Monday, August 17, 2015

blame life

Let's begin with the first two stanzas of a poem by the incredible Ellen Bass from titled, "Enough."

No. It will never be enough. Never
enough wind clamoring in the trees,
sun and shadow handling each leaf, never enough clang
of my neighbor hammering,
the iron nails, relenting wood, sound waves
lapping over roofs, never enough
bees purposeful at the throats
of lilies. How could we be replete
with the flesh of ripe tomatoes, the unique
scent of their crushed leaves. It would take many
births to be done with the thatness of that.

Oh blame life. That we just want more.
Summer rain. Mud. A cup of tea.
Our teeth, our eyes. A baby in a stroller.
Another spoonful of crème brûlée, sweet burnt crust crackling.
And hot showers, oh lovely, lovely hot showers.

Amazing poem, right? And yes, life: never enough.

This past week was a whirlwind, and as a result this is going to be a bit of a whirlwind post. I started off my holiday by doing something I've wanted to do for ages: make myself a proper website. Still not quite finished (the news section is going to be transforming over the next month or so if all goes my way). 

I worked on a few other projects, some stuff for Rob, and then: we had two nights in Banff. A bit of a drive for such a short stay but definitely worth it. 

This time we stayed at one of the "Charming Inns of Alberta," the Juniper Hotel. 

It really was charming and just perfect for us. Exactly what was wanted. Quiet, a little ways out of Banff itself. Easy to get to, nice restaurant, and plenty of places to walk.

There were great views (okay, everywhere in Banff has a pretty spectacular view). We loved the restaurant patio. 

Rob and Chloe at the front of the hotel, chilling, as we waited for a friend who was joining us for a late lunch.

My lovely one.

Here she is holding my sangria for a photo op:

We attempted the cheesy family selfie in the window, but Rob didn't catch on....

Last post I mentioned I was going to attempt to get my food photography groove back. So here goes, but man it was hard to photograph outdoors! Something I've never done with food in all honesty.

Rob had the ribeye over a lobster cake.

Chloe had duck wings.

And I had this amazing beet quinoa risotto.

For dessert we shared this lovely landscape of lemon cake, meringue, and raspberry sorbet, with sugared basil leaves. So good. The Juniper Bistro was terrific - would highly recommend.

So obviously, after all the food, long walks were needed and welcome.

I'm not sure what this building was originally used for but seems to be quite empty these days. On the grounds of the Juniper. Loved the mossy roof though.

Flowers at the hotel.

This next view knocked my socks off. Taken from the Juniper Hotel, this is the view of the Banff Springs Hotel. Amazing place, bit out of our budget, haha, but so interesting to read about.

Morning photos from the grounds of our hotel:

And this is the roof of the hotel, planted with grasses from the area.

Breakfast in the bistro.

Rob had eggs and sausage, and I had this amazing concoction - French toast stuffed with bacon and a sort of tomato marmalade and topped with arugula. Great start to the day.

A few foresty shots on the way up to our walk at Lake Minnewanka.

This was great fun - a pile of slate is transformed by tourists as they walk by the entrance to the lake.

And here we are at the lake. Where you can rent a boat, hop on a lake cruise, or just loiter about, taking photos. The latter would be us.

If you squint you can see the chipmunk in the foreground on the rock in this one:

A family hopped in a boat and took off, which made for this picturesque scene:

So yes, I took every cheesy tourist shot I could, including this next one:

We walked up (notice I don't use the word hiked) a trail in upper Bankhead, after the lake.

The forest was just amazing - all moss covered and atmospheric.

And then back we went to our little hotel, to hang out and wait for the friend that was kind enough to visit us.

A little nursery behind the hotel.

We had an afternoon snack of fancy poutine.

And Rob had a bison burger.

On the morning we were leaving there was quite a deluge which was gorgeous. Beautiful mist, and such fresh smells.

This was the view from our hotel room:

The mist had really moved in for this next shot:

Lastly, we took a quick drive up Mount Norquay (the hotel is at the foot of the mountain) to check out the view. Me, terrified of heights, so uh...perhaps not the best idea. But I did snap a couple of shots regardless.

This is what the ski hill looks like in summer. We're not skiers so I can only imagine what it would look like in winter.

And so that was our exciting 2 day getaway. Which was terrific but left me feeling like I could really use a holiday from my holiday. Know the feeling?


  1. Lovely, thank you. And yes, I know that feeling.

  2. Wow, spectacular! Delicious images, each and every one. I've always heard that Banff is beautiful and now I can see that it certainly is. And yes, I know the feeling..I feel that way after every holiday.

    Looking forward to visiting you on your new digs! Have a great week.


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