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. 


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. 

Christmas 2012

I guess it's time to put my Christmas blog up, since it's nearly Christmas again.  In 2012 we had a wonderful Christmas with both kids and some friends.  Let's start with graham houses.  It seems I didn't get a picture of Spencer's finished house, but he did take a long time on his yellow house.  When it got to be too long, he gave up and just sprinkled it.  It looks like I also didn't get a picture of my house, but it was spectacular.  Just imagine the greatest graham house you have ever seen.  I'm sure that's what it looked like.
Joe made a pirate ship.  The goldfish were our yearly required item, so naturally the fish were swimming.
 Tara's was a cute house, but since it's been 9 months, I can't remember how she used the fish.  I'm surprised I even remember that it was goldfish.

Mark's house kinda broke halfway through his construction.  I guess it wasn't built upon a rock.  Instead of being grumpy about it, he made a crash scene house.  The hotwheels car ran into the house.  He even made a guy hanging out of the car, and downed power lines.  He's so clever.  And cute.  I like him.
We went to the Alpine Tree farm to get our tree, and here's how it worked out.  I think this might be the highlight of the Christmas season now.  Well, beside actual Christmas of course.  Tara, Joe, Spencer and Tara's new dog, Magnus helped us find the perfect tree. The trees are super sappy and prickly, which makes the memories so much more real.  Side note, Mark has since purchased a trailer so we can more easily get our trees home.  That's really the reason he got it.
This is Spencer standing near our tree . . .
. . . and Tara, Joe and Magnus standing near theirs.  And by the look of things, we did this on December 1.  :) 
 We also got to visit Holly and Matt for a few seconds during the season.  Really, I think we spent way too little time with them.  I think that about every day.  Such cute kids! I'm pretty sure this was Leah's birthday party, but it was on the same day we got our tree, so you get to see her, too.
 Christmas Eve was spent at the Galloway's house and I got no pictures.  Silly me!  They are very fun to be with, and we ate great food, sang songs and had a wonderful time.  Then we went home, and opened our mint green pajamas, and had more fun.
Naturally, Magnus was a part of it all.  He really is pretty cute, and about double this size now.  Look at those eyes! 
Spencer had a roommate come over since his family had just moved away.  This is Adrian, Joe, Tara, me, Mark, Spencer and Magnus in front.  Aren't we a great looking group?  I love Christmas!