Location: Banff, Canada
Well everyone, what an amazing week I have had. We rented a car on Monday and drove up to the rockies. It was absolutely breathtaking and words and photos just won't even come close to describing what I saw. Monday was pretty cool - just driving into the rockies and seeing the sheer size of the mountains was great. I took some video footage from the car, but let's just say I'm no film maker!!! After dramas with our motels, we finally checked into this lovely little place. Tuesday morning we got up and went for a drive. We checked out Banff Springs hotel which was pretty impressive and I got some great shots of the Banff Springs. Kylah took us "bush" and it was really secluded and pretty. We then went and checked out the hot springs - but didn't swim. I kinda wasn't in to hiring togs!!! And off course, I didn't bring togs or even shorts for that matter to Canada when it is winter!!! After lunch we went to the Johnston Canyon. Now, it was by far the most impressive thing I have seen so far. It was basically a gorge but most of the water was frozen. There was snow on the side of the gorge and when we got to the falls there was a frozen layer and then the water flowed underneath. AMAZING.
Wednesday we went skiing. It was lots of fun but I am very sore today but it probably isn't the best sport for my back! I am definately a beach girl. So if anyone is ever planning a holiday - count me in unless it involves skiing!!!
Today we just made our way back to Calgary.
Tomorrow we fly out to Hamilton and then make our way across to Niagara Falls. We are staying at Niagara for 2 nights - right on the falls. Then Sunday we head to Toronto for a night. Monday we fly to Vancouver and make our way to Victoria. We have 2 nights in Victoria and then we are actually going to Seattle!!!! That was unplanned but we are both looking forward to it. We are back to Vancouver on Friday and fly out on Saturday.
I can't believe my holiday is almost over.
Hope everyone is well.
Location: Banff, Canada
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL WHO ORDERED SKI INSTRUCTORS!
Well, to all of you girls who ordered ski instructors, I am sending home a bus load! We went skiing at Sunshine Village yesterday and there certainly were some lookers!! So I have bundled a heap up and am sending them home. The one thing - most of them are aussies!!!! pretty hilarious to come all this way and basically all the people who worked on the mountain were aussies!
As for me finding a ski instructor - well. I found some that I thought I would like to impress with my wonderful skiing skills. However, I couldn't even talk to them because they were too busy laughing at me falling down. Yep, they kind of laughed constantly at this stupid girl rolling most of the way down the hill!!! I am sure they were snowboarding past and I could hear them all laughing. I have come to the conclusion that I just have to come home and find a surfing instructor - I am definately a beach girl!!!
Location: Calgary, Canada
Well, it's New Year's Eve here and we have finally hit the negative temps! Yesterday was a max of -1 and today is a max of -4 and it is supposed to be -11 tonite when we head out!
Last nite we went to an ice hockey game. It was pretty awesome. It was very loud and people really get into it. It was quite cold. The game was at the Saddledome which is one of the main stadiums for the Calgary Stampede.
The other nite we went out and watched the game on the big screen at a bar. It was a good nite. I actually met heaps of Aussies that are over here working. Would you believe I met a guy from Toowoomba whose sister is the bank manager of the westpac bank in warwick! small world.
Today Catherine and I went out to COP - Canadian Olympic Park. It was amazing. We both wanted to bobsled, but they told us we had to book in advance, so that is something I will be keeping in mind for next time. We walked to the top of the mountain and then back down, so my legs are feeling slightly weary.
I hope everyone had a great new years and that people aren't too hung over!!!
On Monday we are hiring a car and heading to Banff till Thursday. We will spend 1 day looking round Banff, 2 days skiing and 1 day at Lake Louise. Friday we fly out to Hamilton and spend a couple of days at the falls. And then we fly back to Vancouver to check out Whistler and Victoria before heading home. My holiday will be over before I know it.
I am having a great time and I can't wait to show everyone the photos and tell the stories when I get home.
Location: Calgary again, Canada
Well, here I am again in Calgary!
Where did I leave off?? Oh, Christmas. It was nice and quiet. Boxing day was a little more adventurous. We all went out for brunch (no surcharges!) then went boxing day shopping. Kylah cooked turkey for dinner and it was divine. Then boxing day nite, we all sat around playing poker - i really sucked! Then we had a game of cranium - much more my style - my team won!!!
Tuesday we got a lift from Calgary to Edmonton with Danielle and Kylah's brother. We got there about 4.00 and decided to check in to our motel and go straight to the mall seeing as that was our soul purpose of going to Edmonton.
For those of you who don't know, the West Edmonton Mall is the biggest in the world. The mall is 2 blocks wide and 8 blcoks long. There are 2 motels, casino, waterpark, themepark, ice skating rink and so much more.
We shopped up a storm - neither Cat or I paid over $30 for jeans or pants! We also went on a rollercoaster - it was the most thrilling ride. It was awesome. So fast and just an incredible rush. Not sure how it did my back - but it was worth it. It has been over 24 hours since i went on it and my back is doing great - touch wood!
We caught the bus back to Calgary today where it is supposed to be snowing, but still no luck. We were supposed to be heading to an ice hockey game tonite, but couldn't get tickets. So we are heading out for wings and beer! Apparently here in canada it is big to go out for chicken wings - they only cost between 10cents and 25 cents a wing. And the hockey will be on tv, so it should be a good nite.
Hard to believe I am almost half way through my trip! We are definately off to Niagara Falls on the 6th and we have booked a motel right on the falls - hopefully it is as good as it looks!!!
Well, i best go. Take care
Location: Calgary, Canada
It's finally Christmas day here! Last nite we did the traditional Canadian thing of opening one present - I got socks from the cat - she is one of the family!! We also sat around drinking coffee with bailey's in it - that is definately a tradition i think we should take on!
We woke up this morning at 9.30, opened our presents and had brunch - bacon, eggs, sausages, hashbrowns and fruit salad. the fruit salad was a nice reminder of home.
It has been nice to see how other families celebrate Christmas, but i still think the way my family does it is the best way! Although, I think next year we can definately add the coffee and bailey's thing!
We are doing the whole stocking thing tonite, as the rest of the family is due to arrive any minute. There has just been Catherine, Daniel, Kylah and I here today, so it has been very relaxing.
I got a lovely beauty case from Catherine, a Tim Hourton's mug and lip gloss from Kylah.
'til next time,
Location: Calgary, Canada
I SAW A BEAR - A REAL LIVE BEAR - A REAL CANADIAN GRIZZLY BEAR!!! Well, ok I saw a bear but it was at the Calgary Zoo!! But none the less we saw a bear and let's be honest - that was one thing we wanted to see!!
So what have I been up to???
Well, on Wednesday we went into the city - much the same as any city. Then we walked to Prince Island Park. It was beautiful. Snow everywhere - lots of photos to show everyone!!! I couldn't believe the amount of squirels running around. And we could actually get really close to them. We crossed over the bridge which goes over the main river in Calgary. The river was partially frozen. Dan (Cat's brother) was actually able to walk on the ice - but I wasn't game enough - I could see myself going straight through it and into the water! The water comes off a glacier, so it is freezing, not to mention the fact that it's winter!! We then climbed 12 flights of stairs - yep, I'm unfit!!! - to a lookout. We could see over Calgary to the Rockies - very cool. Also while we were in the city we saw an ice skating rink. It was cool. We have ice skated yet, but there is plenty of time. The rink was actually like the one's in the movies.
Yesterday (Thursday) we went to the Calgary Zoo. Cat and I managed to get there on our own using the public transport system and we didn't even get lost - we were pretty proud of ourselves. So as you already know, the highlight of our day was seeing a bear. We also saw 2 bear cubs and they came right up to the glass and were so cute. We also saw a hippo (I want a hippoptumus for Christmas - hee, hee, hee) and he was also pretty awesome to sit and watch. I have never seen many zoo animals, so i was also excited by the giraffes and baby elephant!!! We saw so many things - warthogs, bisons, deer, elk, owls - massive owls, and so much more.
Today we have just finished off our Christmas shopping. What we thought would take an hour tops, took us all day!! Not because it was busy but because none of us had any idea what we wanted to buy!!
Our plans for Christmas are to wake up late tomorrow morning - yep with no Katie here, I can finally get a sleep in on Christmas morning!!! I was talking to mum and dad before and Katie arrived at Bribie at 5.30am Christmas morning!!!! Then Kylah and Danielle's family arrive tomorrow afternoon/nite. We have having the big roast turkey lunch on boxing day because that is when everyone will be here. We had to buy the turkey today and let's just say it is one hell of a big bird!!! You should have seen 2 aussie girls trying to buy a 12 pound turkey! I'm sure there were many amused people.
The weather has been very kind - still up around the 10 - 12 degrees. Although, there is this wierd thing called a CHINOOK. It happens in Calgary where it gets really hot (well hot for this time of year) and then the temp drops to the minus' again. Well, we got to witness the chinook today and Em - you would love it. It is when the clouds in the sky all merge together and as the sky clears, the clouds form a perfect line across the sky in an arc. It is like storm cloud dark then a perfect line and blue sky. Pretty awesome sight.
One thing that is continuing to amaze me over here is all the automatic stuff. There are automatic soap dispensers, automatic taps, automatic paper towel dispensers, toilets that flush automatically and even when you go to the supermarket the lady doesn't give you your change, it comes out of a machine - you guessed it - automatically!!!! The whole toilet thing still freaks me out! You go to the toilet, minding your own business, finish what you went there to do. Your standing there tucking all your layers in and next thing the toilet is flushing - still freaks me out!!!!
Anyway, this has been a huge entry. Hope I haven't bored everyone.
Thank you so much to everyone who keeps writing me letters - I love getting them.
Mum - Thanks for paying my bills! Love ya!
Meegs - Yep will add you to the ski instructor list!
Donna - Pleased you guys had a good holiday. Yeah, I know mum would love it over here. So would dad. Mum and dad have their passports now, so there is no stopping them now!
Take care. Love to all. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Location: Calgary, Canada
Well, here I am in Calgary. We are having a lazy day today! We both figured we need to catch up on jet lag and washing before jetting off again!
Yesterday we flew from Vancouver to Calgary over the Rockies. It was fantastic. The rockies were beautiful. We were lucky enough to have window seats so we could see everything. There was a lot of cloud, but we were still able to see them once we got past the cloud. They were so incredible. Massive big rocks with their peaks covered in snow. Very pretty. We are going to take a trip to the rockies one day after Christmas.
I forgot to mention that as we flew over Japan from Shanghai on our way to Vancouver, we flew over Mt Fugi. It was another incredible sight. It was hard to believe how big it was. We were flying at 39 000 feet and it was clearly visible. It felt like it was just there.
Calgary is a nice place. You can see the rockies from here which are just as beautiful from a distance. They have the big Yellow school buses here which are a bit of a novelty for us!
Food and drinks are so cheap over here. It is amazing how cheap it is to eat out.
Now, in reply to a few messages I have had. I am doing my best to find a ski instructor - I am trying to find one with enough brothers to go round everyone!!! Although, i can promise you I am doing my best! Maybe I will have more chance in Banff when we go there! The lady in the bank this morning told me there are lots of young people in Banff, so we will wait and see!
The people here are so nice. Some lady just walked up to me in the bank this morning and said Merry Christmas!
It is warm here today - i only have 1 jumper on instead of 5! It is 7 degrees here today so it is nice. The weather isn't too bad. The last couple of days in Vancouver were rainy and overcast, but we were still able to do things. It is overcast here in Calgary today, but that doesn't worry us, seeing as it's our lazy day.
Take care everyone. I probably won't be able to write again till after Christmas so have a very Merry Christmas and I will talk to everyone again soon.
Thanks to everyone who sends me e-mails - I enjoy getting them.
Till next time,
Location: Vancouver, Canada
I have one thing to say - I AM GOING TO MARRY A SKI INSTRUCTOR WHEN I GROW UP!!!!!
I'm back again! I thought I would write another quick entry as we are off to Calgary tomorrow and I don't know when I will have access again.
I am having a great time. Vancouver is a really nice place. The hostel where we are staying is pretty cool. The showers are GREAT and the beds are soooo comfy and all for just $20 a nite. There is also a bar downstairs which serves food for around $5 so we are loving it here. They have ladies cocktail specials here and last nite we had Bombay Ho's which are Bombay Gin, So Ho ( a liquer) and lemonade. They were delicious and only $3!!!! So we had a few!!
I didn't realise I was jet lagged until I woke up yesterday and it was 12.00 midday. I had been asleep since 9.00 the nite before! It is so easy to sleep in here because the sun doesn't come up till late.
Yesterday we went to Grouse Mountain - it is a ski mountain. It was beautiful. There was the most spectacular view back over Vancouver at sunset. We had to catch a seabus (like a city cat) and bus and then we went up the hill by gondola. the gondola ride was great. We saw wolves running around the side of the mountain. We have also seen lots of squirrels but still no bears!!!
Today we took off to Granville Island which was pretty cool. It is a fairly "cultural" place with lots of galleries etc. But worth a look. We also went to the Granville Island Brewery.
We went shopping in the Vancouver shopping district and I got a pair of jeans and a shirt for under $70 which I am pretty stoked about.
The hostel where we are staying is in the middle of the entertainment district. There are lots of theatres, cinemas and nightclubs here. But it is surprisingly not noisy.
The street where we went shopping today - Robson St - was so cool. All the trees lining the street have no leaves and have fairy lights in the trees. It is really pretty.
Canadians are obsessed with adult shops!!!! They seem to be everywhere!
The Canadian Ski Instructors are VERY good looking - I can see myself getting some professional lessons - hee, hee, hee!!!
Well, I will leave it there.