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So it was time to head out west to visit family and see the sights again. But this time Kara spiced it up several notches. She spent weeks scouring the web finding the finest hotels money could buy and then found rock bottom prices as we were going in the off season.
So we went through Edmonton and then to Edison to visit the family for a few days. Then we were off to Jasper, where we stayed at the Jasper Park Lodge. We got our own little cabin/apartment thingy, and we stayed there for a few days. It was a top notch place, not one Canadian person worked there. (???) The front desk girl was (France) French and the rest were from Australia and Britain. High Speed Internet in your room! But no WiFi. While staying at Jasper we went on a hike to Maligne Canyon, it was still snowy and icy under the tree cover which made for a slow tiring walk, but we had a great time.
Jasper is also where I learned that our trusty Canon SD630 is no good for scenic mountain shots – you need a controllable fstop and I have wanted a DSLR for a while so we bought a Canon XTi. (Thanks sweetie!)
Once we finished up there we started making our way to Lake Louise, we stopped at every little sightseeing stop there was… Athabasca falls, the Columbia Icefield and the Weeping Wall (frozen) to name a few.
Once we arrived at the Château Lake Louise, we pretty much had to get dressed up and go down stairs to “Walliser Stube” restaurant. It is a fancy Swiss Fondue outfit that we had a reservation at, and even though we pretty much know I did not like my meat boiled, we gave it a fair try. We started with a cheese fondue with French bread, Then a Broth Fondue with Beef and Bison and then a more different Broth Fondue with 8 kinds of seafood. Top that all off with a chocolate fondue made from Toblerone, the legendary triangular Swiss chocolate with honey and almond nougat and you’ve had yourself supper – then off to our room from the night. High Speed Internet! But no WiFi (again).
The next morning we went for a walk around the lake and spent some time looking at what there was to see before packing up and making our way to Banff. When we got to Banff we pretty much just walked around for 5 hours shopping and seeing what there was, when we got back to the hotel (Delta Banff) we noted that there was WiFi, So we sent a few email, received a few email – Darren says there will be 10 inches of snow, huh?? We better go to the gondola right nowish…
So we are running to the Navi, shouting at the valet to throw me the keys – the Concierge is running full stride next to us giving us directions, pointing to the underground parking exit. So we had 32 minutes to get from the hotel to the Base of Sulphur Mountain, ride to the top, walk the path to the Summit, walk back and get on the last ride down before 6:00.
So we made it there and got to the top and we look up and say that’s not that far, we have 18 minutes to get there and back. So off we go, down the path, huffing to beat the band – we made it to the summit, took as many pictures as 30 seconds would allow and then headed back.
Stopped to take a picture of a Whiskey Jack and pressed on.
When we got back with forty some seconds to spare, I read the sign that says it is 1 full kilometer away. (did I mention the air is pretty thin at 7400 feet?) That night we looked up a Korean BBQ (Bulgogi) place and went there for supper. It was run by a small Korean family. The side dishes where good, and the meat was fair, except that it was pan fried and not grilled like we are used to.
The next morning we woke to the horrible sound of snow plows, and rightly so as there was nearly a foot of snow on the ground. It was a good thing we went to the gondola the day before as it was closed down for the day. We went and saw bow falls, where I took a really cool picture of snow on the falls, the neat thing is that it looks like it was shot B&W but that is exactly how it looked. We spent the rest of the day checking out museums and art exhibits because it was a miserable day, supper at the Keg and off to bed.
That’s pretty much it, Drove in a blizzard the whole way back – but Navi took it like a champ. It seems 10 days it about the right amount of time for a vacation, then the itch it be in our own warm bed sets in…