understand that. In Alberta you're either freezing or frying. I take it you weren't there in July (frying.) Thanks for the comment. Lynda


BillC 6 years ago

Hi, I also left a comment on another hub article of yours. I'm an American, living in northern Alberta with my family (wife and three young kids)for 2 years, now. For people who think that the health care system is bad here, I was at the ER twice in the last 6 onths. The first time was not very serious, and it took about 2 hours to see a doctor. The second time, my blood pressure was through the roof, and I saw a doctor within 10 minutes. They do take emergencies seriously here, but if you have a sprained wrist, be prpared to wait.

The weather is difficult in the winter- if you have nothing to do. If you can occupy yourself, then it is bearable. I suspect that's why so many of my neighbours have snowmobiles.

Alberta does seem like Canada's melting pot. I haven't met any other Americans in my two years here, but I suspect they exist here. Most of the "foreigners" I've met have been from Newfoundland ("Newfies").

Anyway, I enjoy your articles. Sometimes I get homesick for Oregon, but overall, I'm gad I've made the move.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

'thanks Bill C and I will say this is one of the sweetist comments I've received in a while. How nice to meet an AMerican living in Alberta to tell us first hand how he feels. THank you. I read in your answer you have come to understand the Canadian way, and I'm happy for you. A better place to raise a family does not exist. Thanks for dropping by. Lynda


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina

Mornin',

I found this hub while looking at your other website. I loved it and it answered many questions I had about Canada. I think a good old boy from SC would do fine in the rural areas of your country.

Ronnie


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Yep -- just hang that rebel flag off the old pick-up, read the rules given here, and you'll do just fine. Thanks for commenting. Lynda


Born Calgarian 6 years ago

Hi, I like the clear and concise summary of Alberta. I do have one teeny comment about clothes. I think that a man can get by without a cowboy hat and cowboy boots. In Calgary, at least...until Stampede!

Okay, one other comment...we don't say "eh" unless we're reciting the alphabet. People who say "eh" may be from the East or Maritimes.

:-)


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Au contraire -- people say eh? when asking a question in Alberta -- sorry, been there off and on my whole life and heard it. You are right, we don't use it in speech the way the Easterners do ... which I should point out is in common use as far as the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border. Nope -- in Alberta it's only an interogatory.

Also, the article isn't about Calgary -- which lost any claim to to representing Alberta culture many years ago and is now just another city like any other, with a huge population of folks from other places. Nope -- this is about Alberta -- the land and the people who live there -- like me.

So....


olya 5 years ago

Looks like you really think americans are pretty stupid , judging by your explanations in article. Thats what i noticed from true born alberta people. too closed minded and think that everyone who is from states dont know anything about anything and u should speak slower. makes me a little sick to my stomach


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

I don't think Americans are stupid. Neither do most Albertans. In fact, most of the Americans who have spent any time there enjoyed the place and the people -- at least those I met and the American I'm married to these past twenty plus years. I think you should develop a sense of humor.


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

nice hub...thanks for sharing


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks moneycop.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"The biggest city in Canada is Toronto (found in Ontario not Alberta) and considered by its inhabitants to be the centre of the universe." - for sure! Or it might just be itself the Universe ...

Why did I not read this before I went to Alberta and B.C.? It would have helped. I think I have not been getting notifications about your postings and then, I just got one today about the follower's blog.

It was great to see a little from the west-end of the country but we hardly scratched the surface ... the distances are just incredible. We didn't even make it to the Northwest Territories, which was intended at one point.

Seeing cowboy hats was awesome though! I even photographed a man with one in Calgary airport - I couldn't help myself. I had only seen them in movies.

In terms of how we feel about each other (Americans and Canadians), I think it depends on what one's thoughts and feelings are about the other to begin with. I remember walking by myself through Staten Island and I just happened to meet a local DJ whom I started talking to and all of a sudden, I ended-up spending the entire day with him.

On the other hand, I have heard some ugly stories about New York (for example) from some people and I don't know what to say except that I had a great time and everyone I met there was really nice. Same in Pittsburgh, same in Washington, Philadelphia, etc. I never had any problems while in the States (except the tolls - I am not a fan of those).

Thank you for a great write! Cheers.

(Alberta and British Columbia are simply gorgeous and if people have not been there, I very much encourage them to make some time for a visit.)


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Happy,

Both Alberta and I thank you. Yes, it is a truly beautiful place, and still largely unspoiled. Glad to hear you had a good time.

My experiences in New York have also been good. I was there for an audit, and noticed everyone on the street said "Good morning," as I passed on the way to the office. I didn't experience that many places, and found it nice.

Thanks for dropping by. Lynda


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Immartin, hilarious! I absolutely loved this. I am an Alberta girl, born and raised, now living a couple of provinces down to be with my man, but I still come all the time to visit my sister.

You are bang on, and this really made me laugh. Love the line about Brooks! And the hats. And the wave. So, so funny.

My sister lives in Gleichen. I have lived in Calgary, Drumheller, Standard, Edmonton, Gleichen Fort Vermilion, Fort Chipewyan and Red Deer. True Albertan through and through! So nice to make your acquaintance and meet a fellow prairie girl! See you...


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Likewise. I rode rodeo in all the small town affairs. Lived in Suffield -- Defense Research Establishment Suffield, Medicine Hat, Calgary and Strathmore, but i know the entire province very well.

Nice to meet you, too. Will visit your page very soon. Lynda


Dave Bottoms 5 years ago

As one who aspires to spend some time in our beautiful Northern Neighbour one day, this piece was great!!


w.jack profile image

w.jack 5 years ago

I like the collection of advice – it is extremely useful and well-chosen. I would only argue with one point made under the title SNOW: "Southern Alberta has the most changeable, fickle, unpredictable weather to be found on the entire planet." …except for Labrador.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thanks Dave. I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself when that "one day" arrives. Thanks.

Hi w.jack. Nope -- sorry, Alberta holds the record for fickle weather and it's official, Labrador notwithstanding. Thanks for dropping by. Lynda


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Hi again, Lynda. I just wanted to let you know that I have linked to your hub in my recent hub on Rosebud, Alberta. Have a great day!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Oh great, Prairieprincess. I'll have to check out your hub. I attended a few theatre events at the Rosebud School for the arts and stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast there. What a lovely and unique place!


Christine 4 years ago

Ta-ron-o. No 'T' at the end! Eww! lol ;) I'm not American, but still a relevant article for me. I've never been to Alberta and would like to go. Thx


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Christine It may be Ta-ron-o where you live, but it is definitely Tranta where I come from. Everyone should visit Alberta in my opinion. Thanks for the comment. Lynda


Christine 4 years ago

lol--I known. That's how I can tell if someone is from 'out west'. They pronounce much more clearly than in Ontario. Do you really say it like "She-nook"? That's so interesting. Here I think we would say it "Shin-nook". I would definitely love to go to Alberta. My sister is there now. Hopefully I can get out there one day. And I'm glad you enjoy it so much! Again, thanks for the article.


David 4 years ago

I live in Okotoks (population 24,000) just 10 miles south of Calgary.

It is hard to imagine people wanting to come to Alberta and not having done so already. My wife and I go for coffee in Banff, Lake Louise and British Columbia all the time. Driving 400 miles on a Saturday for fun is almost every weekend.

We have a saying that if you don`t like the weather just wait 10 minutes. By the way, some of us do use eh, but many of us don`t.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi David, I grew up at Suffield (the National Defense Base thirty miles west of Medicine Hat. Most people I knew did use eh, but not in the way they do further east. It was almost generally used to make a question of a statement -- not like punctuation as in Manitoba. Alberta and her beauty are a well kept secret it seems.

I used to drive from Strathmore to Camrose to have coffee with a friend and thought nothing of the three hour drive. One's idea of distance is different in Alberta.

I now live in Florida -- big difference, eh?

Thanks for commenting. Lynda


4 years ago

eeeee


Jeanie 4 years ago

Thank you for this very nice summary - my husband is considering a job opportunity in the Edmonton area, and it's overwhelming to think of moving (for the 6th time since 2010) - but wow, your description sounds lovely. BIG issues for us are managing our daughter's life-threatening nut allergy at school - and Canada seems to be far ahead of the US in protecting such kiddos at school. But on the other hand, I have pre-existing medical conditions, and worried as to whether I'd be able to get any health insurance at all.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Hi Jeanie, Really good news: no one needs to worry about getting health insurance in Canada and everyone pays the same amount, NO MATTER WHAT. So relax. As a Canadian now living in Florida and working in health care, not a day goes by when I'm not thinking WTF, what a mess, what a nightmare! How do Americans put up with this? Why do they put up with this?

But all of that aside, thank you for reading and you will love Edmonton, providing you don't mind sub-zero temperatures. And yes, things like food allergies are already an issue for the school system.

Good luck!


Justsilvie 4 years ago

I loved the Hub and would love to visit that area.

I wonder if you have ever seen this Video:

Canadian, Please

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQf13B8epw

It is on my list of favorites and my Canadian friends get a link on every Canada Day!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

Thank you Justsilvie. I did check out the video and loved it. Lynda


coldyank 2 years ago

I moved up to Alberta from South Carolina about ten years ago, when I married my sweetheart from Edmonton. I haven't been in Calgary enough to bump into some many other expatriots, but I do know of several in my small town of Wetaskiwin. I've enjoyed living in Alberta-it's been a good fit for me. There's always a twinge of homesickness in the heart-that just comes with being an expatriot, no matter where one goes-but it's managebable. Thanks for all the info. Only thing to worry about is the IRS-that's a mess.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 2 years ago from Alberta and Florida Author

My husband moved from New Orleans to a small town outside of Calgary. If he adapted, I'm sure you will, too. By the way, hubby is a CPA and an expert in Americans living in Canada. If he can be of help, let us know. Thanks for leaving a comment. Lynda

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