Category Archives: Life

Quebec Travels – Fun Times!

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There was a guy like this who captured exactly how I feel when I’m skiing. No pictures allowed unfortunately.

How did almost two months pass so quickly? You mean this trip wasn’t just yesterday? Oh man. I guess I’ve been busy! :) Thankfully, there are lots of good memories and pictures from it to remember the fun!

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Also, good company! When I’m with my sister, we have fun:

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Portrait Fun-9We saw some really happy things – like this ecobus!

Fun Things-7And the pink pi house:

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Fun Things-6This wasn’t so much fun, but was quite the accomplishment – there is a flight of stairs from the river level to the Plains of Abraham  – this view is only about half way up.

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We had dinner at the La Saute Lapin – “The Jumping Rabbit” and it was really well decorated. Really great food as well – very gluten free friendly! I don’t think I’ve eaten that much bread in a single day for a really long time…

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Started with a Green Salad with GF Croutons

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Cassoulet with Rabbit Leg pour Moi

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Duck Poutine for Mr. Bean

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Charcuterie Board for the Sister complete with GF bread

What’s your favourite memory from a recent trip?

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Quebec Travels – Architecture

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The other weekend Mr. Bean and I had a whirlwind trip to Quebec, where we spent a few days in Montreal, visited my sister and spent a day in Quebec City.

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I’ve always wanted to go to the old city in Quebec City as I love that style of architecture from the 1700′s with stone buildings and colourful wooden windows. Let’s just say that my inner 14-year-old was incredibly happy the entire time we wandered around.

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Architecture-4My favourite thing to do when visiting a new city or place is walk around and look at stuff. Then I get to see everything up close and I can pretend that I’m a local (plus, the exercise helps even out all the tasty food I inevitably eat. Priorities!)

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Chateau Frontenac

Another one of the things I wanted to see was the Plains of Abraham, where the Battle of Abraham took place in 1759 where the British defeated the French, essentially setting Canada up to be an English-speaking county. Not that I’m a nerd or anything. :)

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360° view at Dusk

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View from the Citadel

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We stayed in a really sweet hotel called the “Chateau des Tourelles“. It’s a pretty sweet setup as the hotel is a bunch of adjacent flats combined and renovated. We had one of the studio rooms, which was on the top floor (our bathroom window is the mini pseudo circular window under the gable – how cool is that?). They even had a deck on their roof, which looked over the newer parts of Quebec city. I would definitely recommend this place if you’re ever going to go to Quebec City!

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Where have you always wanted to visit?

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Winter Adventures!

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(Clockwise) Cross Country Skiing at Moraine Lake, Kananaskis and Snowshoeing at Emerald Lake

Winter is really much more enjoyable when you do something to enjoy it. I know, it’s May so winter should be the last thing on my mind, but it’s still winter-y here. Maybe it’s the snow today or I finally feel slightly organized for the first time in a long time, but I thought it was the right time to share pictures from my winter adventures with you!

I haven’t really shared here that I started doing something last year that I used to think I would NEVER do: I tried downhill skiing and I LOVE it. Like “I-sometimes-take-days-off-in-the-middle-of-the-week-to-go-skiing” love it.  Add in some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and I can say that this (long) winter definitely wasn’t too bad!

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Snowshoeing up to the Fire Lookout in Peter Lougheed Park.

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Downhill Skiing at Sunshine and Nakiska

I even participated in this year’s work ski trip to Whitefish! It was a really fun trip despite a few adventures due to poor visibility and splitting up with the people I was skiing with.

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The best visibility that we had in Whitefish!

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Fun Times at Whitefish! The picture on the bottom left corner is the best visibility we had on the second day!

One day Mr. Bean and I decided that we were going to try going cross-country skiing, not realizing that it was too warm for any of the waxes that we had and that the snow was so bizarre it really wasn’t worth it. It was the “longest” trip we’ve ever had – about 50m of skiing. So we went for a walk at Kananakis Village instead. The sun even came out!

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View from Kananakis Village

I’ve met some pretty entertaining people on the ski lift – from the American guy in Whitefish who chewed us out for trying to put down the bar and then tried to make up for it by calling us “cute Canadian girls,” to the guy who asked me if I took selfies because it was my birthday to the old guys who were complaining how powder was horrible and they hated it.

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Skiing Nakiska & Travels Home

I’d have to say that my favourite day of skiing was my birthday! I took my flex day and you couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was sunny, warm and the snow was decent! By the end of the day the snow had really softened up, which was kind of fun as skiing through slush makes you feel like a hero!

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Birthday Skiing at Sunshine – Pretty much the best day ever! Look at Mount Assiniboine in the background!

Even though, as much as I love skiing, I am ready for spring to finally come!

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Skoki Trip

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Upper Skoki Lake with Pika Peak

Have you ever woken up then realized you’ve reached an important milestone in any of your relationships? I did – two weeks ago was my 5th anniversary with Mr. Bean. How did that happen? I guess time flies when you’re having fun!

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Mr. Bean and I Hiking In

To celebrate, we went out to Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park in behind Lake Louise Ski Area. My mom and I backpacked in the area last year – we visited the lodge for tea to dry off after a huge thunderstorm. The funny thing is that it started raining (albeit much lighter than last year) in about the same spot. Fortunately, we didn’t have to hide under a tarp and we got to the lodge before it really started raining.

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Ptarmigan Lake (Click to View Larger Pano Shots)

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Mr. Bean and Ptarmigan Lake

It’s incredibly beautiful up there – wonderful meadows, great views of mountains and turquoise lakes.

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View toward Skoki Lakes

On the second day, we hiked up toward Merlin Ridge. Poor Mr. Bean was sick, so he went back to the Lodge before the lake, but I kept hiking up with a group of ladies who were also staying at the Lodge up to Merlin Ridge.

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Mr. Bean and I with Merlin Ridge and Mt. Richardson in the Background

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Merlin Castle on the Way up to Merlin Ridge

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Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson is in the background – I totally climbed it last year!

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Looking down the Merlin Valley toward where Skoki Lodge is.

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Hiking toward Merlin Ridge with the Ladies we met at the Lodge

It was really great to get some perspective on the Mountain that I climbed last year – Mt. Richardson. 10,000+ ft is really quite high!

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View from Merlin Ridge toward Merlin Lake – Mt. Richardson on the right.

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At the Top of Merlin Ridge

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Me and Mt. Richardson from Merlin Ridge

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The Ladies I Hiked Up With

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Mt. Richardson with a Cairn

Overall, it was a great trip – excellent food, good company and beautiful hikes despite the periodic rain.

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Mr. Bean and I in front of Skoki Lodge

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A “Fork in the Trail”

On the way out, we hiked past the Skoki Lakes we saw on the way in on the way to Packer’s Pass. It included a bit of scrambling through this cliff band, which was kind of scary but fun! I’m really glad that it wasn’t raining during it and that we were going up not down.

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Mr. Bean looking over the cliff we climbed.

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Our Scramble up the cliff to the Skoki Lakes

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Lower Skoki Lake

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Upper Skoki Lake

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Mr. Bean Scaling Packers Pass

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View Toward Ptarmigan Lake from Packer’s Pass

Have you taken any interesting trips lately?

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Flood Time!

The last two and a half weeks have been whirlwind of craziness – it appears that we had our 100 year flood in Southern Alberta. Fortunately, Mr. Bean and I are safe and our house is fine, but that’s not the case for many, many people in Calgary, High River, Canmore, Exshaw, and many other places, including my parent’s cabin.

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Flood by the Cabin – June 20, 2013

I don’t know if you remember, but a few years ago I posted a photo of from where the flood waters had been in the cabin a few years ago. Here’s the photo showing how high the water had gotten:

Cabin-2If we thought that was bad, it was nothing compared to what happened. Nothing. 2 feet of clean water in the basement? Nothing. Picture the dyke breaking, causing a 3 – 4 foot river to go right past the cabin, with 8 feet of muddy water to fill the basement.

Want to see what it looked like?

We’re one of the lucky ones as the cabin is still standing, unlike two of the neighbour’s houses – one got washed away entirely and the river eroded away at the house’s foundation until it finally collapsed.

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Toward the Cabin

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Toward the houses that were washed away.

We’re also incredibly lucky as the waters didn’t hit the main floor. By the grace of God, the ghost river upstream self diverted, meaning that most of the flow did not go by the cabin, so we weren’t part of the list of people whose places were washed away.

Here’s the aftermath damage photos:

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We have also been lucky that we’ve had the help of many volunteers, the MD and the forestry guys – without them, everything would be covered in feet of mud, tons of trees and look like multiple bombs went off.

And here’s after two steady weeks of work:

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As I mentioned, we weren’t the only people affected. Calgary wasn’t undamaged – I’m still not able to go back to my office building as it flooded and power has yet to be restored. Hundreds of people are still unable to get back into their homes. Here’s a view of the Bow River in Calgary.

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View towards Bowness in Calgary June 21, 2013

The worst may be over, but there is still lots of work to be done. We are lucky that we are safe and not missing a primary place of residence – please pray for all the people in Southern Alberta who have been affected by this flood!

I hope you all are staying safe!

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