and I knew it would be, but it was WELL worth it!
Once Rob and I returned from Nova Scotia, we had a day just to chill out and relax as both of us were not feeling the best. Then Thursday morning, my kind sister rented Rob and I a car so we could go to Banff for the night. We headed out as early as we could to get as many sights in as possible. When we arrived in Banff the weather wasn't the greatest, but we took a chance and hiked up Tunnel Mountain. There were beautiful views the entire way up, in fact, my favorite view wasn't even half way up to the top. We saw rock climbers on the north side of the mountain, and the trail was busy with all different types of people, young, old, kids and even the odd runner bringing their dog along for the run! Of course, once we got to the summit, the weather didn't look great, so we grab a quick bite to eat and headed back down. Not even a quarter of the way down, it started to rain. Of course! We didn't get hammered with rain, and we did hide under a tree for a bit to wait out some of the rain. But we ended up sucking it up and got a little wet on our way down. It didn't rain for too long, but our jackets were somewhat wet when we got to the car! We had dinner at Tony Roma's - mmmmm, onion loaf and ribs! and chilled out at the hotel that evening as the weather was still pretty crap! We went in the pool for a bit back at the hotel where we met another young couple from Sexsmith, right close to where we had our family reunion! What were the chances!
When we woke up the next day the weather was crap, as was the way Rob and I felt. We both had bad colds and as much as I wanted to hike up to the summit of Sulphur mountain, it was just a bad idea. So we started off by going to the hot springs, spent as much time as we could handle in the pool, then spent the ridiculous $30 per person to take the 8 minute gondola to the top of Sulphur mountain. I was hoping to enjoy the scenery on the way up, but an older couple jumped in the gondola with us at the last minute, and talked the entire way up! I did get some of the views in and was able to snap a couple photos, but not what I would have liked! It was misty and rainy on the way up, and of course very windy at the summit, but the views are amazing so it was well worth the money! Rob was even more adventurous and walked to kilometer hike to the next highest summit. I didn't go as I didn't think my cold would have liked the freezing wind and rain! It was even more misty and rainy on the way down in the gondola, so we couldn't see as far in the distance, but it was still great, and this time, it was just the two of us!
We headed home after the gondola, not much else to do as it was raining pretty good when we got to the bottom. Plus, we were going out for dinner with family at the Cattlebaron so we had to be home early so we could get ready. We had a very nice dinner and of course had an awesome meal - when have I ever had a bad meal at the Cattlebaron? After dinner we headed home and Laura and Dan came over and we played cards till nearly 2 in the morning! I love playing cards and we had an absolute blast! I drank a whole bottle of wine to myself, and while I had fun drinking it, I wasn't feeling the best the next day! And course with my holidays nearing to an end, I didn't want to spend it in bed sleeping, so I was up the minute I heard mom and dad up.
That morning Rob, mom and myself went up to visit my grandma. She was in great spirits, as she always is, and we had a great visit! I think she enjoyed Rob's visit as well as when she gave him a hug goodbye, she asked for 2!
Saturday night was Laura's friend Rachel's BD BBQ at one of their co-workers houses. We all went for the fun, but it was a pretty mellow party, which I think we were all somewhat happy about as we were all pretty tired and I was planning a BBQ for all my friends on Sunday and didn't want to be hungover!
Sunday was a busy day as well, cleaning and preparing for my BBQ. We were planning about 16 people over, and everyone showed up! It was so nice to see my friends and it was a great chance to hang out with them before leaving them once again! It was also a very 'entertaining' party as the burgers my dad was barbecuing decided to spew grease all at the same time, and he had to use the fire extinguisher to put the flames out! Good thing the bbq wasn't close to the house, and that we had a fire extinguisher! We ended up ordering in pizza for everyone - so much for the bbq idea - oh well, we all went home with a story. (sorry dad, someone had to tell the story!)
Being home has made me realize how much I have missed it, my family, friends, and of course my dog! I have realized that I am missing out on so much as well, 3 of my friends are pregnant, 2 of them with their first, and with my sister just buying a house I miss being there and helping out! Even though I hate the winters, it's something I am willing to deal with to be close to family and friends. I've been away from home now for over 4 years, and to be honest, I'm sick of living out of a suitcase lately! Time to move back into my house (which I have only lived in for 6 months!) and somewhat (not totally) 'settle down'.
This holiday has been so much fun, even though I have been sick the last week and a half, and I am still looking forward to heading back to Australia to finish what I have started. I haven't seen very little north of Melbourne, and that is the part most people go to see! Plus, I have mom and dad's visit in October to look forward too and can't wait!
View of Banff going up Tunnel Mountain
Going up the gondola
Taking Rob to visit my Grandma
BBQ for a friends birthday
My friends over for a BBQ