Like what you see?

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to follow me along as I stumble through traveling and baking adventures. Sign up to receive The Traveling Cupcake via email or RSS feed - the links are on the right! Also, make sure to check out the mini traveling cupcake for all of my baby updates. Hope to see you again soon!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Friendly Neighbor to the North

Well, I guess this neighbor isn't technically to my North (not you Scotland!) - but if you are reading this from the US then I'm talking about your neighbor - CANADA!

Brian has been working out of the Calgary office since the end of November. He was lucky to get a few days off for Christmas (gee, thanks guys) so we could make our trip to Italy. He had to be back right after the trip though, so off we were to Canada for New Years!

Oh goody, more snow!
We spent the first few days of the trip in Calgary as Brian had to work. It was super cold but not really super snowy when we arrived. Calgary has this great system of inside walkways that criss-cross the city called the Plus 15 (or +15). These walkways make the need to go outside virtually nonexistent - AWESOME. While Brian was hard at work I was watching HGTV for multiple hours at a time and wandering around these inside tunnels. It was really tough let me tell you.

Brians brother, Gavin, was also in Calgary with us and was kind enough to plan a lunch time activity for us one day - bobsledding.

Now, my exposure to bobsledding is quite limited. OK, pretty much the only bobsledding I have ever watch was the movie Cool Runnings over a decade ago, and maybe 20 mins total during the winter olympics. But there was one thing that I knew - you sat yourself in a bullet that rocketed down a twisty turny ice death trap. I was not very excited, as you can probably tell.

We went to the Olympic site, signed away our lives and then waited, and waited and waited until it was our turn. I pretty much thought I was going to puke so I didn't really talk that much. Our driver gave us a quick over view of what was going to happen and off we went.  The next 63 seconds were pretty much a blur. I knew that there were 14 turns total, and after the 5th or so turn there was a long straightaway and then a 270* turn. I counted the first 5 turns and after the straightaway I don't really remember anything except that the G forces pushed my head, neck and shoulders down so far I couldn't see anything that was going on around me. I just kept thinking "give in to the G force so you don't break your neck!". Forty-five more seconds of bumping and jostling around at a ridiculous high speed and we were done. Thankfully, I lived to tell my story.

The next day was New Years Eve and after work Brian and I headed south to Banff for a relaxing long weekend. We stayed at the amazing Fairmont Banff Springs, which is by far one of the nicest hotels I have ever been at. The staff was wonderful, our room was amazing, the scenery and setting were to die for...I was very, very spoiled.

If you squint through the sun you can see our hotel
Amazing view from our room
Banff is a super cute town about an hour away from Calgary in the Canadian Rockies. From here you can ski, snowshoe, snowmobile, dogsled (more on that in my next post!) - or relax with a hot chocolate by the fire, shop to your little hearts content or simply enjoy the views. 

We spent NYE at The Bison, a great bar/restaurant in downtown Banff. They had a set menu for NYE dinner and we all went out to the deck after dinner to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately all of our NYE photos are on Brians camera...maybe thats a good thing actually.

The first day of 2011 is pretty much a blur. I know it involved a lot of eating and sleeping, and lots of time at the spa. Pretty much how every first day of the year should be spent.  The second day of 2011 was a bit more productive. We were up bright and early to go dogsledding! That deserves its own separate post, so more on that later.  During the afternoon we took a drive up to Lake Louise. So beautiful and SO cold.

Ice castle!!

We had such a great time in Canada over the new year. I can't wait to go back sometime during the summer when I can actually breathe comfortably and not worry about my limbs freezing off one by one. I also can't wait to go on a vacation that involved white sandy beaches, not white snow....


Post a Comment