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Monday, June 28, 2010

{Let's Take a Trip} Banff

I've noticed that I have a lot of Canadian readers...which I love...because I love Canada and love Canadians! And not just because I got engaged there (in front of 50,000 screaming people, but that's a different story), but because it's stunningly beautiful and the people are the nicest of anywhere I've traveled. Really.

Once a year, Mr. Sugarplum and I pack our bags, drop the kids with the grandparents, and hot-foot it to the airport. And for those precious days away...we laugh, eat, drink, sleep, cuss like sailors, and um, other stuff. Basically we revert back to the kooks we were when we fell in love...before mortgages, kids, school, and schedules. It's lifesaving, or marriage-saving I guess.

In April, we flew to Calgary and spent a week in Banff, Alberta, Canada (that's a lot of commas, is that right?!). Mr. SP has been wanting to ski the last few years, but my other trips kept winning out. So this year, being the precious, adoring wife I am, I agreed to ski...as long as it wasn't freezing and there was more than "just a mountain, wah!" (I didn't say I wasn't a brat.) Banff in Springtime was the perfect choice....adorable town, countless restaurants, spring temperatures, off-season rates, and few tourists.

Since this blog isn't just my own personal scrapbook, I'll show you Banff from a traveler point-of-view...as opposed to a Facebook page point-of-view ("look at us and how cute we are and how much fun we had" ). When I'm researching for a trip, this is the stuff I want to see.

I mentioned it was off-season...which means hotels, ski rentals and lift tickets are drastically reduced! Which is also how we were able to stay in the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

banff springs

Just a little castle in the mountains!

hotel2

View from room:

room view

It is totally worth staying here. We felt like such ballers....the staff knows your name, the shuttle bus to the mountain picks you up right outside the door, you drop your boots and skis near the lobby and they store them on heaters overnight!! It's also a beautiful, 20-minute walk to town along the Bow River and Bow River Falls, and across this bridge:

bow bridge

trail to town

bow falls water

The town of Banff is charming and overflowing with great restaurants:

banff town 2

The skiing was perfect, and the lifts were virtually empty:

top of the mountain

empty lifts

Lake Louise was still frozen, but you can see it nestled in the mountains:

frozen lake louise

We took a day off from skiing and explored the area around town on bike.

horses

cool trees

town

Wildlife everywhere (can someone tell me what this is?!)

roadside wildlife

Even had an encounter with a bear

bear attack

I think he was pissed about how much fudge I inhaled ate from his shop!
Everywhere you look is simply breath-taking...but I could never tire of looking at the water. It was the color of the Caribbean.

bow river

reflect

I would imagine any season is perfect in this sweet town. Thanks for sharing your beautiful country Canadians! (whew, I made it through the entire post without once saying 'eh?') Do you have any Banff experiences to share?

6 comments:

  1. This is my 'hood!!!!

    I was so excited to see this post and so happy you enjoyed Banff!! It's a regular weekend getaway for us (about a 3hr drive) and we LOVE it there. In fact, we got engaged 3 years ago right in front of Lake Louise - so it's extra special :)

    Oh, and that animal looks like an elk to me - which is basically a bigass deer.

    yay! Canada!

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  2. Banff, yay! You flew right into my home town, Calgary! So glad you had an amazing trip... and thanks for the lovely compliments ;) xx

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  3. i just stumbled upon your blog and was so happy to see this post about banff! a few of my friends just left to go spend a few months there for a music festival! those pictures are so amazing. i'm jealous!!

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  4. How gorgeous! I hope my fiance John and I can take trips like this someday when we have kids and such. I have a friend that lives in Calgary and have heard much about the area though I've yet to set foot in Canada. Someday!

    xx Katie

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  5. 50,000 screaming people? Sounds like Mr. Sugarplum knows how to set the stage! ;)

    Beautiful pics! Gorgeous!

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  6. What breathtaking pictures!! I've never been to Banff, but now I totally want to go!! Great post!

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Your comments are like crack, or popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. xoxo, cass

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