Camping!

Last weekend, so two weekends ago now, my friend Sherrie organized a big camping trip for all our friends/her friends/all the friends. This was the second annual friends camping trip, and unfortunately I had to miss last year so this time I was IN. Camping is my favourite. But we had just gotten back from a very exhausting trip (I hesitate to say vacation as we were very busy every day and it wasn’t exactly relaxing, it was a trip) so an entire weekend away camping wasn’t doable for me. I had stuff to get done at home. Evan had even more stuff to do, so I just drove up myself on Saturday morning for one night.

I arrived just after noon and everyone was already up and in the water.

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I like how they’re all like “Heyyyyyyy. GET IN HERE!”

Sherrie and I actually stumbled upon this campground two years ago when we got kicked out of Algonquin Park for being too noisy. This place, Pine Grove Point, is a privately owned campground on the outskirts of Algonquin (it’s actually where Evan and I picked up our canoe from when we were backcountry camping last year), and they are much more lenient about things than provincial parks are. They actually encourage you to bring drinks down to the beach.

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And they purposely put us all at a huge site at the very pack of the campground so we are free to be loud (though I don’t know if they encourage singing Disney songs on the beach at midnight…)

I love provincial parks, and they are beautiful and all that, but almost every time I’ve camped in one I’ve gotten at least one noise complaint. So if your plan is to have more of a party time with your friends, finding a good private campground is the way to go. For me the most important aspect of a good campground is good lake swimming. Hiking trails are always nice too, but lake swimming is probably my favourite activity of all time and something that I don’t get to do every day, so I definitely cherish it. This place has the BEST lake swimming. Clear and deep. J’adore.

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It also helps that they have a bunch of floating trampolines and a floating dock. We swam for hours and hours that Saturday afternoon. It was my dream.

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My ol’ pal Sherrie

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Kim!

My friends Dawn, Mark, Emily and Corey were up for just the Friday night, so I was sad to miss them all on Saturday. But I really enjoy Sherrie’s friends, and I have hung out with them so much that I consider them my friends. And Sherrie has hung out with my friends so much that she considers them her friends. And all our friends have hung out together so much that everyone considers everyone friends. It is a great thing.

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Eventually we packed up around dinnertime and headed back to our site. I brought myself a chicken burger to grill, however I knew from experience that the camp store/snack bar at the park has really amazing poutine. Really. Amazing.

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Obviously I had to get this. It was quite large and in charge so I had to rope some friends into helping me finish it, but I don’t think they minded. People will tell you that you aren’t eating real poutine unless your fries are topped with cheese curds as opposed to shredded cheese and I will tell you right now that I disagree. I love a good cheese curd, but I really enjoy all types of cheese so I can’t discriminate. I don’t know if that poutine would have been better with cheese curds. And I don’t even know if that was real cheese. But it was pretty perfect as-is.

And if you want to catch a glimpse inside a random camping store…

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Alllll the things you could possibly need for your camping trip, just in case you forget your…cat food.

As I mentioned, our campsite was basically a huge area at the back of the campground that had been cleared of brush.

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Complete with a sleeping/tent area, an eating/fire area (good thing, since about 16 people were up at some point over the weekend so there were a lot of tents), and a GAMES AREA!

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Sherrie brought our trusty, faithful ladder ball. It is always a good time. It is especially a good time in the dark when you tie glow sticks around the three levels and throw the balls in the pitch black, hoping for the best.

We also played a lot of Euchre, which is my favourite card game of all time.

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I do not get to play nearly as often as I like because I find it difficult to get four people together who all know how to play Euchre (I actually play online – Hardwood Euchre! It is the best! If anyone has it seriously let me know, I’ll be your partner). We had a bunch of people who knew how to play though, so we had a bit of a tournament.

We also played some flip cup. Because a party is not a party unless there is flip cup. This team was undefeated.

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And they are jerks. My team never won.

Eventually we all saddled up around the fire and two of the guys broke out guitars (and a ukelele!) and serenaded us. I think they ended up hating us though, because we were all “Can you play this? Play Neil Young! But can you play THIS?! Play this, play this!” Note to self: learn how to play the guitar, and learn how to play all the campfire songs.

Last time Sherrie and I were camping there it was theme night and they turned the entire campground into Halloween (in August), complete with a haunted house. And a bunch of adults were dressed up…

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We were not so lucky this time. But it was still a fun time.

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It was raining in the morning, so we all packed up early and I was home just after noon. Just in time for Sunday leisuring before work on Monday.

Eating Adventures at the Calgary Stampede

Last post about my vacation and then I will shut up about it, I promise.

I need to talk about the food at the Calgary Stampede, because whoa. I am still undoing that damage. The Stampede is really a lot like the Toronto Exhibition, only with cowboys and rodeos. In the food department it is very similar in that it is one of those “let’s see how crazy we can get” type of deals. Like cronut burgers and such.

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Who doesn’t want a hand dipped double bacon corn dog? I actually did have a hand dipped jalapeno cheese corn dog and honestly I ripped all the corn off and just ate the dog, so I am not sure what that says about me. Probably it says I was inebriated because that happened late Saturday night.

There was food EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you looked. All the food. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, along came pizza on a stick. And chips on a stick.

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Those Wiggle Chips were GOOD though, they were Evan’s dream!

And deep fried Philly cheesesteak (I almost wrote chilly pheesesteak)…

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And all of the items on this list:

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Why did I not get the chocolate covered bacon?! WHY?!

And then there was all your typical carnival/fair type fare as well:

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There were a lot of different kinds of foods, and sadly I can’t eat everything, so I had to choose wisely. Here are the things I remember eating:

Pulled pork from the 3 B’s, which was delicious.

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I love a good pulled pork from a legit barbecue joint. I could have gone for more sauce on there, but that’s alright. You can’t have everything.

Taco in a bag!

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Which is crushed Doritos topped with all the taco fixins (ground beef, cheese, lettuce tomato, salsa, sour cream). That actually may have been one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten. I never wanted that goody bag to end.

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Deep fried cheddar cheese…

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Which was also amazing. Just a crispy nugget of melty cheddar. Love.

Deep fried avocado…

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And I would say deep fried avocado is not as good as it sounds, but I don’t even know if it sounds good… We should have stuck to the deep fried pickles ’cause I KNOW that is goodness right there.

And of course…

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Yep and yep. Deep fried Oeros…

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And deep fried Pop Tarts.

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#fitfluential #jerf #betruetoyou #nourish

The Pop Tarts were surprisingly good. The taste was pretty much bang-on deep fried Pop Tart. If I didn’t know beforehand what I was eating, I would have been able to guess it. HOWEVER, they did have a weird kind of sogginess to them that I didn’t really enjoy. Not sure what was up with that.

The deep fried Oreos were obviously dynamite. You can’t go wrong there.

All the deep fried things reminded me of when I used to work at Dairy Queen in high school and we would experiment with the deep fryer and try to fry everything. Like processed cheese. And cones. And the ice cream itself (deep fried cone with ice cream is SO good). And one time someone accidentally dropped a drive thru headset in the deep fryer. It actually still worked afterwards, but it was greasy forever after.

Anyway. I washed all the amazingness down with sweet, sweet lemonade.

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And beer.

Good times. And you know what, I didn’t even gain any weight while we were away because we walked so much. So that is a win. Though, every time I go on vacation I seem to gain 10 pounds the second I’m off the plane somewhere new…and somehow when I’m home again I’m back to normal. Weird, right?

Have a great weekend! EAT LOTS!!!!

The Calgary Stampede

Our last two days of vacation were spent at the Calgary Stampede with Lisa, my very bestest, and her cowboy lover Mackenzie.

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Mackenzie is actually a real, legit cowboy. It is difficult to distinguish the real cowboys from the impostors during the Stampede, since everyone is dressed as a cowboy (seriously, the entire city of Calgary), but Kenz is the real deal.

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Real cowboy vs. not even trying to be an impostor.

Kenz grew up on a cattle ranch outside of the city, and I believe that is his future. So he wears his hat and his buckles and his boots all year round, and he was telling us that people on the street sometimes yell “Hey buddy, STAMPEDE’S OVER!!!!!” weeks after the Stampede and he’s all “Dude, but I’m a cowboy!” Cowboy problems, right?

Evan is all about embracing his nerdy-McNerdiness (and I so love him for being that and owning it), but I love themes of any kind, and I know Lisa does too, so we were in our cowgirl attire.

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Best friends since Grade 3 <3

Well, we got our hats later, but you know. I was western-ish, at least. And I do have to say that Evan did look quite lovely in a cowboy hat when he was trying them on…

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Stud.

For not living in Calgary I had some serious hookups. You may remember back in February I met a new friend Nicole, who works at the Calgary Stampede, at an event through my work. Emily and I hit it off with her immediately.

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New friends

She gave me that awesome hat I’m wearing (which I didn’t bring to Stampede because I didn’t want to ruin it) and she also gave me a beautiful gold and silver western bracelet as a thank you for hosting her organization (which I did wear). She told me to let her know when we got to the Stampede grounds and she would come out and give us tickets to get in. And heeeere she is!

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She not only gave us free tickets to get into the Stampede, but she brought us bottled water (like $3 a bottle, so that’s like gold), escorted us past the one-hour line-up, and chauffeured us into the grounds. It was the nicest gesture and we all felt eternally grateful. She is one of those people who genuinely, in the very deepest parts of their soul, are just the sweetest and the absolute nicest. I am so glad that I met her. I just want to give her a bear hug.

She was working so couldn’t hang with us, so we bid her farewell shortly after, and then…STAMPEDE TIME!!!

 

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Cowfolk for the day! (except Mackenzie, cowfolk all the time.) Actually, I am not an avid cowboy boot wearer (and I was only wearing cowboy “booties” so not official or anything), but you know what I like about them? You can walk absolutely anywhere and not worry about what you’re stepping in, or who is stepping on you. They are so practical. It is a freedom that I do not feel with flipflops.

Our first stop of the day was Nashville North, the band/party tent.

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We went there first because we really wanted Evan to experience it, and last time Lisa and I were there we waited in line to get in for at least two hours. We did not want to spend our entire day in line, so we got that out of the way and had a few drinks to start off our afternoon.

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Yahoo! (apparently you are supposed to say this instead of “Yeehaw!” at the Stampede)

The best part about Nashville North was that we saw the top 10 Calgary Stampede Talent Search performers (like American Idol but country), and they were really, really good. Really good. One dude (dude!) sang Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood and he sounded EXACTLY like Carrie Underwood. I cannot stress this enough to you. I thought it was her. I closed my eyes and I swore that Carrie Underwood was serenading me, and then I opened them and it’s this (fairly big) guy. And I looked around the crowd and everyone was just agog as all the gogs. It was super impressive.

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I have always wanted to use this gif.

(I initially wrote Jesus Take The Wheel by Kelly Clarkson accidentally…anyone catch that? whoops)

Lis and I had a good time on the dance floor.

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#allthechins

And Lisa and Mackenzie had a good time two-stepping around.

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Oh, lovers.

Evan and I did as well. Unfortunately during my two-step adventure I lost my sunglasses. Once I realized they were missing I went back to find them, and JUST as I spotted them on the floor I saw a girl excitedly do the hugest and most dramatic STOMP on them.

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Welp. Sad times.

My poor sunnies. So I immediately walked up and said “Those were my glasses!” and I could tell that they were already broken before she did that, so it wasn’t a big deal at all and I kind of just wanted to joke around with her a little bit. But she felt soo bad and she apologized about a million times, so we hugged it out (literally, we hugged) and all was well. They were cheapies from Target anyway.

So, Nashville North was great. Big fan of that tent. And for 2 o’clock in the afternoon, it was jumpin’.

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We eventually got out of the tent and back into the sunshine, Lisa and I picked up hats, I got new sunglasses, and then we walked the grounds.

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I need to tell you, I ate a lot. Like deep friend everything. I ate so much, in fact, that it is going to have to be a separate post or this is going to go on for a million years. But I ate fun things so it has to be profiled. Not trying to drag this out, just trying to prolong the fun (I’ve been back for almost two weeks now, so the fun is being seriously prolonged here).

Anyway, we walked the grounds, and things happened. Like this:

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And this:

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And this…

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Evan and Mackenzie somehow got roped into this horse pulling thing… To see what their horse power is, I guess. I don’t even know what the results were, but they’re beasts so I’m guessing pretty decent. It was free, and it was funny.

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And it ended with this:

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It was really hot out. That horse must be just dying under there.

We played some games. Lisa and I tried to play this weird game that I have never seen before, where you have to try to stand up a glass bottle with a loop on the end of a string…

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We both lost.

Mackenzie won some other weird game and won a Ninja Turtle backpack. Raphael is cool, but rude!

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People were just dying over the Raphael Ninja Turtle backpack. Kenz had strangers coming up behind him and sneakily taking pictures of it all day long. It was hilarious.

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Evan won a Bob Marley banana.

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Which I kind of love.

We rode the ferris wheel!

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Evan never has before, so this was a big day for him!

Eventually we ended up where I thought was the best place to be, the Triple B, for Barbecue, Beer, and mechanical Bulls.

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And I do mean bulls, plural. Two duelling bulls. One person on each bull, and whoever stayed on the longest won the duel. Had I not been wearing a dress I would have been allllll over it, but there were men controlling the bulls, and when there was a lady on the bull the men were making the bulls “twerk”. So, no thanks. I don’t get down like that. Not in a dress.

So we spend the evening at the Three B’s, because it had everything we needed (entertainment + beer + food, and we got a table/barrel right by the bulls so that was a score). I had the best time there.

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I think my favourite was the group line dancing.

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Or maybe just dancing in general.

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There is no fun happening in this photo. No fun at all.

People are always throwing around that “Dance like nobody’s watching” quote, and you know what I have realized? I ALWAYS dance like nobody’s watching. Who cares who is watching? No good can come of concerning yourself with what other people think. Do you think Evan and Lisa care what anyone thinks of them in that above photo? No. They don’t. They are just doing their thing. If you want to look like a fool, you do it, and you own it. Because who cares.

It was a very fun day with my sister from another mister and our lovers.

The next day, our last day in Calgary, we were back at the grounds. Only we had Crystal and friends with us this time.

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Crystal and her rock tumbler enters.

We did the ol’ grounds thing with them again, and then, for our GRAND VACATION FINALE, the last event of Evan and Evanoff’s Excellent Adventure…(drumroll)…we went to the chuck wagon races.

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It was my first Stampede event ever. And it was great. I really have to thank Crystal for organizing it for all of us, because there were about 16 of us in attendance and getting all the tickets together for that would have given me a serious headache.

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Crystal’s birthday was the next day, but we were celebrating that evening and Lisa and I had picked her up a bunch of stuff (props) from the Dollar Store for the occasion…including this silly straw that Mackenzie borrowed.

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Ain’t no party like a beer straw party.

So the chuck wagons were pretty cool.

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I really enjoyed watching that and got pretty into it. After the chucks were over, they dragged a big stage over…

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And it turned into this interesting/hilarious Calgary Stampede variety show.

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And the whole thing had a big America’s Got Talent feel to it, so it was very entertaining and impressive.

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We had to leave a bit early as Evan and I had to leave from there to go straight to the airport to come home, so sadly we missed the fireworks. But it was still a good time. So glad that was the grand finale. It was the BEST, the absolute best, way to end our trip. We really squeezed everything in, and finishing with this just left me with a warm, fuzzy, good feeling.

And as we were leaving, it poured rain. Stampede ponchos for the win (thank you Mackenzie!)

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#alltheattractiveness

What a frickin’ time.

Banff Gondola, Geode-Cracking, and Heather and Brent’s Calgary Abode

This post might be long, I am sorry. But there are lots of pictures! So if you don’t like reading you just persevere, you’ll get through it.

After Lake Louise and the Banff Reunion with my lovely friennnnnds, the six of us got up the next morning, checked out of our hotel, and went to breakfast. Since Crystal and Lisa live in Calgary (ie not far from Banff and they are there often), we relied on their recommendation. And they did not lead us astray. We went to Coyotoes Southwestern Grill and here was my breakfast.

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The huevos rancheros. I don’t even really know what that is, but it had a lot of cheese on it and cheese makes me happy so, j’adore. And there were a couple of tostadas (I actually upgraded to an extra tostada on Lisa’s rec), eggs, black beans, salsa, green salsa, sour cream, avocado. Delicious. We had a big day ahead of us and that was a good start.

After breakfast it was GONDOLA TIME!!!

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Lisa and Crystal are seasoned gondola pros and sat this tourist activity out, it was just the four of us. I totally understand, it’s expensive, and if I lived in the area it’s not something I would do every day. But you do have to do it at least once. Have to. Because it’s insane.

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The views are so ridiculous. It doesn’t even feel like real life. Look at where we came from!

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Evan and Kenya both have a fear of heights (Evan was not down with the glass floor at the CN Tower you may remember), but they were both okay on the gondola. The car follows the mountain up, so you don’t feel like you’re up as high as you are. Unless you look back. Which Evan avoided doing.

The gondola takes you to the very top of Sulphur Mountain (you can also hike up and take the gondola down if you like, next time!), and at the top of the mountain you are bombarded with panoramic mountain views. I don’t have a lot of commentary about this. It’s just breathtakingly beautiful. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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(alright so this photo was kind of staged, but at least I’m not doing yoga)

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There are several lookout decks on various levels.

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The feeling of being up there was just incredible. I can’t explain how nice it was. I never wanted to leave. I want to live up there! And actually, maybe I could?

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That is the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, one of Canada’s nine sites to study cosmic rays. Apparently the most important one, because of its elevation (2383m, you can read about it here if you are interested).

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I have been up the Banff gondola one time before with the Bestie, in the winter a few years ago.

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Same view, just more snow. And when we were there that time only the main observation deck was open because of all the snow, so we couldn’t wander around like our group did this time.

After exploring everywhere we could, we eventually took the gondola back down.

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And as we did we listened to the soundtrack of our vacation, the trololo guy. It was one of my favourite moments of our trip. I took a video of it and put it on my Facebook page, so you can watch it here if you want.

When we got down to the bottom we met back up with Lisa and Crystal. And sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Eric and Kenya.

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I am going to miss them. I am so glad we got to spend as much time with them as we did. Originally Evan and I were going to rent a car and drive to Banff ourselves, so I’m glad it turned out the way it did. I just love my baby brother. He really has grown up into the kindest Master Creature.

After the goodbyes, the four of us toured around Banff a bit longer. That town is just adorable.

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Cool as a MOOSE! (we actually saw a moose, there was a moose with its calf RIGHT behind Eric’s car while we were stopped in town. We were all too excited to get a pic.)

And everyone who lives there seems to be from Ontario. I don’t know what that says about my own province…

There was one thing that Evan stumbled across and really wanted to do. Geode-cracking.

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You buy a little geode, which range in price from $10 to $200 (Evan just got the $10 one)…

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And there is a machine where you can crack it open right there and see what kind of goodness is inside.

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Evan scored. His geode was pretty sweet.

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Lisa and Crystal were very excited about this and immediately got in on the action. This was really funny to me because I distinctly remember Crystal and her love of rocks. In Grade 6 she got a rock tumbler and used to make all these cool things with the rocks she tumbled. I remember waiting for the bus after school, she was standing in front of me and her hair was half up held with the COOLEST turquoise rock clip, that she had made herself in her tumbler. I was so incredibly jealous. I will never forget Crystal and her love of rocks.

She still likes her rocks.

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And Lisa just likes to crack things open.

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In the end, Crystal had the nicest rock, Evan’s was slightly less awesome, and Lisa’s didn’t really look like anything special.

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But the lady who worked there immediately tried to make her feel better about it and was all “Oh but you got the cool smoky one!!!” Pretty sure she was just humouring her. But it’s alright, still cool.

After the geode-cracking we piled into Crystal’s jeep and headed onto the next leg of Evan and Evanoff’s Excellent Adventure: Calgary.

First though, we stopped in Canmore at the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company.

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(Canmore is a lot like Banff, but smaller)

I ate my very first elk burger. ELK!

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It was DELICIOUS. And much leaner than beef. My salad wasn’t bad either. It had goat cheese, so I was immediately sold on that. I also ordered a pint of raspberry ale. It was refreshing and delicious. I loved.

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When we finally made it to Calgary, we dropped off Crystal, picked up Lisa’s boyfriend Mackenzie, and all went to Lisa’s sister Heather and her boyfriend Brent’s place for a barbecue. I love Heather! (and Brent too)

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I will never forget our night with her at the Blue Jays game last summer. I’m so happy we got to see her and Brent while we were in Calgary.

She made us the best barbecue fare, which, after my day of eating (who am I kidding, week of eating), I was really excited for. I wanted healthy things. Or moderately healthy at least.

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We just had an excellent, excellent night catching up. The best segue into the Calgary party times that were ahead of us.

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Such a good night with these two:

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And these three:

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(Mackenzie, Brent, Evan)

And times around this fire:

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This was the moment I realized that our vacation was made because of all the cool people we got to hang out with along the way. Just a time and a half.

Evan and Evanoff’s Excellent Calgary Stampede Adventure is up next.

Lake Louise and Banff Reunions

After the Enchanted Forest, we continued road tripping our way to Banff, Alberta. It was about a four hour drive, but again, it went by very quickly, because mountains (and we stopped to eat but nothing adventurous). It is the most beautiful drive you will ever take.

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I took this picture just after the mileage on Eric’s car reached 300,000 kilometres. Three hundo thousand! What a roadtrip to be on for that milestone. We had quite the celebration.

You also travel through time on this journey, as Alberta is an hour ahead of BC. So that’s kind of exciting, except not really because you lose an hour and that’s no fun.

It is now that I need to tell you about the Russian Guy singing and the big inside joke of the trip. When Eric and my mom picked us up from the airport in Kelowna, we were driving through these beautiful mountains and looking at all the scenery, when suddenly this song came on Eric’s car stereo…

Please listen to this. It’s been in my head for two weeks. I need someone (all of you) to share my pain.

Evan and I were of course immediately dying laughing and wondering what this was and what was going on, and Eric explained to us that his best friend Dixon liked to make him mixed CD’s. When Evan met Dixon the next day he asked him for his own mixed CD, and requested that it have the same “flavour” as Eric’s. Dixon agreed, and Dixon came through.

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Dixon also included a really nice and thoughtful note to us on the inside. Eric has good friends, I tell you.

Number 5, the Techno Chicken, is also a favourite (I also quite like Centipede). It is probably the most random CD in the world. Anyway, so that is the story of the Russian Guy singing, and that is what we were listening to as we were driving through the beautiful mountains, and I will never be able to listen to this CD without thinking of Eric and Dixon. Now we can move forward.

Our first Banff stop on the agenda was the beautiful Lake Louise.

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And if you watched Sean’s season of The Bachelor, you will know Lake Louise as the mountain lake the girls went polar bear swimming in.

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And Tierra (sp?) had a melty mascara meltdown.

I have been to Banff a couple of times before, and this area several times, but this is the first time I have ever actually been to Lake Louise. It’s kind of been on my bucket list for a while. I really wanted to kayak the lake, but it started raining as soon as we got there, and we didn’t have very much time as we had plans in Banff afterwards anyway. So, we just took pictures. I keep saying that everything is beautiful, but I don’t know how else to describe it. It is beautiful.IMG_1245

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I got Sean’s black and white stripes memo.

It’s really not anything crazy special though, it’s just the colour that makes the lake such a tourist attraction.

I would love love love to really explore that area someday and do some serious hiking, but we just took the trail that went around the lake. The lake isn’t very big, so it’s a quick and easy hike.

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I saw three separate people doing yoga poses in front of the water and getting people to take pictures of them. All the rage, I guess.

Just a tip if you’re going there, most of the tourists just stay by the main part of the lake and do not take this trail, so if you want to get away from everyone, walk the trail.

There is one part of the trail where the water falls from the mountain, flows under the trail and into the lake. Both Evan and Eric decided they wanted to test the water, so they dunked their heads in here.

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And it is glacial water so you know it is freezing! But they both agreed very refreshing.

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One last pic.

And then finally we made it to the town of Banff! We checked into our hotel, the Rundlestone Lodge (very nice and really good value for money) and then went exploring.

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We did the ol’ touristy things…

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The Mountie look really suits Evan

And then we met up with Lisa and Crystal, two of my oldest and most favourite friends, at the Spaghetti Factory.

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Such a reunion. I was so excited to see them!

After dinner (I got French onion soup and the spaghetti and meatballs which were…alright), the six of us headed to the Rose & Crown, a pub in Banff that has live music. And beer. Really we just wanted the beer.

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Eric is drinking legally in a bar with me. I believe that might be a first.

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BESTIES!!!!

Of course we introduced them to the guy singing so they could sing along with us. Good times all around.

The Enchanted Forest

So I left off with our last day in Salmon Arm, when we toured around Margaret Falls. The next morning we started our road trip to Banff, Alberta. It’s about a five hour drive (although it feels way less than that because the scenery is so incredibly amazing you always have something to look at), and to save Evan and I the expense of renting a car, Eric and Kenya were driving us there and then spending the night in Banff with us, and then Evan and I would continue to Calgary. Usually the roles are reversed and I am the one chauffeuring Eric around when he is visiting, so it was a nice change.

Anyway, I have made this particular drive (from Salmon Arm to Calgary) a few times now, and about an hour from Salmon Arm, just outside of Revelstoke, BC, there is a place called The Enchanted Forest. It’s right on the Trans Canada Highway and every time I’ve passed it I’ve always been really intrigued…so this time we stopped. And we were not disappointed. The Enchanted Forest is awesome. When I was reading reviews everyone seemed to go on about how great the attraction is if you have kids, but I think it’s fun for everyone. We had no kids with us and we all LOVED it.

Here is the story of the forest:

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It is literally an enchanted forest. A forest full of huge and beautiful trees and filled with nursery rhyme and fairytale characters. Probably the most impressive thing was that all the characters were hand made. Like Humpty Dumpty.

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Better watch yourself Humpty.

The three little kittens!

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Mother Goose!

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Little Miss Muffet!

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And so, so many more.

At the very beginning of the forest there was a castle that you can explore, complete with a dungeon.

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And what is hands down the greatest thing about the Enchanted Forest is that you can go into the castle and all of the little houses. Like the straw house in the Three Little Pigs…

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And the wooden house, built by the second pig.

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And more elaborate houses, like the third little pig’s brick house…

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…which several people could actually fit inside.

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Exploring all the houses was the best. No wonder kids love this place so much. If I was a kid this would be my favourite thing ever.

I loved the house of the old woman who lived in a shoe!

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It was pretty spacious inside… There were even stairs.

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And a slide from the top to get out…

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Which I totally went down. Notice the nice lady in the window. The creepy figurines really made this experience for me.

I also really enjoyed the home of the Three Bears.

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And Old Mother Hubbard.

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It was REALLY cool that you could just explore everywhere, even inside trees.

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There were also elaborate wooden tree houses, which were way nicer than any tree house I’ve ever seen.

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Evan was going on for a while about how impressed he was with how this treehouse was built.

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Excellent craftsmanship in there.

The forest is also home to BC’s tallest treehouse!

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Pretty groovy. I love a good treehouse!

And when I thought the forest couldn’t possibly get any more awesome, we stumbled across the most beautiful nature walk.

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Really, the most beautiful.

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Some parts of the trail were a bit flooded and we did have some tricky times getting though there, so much so that I thought there should maybe have been a warning about trail conditions. But otherwise that trail was awesome.

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I’ve always wanted to take a perfectly reflected photo like the one above. You can turn it upside down and it looks exactly the same. So beauty.

It was so much fun, and a relatively quick stop for us. If you are ever making this road trip along this stretch of the Trans Canada Highway, go to the Enchanted Forest! It is a time.

Some other forest pictures…

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Eric really enjoys being the subject of my photos.

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Not a creepy bunny at all…

If you are just catching up and you missed my other BC posts you can find them here: