On Friday morning we grabbed Tim Hortons (road trip essential) and said byeeeee to cute Jasper!
Definitely going back someday.
And then we hit the road to Calgary to pick up our friend Kim from the airport – she was in for the weekend for my bachelorette party on Saturday! We were all excited to see a new face. Once again long drive, but once again mountains.
The entire way.
So y’know. It’s beautiful and it goes by quick!
Yamina was still in rough shape. I guess we broke her. She was actually headed to the Vancouver area after our Banff weekend so she didn’t want to overdo it and make her injury worse. She decided to stay at Lisa’s place for the weekend, hang out with Charlie and rest up. I think it was a good call – our weekend ended up being pretty crazy, with a lot of walking which would have further killed her. So we dropped off Yamina, picked up Kim from the airport, and drove back to Banff for more mountain time. But first! Lake Louise. The quintessential Alberta vacation spot. I went a couple years ago with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but Kim and Sherrie had never been and you can’t go to Banff without checking out Lake Louise!
It is gorgeous, and the water is the bluest of blues.
Lake Louise is also home to the most expensive hotel in all the land!
We didn’t have a ton of time for exploring as we wanted to check into our Banff hotel and go out for dinner, but we did a quick jaunt along the trail around the lake. So here’s a bunch of pictures without a lot of commentary because I don’t really know what I can say other than it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful!
One day I would like to continue to Moraine Lake in that area, but unfortunately we didn’t really have the time. We headed back to Banff, checked into our hotel and then went to the Magpie & Stump for Mexican!
I think I could probably eat Mexican food every day. Highly, highly recommend Magpie & Stump if you’re in Banff. Freakin’ delicious tacos and a really great atmosphere in there.
After tacofest we walked back to our sweet hotel. I can’t even remember the name… Some-type-of-Canadian-animal Lodge, but that’s pretty much any hotel in Banff. Our hotel was great though, really nice, inexpensive, right on the main drag. And do you know how excited I was to see this after camping and the yurt after the last several nights? A real bed with actual blankets and sheets! No sleeping bag in sight!
It was glorious. We had a pretty decent view from our balcony, too.
And free breakfast in the morning!
We noticed we had two fluffy white bathrobes in our room so we requested two more and then slipped into those suckers for a robe party.
We sat on our balcony in our robes and looked at the mountains and drank wine and told Kim all about our trip and laughed really hard. It was a dream night.
The next morning we decided to do the gondola on Sulphur Mountain before the rest of the girls arrived.
I love a good gondola. I’ve done it a couple times before, once with just Lisa in the winter a few years ago and again the last time I was in Banff with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but I didn’t mind doing it again. Kim and Sherrie had never been up there, and again, it is a must-do Banff activity. One day I’d like to actually hike up the mountain, ’cause the gondola be expensive, but it was not the day for that.
We got to the top and blew Sherrie and Kim’s minds.
You can see all of Banff and several mountain ranges, for ages and ages.
Selfie stick for the win.
So that was a time. So pretty! The lookout is quite an adventure in itself. It’s huge and wraps around Sulphur Mountain, and there are so many stairs that I felt like I was actually hiking a mountain.
After the gondola we did a little bit of the Banff touristy shopping thing, going in and out of the shops on the main strip. I got some souvenirs for my lover.
We made friends, as we do.
I think he may have been a mountie impostor…
And then we set up shop on a rooftop patio and grabbed some beers. Not a bad view and it was finally a beautiful day!
About 16 degrees and sunny. After the 1 degree Banff weather I will take it.
It was a good start to bachelorette day. And then we met up with all the girls and the real shenanigans started, so actual bachelorette activities will be a separate post. Gird your loins.