Happy Valentines Day lovelies! I’m a fan of telling those you love that you love them throughout the year and not on one day but I’m not opposed to a little annual reminder, so for whatever it’s worth – I hope you are enjoying this silly day of hearts and love and red and pink and all things sappy and cute. I just spent a 4-day weekend in the Rockies with my bestie from BC and we had so much fun hitting the slopes at Sunshine Ski Resort, exploring the Rockies, and drinking and eating and chatting. We hadn’t seen each other in a year and a half, despite texting or talking almost every day, so it was really nice to catch up in person!
I drove down to Calgary on Thursday night after work and visited with my Aunt while waiting for James to fly in from Vancouver. His flight was delayed slightly and didn’t get in until 11:30pm. We then hit the highway to Canmore and had a verrrry late check-in to our hotel around 1am. We basically went straight to bed so that we could be up early to head to Sunshine for some skiing (me) and snowboarding (him).
We made it to the mountain just after 8am Friday and beat most of the crowds up. It was a pretty windy day on the mountain and a few lifts were closed on and off due to wind. Wo got lots of runs in because the mountain wasn’t too busy, only stopping to break at lunch, but spending about 6 hours total on the slopes. I admittedly was pretty timid getting back into skiing. I used to ski all the time as a kid but that “no fear flying down the hill” that is instinctive as a kid is just not the same as an adult. I had to get comfortable with flying down a mountain again! After skiing we went for dinner at Grizzly Paw Brewery and then spent some time in the hot tub relaxing our tired muscles!
We were back on the mountain at about the same time on Saturday with a bit of a busier crowd heading up the hill. It was gorgeous and sunny and overnight Sunshine had received about 20cm of fresh powder so the first few runs were crazy awesome. Lots of the people around us who were regulars said this was one of the best days of the season! Most of the lifts were open all day and the wind wasn’t as bad as Friday. We spent about 7 hours on the hill, breaking for lunch and coffee again before heading back to Canmore for dinner. We hottubbed before dinner then hit up Where the Buffalo Roam for drinks and food. It was a cute little restaurant downtown Canmore and I had the most unreal soup I’ve ever eaten.
We only booked two days of lift tickets in advance, assuming we’d be wrecked and sore, but woke up Sunday feeling surprisingly good! It must have been the beer and hot tub that cured us of all stiffness. We took the gorgeous sunny winter day to explore Lake Louise and Banff. After sleeping in, we hit the road and spent about an hour and a half wandering around the beautiful Lake Louise.
I didn’t think anything could top the incredible blue hue of Lake Louise in the summer but the winter setting makes Lake Louise a whole new kind of magical. It was blue sky, sunny, warm, and we were able to walk all the way to the end of the lake and back, stopping only to see the frozen waterfall at the end. The air was so crisp and fresh, it was refreshing.
We walked around downtown Banff and had lunch at The Bear Street Tavern. It was a little chilly and windy so we walked quickly around downtown Banff before grabbing coffee and a fig and anise cookie from Wild Flour (if you haven’t had those cookies before they are amazing… I was skeptical at first because anise has a bit of a black liquorice taste but these cookies can’t be beat). Once we were back in Canmore we hit the hot tub again and the wandered down to Rocky Mountain Flatbread for dinner. We had a late dinner then watched a movie before crawling into bed, exhausted from the copious amounts of fresh air.
After another sleep-in we packed up our gear and luggage, checked out of our hotel, then headed for breakfast in Canmore. It was another gorgeous morning in the Rockies and I just loved opening the curtains every morning and staring up at the Three Sisters and surrounding mountain ranges. We drove into Calgary after breakfast and spent some time wandering downtown Calgary and enjoying the final morsels of both food and conversation together. We stopped at Rosso and had some cold brew coffee and a treat before I dropped him off at the airport and made the trek home to Edmonton.
These trips make me wish James lived so much closer but it also makes the visits extra special. We had some great days on the slopes and James was SUPER patient with my lack of willingness to fly down the hill at 3801751 miles a minute. He would always wait at the bottom of the lift and make sure I was good to head back up… even after I accidentally went down a double back diamond, fell, and my skis came flying off and I bruised my arm. Classy. We drank good beer, ate amazing food, and just enjoyed a great weekend in the Rockies. I think the weather listened to my requests and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions. Gotta love these cold, dry, blue sky and sunshine Alberta winter days.
What did you do this weekend?
What are you doing for Valentines Day? Do you get excited for the holiday?
Do you ski or snowboard?