Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Additional photos

Good morning all,

Finally gotten around to sorting through my 1200+ photos and managed to pick some of the best ones.

They can be viewed here: Canada Photos


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Going home :`(

Well my time in Canada has come to an end and it's time for me to head home.  Leaving for Edmonton to stay overnight so it's not a mad rush if we were to leave Friday...

...but not before baking Potica on Wednesday.  Despite not having a grinder to grind the walnuts, I had to make do with a smoothie maker LOL.  This was the first time I made Potica without mum next to me to guide me.  I think I did alright.  Everyone ate it, so it can't have been that bad, right?!

Going to miss everyone.  It's taken me almost eight years to get to Canada and I hope it won't take me that long to go back.  Aiming to return in July 2019.  This time I'll time things much better to celebrate Canada Day, see the Calgary Stampede and experience A Taste of Edmonton, a massive food festival and of course, see all the family again.

Had to do a bit of last minute shopping and a few returns, so was running around like a headless chicken, but not before we grabbed lunch at the Italian Centre Shop outside WEM....delicious Italian food.  Sadly no room for time.

With all the shopping, I ended up having to buy another bag, so I had four in total.  I knew one extra bag would be $200CAD but thankfully, the check in staff allowed me to take the fourth bag for nothing.  I was so thankful and relieved.

Was a long flight home with very tight connections, but made it back home to a very cold Melbourne.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

BBQ and Jasper

Was a perfect evening for a family BBQ, kind of an unofficial welcome/farewell party for me I guess.

Seeing as it was kind of my last weekend to sightsee, tomorrow we are heading to Jasper.  Perfect weather with a top of 30°C.  Hired a bike and cycled to Maligne Lake.  Absolutely beautiful scenery.

By the time we got back to GC, it was well after midnight.

Friday, 16 June 2017


After a few days settling into Grande Cache, we went to Edmonton for the weekend for a graduation and shopping.  Edmonton is four hours from GC.

After a few pit stops, checked into the hotel and got ready for the graduation.

Nothing like a bit of Dumb and Dumber whilst getting ready LOL

Was a fun night with three tables full of family and friends.  Was a great to meet other members of the family.

 The following day we hit up West Edmonton's so big I only saw a tiny bit of it.  Went kinda crazy shopping.  How was I going to fit everything in the two suitcases I came with?  I'll worry about that when it comes time to packing for the journey home.

After a long day shopping, it was pizza and beer night in the hotel.

Heading back tomorrow back to GC.

Monday, 12 June 2017


Didn't really get much of a sleep in.  After breakfast, I unloaded the suitcase.  Whilst I had everything packed in those cells, using a wardrobe and draws is much easier.

As the sun was out after a few days of rain, sat outside whilst I watch my cousin, Julia, play and chase the dogs and cat.

Kinda just chilled out for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately as my cousin and his wife work during the day, our little day trips are limited to the weekends and without a car, I can't get too far on my feet LOL.

At least I'll be saving some money, right?!  Stupid me looked at my bank balance...oops!  Oh well, that's what holidays are for, right?!?!

Exploring the town.

I decided that I would cook dinner for everyone tonight, Chicken Tetrazzini.  Everyone back home loves it, so thought I'd introduce the family here to it.  Again, as I have no car, I walked 20 minutes to the supermarket.  I was probably there for an hour just looking around.  It isn't overly big but I had to go back and forth a few times to find what I needed.

Half way home, just my luck, it started to rain.  Luckily it wasn't heavy.

Started prepping dinner during the afternoon so everything was ready to go once everyone got home from work.

I brought my recipe journal with me, as well as a few cooking magazines so I can make dinner whilst I'm here.

Tomorrow we're all off to Edmonton for the weekend as we're going to a graduation and then check out West Edmonton Mall and perhaps stock up on some groceries for during the week, as things will be cheaper compared to here.  Although prices are not astronomically high, things cost a little more than in the big smoke, which is expected when you live in a small town.

Reuniting with the family.

Both of us had slept through the alarm...oops!

After breakfast, we made our way to Lake Louise, just over two hours from Calgary.

Another perfect day with the sun shining.  Arriving at Lake Louise, the blue I see in photos is just as spectacular in real life.  I couldn't believe that I was standing on the edge of the stunning Lake Louise.  WOW!!!  Followed the walking trail around as far as it could go.  Unfortunately due to snow melting and rain, it left the tracks a little mushy.  Turned back then went to check out the famous Chateau Lake Louise....tres grand!  Maybe when I will Tattslotto, I'll stay here but in the meantime, I can only dream.  Room start at $780CAD 😮.

Driving to the Icefields, we noticed a lot of cars pulled over the side of the road.  My cousin informs me that it's most likely a bear or moose, so of course I insisted he pull over.  It was definitely a black bear, though not a grizzly.  A bit further down was a brown bear but he soon disappeared.  I was rapt to see a black bear in the wild.  Of course everyone kept a safe distance.

As we were kind of on a time limit, we had to ensure we got to the Icefields, a further two hours from Lake Louise.  Again, as my cousin has already been, he had a snooze in the car as home was another 3.5-4 hours away.

Seeing the Athabasa Glacier, it's hard to fathom exactly how big it is until you're on it.  Purchased my ticket then waited for the bus to take us to the Ice Explorer.

Shuttle bus was only a few minutes and the Ice Explorer was an approximately 15 minute drive.  We were given half an hour on the glacier to take photos.  We were probably 1/3 of the way from the base of the glacier as where we were was considered a safe area, with signs to indicate safe zones.  The glacier moves approximately 1cm every hour.  Was able to drink the glacier water...couldn't get more pure and clean water.  Of course it was ice cold!  After the glacier, the shuttle bus took us to the Glacier Skywalk, about five minutes down the road.  As it was getting late, I only had a quick look around then caught the next bus back to the Discovery Centre.  Was hanging out for a coffee but unfortunately the cafe closed at 6.00pm 😠.

Pitstopped in Jasper (1 1/2 hours) for a dinner on the run....Pizza Hut so we could get to home not super late.  Arrived at 10.30pm as the kids wanted to see their father and me.  Got to bed well after midnight.

Sunday, 11 June 2017


Thankfully the rain had stopped overnight as we were off to Banff.  Cute little town and busy.  Would look amazing with the snow.

As my cousin has done the gondola several times, I went up alone.  Unfortunately it was a bit of a wait, so I went to get my coffee and wait whilst my cousin went to wash the car and do a few things whilst waiting for me.

Once again, another spectacular view from the top.  Was chilly, so luckily I bought a jacket in Banff which kept me toasty warm along with my windcheater.

Had a light lunch at a local eatery as we were saving ourselves for dinner at the Magpie and Stump.  Now with a name like that, one would think that maybe it was Aussie food but no...Mexican.

Did a bit of souvenir shopping then headed off to dinner.  Was able to sample a beer as I was curious as to what it tasted like.  I had a Stanley Park Sun Setter Summer Ale, which smelt like peaches and had a slight peach taste.  Different but it was yum.  Unfortunately I was able to have a full mason jar of the sample size, so ended up with a 250ml glass and my cousin settled for a 1lt mason jar of beer.  Can't remember which he picked.

The food was, once again (sorry folks!), delicious.  Even though we were full to the brim (I blame the damn beer!), neither of us could resist a Beaver Tail, as my cousin had never had one.  I had the Maple and he had the Cinnamon Sugar.  He devoured the tail like there was no tomorrow and promptly went back for a second, this time Lemon and Sugar.  We were already making our way back to our hotel when he decided he wanted a third, so I had to do a few laps so he could get his third tail.  the lady there laughed at him.  Surely no one goes back three times in the space of a few minutes?!?!

Leaving early tomorrow as we're heading home with stops at Lake Louise and the Columbia Ice Fields.