Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Trip to Banff

The good folks over at Where Magazine graciously offered us a wonderful experience in conjunction with WordFest. An opportunity to meet Ruth Ohi (children's illustrator and authour) and have an interactive session while she explained how books are made and all the good stuff that entails the process. The kids had such a wonderful time watching and learning. To wrap up the session, Ruth encouraged everyone to take part in a drawing activity applying the art technique's she taught us. All in all it was a fabulous time at the Banff Public Library!!
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*Ruth Ohi presenting her slideshow*
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*the kids listening*
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*drawing time with Ruth Ohi*

Then it was off for some sightseeing in and around Banff! First up was the Banff Springs Hotel. We didn't go inside but drove through and 'ooohhhed and ahhhheeed' at the beauty.  I was able to share with the kids some stories of when their Great-Grandma worked there when she was in her late teens.
We decided to have a peek at Bow Falls and admire some more of nature's beauty.
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*Robbie, Kayla, Alex, Alyssa and Matthew pose for a picture at the base*

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*Brothers- Robbie and Alex*

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*Sisters- Alyssa, Kayla and Mariah*

Next stop, Lake Minnewanka to have a quick stop and drink up more of the breathtaking beauty.
lake minnewanka
*sooo pretty*

The main bathroom area (which, if you can believe it, was in the very process of being closed for the season as we stood there with numerous children needing the bathroom!! Gah!) had a huge rock garden surrounding it, which people had built all these Inukshuk's!! It was so cool to see!
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It wasn't quite time to check in at our hotel, so we took a small drive up Mt.Norquay. It was absolutely stunning! So clear and bright!
looking down from Mt.Norquay
*looking down from Mt.Norquay*
Juniper Hotel from Mt.Norquay
*our hotel from Mt.Norquay*

After that, it was finally time to check into our hotel room at Juniper Hotel and Bistro. WOW! This place is amazing. Amazing people too! We were originally booked with a room that had two queen sized beds. As you can imagine, that would be a bit squishy with two adults and seven children. So the awesome folks there changed our room to one with two double beds and a double fold-out couch and provided a cot for Breanna. There was also a chaise that fit Robbie just perfect. So everyone had a place to sleep!
The Juniper is suburb. Run on Bull Frog power and presenting a clean and peaceful atmosphere, one can't help but find themselves feeling serene. The decor is clean and simple and Juniper has made a lot of effort to retain the history from it's prior life the Timberline Hotel. The halls are adorned with pictures and artifacts depicting it's rich history. The clean and simple look flows right through into the room. With big comfy beds and crisp, clean linens that smelled fresh! The Juniper is also conscious in even the complimentary products it provides for guest use. Choosing the BeeKind line from Gilchrist and Soames for it's soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower gel.

hanging out before dinner
*Kayla, Alyssa and Mariah hanging out before dinner*

After a change of clothes and checking out all the good things that come with staying in a hotel (none of our kids have ever stayed in one before) it was time to head down to The Old Spaghetti Factory for our dinner reservations. What an awesome place! Excellent food, amazing people, suburb atmosphere filled with family rich demeanor. They even have a GLUTEN FREE menu my friends!! Both Breanna and I were able to order a meal in a restaurant!! The staff were extremely knowledgeable and considerate of our dietary needs.
If you're looking for a family orientated restaurant that has good food, good service and won't break your wallet...this is THE place. The portion sizes are very generous, you will not leave hungry! Your meal is inclusive of one price! Soup or salad to begin, plenty of pasta dishes to choose from for an entree and dessert is Ice Cream and of course coffee or tea for grown-ups. The children's menu is easy to please any child and they can choose from milk or pop in a bottomless cup.
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*Kayla enjoying bread while waiting for her dinner to arrive*
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*kids waiting for dinner*

After dinner, we headed into town to enjoy a stroll down the streets of Banff. There are so many neat little shops in there! Our first stop was the Christmas Store, a longtime family favourite.
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*little village at the Christmas store*
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*My personal favourite...I LOVE snowmen*

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*another personal favourite of mine*

After a few more shops, it was time to head back to and snuggle in for sleep!!
But not before some good ol' fashion giggling and laughing!
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*kayla and alyssa*

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*alex and matthew*

We woke bright and early and headed home. It was a wonderful weekend and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.
We would like to extend our greatest appreciation and thanks to the following

Habitat for Humanity Calgary
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Juniper Hotel and Bistro
and the wonderful and thoughtful group of people at 'Where Magazine in Calgary', and a special thanks in particular to Laura Pellerine for making this all happen!!



Anonymous said...

Awww, Penny, that's awesome!!! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!! And wow, do your kids ever look grown up!!!!

Gabriele Agustini said...

Wonderful blog!! Love the photos!
I'm a "Follower" now.
Thanks for sharing,

Kelly said...

Looks like an awesome trip! I'm glad you enjoyed it! We have been to The Old Spaghetti Factory as well on one of our few treks to Banff, great place!

Motherhen said...

Looks like a fantastic trip! Gorgeous photos too.

Rebekah Anne Castleberry said...

How fun! LOVE the pictures!! I've been a perfect stranger to my blog as well. I'm trying to fix that though but as you know, with a lot of little ones, it's HARD!! Have a blessed Christmas, dear friend! :-)

Lauren said...

Penny, did you want to add your blog to the Christian unschoolers link-up at http://www.sparklingadventures.com/index.php?id=985? We'd love to have you!

Serafina said...

Nice! Happy holidays to everyone!