Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Back!

We returned home on July 5th from a week in Canmore Alberta.  I was out there for my little sister's (26) wedding in the mountains.  It was quite the week-it feels like I'm squishing so much in one post (we had over 400 pictures taken).  As soon as we had grabbed our luggage at the Calgary airport, I spotted my uncle, aunt and husband who were apparently on the same flight.  As I walked towards them, I also spotted my mom, b/f and two brothers.  We got in contact with my sister, then split up to all get our rental cars.  We met at my sister's apartment, which was a little tricky to find.  Did you know that all of Calgary's neighborhoods have similar street names?  Like, for example: pagoda st, pagoda ave, pagoda cross, pagoda dr...  Seriously, who thought of that!  Our GPS was also having trouble picking up signals at certain points.  Calgary is so new and modern.  I was happy to leave there actually, because all of the cookie cutter houses and box stores were depressing me.  After lunch, we made one stop at the Chinook Mall-to Blacks.  I bought an Instax Mini Camera to snap photos with (I later bought a roll of 120 film for my holga in Banff-what a picture fest this trip was).

There were lots of highlights to the trip, but I'd have to say the wedding, and then the last day of hiking at Lake Louise were the big days.  My sister had a gorgeous outdoor wedding at a golf course looking towards some snow covered mountains.  The majority of her guests flew across the country (about 80 people at the wedding).  We all got luggage tags with a maple leaf on it as gifts on our tables. 

The following day we met up with V's sister and fiance, who also live in Calgary and drove out to Canmore to see us.  I was definitely tired after a night of eating, and dancing in high heal shoes.  We drove to |Banff for the day, which was crazy since it was Canada Day.  We walked the streets and visited little shops with fossils, had lunch, walked to the local lake, stopped by the park to see the festivities, and then headed off to the Gondola at Sulpher Mountain.  It felt like winter at the top of the mountain.  Later in the evening I met up with my sister and husband to watch the local fireworks.  I wore three layers of shirts because it was so chilly.  It was probably the most eventful Canada Day I've ever had-and I enjoyed seeing people waving flags, watching the parade, and eating red Canada cake at the park.

I went on a few different hikes.  
Day 2-We went to Johnston's Canyon in Banff Park.  It was about a 4 hour round trip to the Inkpots (special pools of water with vibrant blues and greens, surrounded by a valley and mountains).  We saw 4 caribou and a rather friendly crow there.

Day 5-Due to excessive tiredness, we headed to Canmore's Grassi Lakes trail.  I was pleasantly surprised!  We came across little waterfalls, smaller pools of water, mountain goats, and rock climbers. 

Day 6-Off to Yoho Park in the pouring rain!  We stopped at Lake Louise and contemplated what to do, luckily after grabbing a date square and coffee, the rain subsided.  We went on the Emerald Lake, only the find out that the trails were closed from aggressive black bears.  I was pissed, and actually wanted to hit the trails anyway, but we snapped some photos and went site seeing at Wapta Falls, Natural Bridge, Takawka Falls.  At Wapta Falls, we saw the Alpine Rescue fly in and almost landed on us.  We think someone had a broken ankle.  

Day 7-Favourite hike!  We went to Lake Louise, first to the gondola (which I totally recommend).  The gondola cost about the same amount as the one in Banff, but you get a buffet breakfast or lunch, and you get to see bears in the wild!

Afterwords, we did an extraordinary hike to Lake Agnes, where we stopped at the tea house for a black tea (some type of earl grey) and tea bisquits with strawberry jam.   It took about an hour and a half to get to the tea house, all hiking on an incline.  After we were rested, we decided to make the most of the day and continued on towards the Little Beehive and 6 Glacier hike.  Such amazing views we had being that high.  We came across lots of snow, and awed over the glaciers.  We also got to see a bunch of Hoary Marmots which were living in the rocks near the glacier.  They were adorable and reminded me of beavers.  Our hike exhausted our legs and knees; by the time we got back to the car it was 8:30 pm.  (we hiked for 6 hours!).  We drove towards Banff and stopped off at Melissa's Restaurant for veggie burgers and fries that were quite tasty.  I snapped some instax of the restaurant named after me, and then we headed home to pack for our early 7 am flight.  

I have to say, out of all the exotic places I've been-the rockies is my favourite place to visit!  I love hiking and adventuring outdoors.

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