Sunday, July 29, 2012

I made friends.... in Banff, Canada!

This past week I was in Banff, Canada. It's in Alberta about 1.5 hours away from Calgary - and it was definitely an amazing trip!

Sunday July 22
After a trip to the gym, the family showered, got ready, and ate breakfast. Deciding that it was time to go into town and check out what downtown Banff looked like, we found some groundhogs along the way! So we decided to pull over and take some pictures. Turns out that they are extremely friendly and want any food you have. Fortunately, I found a piece of bread on the ground and decided to start feeding it to them. They LOVED it (and me for it!) However, when I ran out of bread they all started to gather around my feet and one liked the smell of my lotion and ended up BITING me!
Look at those chubby cheeks! :)
Our beautiful hotel!
Before going downtown, we decided that we were going to take the gondola up to the top of the mountain. First off, I don't do well on gondolas. I was scared the whole way up - however, when we got to the top, it was breathtaking!
The whole family - myself, za, dad, and mom
Pretending he didn't have service - HA!
Walking in downtown Banff was amazing. Being surrounded by the mountains was amazing and beautiful. There aren't enough words to describe the pictures that are posted. After a late lunch we continued to walk around more. When we had finished the main strip we were going to head back to the hotel, but decided that we would drive right down the street to Lake Minnewanka. This lake was unbelievable! The water was a teal color that was just beautiful.
Lake Minniewanka
The night was finished up by a reception for my dads business meetings and a nice night watching The Bachelorette... Fortunately we haven't missed the ending since we are on a different time zone!! WAHOO!

Monday July 23
Dad had a business meeting in the first part of the day so all the girls were on their own. I decided at the last minute that I didn't want to head into town, but instead wanted to take a hike - and that's exactly what I did. 5 1/2 miles up the side of the mountains... absolutely stunning!
Of course I had to head back at some point due to a 3:45 massage. Let me tell you, that was the best feeling after such a long hike! (well... long in my books!) After the massage everyone showered and got ready to head into downtown Banff to go to the dinner put on by my dads business colleagues. It was a decent dinner - definitely not the type of steak you get at home! After dinner it was off to bed!

Tuesday July 24
This morning started off with a trip to the gym, breakfast with mom, and a smaller hike. Mom had really wanted to see the falls (or rapids...) and so we decided to take a hike. When getting on the trail, it only took about 3 minutes to realize that mosquitos were CLINGING to us! The entire hike we were swatting at them trying to get them off our legs and arms! UGH! However, when we got to the falls - they were absolutely STUNNING!
Mom with the trail map
Myself with the trail map
Once we got back to the room, my dad was heading down to the gym to run and so we thought we would do a one hour horseback trail ride. While waiting for the trail ride (about 45 minutes - ugh!) we went over and fed the ground squirrels/groundhogs again! This time - I had part of a bagel, and they LOVED me for it!
The horseback riding was great... until.... I actually got on my horse. I had this beautiful horse named clover, was really sweet but a little lazy. The minute the lady said that "these are western horses which mean they kick and bite each other all day long - so you can't kick them hard enough!" I started to freak out! It seems a may have some anxiety... oh well!
Clover and I  - I wish that was HIS excited face!
Instead of going to dinner with my dads colleagues that night - we thought it would be fun to go to our own restaurant of our choice! We decided on this place called "grizzlys" that we had seen our first night. The sign said it was steak and cheese fondue so I figured it was right up our alley! When we got there it seemed like a very outdated place but the prices told me otherwise! We realized there were phones at every table. When we asked our server, we were able to get the scoop on the place. It opened in 1967 as a swingers club! The phones were at each table so that if you wanted to call and talk to someone you could pick up the phone and dial their table number and invite them over! Very awkward - but made for some good entertainment! Afterwards we did a little bit of shopping then headed back to the hotel...
You have the choice to cook it on stone or in oil - we chose stone figuring it was healthier. However, it takes 3 times as long considering the stone has to be replaced every 15 minutes!

Because on Wednesday July 25, we had to come back to VA!

I'm going to be starting a new arts and crafts project for my desk! Hopefully I can post on it either Monday or Tuesday!

Ms. B

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