After some discussion, we’ve decided to supplement our weekly vlogs with some good old-fashioned written blogs.  This way we can keep you guys even more updated on our crazy year. As a side note, our vlogging may be a little bit delayed: with two science degrees and a communications degree between the three of us, we didn’t come into this whole vlogging topic with much, i.e. ANY, experience.  Please bear with us for another week or so, and cross your fingers for a video soon; I know I will be.

We’ve had a busy last couple of weeks, so apologies for being a bit behind in our blogging. Since the end of October we’ve seen our new Stampede sister Carly Weasel-Child receive her crown, then we were whisked off to Banff following the ceremony.  Princess Shannon will be telling you all about our stay in the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Travel Alberta Conference in our next blog (or maybe vlog), which means I get to share our experience at Happy Trails! We also recently attended the Conservative Party Convention Rodeo, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo so stay tuned for more on those events!

For those of you that don’t know from previous years, Happy Trails consists of us going to a retirement home once a month, where we get to visit, mingle, and sing with any seniors who wish to attend.  Yes… sing. One of the first things you should know about me before I continue is that I cannot sing.  I took vocal lessons for a year or two when I was younger (I think I was about six), until my mom started pushing for me to start playing the piano instead.  Coincidence? I really doubt it. Throw that lack of singing talent in with a major head cold that left me with very little voice, and it is safe to say I was terrified en route to our Happy Trails event.

The Stampede Promotions Committee and a band complete with a bass and two guitars greeted us upon our arrival at Whitehorn Village.  This is when I grew even more nervous; we were told that not only were we expected to walk around and visit/sing with the seniors, but also were expected to perform in front of everyone! With microphones!  I tried to push this thought from my mind as I began to talk to people and sing quietly with members of the retirement home. As the night progressed, I realized that nobody in the room cared if I could actually carry a tune; they were all there to have fun.  By the time it was our turn to lead a song for everyone I was having so much fun myself that all my nerves had disappeared.  Stephanie, Shannon, Carly, and I led an entertaining, albeit off key, rendition of You are my Sunshine complete with all verses.  All of us were surprised to learn that it is not the cheery little jingle we learned as children; those last couple verses certainly bring a darker side to the song!

After our spectacular performance we continued to mingle, and even led a couple line dances, or two-steps in my case when I got too lost to continue.  Another highlight from the night was learning the Spanish names to some of the songs we were singing from one of the residents.  “Valle del Rio Rojo” (Red River Valley) is one of the ones I remember best, and Ricardo and I had a blast laughing at my horrible Spanish accent.

Off key Royalty singing aside, our evening at Whitehorn was a great success.  Happy Trails has been one of my favourite events this year and I can’t wait to attend our next one in a couple weeks time! Who knows, maybe we’ll see such improvements in our vocal talents over the year that we could include it in a vlog segment… no promises though.

Queenie D