Winter Weekend in Canmore & Banff

When my sister Leilani said she was going to come spend the week before Christmas with me I wanted to give her a winter vacation unlike any other so I planned a butt load of activities including a weekend in Canmore/Banff.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn where I got a KILLER deal using Priceline, so good that Ryan and I are already planning an anniversary trip out here in February. The view does not suck.

Gorgeous view

Gorgeous view

I had to get in my run for my December Running Streak and that’s when I realize I forgot my running shoes at home! AH!!!! So I did what any normal person would do and ran barefoot. Ha ha!

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In the evening we drove to downtown Canmore and walked up and down main street checking out the art galleries (I wish I could afford art!) and shops.

Christmas wonderland in Canmore

    Christmas wonderland in Canmore
I want this sculpture for my yard!

I want this sculpture for my yard!

Leilani enjoying an... interesting sculpture.

Leilani enjoying an… interesting sculpture.

We stopped at Murietta’s Bar & Grill because I was craving red wine and steak and the prices of this place made my eyes pop out just a little. But the vibe was exactly the chalet, mountain-y vibe I wanted and our steaks were to dies for!

Amazing steaks and good red wine!

Amazing steaks and good red wine!

Great vibe

Great vibe

On Sunday morning (after another barefoot run on the hotel treadmill) we met up with one of my favourite bloggers Jo at Communitea for a chat and breakfast. Their breakfast bowls were so tasty and the large selection of tea was awesome. Leilani had to sit and listen as Jo and I swapped storied of lying to people about the length of hikes to get them to come. Ha ha!

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Mmmmm...smoothie bowl!

Mmmmm…smoothie bowl!

After we said bye to Jo we headed to Lake Louise for some outdoor ice skating! This has always been on my bucket list and I was so excited to give Leilani a massive Canadian experience.  You can rent skates at the hotel for $13.

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I do have one complaint- in the Remember to Breath campaign those skaters have the entire lake to skate on and in real life they clear off a small rink.

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But it’s still incredible and we had a great time skating. Leilani was very hesitant when we got out and the wind blew very cold but we warmed up moving around. My foot is still swollen and the skates were pretty tight soI couldn’t do many of my old figure skating tricks. I could “show off” as Leilani put it- ha ha!IMG_2706_Fotor

After skating we went into the Fairmont and warmed up with a latte and enjoyed the snowy scenery.

 

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We headed off to Banff to walk up and down the main street and get dinner. Jo had recommended a few places but the minute I saw a thai place I HAD to go since Lethbridge doesn’t have much in the way of thai. We were disappointed because the food was poor quality.

We went back to our hotel with plans to hang out in the hot tub but were so wiped that we wound up just enjoying a hot shower and lying in bed until we fell asleep.

Monday morning we woke up bright and early with plans to hit the Banff Hot Springs. We were greeted by a gorgeous pink sunrise and packed up.

We went back to Communitea for another stellar breakfast and a pot of coconut tea.

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I was able to talk Leilani into renting a vintage style despite her misgivings about a shared suit so we looked pretty awesome at the hot springs!

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I love wild hot springs and I plan to chase some when I’m in Utah next week but this was still nice, especially with the mountain views.

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IMG_2782IMG_2778For some reason we left the hot springs ravenous! Both of us were ridiculously hungry. We went down to Banff but it was so crowded we couldn’t find parking and decided to head back to Canmore for lunch where there are less crowds. We found the Aroma Mexican Restaurant which had the most amazing fresh made guacamole and salsa! Leilani and I inhaled our food in record time.

On that delicious note, we ended our mountain weekend and headed back for Magrath. Leilani had a great time and we talked about making a winter weekend in Canmore/Banff an annual thing.

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11 Comments

  • Charlotte December 22, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Wow! Breath-taking scenery. Those snow capped mountains look like a postcard or something out of a movie scene. Thanks for sharing your sisters getaway with us.

    Reply
    • Betty Livin December 23, 2015 at 8:18 am

      The Rocky mountains are seriously amazing!

      Reply
  • Joanna @ LivingMintGreen December 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

    It was such a delight seeing you and getting to meet Leilani. You girls should definitely plan a yearly getaway so we can all hang out.
    OH MAN, if I knew you were in the mood for Thai…

    Okay, here’s where you need to eat when you come back with Ryan:

    Thai It Up (Canmore) – OBSESSED. Order the papaya salad and green curry! Everything is super fresh, tasty and not rice/sauce heavy.

    Wild Orchid Bistro (Canmore) – Asian fusion – the best part? The entire menu is gluten free!!!

    Rocky Mountain Flatbread (Canmore) – their GF pizzas are to die for!

    Magpie & Stump (Banff) – Mexican

    Nourish Bistro (Banff) Super creative vegetarian tapas (since you like Communitea, you’ll like this place)

    Wildflour Bakery (Banff) – for GF cookies/treats

    The Park (Banff) for campfire themed pub food + drinks (this is a good brunch spot)

    Eddie Burger + Bar (Banff) for peanut butter jelly burgers DO NOT order anything but this!

    If you eat anywhere else, you’ll be disappointed. Hahaha

    Reply
    • Betty Livin December 23, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Oh man! I will definitely try some of your suggestions next time! We were just so ravenous we went into the first place we saw and it was so disappointing! Also- I’m pretty stoked about Assiboine! I’ve been researching it and it looks AMAZING!

      Reply
  • Kris @ Canadian Girl Runs December 22, 2015 at 10:36 am

    I agree with all of Jo’s suggestions 100% ^^
    I am so jealous of your adventures, it sounds like such a fun weekend!!

    Reply
    • Betty Livin December 23, 2015 at 8:20 am

      It was so much fun! And today I take her to Castle Mountain to teach her how to snowboard! Who-hoo!

      Reply
  • Kaella On The Run December 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, it looks like a great weekend!! I would love to skate there and the hot springs are amazing (although I haven’t been in YEARS!!)

    Reply
    • Betty Livin December 23, 2015 at 8:21 am

      The ice skating was soooooo awesome! I need to come out to Canmore more (ha ha)!

      Reply
  • Bri December 23, 2015 at 5:56 am

    LOVE Banff 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful holiday Rachel!!

    Reply
    • Betty Livin December 23, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Thanks Bri! Merry Christmas!!

      Reply
  • Becky @ The Bex Factor December 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    This looks like an incredible weekend! I need to go spend a weekend in the mountains soon.

    Reply

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