First Time On A Plane in Two Years!
Our Long Weekend in Calgary
A few weekends ago my husband and I got on an airplane for the first time in over two years, and headed west. We were in need of a vacation, but weren't quite ready for the hassle of travel across a land border, so we stayed within Canada and went to a province I had yet to visit; Alberta.
There are multiple reasons we chose to go to the Calgary area, such as it's close proximity to the mountains, as well as the badlands. I mean hello?!, who doesn't like being in or near the mountains? But we were also there so we could explore the area to see if it was a fit for us after retirement. Yes that's right, Brandon is 7 years away from retirement because he started working for his company right out of University. #RetireYoung
On paper, Alberta has seemed like a good fit for us, though paper and reality rarely match up. But, in this case Alberta exceeded our expectations and we fell in love with Calgary, Kananaskis, and Canmore; just to name a few. It felt wonderful to be in the mountains again and Calgary felt like home, as it reminded me of Columbus, Ohio. It's a big city with a small town feel. Clean, vibrant, surrounded by wonderful neighborhoods, and full of friendly people. Such friendly people!
The first day we were there we drove out to Drumheller to explore the Badlands, which were pretty cool. I love how you can go from the city to the desert one minute, and then the snow capped mountains the next. Alberta has such a diversity of terrain. It truly is a beautiful place to explore, and live. The badlands are a must see, and I can see myself exploring them further in the future. If you like the American Southwest, this will be a spot you’ll love.
Our second day was spent driving to and exploring Banff and it was so amazing. I don't think I have ever said Oh Wow! and Amazing! so many times in one day. It was breathtaking and emotional. I cried; for real! I mean, I've seen the Rocky Mountains in Colorado on numerous occasions, but they have nothing on Banff! Once there, we took the expensive, but well worth it, gondola ride to Sulphur Mountain and walked along the boardwalk. Unfortunately the peaks were somewhat socked in with fog, and/or surrounded by grey skies, so it wasn't the perfect photography day, but it was amazing all the same. We also stopped by Lake Louise, which was frozen, so we took a stroll on the lake, snapped a few photos, & headed back to Calgary.
Our last day was spent in the city, starting with a 2 hour morning walk along the paths of the Bow River. Brandon and I were most impressed with the extensive trail system, walking & biking paths along the Bow River, and how it connects all the neighborhoods to the city centre. We stumbled upon the Silver Springs neighborhood thanks to a friendly realtor at an open house (did I mention how friendly everyone is there?) and discovered all the mountain bike trails along the ridge. Brandon couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. Calgary is definitely packed with outdoor activities, and it has the sunshine to help you enjoy them.
We loved it so much, that the day we arrived home, Brandon started planning our next visit there in August. And I'm sure by the time this blog is published, we'll have all the reservations set (we do!), because he's that excited about it, and I'm glad. I loved seeing him smiling and happy and really enjoying his time. It's been a while. And honestly, it's been a while for me as well.
One thing I will mention is that this was my first official photography outing with my Fuji XT4, so I was still getting the hang of it. I was also so overwhelmed with being out and about for the first time in 2 years and actually taking photos, that there was a lot of pointing & shooting and not a lot of slowing down and composing the shot properly. Yikes! Not to mention I was a bit frustrated that my XT4 was freezing up on me and I had to take the battery out and reinsert it to get it to work again. Brandon looked it up, and apparently this has been a known issue for a while now, and Fuji has yet to fix it. Grr! Why is it I always find out about the known issues of a system AFTER I buy into it?! Hopefully they will fix it via a firmware update soon, as this doesn't make my switch from Canon to Fuji feel all too wise at the moment. Just saying'...
Have you travelled since the pandemic started? If so where? How'd it go? Are you planning to travel soon? Let me know in the comments! Until next time, be loving, be kind, be better!