For our past week in Canada we have spent the majority of our time with an old friend of Mark’s (back from his Canada days) and his girlfriend. What still amazes me along this trip is the hospitality of friends and family but especially those we don’t expect it from. Steve and Danelle have been amazing from the moment we saw them. They came out on a Thursday night to have drinks with us, stayed out until late, went to work the next day and then met up with us again the next night for dinner. This was all before they picked us up at 5:00am on Saturday morning in their RV full of beer, wine, food & snow gear. They had planned out our weekend for us and for the first time in a long time we didn’t have to organise a thing. We arrived at Sunshine, hired snowboards and jumped on to the gondola. It has been maybe 3 years since I’ve been to the snow to attempt to learn to snowboard and so this time around it was just starting from scratch although in much better snow than we find back home. After Mark spent an hour or so with me we met up with Steve & Danelle to sit in the snow and have a drink and chat before the 3 of them went off to go down a few runs together. After they were done we ate some lunch and then all went for a ride together, I again spent more time on my ass than I would like to admit but hey, gotta start somewhere. We spent the night in a campground in Banff and made a trip out to the town for dinner where we encountered more Aussies & Kiwis than we did at ANZAC Day in Gallipoli. They were everywhere and we learnt that most people would just assume we lived and worked there when they heard us speak.
Waking up in the RV after such a deep sleep and stepping outside in the cold was surprisingly refreshing. I am glad though that we parked as close as we could to the bathrooms because it quickly stopped being refreshing and quickly became cold. The only shower in the bathroom was occupied and I felt like a bit of a creep waiting in the bathroom for the lady to finish but I didn’t want to lose my place in the imaginary line I had conjured up in my mind and therefore keep everyone waiting. It didn’t take too long though and when I made it back to the RV everything was packed up ready to go. We drove back to the town and bought breakfast before stopping by Lake Louise to have a drink, enjoy the scenery and just relax before we were dropped off at our hotel and Steve and Danelle made their way back home.
The next two days we spent at Lake Louise. The first day Mark spent up on the hill snowboarding and I spent the day doing nothing that was particularly interesting but all the same needed to be done – I worked on our trip. When Mark got back I asked him how his day was and all I got back was “I was sick”. I thought at first it was something he ate so started asking him about everything he ate during the day to which he just shook his head and said “No, I was sick because I was so exhausted.” And at this I just laughed and knew he would be sore the next day but he unfortunately had to drive us into town so we could eat.
On the second day we packed our things into the hire car and spent one last day together on the hill. We left Lake Louise that day and drove to Radium Springs to enjoy a bit of quiet and also enjoy the hot pool. We spent the night there and the next day after a quick last stop at Banff Mark put an address into Google Maps and told me to direct. When I looked at it I saw it was a Cinema. Not sure if that was correct I asked him where we were going and his reply was “I thought we would kill some time and go see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I love Harry Potter so going to see the movie at an actual cinema was so exciting I sat with a smile on my face the entire drive but then wasn’t focussing and nearly caused us to take a wrong turn which would have meant delays and we were already running down to the minute. We got there though and the act of walking into the cinema reminded me so much of home it was strange. When we got to the counter though we had just missed the screening by about 2 minutes. After 30 seconds of slight panic on my behalf Mark bought tickets to the next one which was in 15 minutes. One movie, one large popcorn, two large drinks and a bag of Twix later I actually skipped to the car. I was so happy and excited – I can’t wait for the next movies to come out! We drove to Steve and Danelle’s straight from the cinema and met them there for a drink before we went out for one last dinner at a BBQ House. We ate, drank and laughed for hours before it was time to go home because although we haven’t worked for close to a year, they still had their normal lives to attend to the next day.
And so that next day brings us to today. After saying thank you and goodbye we drove to the airport (stopped by McDonald’s for breakfast on the way), flew to Toronto and then got the shuttle bus to our hotel where we have had dinner, packed our bags and I finally managed to book a house to stay at in Havana, Cuba, where we flew to tomorrow. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. We don’t expect to have much internet (if any) in Cuba so you might not hear from us for a while.
Until we are back, our love, B & Mark xxx