a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Aug, 2018

The Fishbowl goes West: first stop, Calgary (our FIRST Air BnB and bullet train sushi)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

As I mentioned in my previous post, when Mark and I got married twenty years ago we honeymooned in Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. This summer we decided to recreate the experience this summer and bring the kids. I am so glad we did.

Our first day in Calgary was a very long one because it started in Ottawa around 3 a.m. The alarm was set for 5 a.m. but I woke up every hour on the hour between midnight and three wondering if it was time to get up yet. I gave up just after 3 a.m and threw in the towel at 3:45 a.m.

Everyone was fully packed and ready to go the night before, so getting to the airport was painless. We flew direct to Calgary via Westjet, picked up our car rental (a fully loaded Jeep Cherokee) and found our way to our Airbnb. THIS is the place we stayed in Calgary. I should mention that this was the very first time we’d booked an Airbnb and I can’t believe it’s taken us this long. It’s a two bedroom, two bathroom condo that’s right downtown across the street from the Sadddledome. Sparkling clean. On the 23rd floor. With a balcony. It was fabulous.

Getting into the condo could have been confusing (with a lockbox, key fob, private parking info, etc.) but the owners provided extremely detailed instructions in a 13MB PDF, complete with photos (“this is what the garage door looks like”). Thanks to their guidance it was pretty much smooth sailing.

One of the best things about this condo was the market on the ground floor. Sunterra is akin to Whole Foods, but on a smaller scale. Plus, there’s a licensed (!) dining area on the third floor with sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizza… that kind of thing. After lunch we did a small shop for breakfast items and then went on a walkabout… which turned out to be a mistake. My body had clearly had enough and I started to feel woozy as we walked further and further away from our home away from home. We came back, and I had a two-hour nap, and we drove to Calgary’s Chinatown for dinner.

Here’s where I should mention that we were rather ill-prepared because we didn’t research WHERE we should go for dinner, but a quick look online revealed a sushi restaurant that seemed really interesting. This turned out to be the highlight of our day. It was a little bit tricky to find Point Sushi, mostly because it seemed like the address was leading us to a church, but we persevered and went up some steps and through a big foyer and there it was: a bright modern restaurant with rows of booths, almost like a diner. Connecting the booths were small two-level “tracks.”

There is where sushi gets fun (usually you don’t use the words FUN and SUSHI in the same sentence). You order your food on a touchscreen and it comes right to your table on a miniature bullet train. Drinks and everything! ON A TRAIN. It’s quite novel. The portions are intentionally small (say, four pieces of sushi as opposed to eight in one serving), but it’s priced accordingly. Protip: if you ever find yourself at Point Sushi, I recommend ordering one item at a time so the train comes more often.

There was a young family at the booth next to ours and the boys were beside themselves with excitement. They could not contain their joy, which is certainly understandable because I was having a tough time keeping a lid on it as well. ;)

Point Sushi bullet train

Sushi roll at Point Sushi in Calgary

Here’s a little taste of what it looked like:

I really enjoyed the gimmick of the sushi train but more importantly, the food was good. I also appreciated the multiple smaller portions (and ordering when we felt like it) instead of being faced with our usual giant order all at once.

The whole system is very efficient. Plates and chopsticks are within easy reach on a shelf over the tracks. A hot water tap right at the table (!!) ensured that my green tea was always topped up and hot. Ordering on the touch screen was so simple, and we could see our orders, past and future, thus preventing questions such as: “What roll was that again?” and “What else is coming?” and to keep tabs on our tab. AND, if anyone reading this is interested in this kind of thing, the washrooms at Point Sushi have fancy Japanese bidets with remote controls and ALL KINDS of features. ‘Nuff said.

After dinner we were hoping to explore Calgary a bit more, but a rain shower sent us back to our car. We drove around downtown and got stuck in traffic but I didn’t mind. There was nowhere to go and we were having fun anyway. Back at our condo we watched a movie, ate popcorn, and fell into our beds.


1 Response to "The Fishbowl goes West: first stop, Calgary (our FIRST Air BnB and bullet train sushi)"

1 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive The Fishbowl goes West: animals animals animals! Plus, an unpleasant surprise fact about Alberta - a peek inside the fishbowl

August 28th, 2018 at 2:59 pm

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[…] In my previous post about our first day in Calgary I wrote a bit about our great accommodations (here’s a panoramic view from our balcony I forgot to upload by the way!) and a very cool sushi restaurant. We decided to spend our second day at the Calgary Zoo. We got up, got dressed, had a quick breakfast, and grabbed some picnic lunch-type items from the Sunterra market on the ground floor of our condo to bring with us. […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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