This is the next instalment of my Special Moments, Magic Memories series for the 2022 A to Z Blog Challenge.
Canada had called to us for some time, possibly since the popularity of their exhibit at Expo 88. We finally made it in 2017 and were absolutely thrilled with by the whole experience. We visited Vancouver, Victoria Island, and the Rockies, staying at Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. The agent who booked our arrangements (for once, not me), had let each place know it was an anniversary trip and at each hotel we were left a plate of treats. It certainly added to the wow factor and made us feel special. To add to our enjoyment we were able to visit with two Canadian cousins who descend from different branches on my tree.
We both vote Canada as our second best holiday ever (after Africa) – it was just one WOW after another! I’ve mentioned before that we often travel off-season and it was fairly cold while we were there – I think the lowest temp was -21C. Lucky we’d bought very warm jackets, even if the matching colours led to us sometimes being called the ski patrol. One thing for sure, people knew we were together 🙂
My favourite place for WOW was Lake Louise where we indulgently stayed at the Fairmont and had a fabulous view. It felt totally luxurious in every way. We had an amazing meal for our anniversary with a special celebration dessert. High tea with the snow-covered view out the window was delicious. The sleigh ride beside the lake felt so romantic with snow all around. We delighted in the ice carvings near the lake, especially the ice castle…we even got an uncrowded photo after the day visitors left. I was so tempted by the ice rink but knew the risks were too high given it had been years since I‘d been on skates…not worth risking the rest of the trip. We kept thinking what a ball the grandkids would have if a magic carpet brought us back again at Christmas. I’d love to see the Lake in its gorgeous blue summer clothes but I think I’d still opt for winter all things considered.
Mr Cassmob’s favourite WOW moment was the Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island, and I have to say it was my second fave. As we got off the local bus, it started to snow and just got progressively steadier. Not only were all the features draped in snow drifts, there were so few people there it was if we had it to ourselves. Spectacular! Then hot chocolate, coffee or soup to warm us up when needed. It was a SUPER day. Unfortunately at the end, the local buses had stopped because one had run off the road. We called a taxi and got more than we bargained for with a high-speed ride back into the town – a bit scary considering the state of the roads!
Not only did we get to do the helicopter flight outside Banff, we also did a dog-sled ride and that was super FUN! I’m sure we gave people a few laughs watching us clamber our ungainly way into and out of the sled. The dogs didn’t care – they were yipping and leaping with excitement as they were harnessed for the ride. I’d do it again if I had a chance.
We left Victoria Island on Mr Cassmob’s birthday so his present was returning to Vancouver by float plane rather than bus and ferry. We LOVED it…so special, and much quicker 😉 He had flown in Catalinas when he was a young bloke but not a small float plane like this, and I’d never flown in one. Another WOW!
Amusing experiences: meeting so many Aussies working on the resorts (incl one from about 2 kilometres from where we live); and seeing the aircraft ex Calgary being de-iced….a new experience for these sub-tropical travellers. The ice hockey match we watched in Vancouver – no idea of the rules, but speed, excitement and fisticuffs.
Do you love seeing snow and participating in winter sports? I’m sure it would get tedious if you had to keep snow under control in your yard, but to those from hot climates, it’s something special.
Where is your favourite place to see snow?