Thursday, July 13, 2017

Eighteen years

We stayed in Kananaskis, which was a bit farther out of Banff in real life than it looked on the map, but it was such a beautiful area off the beaten path and driving back to our cute loft hotel was a little treat every day. We passed this little pond one evening and opted to go back and explore in the morning when it wasn't bear feeding time. Whenever we travel I like to imagine what life would look like if we lived there. Life living here would look a lot like Saturday picnics to this exact spot. Hamburgers on the grill, shirtless boys catching tadpoles in the water, Kylie's hair in braids, rock skipping contests and watermelon dripping down elbows. And then I was reminded that it was 57 degrees in June and the fantasy quickly faded.

Jason is very proud of this picture that he took :)

We started our drive up to the Athabasca glacier with a stop at Lake Minnewanka which is not only beautiful but also holds a secret. Deep under the surface lies an entire village that was submerged due to a dam. It's a cool place to go scuba diving. If you scuba dive. Which we don't so we sat on the shore eating our favorite lunch, take out from the deli counter at the local Save-on grocery store. Sushi, kale salad and Grandma Jolley inspired Gouda cheese with crackers. We ate this for three meals straight and loved it.

$5 meal, million dollar view

The Columbia Icefield Parkway connecting Banff to Jasper is one of the world's most scenic mountain drives, and for good reason. It is lined with glaciers and dotted with turquoise lakes, not to mention all the scenic stops along the way. Here's the Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake. And another shot of Jay's behind.

Peyto Lake was just stunning. That color is the stuff dreams and Kool-aid are made of. As a side note, the weather here is just like New Zealand. One minute we had our hoodies pulled tight to keep out the wind and rain, the next we were tying them around our waists. We repeated that process about 10 times on this 20 minute hike. But the sudden downpour did scare away all the tourists so for a split second we had this place to ourselves.

Mistaya canyon was spectacular (running out of adjectives to describe the unparalleled beauty of this place). The pictures just don't do the rushing water and deeply carved gorge justice.

Jason loves posing for me


The Big Bend was the last stop before the glacier. The view from the top over the valley is breathtaking.

Right as we pulled up big raindrops started pelting the windshield. We waited it out for a minute, then decided to just go for it. By the time we made it back there was nothing but blue skies and sunshine. The glacier looked equally impressive in all weather conditions. As did Jason's sexy calves.

The thing I love about Jason is that he pulls over for scenic photo ops without me even asking. He also stands guard while I run into the middle of the road to get shots like these.

Or only slightly rolls his eyes as I climb over the seat to get shots like this.

Jason also made sure that we hit ever spot on my Banff bucket list and thanks to the long daylight hours we were able to pack most everything in. Unfortunately we didn't make it to Emerald Lake before the canoe rental closed, I was holding out for this place since it's cheaper than the $100/hr boat rentals at Moraine and Louise, but it was still a beautiful spot to walk around. It's the perfect location to film a summer camp movie, I felt like we stepped onto the set of Parent Trap or Camp Rock. I know that I for one would love to spend a summer camping here.

I can't even remember the name of this place, but I was blown away with the beauty of this bridal shoot.


And then as a grand finale we saw not one, but TWO bears munching dandelions by the side of the road.

We headed back to Calgary that night to catch our flight the next day. We had just enough time to eat at our favorite little cafe and ride the Skyline Luge at Olympic park. Fun fact: there are 6 Skyline Luge locations around the world and we have been to 3 of them. Now this is one time during the trip that we wished the kids were with us. But since they weren't, Jason behaved like a kid and kept trying to bump me off the track while capturing it all on the gopro.

And one last stop at the Calgary temple, which was quite fitting since it was 18 years ago that we knelt across the alter at the Mount Timpanogas temple and were married for time and all eternity. What an incredible 13 years it has been, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate. I loved all the immense beauty we discovered on this trip, but I also loved the long car rides where we reminisced about the time he kissed me in my sister's kitchen pantry or just enjoyed the comfortable silence while munching on Chicago Mix popcorn. I also loved our spontaneous poutine and rootbeer float run at 11:00 pm. Mostly I just loved having him all to myself. He's pretty much my favorite ever. Happy eighteen years of us. (And none of this would be possible without my amazing sister in law and brother who watched the boys, but that's a whole other post because they had such a fun week!)


Just me said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!

Marie Kemling said...

Happy belated Anniversary! Such an amazing trip with beautiful pictures to showcase God's amazing handiwork.