July 2016 note: Back in 2011 a friend and I decided to do a tour of some of Western Canada before going to a friend’s wedding in Alberta. We started in BC and made our way through it and Alberta. This is one entry part-way through that trip. Happy Canada Day🙂
This morning we got picked up by our new tour guide. She took us to our first stop, Lake Minnewanka followed soon after by Two Jack Lake – both beautiful (much like everything out here). Jen and I took a couple of fun jumping pics and then we headed to one of my favourites: Lake Louise. Absolutely stunning; the water an awesome shade of turquoise. We headed up the mountain for a two-hour hike to see Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes where we stopped to eat lunch. After our hike back down we checked out the Fairmont Hotel and I took some pictures of the beautiful poppies for mom (her favourite flower).
Two Jack Lake
Not our best attempt
Take a hike
Poppies for mom
Next was Crowfoot Glacier, then Bow Lake (which is fed by Bow Glacier) – both very impressive. After that we stopped at Mistaya Canon which was magnificent (I’m running out of adjectives for these gorgeous places). Mistaya Canon is a spot where the constant flow of water has eroded the rock which flowed over, creating a canyon. Words can’t really do these places justice so I’m taking lots of pictures.
We eventually arrived at our hostel for the night – HI-Rampart Creek. It’s a rustic wilderness hostel which I was a bit concerned about (seriously, no hot water?), but it turns out it’s pretty great. We made a coconut curry chicken for dinner and then sat around the campfire where Jen and I taught the others some old Canadian camp songs. They seemed to enjoy “Great Big Moose”.
The North Saskatchewan River
HI-Rampart Creek Hostel
A bit unsettling…
Campfire with some cool people
I’m having such a fantastic time. I love meeting new people – the majority of the people on this trip are not Canadian. Everyone’s so nice and friendly and they keep asking Jen and I questions about Canada or telling us how beautiful it is here (which I’ve only recently realized myself seeing it firsthand). It’s such a cool feeling being a tourist in my own country. I can’t wait to see the rest of it.
June 2016 note: I’ve always written journals and especially detailed ones while travelling. I’m currently debating whether or not to publish my travel journals on my upcoming trip to South-East Asia but figured I’d test the waters first with some past journals. I figure it’s a fun way to share my journey while keeping my own notes like I usually do. Let’s see how this goes!
Hello London! My new travel buddy Steph and I flew here last night and arrived in London at 7:30am UK time. We only slept about an hour on the plane and had an hour-long nap early so we’re pretty beat. Here’s a quick recap of our day:
We met the Aubry family at 10:30am in Trafalgar Square. We enjoyed a coffee while they went on a walking tour and told us we should go to somewhere called Canada House when it opened at 11am. We quickly learned that Canada House is the Canadian Embassy which has been converted into a place where family and friends of Canadian Olympic athletes can hang out. It is also incredible. FREE EVERYTHING: drinks, snacks and hot meals twice a day (we went at noon for lunch). They stored our luggage and we were excited to see they had laptops set up for free Internet use. They offer hair stylists and makeup application for anyone who wants it (!) and gave us goody bags. It’s absolutely amazing and totally unexpected. The coolest part is that everyone is decked out in Canada gear and is watching live events on a bunch of big screens. Our dear Olympian friend pulled through big time. Thanks Chels!
So after lunch we did a hop on/hop off tour with the family which was really nice. We saw a lot of major sights from the comfort of the bus (because of our exhaustion). The plan is to see everything ‘up close’ over the coming days. After a short nap, Steph and I headed to Canada House to watch the game and had a couple of beers to celebrate as Team Canada won! We then decided to go to a Canadian pub called Maple Leaf Pub (fitting) where expats and other Canadian visitors hang out. We met some like-minded people, had a pint and came back to our perfect little apartment.
Our first taste of London
The Ritz Hotel
Big Ben in all his glory
Are we really here?
The London Eye
View of Tower Bridge avec Olympic rings
Tower of London?
Welcome to Canada House!
Enjoying the events with fellow Canucks
It’s been an incredible and surreal journey so far and this is only the beginning. I’m so excited about this trip. Grateful for Chelsea, the Aubry family and their generosity.
GO TEAM CANADA!
I do my my best thinking while lying in bed. And by thinking I mean stressing. Last night when I couldn’t sleep, I kept thinking about all of the things that are currently giving me stress. One of those was the fact that I had failed. One of my new years vows was “to do at least one really creative project”. On January 1st I started another 365 photo project and I anticipated that being the aforementioned creative project. Well, not even halfway through, I let it slide. It was something that was becoming a chore and it just wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it’d be. I failed. Of course that one thing snowballed into a reminder of the multitude of unfinished things in my life (I’m a master at starting things but not seeing them through) and I almost reached “cold-sweat” territory. Ugh.
The nice thing is that when I woke up I had completely forgotten about all that late-night anxiety and realized I had a few other items on that new years list. Looking at the list now, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of sticking to most items. And here’s the thing: even though that one creative project failed, I realized that I have another on the horizon that I’m really excited about. So if anything, this is a simple reminder to myself that it’s okay to fail. Not only is it okay, but it’s important to reflect on how that failure can be turned into something positive. Now if only my late-night self could remember that…