We’ve finally reached the end of our week long stay in Canada. (Technically, I’m still at the airport, but I don’t usually count travel time as “vacation.”)
First off, I will say that Banff and Canmore were both gorgeous places. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere as awe-inspiring in my entire life. I’ve been in the mountains before, but seeing the mountains in North Carolina and climbing a mountain in Canada are two very different experiences. In addition to the mountain scenery, I also walked alongside waterfalls and a most majestic blue lake. At times it felt like I had stepped out of the real world and into the pages of one of my books. It just didn’t look real.
That being said, I can’t find it in myself to lie to my readers. My week in Canada, albeit beautiful, was difficult. I went there with my boyfriend and his family, which had me slightly on edge to begin with. I’ve been around his family before, but not for extended periods of time, so I was a little unsure of what I should expect. In addition, I had already gone into the trip knowing that I would be a bit out of my element, as they are all really into hiking and outdoorsy activities, whereas I am not. (My idea of “hiking” is typically no longer than 3 miles and on somewhat even terrain.) The majority of our trip was spent hiking up steep hills, 7-10 miles at a time. I was worried about this from the get-go. I really wanted these people to like me (and didn’t want to ruin my boyfriend’s vacation), but I had no idea whether or not I was capable of doing that kind of strenuous physical activity.
After spending a long (sleepless) day traveling and arguing over bedroom arrangements, we decided to start off our first real day there with an exhausting 10 mile hike up to the Plain of 6 Glaciers. I did pretty well for a couple of miles. It wasn’t exactly fun, but I was keeping up and thought I might actually be okay…
Then shit hit the fan. Halfway up the mountain we reached a large, unexpected expanse of ice. There wasn’t much of a foothold and we were at a 45 degree angle. I made it a few steps out onto the ice and then I froze (no pun intended). My brain failed me at that point and my anxiety took over. I began to cry. Halfway up a mountain. In front of my boyfriend’s mom and his kid. And at least 10 strangers. So much for thinking I would be okay. 😕 (Pictured above is me at the top of the mountain, post-embarrassing freak out.)
The few hiking adventures I went on after that weren’t as bad or terrifying. Still reeling from my humiliation, I did my best to trudge along and try to keep my cool. For the most part, I did okay. I was still uncomfortable and in pain half the time, but at least I was able to keep the panic at bay.
The most enjoyable part of the trip was when I went off by myself to explore downtown Canmore. That’s where I found the cool bookstore I mentioned previously, plus some other really fun shops and places to check out. Most of our meals were cooked at home, but at least when I went off by myself I was able to check out some local Canadian food and beer. (Pictured below is the amazing poutine I had with duck bacon and truffle oil. 😍)
It wasn’t all terrible. I really did enjoy certain aspects of the trip, but truthfully I am happy knowing that I will be back home in a few hours.
(Bonus picture: LOOK AT THE AMAZING GRAVEYARD BOOK SHIRT I GOT AT THE BOOOSTORE.)