First Hike of the Year!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hello folks!

Update (May 28, 2017): OH MY GOODNESS! So much for my daily updates for the weekend! Unbelievable. I haven’t had the chance to write lately because of work. I’ve been so swamped at work and exhausted after every shift. I didn’t even have time to eat during my shifts, and they were from 2:00PM-11:00PM. Any who, here is another blog post for all of you!

Time to continue our road trip story!

First of all, we leave when the drivers wake up in the morning. The drivers always coordinate who they’re picking up and what time we meet up at. But we were kind of slow getting up earlier in the day. Eventually we all decided to meet at Safeway around 10:00AM to get some breakfast, snacks and water for the trip, and booze for the night we’d be staying there for.

Our check in to the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort was at 4:00PM, so we ended up killing some time at Lake Minnewanka! We first parked and spent some time along side the lake and took a ton of photos. We were tourists! Tourists that live an hour away (if you speed) from home…

After spending a good 30 minutes or so taking photos, we had enough. We went back to the car to grab our stuff to find something to do in the area.

At Lake Minnewanka, you are able to rent a boat. For the motorboat that fits 4 people, it is $80 for one hour. For a pedal boat, I believe it was $50 for one hour and could fit 4 people as well. If you wanted to go on a cruise, it would be $60/person! The cost was unreal! We never would’ve went on the cruise (we’re WAY too poor), but if we decided to, the cruises were booked until 5:00PM that evening anyway!

So we obviously chose the cheapest option… We did the Stewart Canyon hike. But God! Along the hike, there were so many tree roots sticking out from the dirt on the path and as well as rocks. We all struggled (mostly me) avoiding them! Our sneakers were a little thin and uncomfortable, and because there were so many rocks, if we placed our foot on them wrong, our ankles would twist and we’d have to adjust our weight so we wouldn’t fall.

It was honestly a very sore hike for me. One, because I am a complete Snorlax – eat, sleep, repeat – and I have not done any physical activity the last year that was remotely CLOSE to this hike. And two, I kept stepping on rocks that would make my feet slide in my shoes, also putting a lot of tension on different sides of my feet. I for sure got a few blisters after that day. That was the moment I decided I needed to invest in some nice hiking shoes.

As we were walking along the path, we also had a beautiful view of the lake!

It was great. It was as if there were hidden messages embedded within nature.

You gotta love people with a sense of humour.

We passed a bridge that had a decent view of the canyon. The Cascade River flows through this canyon and we wanted to see more, so we continued on the path. After suffering with sore ankles and feet, and climbing over a few dead trees and giant rocks, we finally made it to the end of one of the paths; to the river!

I would just like to say that Michael and Ardel took FOREVER trying to get onto that main rock. They had to plan out their path and they failed a few times, but they eventually achieved their goal after 20 minutes or so.

It was about 3:15PM or so at this point, and we all decided to walk back to the vehicles to go check in. Did you know that this hike was supposed to be a 40 minute round trip hike? Because we all definitely did not take 40 minutes to walk there and back! And we didn’t realize how far away we actually parked the cars until we got on one of the main roads everyone parked along. Took us another 10-15 minutes!

When we got to the resort, we had an upper floor. If any one of you reading this post would like to grab a room at this place the next time you’re in Banff, we had Room 2308! Let me know if you grab the same room we had. 😛

It was so nice to stay in! I wished I took photos but I was too exhausted to even think about it. I just wanted to lay in bed and rest. If you are curious as to what it looks like, click here to view the actual condo design we stayed in. It was the Two Bedroom Wolf Condo! The only thing that was a little unsettling for me was the amount of wolves that were placed around the condo… But you can easily look past that when you’re exhausted.

Now, for the best part of our trip – food! We tried to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Banff, but it was extremely busy. We tried to get a table to seat 7 of us without a reservation, so honestly, we were the dumb, hopeful ones. Michael called Chili’s to see if they had open spots, and they said they were able to seat us if we came down before 7:00PM.

I don’t know who’s idea it was to walk?!?!?! But we ended up walking over to Chili’s from the Old Spaghetti Factory! It is actually a 10 minute walk, but because we were all so tired and sore from our hike, it turned into a 20 minute walk. We were being so dramatic and said that we could walk to Chili’s from our hotels, because us girls didn’t understand why we didn’t drive and parked closer to our destination. If you ever go to Chili’s, I can definitely say that the Cajun Chicken Pasta will not disappoint you if you choose to get it! I loved it. It was delicious and filling after that long day.

Once we got back to the hotel, we all decided to go down to the swimming pool. Except Tinsae! He didn’t come because he still had some homework to do, and he didn’t bring any swim trucks. 😦 The twins and Michael stayed in the hot tub for most of the time, but Ardel, Joseph and I were hanging around in the swimming pool. There was an indoor pool and an outdoor one, and we basically had the indoor pool to ourselves!

Noura ended up cutting her foot in the swimming pool, I don’t know how?! But we went into the sauna and we didn’t notice until she mentioned blood on her foot. We were certain that if she mentioned she was bleeding in the pool, they would close it down. We planned to let someone know that it happened in the sauna so they could at least close that down, but when we stepped out, we were too stunned with the scene.

We were in the sauna for about 10 minutes, and all of a sudden there were like, 20 kids out in the pool. I kid you not. I am not exaggerating! They just appeared out of nowhere. A few parents and 5 billion kids filling up the pool. The twins and I left the pool after drying up a bit and when we got back to our room, I started laughing, because both the showers were running!! The guys actually ran back to make sure they had dibs on the showers.

After we settled down into our sleeping wear, we started to drink. We played this card game, one that I never really played before, and it was so much fun! You basically start off with a pyramid of cards. One card in the first row, two in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth. The next step was to distribute the rest of the deck to each player by going through different categories. Red/Black, Hearts/Diamonds/Spades/Clubs, High/Low (7 is the middle number), Odd/Even. If we weren’t right, we would have to drink!

Once the deck was distributed, we started on the bottom row. The first card is flipped, and if you have the same number on any card, you place that card down and give out one shot to someone. If you had two, you could give two shots to someone. We continue this on the rest of the cards on the fourth line.

For the third line, it was essentially the same but each card meant you were able to give out two shots. So if you had two of the same cards, you could give a person 4 shots in total. For the second line, it was 3 shots, and for the top card, if you had the card, you had to drink the rest of your drink.

The person with the most cards in the end has to ride the bus! Now, this part was my favourite of the game. It made me laugh so hard! Especially when Joe had to ride the bus. So you would place 7 cards in a line. The person would have to play high/low for each card. If they screwed up, they would have to start again from the beginning. The objective was to get through the line without screwing up. And oh God! Joe had to start from the beginning so many times, I think he got drunk first out of all of us, despite his high tolerance.

Have you guys played this game? It was my first time playing it. If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely gather up a few friends and play it!

Eventually I was too tired to keep playing as it was nearing 2:00AM, so I figured it was a good time to take my NyQuil pills. I was a trooper all day with my cold! Once I took them, I went upstairs to our room, placed a pillow under my legs to elevate them (they were killing me with pain), laid in bed and passed out instantly.

And that’s how that day went. Filled with a lot of activities and there was not one hour where we were not productive.

The next day will continue in the next blog post. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Jennie


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