Well, today is Day 5 of our vacation in the Banff, Alberta area. We’ve been so busy since arriving to this beautiful area that today is the first day I’ve actually had the chance to sit down and write. And to tell you the truth, I’d rather be finishing up the novel I started reading on the plane ride down here than compose a string of words to form a sentence. BUT … I figured if I don’t do it now, I may never get around to it until I get back. And quite honestly, I think I’d forget all that we’ve done here on our vacation.

I have to tell you, I am so utterly enthralled with the scenery surrounding Banff National Park (BNP). Not only do the majestic mountains continuously surround you at every turn, but all the water … Ack! It’s pure heaven for the Cancerian water-sign girl in me. The colors are simply amazing. You know how when you see pictures of certain bodies of water that are so brilliantly blue in color but when you actually see the water with your own eyes … it’s just this brownish-greyish color? Nope. Not here. Every picture I’ve ever seen of Lake Louise captures the exact same hue of turquoise that I’ve now seen IRL. It’s. That. Brilliant. And pretty much every lake we encountered was that shade of blue or … gasp … even deeper.

The thing about Lake Louise though is that it’s an incredibly calm and quiet lake. So quiet that the surface of the lake actually looks like glass. And because its surrounded by these beautiful mountains, you can actually see the reflection of them in the water. Hubby & I decided to rent a canoe for the hour to try to make it to the other end of the lake, but nope … we didn’t make it. However, in the process we were able to get some incredible pictures that we would have never been able to get otherwise. Out of all the things we’ve done thus far, I have to say that canoeing Lake Louise was one of the brightest highlights.

Not that we didn’t do other sightseeing things … in fact we did do quite a bit in these past five days. We took a gondola ride up Sulfur Mountain and then proceeded to climb the up to the summit … something my Dad didn’t think he could do and then did it on his own time. (Yay Dad!) We drove west on the Trans-Canada Highway and then up to the highest point of passing in BNP. Along the way, we saw more beautiful lakes and glaciers! I’ve never seen glaciers in my life, so to see how ginormous one is … it was incredible. We stopped at Crowfoot Glacier, which was named because it was appropriately shaped like a crow’s foot with its three fingers clutching the mountainside. Unfortunately, the lower finger has pretty much melted (damn global warming!) and all that’s left is the top finger and half a middle finger (oh … the jokes I could make … :-p ). We’ve done tons of walking that we would have probably lost some weight. If only we didn’t go around eating lots of good meals!

One of the best things we did for ourselves was an hour-massage at a spa located by one of the natural hot springs in Banff. And despite the fact that we arrived about 15 minute late, not only did we get an incredibly relaxing massage but the staff was kind enough to actually give us the whole hour massage! What a great way to help us destress.

We spent Canada Day (July 1st, for my fellow Americans) with my cousin and her hubby & 10-month old son at their house in Calgary. And that was just simply wonderful. So wonderful that I’ll probably post more about it in another future post.

And tomorrow on the 4th of July, we’re heading back to Calgary for the day. For … da da da dum … the Calgary Stampede! Who’d a thunk that a city-gal would want to go see a rodeo or a chuckwagon race? Or surround herself with all things Country-Western … Well, hey, because Calgary is known as the “Nashville of the North,” I figured that “when in Rome” …

So that’s what we’ve been up to this week thus far. Perhaps when I get back I’ll have more stories to tell, along with pictures of my cousin and Hubby with their adorable 10 month old.

And now … back to reading. And relaxing.

Have a great 4th of July, everyone!