Friday, July 13, 2012

Canada Trip – Part Two

On Canada Day (July 1st), we drove from the tiny town of Water Valley, AB to Banff National Park. The town of Banff was first established as a stop for the Transcontinental Railway. A couple of years later, a few hot springs were found and the surrounding area became Canada's first national park. I imagine National Parks as these reserved plots of land for hiking and camping, but this one had a few little towns within it. Banff was bustling with tourists there to celebrate the nation’s birthday.
We travel well together because coffee is always a priority.

Sidewalk painting in downtown Banff.

The Bow River runs all the way from the mountains through downtown Calgary. We spent a lot of time together on this trip.

To attract tourists from the cities into the Canadian Rockies, several five star hotels were built along the Trans Canadian Highway. The first was by far the most spectacular:
The Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge

We didn’t stay there, but we did take full advantage of their complimentary terraces, golf course restaurant, and Canada day celebration.
From the terrace, Bow Falls is just behind us.

We had a late lunch at the golf course. Chris got a gigantic cheeseburger and I had super-cheesy veggie quesadillas. Paired with an Arnold Palmer, naturally.

We shared a white cupcake with white frosting and it was divine.

After the Canada Day celebration, we headed back downtown to catch the 5pm parade. But not before stopping at The Maple Leaf for a glass of wine and a couple of beers.
Solid décor

The parade was marvelous, totally full of mountain-town charm. Plus by 6:00pm the sun decided to come out!

We walked down the street a bit further to check into our hotel, Irwin’s Mountain Inn. After a busy day in Banff, we decided to find an inexpensive option for dinner and relax on our hotel patio. Not without a few more local beers though! We hit up Banff Ave Brewing Co. and bought a few bottles to go. I enjoyed the fruity seasonal while Chris tried to wrap his mind around their Black Pilsner. Even though I wanted to fall asleep, Chris pulled me out the door to catch the 11:20pm firework show. Why so late? The sun was still setting at that time! The earth’s curve is crazy.

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