BC: Happy 2nd Anniversary. Thank you again for such a great vacation. I hope it will be the first of many.
FC: ELIZABETH AND SEAN'S ALBERTA TRIP 2011
1: The roads were long and we did a lot of driving but this was a vacation I will never forget. Thanks for taking me on such a great adventure.
2: We saw a lot of strange but fun things as we were driving and it really helped to break up the monotony of what could have been a very boring drive. | To the right is the best sight of our whole trip. A cemetery in the middle of the road! Seriously who puts a cemetery in the middle of a 4 lane highway. STRANGE, very strange indeed.
3: Finally after about 4 hours of driving we ended up at our first destination: JIM'S COTTAGE in Bonnyville Beach. and so began 3 days of relaxation and some very pretty sunsets.
4: Our first day was spent sharing one of JIm and Wendy's passions ... GOLFING, and except for the sun it was a great day. | Alberta is touted as the gun loving province of Canada and a golf course shaped like a handgun doesn't do much to dissuade the stereotype. But it was a fun course to play.
6: It was a shutter bugs paradise. Anything and everything was fodder for the camera lens.
7: The time we spent in Bonnyville was great and I took a lot of pictures. Though as much as I tried to avoid it I did end up in a few myself.
8: After our brief stay at Jim's cottage we began the next part of our trip which started with a drive back into Edmonton and when we got there we stopped at the West Edmonton Mall and took in the sites.
9: The West Edmonton Mall is a well known tourist destination and it is filled with stores of every kind imaginable (often 4 or more of each). However as interesting as all the stores were the aquarium gave us the most to see and touch, in the case of the sting rays; though there were a few other interesting sites too. For example, the dads enjoying a few beers while there kids played in the wave pool and the preview of what our super IKEA would look like (it didn't disappoint)
13: Our first stops were the trails at Sulphur Creek and Capitol Mountain and it gave us a taste of the gorgeous views that were to come. | Then on our way out we got a preview of the animals that were to come and despite the signs saying not to to get to close it was hard not to when they approached us first.
14: We tried not to make too many stops as we drove through the Rockies but we made enough that it's hard to decide what to put in here. But Moraine Lake
15: and the Kicking Horse Pass were two very interesting stops. I was impressed by both the views and the engineering marvels scattered throughout the mountains. The terrain was extreme and so were the solutions people had found to live there. It was very cool.
16: Well there might not have been lions and tigers but there were a couple of bears and lots and lots of other animals. It all started with those sheep in the parking lot on the first day and it didn't stop. Some of them ran along side the car as we were driving and for others we pulled over and joined all the other crazy people gawking and taking pictures on the side of the highway. Seeing the animals may not have been the greatest of the sights during our trip but they certainly were some of the funnest.
18: We saw animals everywhere and we got pretty close and personal with them. But at Morraine Lake this one kid just kept chasing after this poor chipmunk and her parents just wouldn't stop taking pictures. I am amazed the kid didn't get bitten. The animals were so abundant it was hard not to want to get right up next to them but sometimes people forgot they were wild animals and they should keep their distance. Though I do have to admit it was kinda cute watching her chase and chase after the poor animal. Silly chipmunk he just wanted some popcorn.
19: Some of the sights were strange indeed and this one left me as confused as it did you.
21: Mount Edith Cavel and the Angel Glacier were beautiful sights to see; though it was a much steeper walk than we thought and falling on those rocks hurt, but it was worth it because it also gave us one of the most memorable pictures of the trip. Thank you for encouraging me to keep walking.
23: The water supposedly had magical healing properties. You just said it was cold.
26: On one of our last stops you took me up on the Banff Gondola and the views were spectacular. It was a bit of an ordeal getting up there because the weather didn't want to co-operate but we got up on the last trip of the day and it was the perfect finish to a perfect vacation.
29: On our last day we had some time to kill before we had to catch our flight home so we toured the museum from the '88 Calgary Olympics and while it really didn't have much to see, because it was undergoing renovations, there were a few cool things including the bobsled from Cool runnings and a pretty lame bus ... lol.
30: Since you hadn't been to Saskatchewan before you decided that you wanted to "step-foot"" in the province while we were in Cold Lake and on our drive back I got this lovely picture of the border. They say pictures say a thousands words and the different road surfaces in this picture certainly tell a story about these two provinces.