Saturday, September 7, 2013

Colleen and Earl's 60th party

We got no good pictures of anyone at the party, so I'm going to post what we did get.  And Mark may be fired as the photographer. 
This is Brody, now married and with 2 kids, a girl and a boy.
 This is Angie, married with 3 kids, a boy and two girls.
The back of Earl's head and a tiny bit of Colleen's face. 
Here is the back of Amanda's head, dancing with her hubby.  They have 4 daughters. 
Colleen dancing with Angie's hubby. 
 Here is Troy and his girlfriend.  Ainsleigh was in Newfoundland, so she wasn't able to be at the party.
And that's what we got.  But this was a super fun night, and such a great thing to reconnect with old friends.  We spent several hours the next morning at breakfast with Colleen and Earl and made more great memories with them.

Glaciers and other fun stuff

After going to some of the most beautiful places in the world, we decided to go farther north and walk on a glacier.  This is the glacier from below.  There are three stair to this glacier and we walked on the bottom one.  We got there by . . .
 . . . this.  This is an ice bus.  It has 6 wheel drive and some massive tires to grip the ice and keep it from sliding.  Good thing, too, because the slope that the driver took us down was steeper than any road I have driven on in San Francisco or Vancouver.  Very cool.
When we finished riding the bus, the driver told us it was her second tour ever.  I'm glad she waited until we were finished driving with her!
 Here is a view from the glacier
Video of the glacier.
video
Later that same day . . . 
. . . we saw a bear friend on the side of a road.   
video
 
 Then we went to the Takakkaw falls that Mark once saw in a book, and really wanted to see.  This is it.  Very pretty, and it's pretty fun to say, too. 
I had to get an artistic picture of it, too. 
And finally, our last stop in the mountains was to Lake Moraine.  And I must say it was the most beautiful of all. 
That blue is what color it really is.  Just amazing, and surrounded by 10 peaks.
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lake Louise

Ok, I'll do Lake Louise tonight, too.  There just aren't good words to describe this part of the world.  It's just amazing.  This is Lake Louise.
 This shot shows the water color much better.  It's just so beautiful!
 Here is the world famous (well, our world, anyway) Chateau Lake Louise.  I thought the Banff Springs was much more grande, but the lake here makes this the spot of choice.  We didn't stay here - super expensive!  But we were close enough to come back for a second visit.
 This is the glacier above the lake that feeds it, and causes it to be the color it is.  Back in the day, mountaineers would hike this mountain and stay in a little shack on the top of the ridge on the left side of this picture.  Someone hauled the stuff up the mountain to build that shack.  Some people are just crazy.
 We hiked up to a lookout and were worried that we wouldn't make it before sundown, so we hiked fast.  That's why we look a sweaty mess.  The people who took our picture here were from Taiwan, both professors at the University of Taiwan, and we had a nice chat with them while we caught our breath.
 View of the hotel from the lookout.
 The next day, after we walked on a glacier, we went back to Lake Louise to canoe on the lake.  It was cloudy and started to rain near the end of our rental, so it was really fun!
 From the other side of the lake, looking back toward the Chateau. 
 Mark was there, too.  Since I was in front of the canoe and didn't want to be the reason it tipped, I couldn't quite get turned around enough to take a good picture.  But it's Mark.  We all know that he is the handsomest man in my whole family. 

Banff

Today I post Banff.  Glacier National was amazing; Banff and the drive there was better.  Well, once we got out of Calgary anyway.  We took the gondola to the top of the mountain and did a little stair hiking up to a shed made in the 1800s by a man who hiked this mountain over 1000 times to get weather readings.  This was the ride . . .
 . . . And the view from the top.
We were learning new camera things as well, and the zoom is pretty good.  This is the Banff Springs hotel - it's pretty much a castle.  And the color of the water you see here is pretty close to what it really is.  Just a milky pure blue.  Beautiful! 
 Everywhere we went people volunteered to take our picture and we took theirs.  The sun was so bright that my eyes were crying.  Or maybe I was missing my kids.  You choose.
 
 Again, Mark was playing with the zoom, and got this picture of a mountain Spire.
The Banff hotel - view from the parking lot.  Pretty, eh? (gotta say that because it was Canada.)
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Glacier National Park

 
 For our vacation this year we decided to go see friends in Calgary, and visit really cool places on the way.  We started at Glacier National Park.
This is Lake McDonald.  We stayed the night in a little cabin nearby. 
 The next day we drove through the park and stopped at a few places along the way.  This was a little walk to McDonald Falls.  It's beautiful!  Just like the enchanted forest in Vancouver without the masses of people and the humidity.  There were some people that we met along the way.  They were clapping and whooping to scare away the bears.  They claimed to have seen a grizzly, but we saw nothing but ground squirrels.
 On the way to the falls . . . 
 
 The falls. 
 
 
There was pretty scenery all along the way. 
 
 
and people who wanted us to take their picture, and they took ours in return.  Super nice people.  It was really fun to meet so many from so many different places! 
 
 
This waterfall is coming off the glacier in the background. 
 Here there is a road in the background.  Just above that road is a hiking trail.  I did this trail, and didn't even feel very panicked!
 This is a close up of the trail.
 And Mark on the trail.
 More scenery . . .
 
 

Baby Max

My nephew, Max, was born premature a bit before Christmas.  Because his family was driving to CA when mom decided to deliver, we didn't get to see him until he was over a month old.  He was so tiny, that I needed to get pictures to show the tininess.  This is Max
and his brothers, Kade and Tadd.
 
And this is Max and me.  He's so small!  I tried to get one with Mark, because that's always funnier, but his picture didn't turn out so well.