Time flies when you're having fun (and working)!

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wow time really has flown since the last blog entry! It's been 3 and a half months so here's a little update on what we've been up to...

Of course we've been working lots to try and save plenty of pennies for the next leg of our travels (and the wedding!) Nick has been doing lots of late shifts at work as the ski hill is open late on Fridays and Saturdays for people to ski/board at night and I've been doing a fair bit of babysitting at various hotels. As you can see Nick finds plenty of ways to make work fun and I can't complain either - lots of colouring, building with Lego and watching films with the children! It's mad to think that we only have 4 weeks of work left before travelling!

Besides work we have still also been having fun and exploring the local area. Here are some highlights:

* Seeing Banff and the local area by helicopter! I got a call whilst at work on a busy Saturday being told my name had been drawn from a hat to travel on the helicopter that was coming to the mountain to do some avalanche bombing. It was such an amazing experience but its just a shame Nick wasn't with me. The 10 minute trip would have cost around $250 each if we had paid through the company!

* Going up Sulphur Mountain (where the hot springs are) on the Banff Gondola. We went up the mountain and saw some amazing views of Banff and did a little walk to the next peak along. Apparently you can hike instead of use the gondola which we might try another time...

* Visiting the Upper Hot Springs for a second time - very relaxing and it snowed a bit too!

* Shopping - not too much though as we need to save too! One of the main things we have bought is Nick's wedding ring (I'm still trying to find an affordable one that I like!) We have also had to invest in a few new clothes as the constant washing of the same things certainly takes it's toll on them.

* Eating out - again something we try not to do too much of but we've tried a few local places. One of our favourites is an all day grill across the road from us where you can get yummy breakfasts - stuffed hash browns, syrup-soaked pancakes, unlimited coffee! Nick had perhaps the biggest breakfast I have ever seen when we went there the first time. We also have been making lots of healthy dinners at home and have enjoyed cooking together.

* Calgary - perhaps not a highlight as the only reason we have been to Calgary twice is for me to visit the eye hospital. It looked like I was having problems with my retina and might have needed surgery but luckily it turned out all was ok and my eye is still holding on in there! Calgary itself was a bit of a concrete jungle from what we saw... There were lots of massive shopping malls that were a lot cleaner and brighter inside than out and a very efficient (free) tram service in the very centre. We also tried our first Tim Horton's in Calgary which is a Canadian chain of coffee house/bakery.

* Skiing/Snowboarding - if nick was writing this, he would probably have written about this first! He gets to snowboard everyday with work and we have done quite a few full days at various ski resorts (nick usually goes and does the more 'crazy' runs with his friends and I stick to the pleasant beginner/intermediate runs with some of the girls). When we first talked about travelling Nick said he wanted anywhere with snow so that he could board and work on a mountain - seeing how much he loves it makes coming to Banff completely worth it! He has also become a bit of a whizz on the skis and has only tried them a handful of times. Whilst I enjoy skiing and am a capable skier, I don't think it's a sport I have a natural flair for! One too many falls and watching friends have accidents over the last few months has meant that I've never really picked up much speed on my skis :/ due to pure fear! I love going to Sunshine village resort though where there are amazing views and nice long, easier ski runs that I can enjoy at my own pace! We did go to Revelstoke, a resort in British Columbia (the next state along) for a staff trip. It was a fun day as I was able to stick to a 9 mile (!) beginner ski run, although visibility was very poor due to lots of fog!

* Having fun with friends! One of the best things here are the friends that we've made, we probably spend most of our time that we aren't working, skiing or chilling at home with friends. Various people have had parties at their houses or we go for some food or go out to bars. Sunday is a big night here - aptly named 'Sunday Funday' where we get free entry to clubs as we work at Norquay and there are various drink deals - obviously we take it easy!.. We have made friends from all over the world - Canadians, French Canadians, Australians, Brits, French, German and others who we hope to meet again one day!

That's a round up of the main things we've been up to. We have less than a month left of work so are now busy planning and booking things for the next leg of our trip. We have just under a month after we finish work before flying out to New Zealand and will spend 2 of those weeks in Banff before heading back to Vancouver (where our trip began) and we are also going to pop over the border to Seattle.

Our next blog will probably be to share our happenings during our last month in Canada and the US and after that we will try to update whenever we get Internet connection in NZ, Fiji and Oz as we will be proper travellers then! Missing all at home lots - we talk about everyone all the time :) x
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