Banff Mountain GetaWay – vvp41

Welcome back to Valerie’s Variety Podcast About recent getaway to the mountains. One of my most favourite things is being outside when the weather is cold and brisk but the sun is lighting up the day. With barely a cloud in the sky and it’s so cold and crisp under your feet.

Lake Louise

First stop – Lake Louise, 2 hours north west of Calgary nice drive into the park. Once you pass Canmore of brown lands we were becoming suspicious to the rumours about the snow, but as soon as we passed the park gates Snow Snow Snow

Check out my site for some videos of our drive the day was amazing to travel the abundance of snow hanging on the fence stumps looking like mushroom tops was incredible –  this is snow. Also the Chinook arch was beaming with delight. A site to see if you’re not from around here our Chinook arches are a staple here in the mountains swinging our temperatures from minus 10 to plus 10 over night. Feels like spring when we’re in our coldest season.

Listening to the people enjoying the snow, skating on the majestic Emerald Lake, hiking, The mountains are encapsulating us from every direction. the sound, is solid. The 80 cms of snow or 31 inches absorbs the sounds. It’s really quite amazing, if you stop to listen when it snows it’s almost silent.

Me with my family, we enjoyed the scenery capturing a few memories, smiling at all the tourists, people skiing, kids digging into the snow, jumping. Dogs loving it up. Being with like minded people who appreciate a good picture in the freshest air.

Aren’t cameras fun…seeing all the people capturing this moment with loved ones, clicking their cameras big and small to get this moment, to savour this moment just like us.

You know what’s amazing to me is people from all over the world are enjoying the same place as me – in my country, my backyard…I don’t know what they are saying but you can just imagine…this are is beautiful, take a picture of me over here…

From Ice Castles that you can stand in and have a drink in complete with bartender, take pictures peeking out through the windows – yes inside the ice castle. Surrounded by the most in credible 6 mountains. When you stand outside the hotel and looking from left to right the mountains are:

Fairview Mountain

Aberdeen (which kind of hides behind Fairview)

Lefroy

Victoria (the big one in the centre)

Whyte (with Mount Niblock connected to its right)

St. Piran

We walked all around this amazing place. Nestled within these mountains, this chateau and can’t you hear is so quiet with people just taking it all in around us. Taking family pictures. Savouring this experience.

What time is it? I don’t know I say…when I’m on vacation or holidays or away from my busy life I like to loose track of time…this helps me unwind and be in the moment, whenever and whatever I’m doing.

Dig out your boots, your snow pants, favourite warm mitts and toque head to the mountains, get that fresh air on you and in you. This my friends, heal souls and refreshes minds to undertake your next challenge. This is my happy place. What’s your happy place? Why how does it make you feel  is it a thing, a song, a person  share this with me.

Banff Park Lodge

Next Stop ….checking into the Hotel, we’ve always wanted to Stay at the Banff Park Lodge located on Lynx Street between Wolf Street and Caribou Street – see the theme here? It’s boasting many flags on the outside of the building. True to Banff’s style it’s rock and wood and feels good inside – at the time we were there it was still decorated like Christmas – the trees were as tall as the ceilings over 20′ – stunningly decorated . Although we booked our room online. Here’s our checking in experience.

Like all checkins you need to park your car and mosey up to the reception desk to check in…our gal was lovely….hair dryer to room..so funny.

Parking is underground, in a warm basement, daily parking is advisable, this was your car is safe..  why can’t we remember our licence plate lol…she would run out in the cold to get this detail – thank you lady!

insert here…isn’t that nice how she’s engaging to London, asking her questions, check out her accent, there’s a lot of Auzzie’s in Banff – why – likely because it feels like home 🙂

Thank you…this was we can sleep in then head to brunch yummy!

So Jeff comes back in from getting his licence plate and wants to ask about late check out – this is when you’ve been together as long as we have – on the same page…

hair dryer is cancelled

We were checking in earlier then typical time, but there wasn’t any other rooms available at this time for ready rooms…while Jeff and London were upstairs checking into the brunch and walking around… checking in is always a process…but it was a pleasant experience and they were very kind and accommodating for our requests and questions.

insert voice note – marking reservations…3 people at 12:30 – we are booked for brunch!

After we finished getting checked in, we got nestled into our hotel room, it was a standard room with two queen beds, nice balcony view, clean, small bar to put all of our medleys in to keep chilled on the one side with fridge, a good bathroom that’s been upgraded with finer fixtures. It’s roomy and clean. We freshen up and head out to explore the hotel. Find the pool and the dining area along with the bar that’s has a few patrons mingling and having food and drinks. It’s cozy and welcoming…a waiter greets us.

La Terrazza Dining Room

LaTerrazza dining room, is located within an atrium, still decorated cozily and quaintly for Christmas with small lights and evergreen bows. Located behind the bar off to the side, it’s quiet and intimate. We picked our table. Made our reservation enjoyed an appetizer and a glass of wine. We had the nachos.

The room was very inviting and after enjoying the nachos we wanted to stay and laiase the day away. The nachos were okay and definitely hit the spot but they weren’t the best nachos I have ever had…

We proceeded to go for a walk around Banff, it’s was snowing like crazy which is exactly what we were wishing for. being in the snow…it was also a bit cold but hey it’s the mountains in wintertime, this is what we expected and why people come here.

After the pool we got ready to go to dinner, as you heard we made reservations at La Terraza dining room, the menu sounded great and the ambiance was very fitting. Jeff enjoyed the lobster fettuccini and I tried their special ‘big fish’ served on rice with veggies. It was amazing – London just ate off our plates. I just love that she’s adventurous with food – are you kids, would they eat Lobster and a large flat fish with head and eyes still intact?

Crave Mountain Grill

The next morning we enjoyed brunch in their Crave restaurant Located upstairs with large windows to overlook the Banff mountains and areas.This brunch has been nominated for the ‘best brunch in Banff’ award a few times and this occasion didn’t disappoint. Our waitress was an auzzie and you could tell she loved her job.

Checking in for brunch beginning of voice note.

While we were waiting for our waitress a man came moseying into the restaurant, all the waiters and waitresses said hi to him, he was known to them and familiar. He seems pleasant enough making his way through the restaurant with his walker to assist him. A tall man with grey showing on his face and top of his head – once he removed his toque. Scooching through the tables gingerly placing his walker to not bump into anything. Once he got situated they bought him coffee etc.

Later I met him up at the buffet together, he asked me if I was enjoying Banff and I said yes I returned the question and he said yes for 60 years and the mountains were bigger back then…a local I suspected. Born and raised in Banff – how lucky!

As we enjoyed our brunch with all the fun trimmings of fish, meat, pastry bar, chocolate with fruit fountain and all kinds of salads and warm food time planned the rest of our day we were visiting with our waitress and she was so outgoing and a perfect match to our fine brunch establishment. Cheery and pleasant, good service too. New zealand north island…such a doll how friendly is she? She’s been here for 9 years. Don’t you just love listening to another accent makes it even more gregarious and connects you further to the people around you – you always learn something. Looking out the window was so beautiful, so much snow and the sun making it shimmer it was stunning.

Thanks for listening into our weekend getAway in the mountains, I wanted to share this experience with you as I mentioned earlier the mountains and the cold heals me. This is my place where I get rejuvenated. The sound of the snow, the being beside like-minded people, enjoying the quiet company of my family and being lucky enough to have this experience in my back yard.

If you’re from Calgary you likely ski or snowboard or trek up the mountains hiking. For me the mountains are a peaceful place. Listening to London enjoy the snow and Jeff snapping pictures of us and the environment is where we find our bliss moment.  As a side note, The brunch was excellent but a little pricey when you’re in Banff you’ll pay more for the experience and the atmosphere. We were surrounded in people on the ski hill and snowboarding throughout the days, people were giddy with the excitement of the snow, the most snow in over 10 years.

What’s your happy place or is it a person that you can snuggle up with? Find that place in your mind right now and just be there in that moment. I’ll wait….

Thanks for listening. If you have a favourite story to tell me about your happy place let me know…these feel good stories are the best ones to share with each other as it spreads happiness and a warm feeling inside.

The intro and outdo is by London Moss, the music I chose for todays episode is through GarageBand and my personal voice note recordings. I hope you like these voice notes and having a glimpse into our personal experience with the sounds and banter within my family and our GetAway. Some of the music and GarageBand loops I choose for todays episode are:

  • Future Fresh Topper
  • Wolf Howl 02
  • Counterpoint Synth
  • kids Cheering
  • Jumping in the Pool