Banff, Alberta | Travel Diary

The end of April is such a strange time for me. Those of you attending university or college will understand this, as the end of April is characterized by the end of the spring term, where classes are finished and final exams are done. For those of you in other levels of schooling, this is comparable to the end of June. After being online so much for university, and being cooped up in my room studying for finals, I wanted to take a break from it all, and Banff was the perfect place to do this.

One of the many highlights of my trip was staying at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Resembling a castle, this hotel is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and is absolutely beautiful. I was lucky enough to be there when they were offering a historical hotel tour, so I got to learn about the history of the hotel, and some of the ghost stories surrounding it. 

Another highlight was that the hotel had a bowling alley across the street; a bloomin’ bowling alley!!! Of course, my mother and I had to give 5-pin bowling a try, and we actually made the bowling high score board for lane 3 (our travel aliases are Rachael and Charlotte; never know what hoodlums are lurking about, ready to steal your identity). 

Yet another highlight was Afternoon Tea in the Rundle Lounge of the hotel. My mother and I both love tea, and afternoon tea is such a lovely thing to do, especially in a castle-like building overlooking Rundle and Cascade Mountains. There were 12 specialty teas to select from, and I went with the Banff Springs blend that was exclusive to the hotel. The tea was then served in three courses: a seasonal fruit cup, a tea tray of sandwiches and scones, and a tea tray of various desserts. I have done afternoon tea at several different places, and it still amazes me how tea, finger sandwiches, and bite-sized desserts can fill you up; needless to say, I didn’t eat dinner that night. 

Another highlight of the trip I wanted to mention was stumbling upon the store Gingko and Ink while wandering the Town of Banff. It is this super cute little store that sells paper, notebooks, quills and ink, handmade wrapping paper, handmade envelopes, greeting cards, and so much more. It even had typewriters scattered throughout it, but none were for sale, or else I would have scooped up at least two. The store also offers classes in some really neat DIY projects like journal making and paper making. I could have gone crazy in this store and bought everything in sight, but luckily the limitations of my suitcase size prevented this. 

I saved the biggest and best highlight for last: I got to see my aunt and uncle on the last two days of my trip!!! They live in Calgary, a city in the neighbouring province of Alberta, so I don’t get to see them very often, but they drove up to Banff to stay at the hotel with us for the last overnight. We took a historic tour of the hotel, played a game of pool (I lost pitifully), played a game of glow-in-the-dark 5-pin bowling (I just squeaked into 3rd place, edging out my mother by one point, while my aunt schooled us all with her over 100 score), had some canapés for dinner, went on a walk of the hotel grounds and into the town of Banff, and finally, met up in a lounge for some drinks. The lounge we went to had the neatest chairs I think I have ever seen. They kind of reminded me of hot air balloons, and I could hear my voice echo every time I leaned my head back into the chair and spoke. There were only two of these chairs stationed at each table, so we pulled four together around one table so we could all sit in one. Pulled together, the edges were almost touching. When the server came by, he asked us if we wanted a sheet to put over the top of them so we could make a fort, which sent us into a fit of laughter. In total, we had 7 drinks, but when the bill came it was $98 . . . we were so shocked that all we could do was laugh hysterically; turns out each drink was around $12.

I had such a wonderful trip, and I am feeling so much more relaxed and refreshed, which is good because yesterday was my first day back at my summer job. After spending the last 4 months online and connected every single day, it was nice to disconnect from everything (save for a few Instagram photos of the hotel). I have so many post ideas for this blog, so I will be working on those for the next little while, along with finally getting to read for pleasure again (The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is up first).  

Picture 19

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