Better Than Therap
My friend Sharon and I headed off for a girls trip. This is something we look forward to all year. We are both natural caregivers and adore our families and jobs but this weekend it was about self-care and time just for US. This marks our second annual trip and we plan to continue this tradition every year.
We started the trip off right at Cross Iron Mills an amazing outlet mall just outside of Calgary. The best part is the designer purse stores like Coach and Fossil. We are also excellent shoppers and love a good deal.
Once we arrived in Banff, we checked into one of my favorite hotels in the park. Moose Hotel & Suites. This place is so charming and always makes you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of real life.
Mr. Moose, was my partner for the weekend. Let me tell you, it was kinda freaky waking up and seeing him each morning.
Of course we just had to order room service well because we could! For two mommas, there really is nothing better than the simplicity of picking up the phone and having someone bring you food. The extra bonus is that you don’t even have to do the dishes.
We went for breakfast at a new restaurant called Tooloulou’s, the food was superb. The cuisine is Cajun inspired and definitely hit the spot. I even treated myself to a hot chocolate with Baileys. This was a great start to our very first day.
We decided to go for a drive and check out some sights. Lake Minnewanka is magical and it happens to be near where Gord and I got married. Here are some of the pics from the day as we explored the mountainside.
A herd of Elk stopped to cross the road as we were driving through the mountains. I always feel so blessed to see wildlife out in their natural elements, wild and free.
We then finished the night off with some nachos, margaritas and a soak in the outdoor hot tub. Really what more could a girl want.
We woke up early and walked over to the neighbouring coffee shop, Whitebark Cafe. They served up a mean chai tea latte and a scrumptious granola banana muffin.
I ended up taking a glorious catnap which never ever happens in my normal everyday life.
Today was all about pampering and self indulgence. We both were booked in for 60 minute massages. They were worth every penny and the experience was AMAZING. The spa had a tranquil outdoor patio with a hot tub and a quiet and calming lounge area to rest.
We enjoyed Tooloulous so much that we decided to come back and try some Cajun food for lunch. I was more than satisfied with my meal. We started off with hush puppies and andouillee mac n’ cheese. I then ordered the Taste of N’awlin’s. This was a little bit of everything delicious including creole jambalaya, shrimp lobster etouffee, seafood sausage gumbo and dirty rice. We also had to try the Gator Bait drink special.
With our bellies full and our hearts content we went back to the hotel to read. We found our favorite reading spot, just in the main lobby of the hotel. We made ourselves cozy and curled up on the chairs beside the massive wood burning fireplace. This was divine watching the fire roar and crack as we relaxed in silence.
Then it was off to the movies! I have so missed going to the movies during the pandemic and decided today was the day. The show playing was “Let Him Go” starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. It was so moving and brought out all kinds of emotions. The movie is about a loving married couple, who are deeply invested in their only grandson. The pair go on a wild journey to keep him safe. We shed many tears but also lots of laughs, so that in my books means that this was a great film.
Sharon opened up my eyes to the wonderful world of Audible. I am now totally obsessed and have been thoroughly enjoying this app. I currently am listening to Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights. Wow, he has lived a really incredible life and him being the narrator is by far the best part. So I listened away and we got ready for brunch.
The Primrose restaurant is located in the Rimrock Resort Hotel. The views are incredible and worth the drive up. This was our destination for today’s brunch.
Afterwards, we were ladies on a mission. We wanted to recreate the famous photographer Nicholas Morant’s iconic photograph of the Rocky Mountians. He was one of the first to capture the infamous spot along the Canadian Pacific Railway back in the 20th Century. The train runs all along the Bow River but timing is everything and there is no set schedule. I think waiting for the train is simply part of the fun.
We took the scenic route as we headed from Banff towards Lake Louise. The Bow Valley Parkway is stunning and definitely off the beaten path and certainly worth the extra time. Here are some of the photographs that we snapped on this adventure.
We arrived at the spot and it was breathtaking. We waited and waited but still no train. It may have not gone as planned but it was satisfying just to see the view of Morant’s Curve. Our photographs turned out fantastic even without the train.
Then we made the short drive over to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. In the summer months, the hotel offers views of beautiful turquoise water surrounded by towering white tipped mountains. During the winter months, the grounds turn into a winter wonderland. The lake if cleared off is the perfect spot to play hockey or ice skate, how Canadian is that eh! The lake that day sadly wasn’t in good enough conditions for skating but it was fun to visit nonetheless.
This was our last night in Banff so we decided to go out with a bang. I had a craving for some Alberta Beef. We found the perfect restaurant called Chuck’s Steakhouse. The food was lovely and the steak was cooked to perfection.
That evening we called our bestie Amanda who lives in Winnipeg. We had the best time laughing and catching up even if it was only through FaceTime.
Well, sadly all good things must come to an end. We started the day with a soak in the hot tub and then completed some last minute shopping. We couldn’t come back empty handed. The boys are suckers for chocolate so I stopped in at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I grabbed them some candy apples and bear claws.
We also loved all of the Rocky Mountain Soap Co. products that were being used at the hotel. These products are natural and also smell and feel amazing. I have attached the link below and they also offer shipping worldwide.
We wanted something quick and easy to eat as we needed to get on the road as soon as possible. We settled on Eddie Burger + Bar. The burgers were juicy and flavourful. It was an excellent decision and we will for sure be back.
It was home time and we made our way to Edmonton in around 4 hours. The drive went by so fast because we were busy sharing stories and talking. The weather also cooperated and the roads were in good condition.
Spending this cherished time with one of my best friends, was truly better than any therapy.
Thanks for reading ❤️
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