Banff Springs

I didn’t do too much planning for the trip to Banff so there were only  two things on my must do list – go to Lake Louise and actually go into the Banff Springs Hotel and wander around instead of just admiring it from the outside.  I did take some pictures inside, but I wasn’t happy with what I took.  It is as beautiful inside as it is outside. Had lunch in the Rundle Lounge and the service was surprisingly warm (I thought it would be a bit stuffy and formal) and friendly, and came out with a new favourite wine, Cedar Creek Pinot Noir 2009 (winery is in the Okanagan, about twenty minutes from Kelowna).

gorgeous weekend

Finally, a beautiful weekend!  The weather was just right – 25 and sunny.

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The dahlias are still my favourite this year.

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The tiger lilies are blooming.

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I’m not really a beer drinker, but this is a light, crisp beer that is refreshing in the middle of a bright summer day.

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My favourite Malbec.  About $13 at the liquor store here, so cheaper everywhere else!

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Saturday night, sitting by a fire, one of my favourite parts about summer.

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Lunch at the Condie Nature Refuge a few minutes outside Regina.  This is where I encountered my first wood tick.  Actually, it came home with me, attached to my neck.  I tried to take a picture of it because I’ve never seen a tick before, but it didn’t turn out.  They are nasty little things and are especially prevalent here this year. I am going to dream about creepy crawly things tonight, I’m sure.

happy place

I didn’t plan to post anything today.  My plan was to be at the Roughriders pre-season game enjoying this beautiful evening, but I woke up at 6am with a terrible headache that has managed to last all day.  I toughed it out at work just in case I felt well enough to go the game (I still follow the rule that if you’re sick and miss school or work, that means you also have to cancel whatever other plans you had – maybe that’s old school). Plus I couldn’t miss work because I had to do a job interview to hire a new person in my unit and oh yeah, because of the contract dispute at the library, if we call in sick, we have to have a doctor’s note (and the thought of spending time at the walk-in clinic on a beautiful weekend is not appealing).  So, when I got home from work I was feeling a bit bummed out about missing out on some Friday night fun.

I made spaghetti with a quick tomato sauce (I didn’t even have a glass of wine, in case people who know me are wondering), had a nap, listened to a few Tragically Hip and Trixie Whitley songs (she’s great, look her up on iTunes) and I feel a bit more human now.  I’m sitting outside on my balcony, with a cup of tea, and my laptop, looking at pictures from a trip to Vancouver Island last June.  It’s not all bad.

These are my favourite pictures from that trip.  I love Vancouver Island, especially Pacific Rim National Park and the Tofino/Ucluelet area.  It’s beautiful. I’ve been there twice in the last three years and hope to go again. I’m a prairie girl who is used to wide open spaces, so the old growth forests are astounding to me and I love being near the ocean.  It’s a very mellow, laidback, peaceful place. I haven’t been there in July/August, the prime tourist season, so it might be different then.  I’d highly recommend a trip there if you have the opportunity.

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This was my desktop picture on my computer at work for a very long time.

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These are the cottages at Ocean Village Resort, just outside Tofino.  I loved it there.  The accommodations are rustic, but that’s part of the charm.  And compared to the fancy resorts in the area, it’s a very affordable place to stay.

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A glass of wine and staring out at the ocean.

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Within walking distance from Ocean Village is a cool little store that was stocked with so many tasty things for such a tiny space.  What more do you need for a feast than bread, cheese, fruit and wine? (The wine was bought on a wine tour in the Okanagan earlier in the trip).

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This was taken from the outskirts of Tofino.  I think part of the reason I love Vancouver Island and the Pacific Coast so much is I grew up watching the Beachcombers on CBC so the scenery brings back childhood memories.

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This is my week of work where I only have one day off.  I’m anticipating an interesting week, so I wanted to get all the usual errands done, but also have some down time.  I ended up taking a bunch of pictures around my place this afternoon with my iPhone and then went for a pre-supper walk around Kiwanis Park.  A lot of my picture taking lately is just playing around and trying different things with editing. Basically, I’m just trying to figure out how far is too far. This is today’s experimentation. I like some better than others.

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This is a refreshing summer wine.  Slightly sweet and slightly fizzy from Australia.  Pretty cheap, too. (I like wine, but good inexpensive wine is even better!)

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I usually think petunias are boring, but grow them because they do well here. I really like these striped petunias (Peppy Lavender was the name on the tag).

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Just like the way this looks.

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One of my elephants.

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Love walking around Kiwanis Park (more so than Wascana Park which is the more popular one).

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Waterfall in Kiwanis Park. This is likely one of many that I’ll take of it this summer.

Summer Wine

Summer Wine

This strawberry rhubarb fruit wine from Sleeping Giant Winery near Summerland, BC is great for a summer wine. For a bit of fizziness, add club soda. Yum.

Picture was taken at Ocean Village Resort just outside Tofino, BC. Accommodations are a bit rustic, but I would go back in a heartbeat.  The resort is located at Mackenzie Beach, a few kilometres from Tofino.  The big, expensive resorts like Wickaninnish Inn and Long Beach Lodge Resort are just down the road, but Ocean Village is a gem.