I'm not so much for mountains (see post on the holes in the ground trip--that's me). Don't get me wrong, they're beautiful but then I've seen them and lose interest. Pete is much better about going on trips that I want to take that he's not as interested in. I am kind of a pain in the butt. I did do better as we went along and I think it was because I just didn't care for the town of Banff and it didn't help me to enjoy the trip. Once we got out of Banff I had a better time and was surely better to be around. Definitely some work for me to do on myself about letting others enjoy what they enjoy while being pleasant while they do it. :-/
Day 1 (Sept 1)
Up for an extremely early flight to Calgary. I don't like early flights but I do enjoy having a whole day at my destination. I forget though, that the rest of the family is then exhausted the next day and I have to deal with being someplace with snoozers. Have to re-think this plan for future trips.
Driving through Calgary to get to the hotel reminded me so much of Fort Worth. It really is a cow town. I don't know why I was surprised by this, since the stampede is a major event there. So I was very glad that I had changed our original plan from staying the next day in Calgary and instead heading to Banff right away.
It happened to be some kind of open gallery day in Calgary, so after window shopping, especially at the Fluvog store, we tooled around the galleries munching on chocolates and chatting with the owners. Somewhere in there we stopped at a book store. I had forgotten all of my guide books and most of my notes (duh) and wanted to get a little book to help out my memory. I got Frommer's Banff & the Rockies Day by Day and it was just what I needed.
The Marriott was great. Got the room on my points and the gold level concierge lounge was terrific. Free dinner with shrimp, pasta, plenty of veggies for Pete and dessert. We were pretty beat and not having to go out for dinner was perfect for us. Not all the Marriotts have a lounge, so this was my first time being spoiled and it was great!
|Pete was really fascinated with this building.|
|The Calgary Tower, right next to our hotel.|
Breakfast in the lounge and a fairly leisurely morning before heading off to Banff. None of us were especially interested in sight seeing in Calgary so figured we'd head out into the mountains.
Got to Banff in the afternoon and bought a 6 day pass, as advised by the staffer at the gate to the park. Canadian National Parks are very different from the US parks (at least the ones I've seen so far). There is a town site inside the park with shops and homes. Hotels are outrageously expensive, the park service doesn't oversee pricing at all. So it was strange to pay to enter the park but then feel like I was driving into a resort town.
I think we checked into the hotel first. The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort. Just what we wanted. Out of the bustle of town and a surprisingly large room with a fridge and free wifi. We basically dropped our stuff and headed into town to stop in at the visitors center and grab lunch.
The visitors center was nice and we got some good advice on how to handle bears, which freaked Zack out a bit, but not as much info or advice on moderate trails to try. Good thing we had researched in our guide books before getting there and I picked up my little Frommer's book.
To the Coyotes Grill for lunch. Great food but over the moon prices--we THOUGHT, that was before all the other mediocre meals we had during the rest of the trip, all at exorbitant prices. We decided it would be a good idea to stop in at a grocery store and pick up breakfast, lunch and snack supplies. We did this at some point, but have waited too long after the trip to write this and I've forgotten a lot of the details.
We headed back to the room after lunch where everyone (but me) fell asleep and slugged around for the rest of the day. See, this is where the early morning flight of the day before backfired on me. I was antsy and eager to go see stuff, but I begrudgingly yielded to the will of the rest of the family.
Up and back to Banff townsite for dinner. Pete found a really reasonable place that served sushi and large bowls of soup. The waitress brought my late-in-coming soup with a wonderful sing song of thank you for waiting won ton sou-oup! Which made us all smile.
I think it was as we stepped out of the room to go to dinner, we noticed a few people standing outside our door and realized they had spotted some deer across the street. We all ran over to grab some photos of our first wildlife encounter!
OK, it's possible this happened the next day, but I don't think so...
Next Up--Day 3