Oh Canada!

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I’ve just returned from a 10-day vacation in the Canadian Rockies… and let me just say, it was glorious!

When it comes to vacations, I’m more of a mountain/lake/trail kind of traveler than a city/shopping/museum person… and even though I swear that I’d love to just go sit on a tropical beach for a week, chances are that after one day, I’d be lacing up my hiking boots and looking for a bit more action.

(Don’t get me wrong. I walk on forest trails. I don’t use ropes, hang by my hands or toes, or do anything at all scary or adventurous. I just like the great outdoors, okay? Blame all those summers spent at camp as a child.)

So… Canada. I love my son, but he definitely has limits when it comes to hiking, sightseeing, and in general, the stuff that his parents seem to find fun. Darling boy is off at three weeks of summer camp at the moment (camp is in the blood, I guess), so my hubby and I took advantage of this brief child-free moment in time to do what we wanted to do. And I’ve been dreaming of a vacation in the Rockies for years now. With the help of some good guidebooks, a Canadian coworker who gives great advice, and lots of gorgeous Pinterest photos as inspiration, we were off!

I learned a few things in Canada too:

1) I’m delicious… to mosquitoes. Our punishment for taking the wrong turn on a trail was being attacked by ravenous, blood-thirsty mosquitoes who I SWEAR were on a mission specifically to eat us.

2) Credit cards are great for avoiding the dreaded tourist fumble… in which you stand around trying to pay for something but not knowing which coin is worth a dollar and which is only 25 cents.

3) Stupid American, comment #1: There’s such a thing as Canadian cuisine! Did you know that? I most assuredly did not. It seems to consist of lots of meat, especially elk, bison, and caribou. My carnivore husband was impressed. (Me, I stuck to salads.)

4) Stupid American, comment #2: There’s such a thing as Canadian football! I had no idea, but apparently it’s a big deal. No, I don’t mean soccer. Good old football, with helmets and all. We happened to be in a pub with Thursday Night Football blaring on the TV all through our dinner. Good times!

5) I discovered that driving a big Jeep makes me feel rugged and outdoorsy. Rawr! I rule the road.

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6) Best, best, best thing in the world? This:

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Berry cider. 7% alcohol. Sweet and delicious, goes down like fizzy Kool-Aid, and then it kicks you in the head. Mmmmm. And pretty too.

Okay, long story short, we had a great time. I won’t bore you with further narrative… but I do want to share some photo highlights of the simply gorgeous places we went! As my husband started chanting as of about the 3rd day of our trip: Lakes! Mountains! Lakes! Mountains! You get the idea.

To view slide-show fashion, click on any image. Enjoy!

Sigh. Photos alone can’t do justice to the absolute beauty of the Canadian Rockies. If you’re considering going, hit me up for some “best of” tips! And if you’ve already been, please tell me what/where you loved the most!

And now… off to dream of my next vacation, wherever that might be!

8 thoughts on “Oh Canada!

  1. Lisa, I’m so pleased you spent your vacation in Canada. I lived in Alberta for twelve years, so I did my share of hiking and sight-seeing. My husband and I got married in Banff, so it has a special place in my heart, but there are a lot of beautiful Lakes! Mountains! LOL! I don’t recognize anything specifically in your photos – did you happen to go to Emerald Lake? It’s so striking.

    • Wow, you got married in Banff? Such a gorgeous place for a wedding! We didn’t make it to Emerald Lake — guess I’ll need a return trip. 🙂 Around Jasper, we went to Maligne Lake, Annette Lake, and Pyramid Lake. Near Banff, Lake Minnewanka, plus a lot of time along the Bow River. We were laughing at ourselves by the end, because every time we turned around we’d be exclaiming over one beautiful view or another.

      • Jasper is nice! Not so crowded. Banff can get pretty…touristy, but it’s beautiful. And such a fun place to visit. We’ve gone a bunch in the warmer months and a few times in December (with the Christmas lights and snow, it’s magical)! It’s a shame you couldn’t time your visit for the Highland Games in Canmore (just outside of Banff)! We went the year before we moved back to the U.S., and Lisa, I’m grieving a little because I have to miss it this September! Bagpipes, drums, kilts, dancing. It’s as close as you can get to Scotland without actually being in Scotland. 🙂

        • You’re right, Banff has more of an intense touristy feel, but it’s also just so beautiful! I loved walking around downtown and seeing the mountains in every direction. The Highland Games sound wonderful. Wish I could be there! Unfortunately, our vacation time is totally dictated by my son’s camp schedule and school schedule… so maybe when he goes to college? 🙂

  2. Omg Lisa! I’m so glad you had a good time 😀 it’s so good when you finally get to do your dream.
    Your pictures are amazing! The scenery ones wanted to make me cry. Being a city girl myself, I sometimes find it hard to believe places like that actually exist – places with grace and natural beauty. It perfectly sums up serenity doesn’t it?
    I really liked the “highest Starbucks” one, it’s quirky and made me giggle. What a tourist attraction ey? I found it amusing about your berry cider, I was just thinking was a pretty colour it was when you write it’s pretty too 😛 he he.
    There’s some good tips here! I like your tips about using cards. Also, I never knew about Canadian cuisine or football! Learn something new every day!
    Have a great week,
    Amy x

    • Thanks so much, Amy! My new mission is to track down some berry cider a bit closer to home. 🙂 Being in the Rockies was so phenomenal. I had a silly grin on my face the entire time!

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