Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lake Louise (Chrissy Sojourn Part 4)

After hanging around in Banff for a couple of days we decided to head down the road to Lake Louise for a bit of a look see. As we drove North along the TransCanada we started to encounter more and more snow. It made for an ideal setting for a walk around the lake at the Château.


 Inside the Château Chrissy and I posed for the now customary pictures.  

 For some reason that I can't fully fathom I really liked this chandelier.
Of course the last and best stop on any roadtrip is going for ice-cream. Tiger-Tiger!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hanging at the Castle (Chrissy Sojourn Part 3)

No trip to Banff is complete without a visit to Banff Springs Hotel.  The place has always held a fascination for me since my very first visit. I remember driving there with Mom, Dad and Monica many years ago for my cousins wedding. We stayed in pretty crappy motels on the way, so when we pulled up to the Hotel I was completely confused. Adding to my confusion was the name of the valet who offered to park our car - Jesus.
I knew that he wasn't Bible Jesus, as he was obviously Mexican,  but I couldn't figure out why a mother would name their son after the bearded one. For a kid from whitewashed Saskatchewan it was something to see.
There are so many great rooms and spots in the building that it's hard to pick a favorite. But if you made me do so...it would be Stephen Hall. On our last trip to the Castle, Chrissy and I read the paper in that room and posed for each other.
I don't where socks that often, but when I do, they are knee highs and take the place of longjohns (which I never where). For this reason, Christina thought me 'pulling up my socks' was picture worthy.
Only the most natural of poses
Attending the make-believe ball in our hiking gear.
After wandering around the town Christina offered to buy me supper at the ritzy Bow Valley Grill at the Hotel, so we got dressed up a bit and headed out. Part of the agreement for me to attend a ritzy restaurant (which I really don't like doing) is that Chrissy had to goto the Waldhaus Pub at the Castle with me for a pint. She reluctantly agreed.
Serious boozing....
Supper was pretty good. On a trip to the washroom (near the haunted stairs) I ended up seeing this absolutely badass picture. Someone needs to incorporate this snow plow train into a zombie killing locomotive in a horror movie - NOW.
Once again, a visit  to the castle didn't disappoint.  I am already looking forward to the next trip.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Relaxing in Banff (Chrissy Sojourn Part 2)

The second day of our roadtrip found us battling a ridiculously thick fog before arriving in beautiful Banff. It wasn't so long ago since we were in the town but with a great deal on Groupon we found the pull irresistible.

We walked around the town for a couple of days just following the bow river and skirting Lake Minnewanka stopping to enjoy the scenery and take some pictures.

Posing so innocently

Along the river and on to the golf course we came across a few elk enjoying the fresh new grass of the fairway boxes. They were a little skittish and threatened to charge us with a couple of stamps so we gave them their distance.

Distance = Perspective and I took the opportunity to prove that I am the dominant species by pretending that I could consume a full elk in one bite. Take that Wapiti!

Surprisingly the water by the river was quite low. I thought it would be gushing this time of year but I guess the frost and snow in the mountains hasn't had the big melt yet.

I took the opportunity to goof around with the rocks and made a statement in the riverbed visible for Chrissy on the bridge. 

Professing my feelings to all the trolls and bridge dwellers earned me a special trip to the Banff Avenue Brewing Company brewpub. I chose to sit outside and enjoy the best Cream Ale I have ever had.

Christina obliged my outside request in her own manner.

After all the walking we were a little hungry so we ordered some appetizers. We were pleasantly surprised by the appetizers list and completely blown away when it arrived. Here we have "Honey Glazed Duck Confit Sliders with Camembert Cheese" and "Calamari with a Sweet Onion and Wasabit Sauce".  Both were ridiculously good.

After a couple of long days relaxing and eating we needed to unwind....really it's true. We filled up our thermos with some beer and headed to the outside hot tub at our hotel: The Inns of Banff.

Not a bad way to end the day.

Next post: Hanging out at the Big Castle (Banff Springs Hotel)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Calgary Zoo (Chrissy Sojourn Part 1)

The last few weeks have been extremely busy; Back and forth to Saskatoon a couple of times, cool opportunities and new connections at work, the end of my hockey season and the beginning of slo-pitch. Between all of the events Christina quit her old job (where we met) and started a new one. Before starting her new job though she arranged for a full week off to relax. I took a couple of days off work and we roadtripped it south down to Banff.

Day 1 of the roadtrip brought us to Calgary and the City Zoo.  I've only been to the Calgary Zoo twice before in my life - once when I was quite young and my memories are a litte shaky and last winter for a night time Christmas light walking tour when most of the animals were sleeping or shacked up in inside. After visiting and enjoying the Edmonton and Saskatoon city zoos the last couple of years I was looking forward to fully experiencing the much hyped Calgary Zoo.

It didn't disappoint.

Like the Forestry Farm zoo in Saskatoon there are multiple Peacocks walking around strutting their stuff. This early in the spring they were in full plumage and looking for some action.
This peacock was sitting on a fencepost and reminded me of the sight-gag of two midgets sneaking into a place for tall people under a long trench-coat.
I love the blue color on duck wings. Must be a remnant of my childhood when I had a collection of duckwings as butchering leftovers from my brothers hunting trips.
In the middle of the zoo they had a conservatory with plenty of plants and a butterfly garden. To combat the dreariness of the drab brown world outside we lingered in there for some time taking pictures of the flowers.

As we walked around enjoying the animals we kept on finding these advertisements for the Gorillas. I thought the internal advertising was a cool idea to build excitement and a good way to further recognize a sponsor. Plus the execution was hilarious.

Needless to say when we finally got to the gorillas I was pretty excited. They were active (except for the big guy) and gave us a good show.
Near the Gorrilas was this monkey - I liked his middle part haircut.
By far my favorite animal was the hippopotamus. Chrissy and I sat and watched them for about 15 minutes as they did laps in their pool. Unfortunately, they didn't get out and walk around but it was neat to see them breach and get some air. Plus, watching them in the water was really cool - they literally prance through the water.

It was a great time at the zoo and we had a ton of fun. 
If you have never been to the Calgary Zoo before or if if you haven't been there in awhile I highly recommend it.

Next post - Banff.