Montreal’s 375 & Canada’s 150

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s birth and many celebrations are happening across our beautiful country. Another great reason for us to travel (almost) coast to coast.

All the Canadian National Parks are free to public this year as well as festivals everywhere!

Our hometown of Montreal is also celebrating as this fabulous city turns 375 years! A tad older than California.

We arrived and had dinner with great friends in Pointe Claire, Steve and Gayle Ryan then drove across the Island of Montreal to Brossard and a stay with Brian’s parents Bob and Irene.

So many memories of growing up on West Island. Lots has changed but much remains. Since Brian and I went to high school together, our memories are all mostly shared and reminiscing is fun and sometimes at odds!

( Brian, Bob and Irene)

So wonderful to start this trip visiting my beautiful mom in Vancouver 

( my mum Val King and Ginny)

and end it with my lovely Inlaws in our hometown just as Spring arrives. Brian and his mom are yelling and screaming at TV  ( as I write this) in next room as they watch the first game of Stanley Cup Hockey Finals. All is right with world!

We were able to spend time with Brian’s cousins here, my nephews and their beautiful young families , my sister and her husband in BC and explore the Rockies, Banff and Lake Louise. 

Truly a  wonderful trip and we remain very thankful to all who helped make it so wonderful. If you have not experienced Canada, it’s cultures, vistas and people maybe 

this is your year as well!

Lake Louise , Alberta

Took a day trip from Banff to Lake Louise today. Weather is chilly ( for Californians) and around 50…but sun is shining and snow in village has melted. Lake Louise is just one hour shuttle from Banff. Not much to do there as there is no village.. Tim Hortons and has stop and as a Canadian.. that counts!……but ohhhhhhh… 

…The Fairmont Lake Louise is a true destination!

Like its big sister Banff Springs, this hotel is also steeped in history but she sits alone on the shores of the incredible Glacier Lake Louise. In the summer, the lake is green blue and full of minerals from the melting snows…and as the glacier and snow remain on the mountains, this view is truly Canadian must see. Today the ice is just leaving the lake. We could see the soft ice area where the winter skating rink must have been.. you can see the area directly in front of entrance below…winter must be something to see and experience here. 

The onion soup was hot and the beer was cold and it will rank high in our ever evolving list of  great food in amazing places. Diets be damned. Some people hike, others explore…Perfect outdoor tables in perfect places seems to be our focus!

We did actually walk around some of the lake. Every second the sun and shadows changed this iconic landscape. 

Vancouver to Banff via The Rocky Mountaineer!

We are blessed with perfect , warm weather as we leave the Vancouver Fairmont early May 22 and board this gorgeous luxury train. Considered and rated as the best train experience in all North America it was all it said it would be. Gold Leaf service level gets you a dedicated comfy seat for duration of trip in the domed car and all the fun that a great group of fellow travelers bring. We met lovely couples from Scotland, Texas, Ohio, Georgia .. but none from Canada although we were told East coasters sometimes do appear. Such a shame as I very much doubt there is a more Canadian experience that riding the rails through arguably the most beautiful part of Canada.. the magnificent Rocky Mountains. 

Truly an experience not to miss. From the incredible staff , spotlessly clean train plus the gourmet meals and outdoor viewing and photography area on each car’s really  so well thought through with no detail missed.

We are now relaxing in Banff after a scotch or two . This Castle in the clouds was built in the 1880s by Cornelius Van Horne for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Now a Fairmont hotel is still boggles the mind in grandeur, history and luxury. We feel we are are on a Grand Tour of old. 

Heritage Room 479 details

Perfect Week in Vancouver and spending time with my mum.

Vancouver Canada is just beautiful. The just over two hour flight hugs the blue Pacific Coast . On one side of plane you get to see snow capped dormant Volcanos and deep azure mountain lakes of the Northwest. On the otherside of plane you see the beautiful Pacific coastline dotted with all sorts of tiny private islands. You can almost see the Orcas, Dolphins and Eagles. My mom just celebrated her 93rd birthday and we spent the week talking about her early life in Ontario. Her memory of all of that is sharp nd good…her dinner last night escapes her. I watched her carefully ¬†and realized that if lucky enough to reach an age most do not, your perspective on the world is different. You’ve lived through the things we only read about in books. You have seen the world tetter on the edge of oblivion more than once and knows how horrible humans can be to one another. She has also known great joy And prefers to talk and remember ¬†those moments in her life. Its a great lesson and its far easier to sit and feel the great loss of so many. I have such admiration for her. She adores her wee dog ( and dogs she has lost)…and told me that dealing with loss is like owning a dog. The great joy and commitment a small dog brings daily must always outshine the grief of losing it someday. You remember the good…and let the sadness of loss….go. If not, it consumes you. Great lessons…wonderful moments with mum. Always learning from her wise words.