A Blonde, a Blacksmith, and a Maiden walk into a Village Bar…

The result was very… WIT-ty…

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That’s right you Calgarian craft beer lovers, this post is about the Village Brewery tour, or as I like to call it, a “Tourery” (http://www.villagebrewery.com)! First off, if you live in Calgary and haven’t heard of Village I ask you this: What rock do you live under? (Because I will bring you a sample and maybe a newspaper?). If you don’t live in Calgary but are planning a visit, put “try Village beer” somewhere on your itinerary. Village Brewery not only lives and breathes the essence of Calgary, they also create majestic tasting beer that will have your taste buds dancing…even if you’re Mr. Darcy and no beer is handsome enough to tempt you!

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You’ll learn about everything on this shelf on the tour!

The tour is only $15.00 and you get to sample 5 flavourful beers (the samples are generous), a pint of whichever beer you fancy the most, and bonus: a Village pint glass to take home. Did I mention all the knowledge you can feed your brain about the science of brewing beer?

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My new pint glass ❤

This was 110% worth the $15.00, I will unabashedly admit that I’ve spent more money on candy before! It was a fun and cheap way to spend a Saturday afternoon, support Calgary, and try something new.

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Top 5 Reasons Village Brewery is great and you should call to book your tour right now (or between the hours of 10:00am and 4:30pm when they’re open):

  • You will learn a lot about how this delicious craft beer is made aka, science!

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  • You get a generous sample of all the beers: Blonde, Wit, Blacksmith, Maiden, and the Seasonal (the seasonal was Brunnette when I went)

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Artists can showcase their art at the brewery and 100% of any sale goes directly back to the artist!

Artists can showcase their art at the brewery and 100% of any sale goes directly back to the artist! Ps. This was is a table top!

  • The staff are friendly, approachable, and informative
  • FREE PINT GLASS… who doesn’t want free stuff?

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Why You Shouldn’t go on a Village Brewery Tour:

***Cue Rolling Tumbleweed***

I strongly encourage everyone to check out the Village Brewery tour. For the record, the Brunnette is an awesome beer but as it’s a seasonal, it’s coming to an end. I suggest you go try some before it’s gone! But don’t fret, next Wednesday (February 4th), the new seasonal comes out, so Calgarians have something to look forward to!

Beards (even with covers) + Beer = My kind of Saturday afternoon!

Beards (even with covers) + Beer = My kind of Saturday afternoon!

Cheers to Village Brewery!

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A Very Merry Zoo Lights

‘Twas a week before Christmas, and all through the zoo
all the creatures were stirring, the dinosaurs too!
The lights were hung by the cages with care,
In hopes that the humans would come and stare

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The children were bundled in coats, hats and mitts,
Hoping to skate, if the time permits.
Mama brought the Ho-Cho and Dad brought the flask,
 Sneaking in Baileys was easier than a wine cask.
Watching their children smile, in the moment they bask.

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When out to the left, arose a musical noise
It was a Capella singing, done with great poise.
The moon was out, and barely any snow,
For Calgary, it was “warm”, only 10 degrees below. 

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Then suddenly my eyes saw a bright hippopotamus
Dancing to music about presents for a happy Christmas Christ(mata)muumuus?
The song was a classic – so lively and quick,
That in my head, it swiftly did stick.

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Humming to myself, observing the decorated night,
There were so many shapes emitting colourful light:

A Turtle, A Dolphin,
A lady bug too,
With Flowers and Hearts,
With a Penguin and an Igloo!
Hung from trees, hung from cages,
and even on walls,
Burning bright, burning light,
Burning one and all!

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A tree with music lit up with every song,
It changed with each beat, (in the words of Lionel Ritchie) All Night Long.
There were giant candies that looked like red and white canes,
That were carefully placed, lighting up a lane.

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And then, when it got cold, we sought out a roof,
In the conservatory we saw a Santa; living proof!
He had a fluffy white beard, and from his foot to his head,
He was decked out in a suit, that was a jolly-coloured red.

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He took pictures with children, listening to their wishes,
Until it was time to retire for Mr. Claus and his Mrs.
But there was still more to see, so we were not glum.
Like the forests that were frosted and full of sugar plums.

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The snowflakes were huge, glistening white,
and the trees were so green, towering at a great height.
The poinsettias were frosty and sparkling with blue,
and sugar plums hung from tree branches too.

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Ready to continue, all warmed up now
Wondering how many lights were used and just how?
Back outside, ready to set sail,
I saw a light that was a moving orca whale

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With a statue of Santa that holds your phone to take selfies,
We put our arms around his giant jelly filled belly.
We continued our walk taking in the holiday cheer,
But we had seen most of the lights, the end was near.

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Admission (for adults) was $14.00, a reasonable fee,
For all the smiles and laughter, fun times, and glee.
And even when it’s freezing, you can warm up by the pits of fire,
So don’t let the cold fizzle out your zoo-lights desire.

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The Calgary Zoo puts this on, once every year
It’s a great night out and spreads lots of cheer.
So make sure to visit the Calgary Zoo Lights,
And remember: Don’t Get Bored in Calgary, Happy Christmas and good night!

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https://www.calgaryzoo.com/events-activities/special-events/zoolights

DINOSAUR (bones in Drumheller)

Hellooooo everyone. For those of you who read my blog (Hi Mom & Dad!), I’m sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I have so many excuses that I could write a whole entry on them! I was busy,  my tummy hurt, my dog ate my homework, a raccoon broke my computer, my fingers fell off, I was stranded in the desert, I built a time machine and got stuck in the 80s! I could go on but I will spare you the drab details! Anyways, I’m sorry. Ok, let’s talk about dinosaurs now!

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Recently I took a trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum to view cool dinosaur bones and it was oceans of fun! The best way to share my experience is probably with an acrostic poem:

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D rumheller. It’s only a 1 hr and 40 min drive from Calgary (http://www.traveldrumheller.com)! Visit the Royal Tyrell Museum,  take a stroll in the Hoodoos, or check out whats playing at Rosebud theatre!

I t’s like Jurassic Park…except not really. There is zero chance of getting eaten and Sam Neil wasn’t there. But it’s still a lot of fun and you can pretend you’re Dr. Alan Grant while you look at all the bones!

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N erd out! Let your inner palaeontologist shine through as you wander around. You can learn so much from reading all the signs and about cool things that happened a gazillionquabilliontatriprillion years ago… Alberta used to be on the coast! Mind blown!

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voraptor is another name for velociraptor, and to this day, after seeing Jurassic Park, I would rather take on a T-Rex. Even the bones give me the willies

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now!! The best time to go to the museum is when it’s cold and snowy, AKA winter. It wasn’t crowded, or hot and sticky, there was no line, and we had rockstar parking. We could take our time and it was lovely.

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A dmission is only $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for kids, and kids under 6 get in for free (http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/visit.htm)

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U lna. Who doesn’t want to see a Dinosaur ulna bone? …..Do Dinosaurs even have ulnas?

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R oyal Tyrell Museum is the bees knees.

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http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/index.htm

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Blast From the Past at Heritage Park!

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Good Morrow Calgarians of Yesteryear!

Recently I visited Heritage Park (http://www.heritagepark.ca). Travel back in time to the early 1900s, where computers didn’t exist, ladies weren’t allowed in bars, and dental tools were more terrifying than today!

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Admission was $25, which originally made me cringe, but I am happy to report that you can absolutely get your monies worth and have fun while doing it! Admission includes entrance to the park, free shows, unlimited rides (including the train, midway, and the SS Moyie) and you’re exposed to a plethora of historical fun facts! Parking is also free, which is an added bonus!

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Highlights from Heritage Park:

  • Experience firsthand how people lived in the early 1900s. Tour the Post Office, get to see how an old printing press works, play some billiards and much more!

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  • Take a cruise on the S.S. Moyie – the scenery is stunning (especially in the fall with all the pretty colours)!

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  • Go shopping in the town and maybe get an ice cream!

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  • See the Blacksmiths at work

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  • Spend the afternoon at the Midway and go on rides that are so old, their age alone should give you a thrill!

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Top 3 Favorites

  1. The railway compartments and show “The Journey West”. For one thing, trains are awesome so be sure to check out the railway compartments! Also, the (free) show, The Journey West was my favourite part of the day (and it had ice cream to compete with!). I was keen to check it out and when I was told it was a 45 minute show, I was kind of put off, but decided to stay. IT WAS AMAZING! It did not feel like 45 minutes, and to be honest I could have stayed longer! It was entertaining and informative! Make sure to set aside 45 minutes and go to this!

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  • The carousal – I might have had a little bit too much fun on this. The horses actually move!!

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  • The Bakery! Need I say more? Ok…… Cheese buns, cinnamon buns, cookies, buttertarts, bread, sausage rolls…. You get the picture. Is your mouth watering yet? Make sure to spare some money for a delectable treat from the Bakery!

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Tips for a Fun Day at Heritage Park:

  • Pack your own lunch and water, food and drinks can get expensive.
  • Don’t be dazzled by the gift shops. Set aside some money (~ $5) for a treat during the day – Maybe for an ice cream, the candy shop, or the bakery!
  • If you’re going to go back multiple times, consider getting a season pass.
  • I recommend going when it’s not that warm outside. The day I went I needed a jacket, but it was still pleasant enough to be outside; that way, you are sure to avoid the line ups!
  • Make a full day out of it! If you only go for a few hours, you won’t have enough time to do everything and don’t worry, you won’t run out of things to do!

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Unfortunately it is now the winter season, so the main park is closed until next May. But turn that frown upside down friend! This weekend is Ghouls Night Out at Heritage Park (https://www.heritagepark.ca/plan-your-visit/event-calendar/ghouls-night-out.html) and the Gasoline Alley area is open year round.  There is also Once Upon a Christmas to look forward to as well (https://www.heritagepark.ca/plan-your-visit/event-calendar/once-upon-a-christmas.html)!

So make haste my genteel kindred spirits and go visit Heritage Park!

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Don’t Get Bored in….Montreal??

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Bonjour Calgary!

I was just in Montreal for a little holiday! It’s an incredible city and if you have never been, I encourage you to go at some point in your life! Unlike Calgary, Montreal is rich with history, probably because it’s is 252 years older – it was founded in 1642 (we became a city in 1894). The architecture is remarkable – old and new buildings intermingle and it makes for a beautiful city to wander. C’est magnifique! As always, it was my mission to try new things and have fun (on a budget), so here is a summary of my trip:

5 Things to do in Montreal (on a Budget):

  1. Jean Talon Market

The Jean Talon Market (http://www.marchespublics-mtl.com/en/marches/jean-talon-market/) is an outdoor farmers market. There are countless stands that have ripe, fresh, and colourful fruits and vegetables. There were colours there that I didn’t even know existed for vegetables, like purple peppers and cauliflower!

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The fruits and vegetables seemed juicer, fresher, and superior to the ones I buy here (but this may be attributed to my “holiday mode”, where everything tastes better because you’re on HOLIDAYYYYYYYYYYYYS!) Not only are the fruits and vegetables plentiful and delicious, but it’s ridiculously cheap – cheap like the price of a hockey ticket in Florida!  We bought a week’s worth of groceries for $21! You can even make it into a game and walk around trying to find the best deals!

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 2.  Rent  a Bicyclette!: 

Montreal has an awesome rent-a-bike program called Bixi (https://montreal.bixi.com ) . It’s almost like Car2go, but with bikes. Essentially, you can rent a bike for the day for $7.00, as long as you return the bike to a station every 30 minutes (if you go over 30 minutes they charge you extra). This is easily accomplished because there are Bixi stands everywhere. You don’t have to go out of your way to find one and there’s an app you can download that tells you where the stands are.

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 I do warn you though – not all bikes are top-notch! I got one and the brakes were faulty. I may or may not have crashed into a tree because I couldn’t brake down a hill. Although it was comical – like something out of a movie – it could have been bad, but luckily all I had to show for it was a bruise on my arm (and I grossed people out with it to gain their sympathies). With that being said, I have no regrets and Bixi was awesome!

3. The Old Port & Area: 

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You can’t go to Montreal and not go to the Old Port! That’s like going to a Journey concert and not knowing the words to “Don’t Stop Believing”! Walk along the canal, on the old cobble stone pathways, absorb the beautiful architecture, grab a bite to eat, and let yourself be a tourist… trust me, you won’t be alone!

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4. Saint Laurent: 

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Saint Laurent is a quirky street to walk up and down. There are trendy shops to peruse, enticing restaurants to discover, and my personal favourite: heaps of creative graffiti to spot! Some of the murals make you smile, some make you wonder how on earth the artist came up with the concept, and some are so unique and original they make you want to high-five a baby! The best thing about the graffiti is that it’s entertaining AND it’s free…and bonus that you are outside in the sunshine and fresh air! Here are a few of my favourite murals:

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And my absolute, hands down favourite mural, goes to this guy:

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5. The Botanic Gardens: 

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It was so nice outside when I was there that the thought of being inside made my heart sad! I had already been to the Old Port and area and I wanted to do something else but still be outside. So I decided to check out the botanic gardens (http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/botanical-garden). To be honest, at first the thought didn’t thrill me, but when I checked it out online it looked cool and when I got there it was actually really fun and informative! It’s also not that expensive, it was $18.75 to get in, although if you’re a student or a Quebec resident, it’s cheaper.

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There were a variety of gardens to see including:

  • Toxic Plants – Did you know that the leaves of rhubarb and potato plants are poisonous?
  • Edible Plants
  • Japanese Garden  – there were cool Bonsai trees, one was over 200 years old
  • Chinese Garden
  • First Nations Garden
  • Alpine Garden
  • Rose Garden
  • Insectorium – this made me happy to live in Canada… our bugs don’t look so scary!

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These are all bugs!

These are all bugs!

Montreal was merveilleux and you can have heaps of fun without spending a fortune! Here are a few notes about visiting Montreal:

  • Parlez-Vous Français? If you don’t, don’t sweat it! Pretty much everyone there is bilingual and can effortlessly switch from French to English… I’m envious, I wish I could do this/speak French.
  • If you plan on driving there, all I can say is that driving is….aggressive!
  • Montreal has a wonderful transit system so it’s easy to get around, c’est bon!
  • If you want to go for an afternoon patio beer in the sunshine, I highly recommend the Ste. Elisabeth! They have the best terrace! (http://www.ste-elisabeth.com/eng/elisabeth_eng.htm) Thank you M+M for showing me this hidden gem!

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Je t’aime Montreal! Until next time, au revoir!

September in Calgary

Hello Hello!

It looks like September is going to be a busy month for Calgary! There is a lot going on so be sure not to miss out:

Date: Event: Price: Website:
September 4th Calgary Art Walk FREE http://www.artistsforthepoor.ca/calgaryartwalk.html
September 4th to 7th Honen’s Piano Festival Ranges between events http://honens.com/PerformancesEvents/Category/HONENS-2014.aspx
September 10th – 14th Beakerhead Free – $$ (Depending on Event) http://beakerhead.org
September10th – 14th Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament $25 to $60 http://www.sprucemeadows.com/tournaments/view_tournament.jsp?id=29
September 12th Inglewood Night Market FREE http://www.finditcalgary.ca/inglewood-night-market.html
September 13th – 14th Monster Jam $24.20 to $42.05 http://www.monsterjamcanada.ca
September 18th to 28th Calgary International Film Festival $15.00 for single tickets, but packages available as well http://www.calgaryfilm.com
September 19th International Talk Like A Pirate Day FREE http://www.talklikeapirate.com
September 20th Nuit Blanche FREE http://www.nuitblanchecalgary.ca
September 20th to 27th International Flamenco Festival $22.00 to $40.00 ($80 for a festival pass) http://www.calgaryflamencofestival.com/#!shows/c2414
September 26th to 27th Oktoberfest $19.00 (or $30 for a weekend pass) http://calgaryoktoberfest.eventswoop.com
September 29th to Oct 4th YYComedy Festival Varies depending on show http://yycomedy.ca

Have a splendid September everyone and whatever you do, don’t get bored!

Day Trips: Banff and Yoho National Parks

Near Takkakaw Falls

Near Takkakaw Falls

Banff (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/index.aspx) and Yoho (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/index.aspx) National Parks are vast, you could do a hundred day trips and still be discovering new places and hikes. Suffice it to say that we only covered a minuscule part on our day trip! We ventured to Johnston Canyon and Fenland Trail in Banff, and then travelled to good ol’ British Columbia to see Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls in Yoho.

It only takes an hour to get to Banff from Calgary and from Banff it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get to Yoho. The drive is picturesque surrounded by mountains, trees, and, if you’re lucky, you might spot some wild life!

I would highly recommend getting an early start to the day, especially on a busy weekend. The National Parks fill up quickly and it can be hard to find parking. We skipped Lake Louise because parking was mayhem! Although Lake Louise is beautiful, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery or majestic places to visit, so don’t let that deter you!

Johnston Canyon – Banff: 

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http://www.banff.com/banff-helpers/things-to-do-in-banff/johnston-canyon/

Johnston Canyon is a lovely walk encompassed by trees and the pathway follows a beautiful river. The sound of distant birds and the flowing river are like music to your ears while hiking to see the canyon. The pathway is quite narrow in some spots, so make sure to share the path.

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Fenland Trail – Banff:

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http://www.banff.ca/index.aspx?NID=650

This was a perfect spot for a dinner picnic to finish off the day. It’s just outside of the town of Banff. There’s a river and a nice 2km trail, which is great for a post-dinner stroll to walk off all the cookies! We saw a beaver and some elk on our walk. I’ve never seen a beaver in the wild before! But how fitting to see our National animal in a National park!

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Takkakaw Falls – Yoho: 

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http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/visit/faire-do.aspx#takakkaw

I read a sign saying that the Cree word, Takkakaw, means “It’s magnificent”. I don’t have a lot to add, it sums it up nicely!

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Emerald Lake – Yoho: 

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http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/yoho/visit/faire-do.aspx#emerald

Emerald Lake is absolutely stunning and I don’t think any picture could do it justice. You must see it with your own eyeballs to really take in the colours, nature and beauty. It was my favourite stop of the day. I would love to go back and spend the entire day there!

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I haven’t even scratched the surface of what Banff and Yoho National Parks have to offer. I strongly encourage everyone to make it to the mountains at some point in their life, and if you are from Calgary, several times a year!

Reminders:

The Rocky Mountain Bichons Love the Mountains!

The Rocky Mountain Bichons Love the Mountains!

  • To save money, bring your own lunch! Banff can get pretty pricey because of all the tourists! So plan to bring your own food!
  • Bring hand wipes or sanitizer with you, a lot of the washrooms do not have any soap or sanitizer.
  • Don’t forget your camera!!
  • AND HAVE FUN!
This was the only bear we saw...sigh....

This was the only bear we saw…sigh….