I (Michelle) have thought about what to write in this blog for a little while now. I know some people may be curious about my pregnancy and the six year journey it took to get here, but it’s not the right time for me to share it all yet. Everything is going absolutely amazing though!! :) Instead I’ll tell you about the trip my husband and I took before jumping into another round of IVF this past fall. A trip that renewed our souls and made us fall completely in love with western Canada. 

In September of last year, Brian and I decided to discover the beautiful Rocky Mountain areas of BC and Alberta. We already had a trip planned to Blind Bay, BC for a friend’s wedding so we just extended our stay an extra week. Brian had never been out west except for a quick trip to Edmonton and while I had been through the Rockies once before, I pretty much slept the entire way through on a coach bus. Boy, were we happy we did. It started off with a delayed flight (don’t they all though..). However, this flight ended up being one we’ll never forget! I took a little tip from @Baileyjst and got a few Starbucks gift cards for the flight staff as a token of appreciation. The honest intention of these cards was not to gain anything, but simply thank the crew for all they’d done, especially throughout the pandemic. I asked Brian to give the cards out while we were waiting at our gate, and wouldn’t you know it, he just happened to pick the first class manager. She found us right before take off and surprised us completely by taking us up to first class where we got to pick a pod of our choice for the entire flight. It was a completely unexpected outcome and we were shocked at the kindness of the crew member. We were told they had pooled all the cards together and bought cookies for the entire flight crew. So everyone was happy!

We landed in Calgary, picked up our rental car and drove 6 hours through the mountains to Blind Bay, BC. Once there, I got to see my beautiful college roommate get married at a wonderful resort on Shuswap Lake. Stunning was a complete understatement for both my friend and the lake!

The next day, we said goodbye to some old friends and some new friends with promises to see each other soon. We received a tip from the groom and we detoured off our route to see some bright red spawning salmon at a little stream under a bridge. Even with the circle of life on full display, the scene was peaceful, beautiful and amazing to see.

We were then off, back through the Rockies. Along the way we stopped and grabbed a couple pints near Revelstoke at Mount Begbie Brewing Co, then a couple more in Golden BC at Whitetooth Brewing Co. Both breweries had excellent beer that paired incredibly well with breathtaking views of the mountains.

We then arrived shortly after sunset at our destination at the Fairmont hotel in Lake Louise. This was the first trip we’d taken just the two of us in such a long time and it was SO unbelievable to just do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to!

The following day, we trekked up Beehive Mountain in Lake Louise and spent another night at the beautiful Fairmont hotel. We decided that after an entire day there, we had pretty much seen what there was to see and given the rather remote location, we cancelled our 3rd night. Both of us are incredibly meticulous at planning (despite how spontaneous we like to think we are, so this was a big decision). We took a chance and headed to The Peaks Hotel in Banff on a last minute booking. This hotel was much more our style and right in the middle of beautiful Banff.

Every trip we take, we usually set aside one night where we pick up ramen (like the boiled water or microwave kind) and a few local beer and eat in our hotel room. This is a long-standing tribute to our honeymoon when we made Mr.Noodles in the coffee maker a time or two while we were each dealing with… illness……we’ll leave it at that 🤢. So while it saves the pocket book for one or two nights, I can honestly say it’s a tradition my introverted side also looks forward to every trip!

From Banff we checked into the Malcolm Hotel in Canmore where the only words we were able to say about that town were “so people just live here?” It was the most scenic and beautiful town either of us have ever seen. We spent the day touring the trails along the Bow river, dipping our feet in until it actually hurt, and of course, found a couple breweries to refuel.

The next morning, we spent as much time as possible on our balcony at the Malcolm Hotel taking in the views and visited a farmers market before heading to Calgary to tour the city for 24 hours! 

In Calgary, we went on more walks, more breweries (favourites were Banded Peak and Cabin Brewery), more ramen, and then we were finally ready to return home to Stella. Brian wants me to point out you can now get a Banded Peak “Mount Crushmore” from Calgary at Toronto Blue Jay games. 

Unlike the other Blondie husband Adam, who enjoys the more distinguished and refined hoppy IPA’s of the world, Brian rates his beer on 2 scales: “Crushability” and “Crispyness”. I don’t think either of those are actually things.. but you can see why a beer called Mount Crushmore would be his favourite.

All this to say, If you can go and visit any of these places, DO IT!! The memories we made and the views we saw will stay with me (and remain on my camera roll) forever. Oh, not to mention the smell of the forest and the turquoise waters of Lake Louise and the amazing golden larches. We truly felt like we were in a whole other country. It’s incredible what being in nature will do for you and it’s truly amazing what this country has to offer.