charlotte and chelsea's rad summer: calgary, alberta

This week's Rad Summer post comes from my adopted hometown of Calgary, Alberta and some lovely ladies that I met through Kati's blog, I think. Charlotte and Chelsea have an awesome blog called There & Here that beautifully chronicles their long distance friendship. For their guest post here on the Sadie blog they are sharing a night where they're together. I love the photos they chose to share and that their Rad Summer is about their friendship. No matter where I am I always have a good time when my best friends are around. Looks like the same is true for Charlotte and Chelsea...

When Sarah first approached us to do a guest post about our Rad Summer we had a long list of potential adventures we could embark on. However, the further into the planning process we got, the more it made sense that the most fitting setting for our post would be our home of Calgary. We were both born and raised here and met here during our first year of studying graphic design. Together we have made many many memories in this city and it was here that we grew into lifelong friends. This summer in Calgary marks a turning point in both of our lives. For Charlotte, it is a brief visit before she heads back to her adopted home of Nelspruit, South Africa to figure out what the next year will bring. For Chelsea, it is an extended goodbye as she prepares to depart in the fall on a trip overseas for an indefinite length of time. So, with us both unsure when we will next be back, it seemed right that our Rad Summer would document our last night out together in the city that brought us together.

We've been lucky this year to enjoy one of the longest and warmest summers we can remember. It's rare in late September to be able to spend an evening outside comfortably in Calgary, but on this night we were able to do just that. Our plan of a quick drink at Chelsea's apartment to start the night turned into hours of drinking vodka lemonade on the fire escape talking about life, reliving old memories and laughing the night away. Throughout the years so many good intentions of nights out have been disrupted by us opting to instead stay in and drink wine and tell stories late into the night. However, by the time the sun had set (and the vodka had run out) we figured we had to have more to show of our night than self timed photos on a dodgy fire escape. So, jars of cocktails in hand, we set off on our adventure.

Our plan was to pub crawl through some of our favorite bars in Calgary, meeting and making friends along the way. However, on our way to the train we unexpectedly happened to stumble upon a massive outdoor dance party making its way through downtown. It was unlike anything either of us had seen before in Calgary. There were literally hundreds of people dancing and singing along with music from synchronized boom boxes scattered throughout the crowd. We managed to randomly find a few of our friends in the mass of people and, as we did not come prepared for the apparent "business time" theme, they kindly offered us fake moustaches, which clearly meant it was time for business. We wore our mustaches proudly and danced and sang along with the hundreds of other business minded partiers. We had a great time laughing at the randomness of it all until the party started to move further away from our original destination and we managed to escape the crowds and get back on track. After a brief pitstop at a location that cannot be named (as you never know who reads this blog!) we made our way through the city, stopping to explore the gorgeous new Memorial Park and for a drink with our dear friend Maia. We eventually ending up at Broken City to catch fellow Calgarian Samantha Savage Smith sing her heart out. We've both been fans of her music for awhile but hadn't had the chance to see her live. With her album recently being released by Arts & Crafts and a huge career imminent it was a treat to see her in this small hometown venue so synonymous with Calgary music. We ended with a 2am nightcap and a long sleep to Sam's voice still ringing in our ears.

Our Rad Summer may not have taken us to see fantastic sights in far away places but for two friends with a looming departure our adventure was perfect. This warm autumn night of a cozy apartment, local live music, gorgeous public spaces and countless old friends reminded us of how fortunate we are to call Calgary home. So, despite all of the thrills a more exotic adventure may have allowed, the chance for us to document our last night out together in our hometown before going our separate ways was more than worth sticking around for.

Thank you so much, Charlotte and Chelsea! I will always wonder about the secret pitstop that you made. I also love that you shared all sorts of Calgary stuff that I've never even heard about. I guess I've been gone a while now and it's exciting to know that Calgary has some fun things going on these days. Be sure to check out There & Here and say hi to these two ladies (and check out my guest posts for them here and here). Also, next week marks the end of the Rad Summer series (it had to happen sometime...) and I have a very exciting post scheduled, so check back!


  1. love this post! sounds like an amazing adventure :)

  2. Sarah, thank you so much for this. Charlotte just left Calgary this week so it's perfect timing for a little nostalgic look at our time together. It's been a pleasure getting to know you! Looking forward to more collaborations in the future.

  3. Awesome adventure! It sounds like you had tons of fun.

  4. It seems like you have a great adventure and tons of fun!

  5. Sarah - We had so much fun doing this post for you! Calgary is pretty great these days, I miss it already! Thanks again for contributing to our blog, we will definitely be doing this again!

  6. Charlotte and Chelsea: Thank you so much for sharing this post and your summer adventure on the Sadie blog!!! Much appreciated! And thank you everyone else for taking the time to read and leave a comment. :)


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