|me cheesing hard in banff national park, alberta, canada|
I am sharing a cold photo to maybe make you feel super warm and spring-y in your current climate, you know, like reverse psychology. Plus it could make me look like a world traveler or something, even though this is from last thanksgiving. If you have never been to Banff or the Rocky Mountains in general I'd highly recommend a trip. The American to Canadian dollar conversion was ahhhmazing (comment-dit-on "black friday") PLUS flights were super cheap. An easy-on-the-wallet stamp in your passport. You may be worried about the arctic temperatures. Touche. However, if me and my snow-hating, tropically-raised lover can successfully putz around Banff National Park in a little rental car then so can you!
If you want to travel adventurously in a safe, cushy, north-american sort of way, here is a list of my favorite things to do whenever I am in western Canada in the winter time.
- Tim Hortons sour cream glazed timbits. Do this once a day, every day. Maybe add a sundried tomato bagel and a double double.
- Hockey for toddlers. Without being creepy, you should try to watch this incredibly cute version of little league on ice.
- David's Tea for the tea drinker in your life. Buy it in the little baggies. Don't worry the airport security people won't even think it is questionable herb-age. My favorites are called "three wishes" and "earl's garden".
- Mountain Equipment Co-op to buy crunchy-granola things. You must go even if you don't really hike or do cool outdoorsy things. I bought a "technical" raincoat, which is a word my boyfriend taught me while he watched me try on 15 raincoats.
- Ice-skating on tv. If you can't find it, it will likely be on my nana's tv so you just stop in there. Check out the organ music book collection too, I highly recommend the christmas music one.
- Build a snow shanty and partake in the obligatory snowball fight that follows. You're going to want snow from a raised deck or driveway. Volume is key here.
- Nanaimo bars by the dozen. They hardly even sell the things you need to make this recipe in the south. Hit up a mom and pop bakery or solicit a random grandma for the good kind.
- Joe Fresh clothes and shoes. Holy crap you guys. Just buy it all. Don't even try it on. You can always redistribute the items amongst your friend group later. When you think you have enough in your cart, just go back and add more. The power of price compels you!
- Northern lights are pretty cool, if you're into that sort of thing. Christmas lights are also on point far into January-February because nobody want's to admit they're on the wrong side of December 24th. Cold climates = sad climates without Santa.
- Cadbury anything and not that counterfeit hershey-owned crap. Just buy enough of the good stuff to last your next visit to canada, or your next visit to an overpriced specialty epicurean store.
- French words on regular old things. It's a bilingual nation people! Just walking around the grocery store is like a high school french 2 vocab lesson. But without the awkward teenage angst and weird nicknames you had to call each other in french class.
- Starbucks because I am curious to know if they will also look at you like an insane person if you try to order an iced coffee. The response we got was "I think that is like a summer drink".
- The Royal Tyrrell Museum is incredibly badass. If you have kids they should probably go. This place is the reason I wanted to be a literal paleontologist for most of my childhood. Check out the "hoodoos" in Drumheller while you're at it.
- Stand under icicles on a warm-ish day. I'm kidding, don't actually do this one.
P.S. my coat is JCrew and boots are Sorel