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.
6) Best, best, best thing in the world? This:
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!
Pyramid Lake, Jasper
Aerial view of Banff
Even the buses are cute in Banff.
Lake Minnewanka, near Banff
Hiking near Jasper
A random view from “downtown” Jasper
Utility boxes as public art, Calgary
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!