Canada Redux

Canada Redux


I decided to spend another Christmas in Canada, much to the dismay of my parents and I’m sure most of my home friends. It was really lovely as I got to catch up with lots of people I haven’t since April or the summer and spend another festive season surrounded by snow.

I finally experienced not one, but two hockey games and surprisingly enjoyed myself. There’s an infectious atmosphere to live sports games and excellent drunken banter. I skated on a frozen lake and once again marvelled at the adeptness of almost everyone else on the ice. The weather was also pretty mild for most of the month, but I was pleased when it finally did snow and made it feel like Christmas.

Since childhood, Christmas has always been something I look forward to, and again this year it was lovely. It was full of great food and telly and it was great to be part of someone else’s family traditions and be made to feel so welcome over the holiday season.

Denise's leaving party before her exchange to the US
Denise’s leaving party before her exchange to the US

One aspect of my return I really enjoyed was swing dancing. There was a live music night, which is always great, and a few different dance style nights. I loved catching up with and meeting new folk in that community and it was so much fun to really get back into it.

Impromptu Blues Night that became an awesome cuddle puddle
Impromptu Blues Night that became an awesome cuddle puddle


My birthday occurred when I was over there and I was pleasantly surprised by a day of gifts, walking around Canmore, poutine (oh so much poutine!) and ice-cream birthday cake (which tastes as good as it sounds). We returned to haul up in prep for a ski day at Lake Louise. My third time skiing, I challenged myself to try and green which was a bit of a disaster. However, I remain determined to stubbornly persist (and perhaps get a few lessons) until I can remain upright for the majority of a ski day.

Walking about near Canmore
Walking about near Canmore

I got a bit carried away taking photos of pretty frozen things, but I really enjoyed being in the mountains. One of my favourite things about Alberta is the proximity to the mountains, and having been away for some time I was stunned by the landscape.





We went through to visit a friend in Banff and puttered around, checking out the cracking views and then ending the day with tea (which should be a standard). We also had a nosey around the meandering halls of the Fairmont at Banff Springs  and stumbled across large delicious-looking gingerbread houses.






Gingerbread houses at Banff Hotel


We took a few days to go and visit one of my pals from Glasgow who’s relocated to Vancouver. I really like this city and it made a nice change from Calgary. We met some interesting characters, as a few folk from his flat had visitors, so there was a lot of activity and chat.  Classically it was raining a lot whilst we were there, which scuppered more extravagant outdoor plans, but we still managed to have some lovely walks. We also went to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC which was huge and fascinating. I felt we could have spent several days in there. We also checked out the local yummy food scene, bookshops and lots of pubs (including one that came close to resembling a British pub, yay!)

Vancouver UBC Endowment Lands
Vancouver UBC Endowment Lands

PS I forgot to take my camera out except on outdoorsy days, so in my classic style there are lots of landscape shots and not too many of my lovely Canadians.

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