Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Family Reunion in Canada: Part II - Banff

Josh wasn't able to get off of work so I made the trek to Canada on my own.

I flew out of Chicago on June 27, 2015. I had a two hour flight from Chicago to Montreal. After going through customs, I grabbed a bite to eat, called Josh, and then jumped on my 5 hour flight from Montreal to Calgary. I paid a little extra to get the emergency exit aisle chair and it ended up being completely worth it. No one else showed up and I got the whole row to myself!

Shortly after take off I laid down and didn't wake up until the Captain announced we were landing. 

My siblings all arrived just before I did so by the time I got my luggage they were ready for me with a pizza and a rental car.

We drove up to Canmore and arrived at our rental house around 2:00 AM. My parents showed us where we would be sleeping and the we all crashed for the night. 

The next morning we were awoken by my adorable nephews playing downstairs. They are so cute so it makes it okay! :-) We (minus Ryan since he was sick) ate some breakfast and then headed out into Banff National Park. 

First stop: Lake Louise!

After a short hike (100 ft or so) we made it to the lake!

[Dad with his grandson]

[Mom and dad with two of their grandsons]

[Luke and Andie]

[Luke and Dane]

[Mom and Brady]

[We couldn't be at a lake and not throw rocks in!]

[Mom and Dane]

 Pictures do not capture the beauty that is Lake Louise. And yes, the water really is that color! After strolling around the lake and throwing rocks in the water we walked through the Chateau and then got back on the highway.

Our next stop was Takakkaw Falls.

[Nature walk to the falls]

After a short walk along the river and across a bridge, we came up to the Falls. And it was gorgeous!

[Missy and the boys]

The Falls were so powerful that you could feel the mist from where we were!

The road was windy and I was feeling sick so we headed into the town of Banff to find some food. We ate at a cute little cafe and walked around downtown for  a bit before heading back to the house in Canmore.

The next day we awoke to a thunderstorm. Our first day in Canada was abnormally hot and the second day was a little chilly. We waited out the storm and then headed into town. 

We got tickets for the gondola which took us to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

[All ready to go!]

I rode with my parents and Brady while Luke, Andie, Ryan, Missy and baby Dane crammed in their own gondola.

[Brady was SO excited!]

We regrouped once we got to the top and I headed into the gift shop to buy a pin (which I collect). We then headed out on the Skywalk which took up to the summit where and the old meteorological observatory building was.

There were quite a lot of stairs and it sprinkled on us a few times, but the view from the top was worth it!

[Gift shop and visitor center in the background]

We spent a few minutes at the top before making the trek back down to the Visitor Center where the gondola picks you up.

[Ride back down]

[Dad and Luke having fun in the gift shop]

Outside the main gondola terminal was this huge Ice Explorer monster truck! The boys had a fun time standing on the tires. I think they liked being taller then Ryan and Uncle Luke!

After the gondola we went back into town to get a bite to eat. No one could decide where to go so we ended up at McDonalds. Yum? I didn't order anything but my mom did share her Poutine (only in Canada) with me! So nice of her! And to be honest, it was really good! After that we drove by the Banff Springs Hotel. The hotel is HUGE and it looks like a castle. 

We didn't stop at the hotel but we did stop at a waterfall that was close by.

We were done exploring Banff so we headed back to the house in Canmore where we had a nice steak dinner. YUM!

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