Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How the West Was Won!

*** The winner of the giveaway is announced at the end of this post!

If you really knew me you'd know that I'm a huge idealist when it comes to luxury. I have weird dreams about traveliing in class one day, with all the lavish amenities that a trip can offer. I want to fly first class with flight attendants at my beck and call. I want a 5 star hotel with room service and maybe a water slide thrown in. I also wouldn't mind a really big hotel room with a few bedrooms. While this isn't currently possible, check back with me in a bit for an ETA on plan "Become a Mega Star." Because you make money but never pay for anything when you're famous. It's completely brilliant.

Given my "taste" in travel, you'd think that a trip that involved me flying economy, staying in nice, but not 5 star hotels, and driving a combined total of about 13 hours wouldn't really be my cup of tea. Normally, I'd be inclined to agree with you, however, I really can't complain. This was a whole new experience for me. I'm use to traveling to major metropolis areas, like NYC, Paris, LA, etc. I've never driven from one place to another, with stops in between. I don't want to stretch my vocabulary, but it was really life changing. The scenery was unlike anything I've ever seen. If you've never seen the Canadian Rockies, I'm completely judging you right now.

In most cases 13 hours worth of driving would have me throwing myself through the wind shield, but the landscape was so amazing, the mountains so vast, I barely noticed it. Barely.

But Jordan, where did you go?

Give me a second. I'm getting there.

Our trip (by our, I mean myself and my dad) started off by flying out to Vancouver. I really impressed myself with this, because I was such an easy flier this time, and I didn't even have my mom's hand to squeeze the life out of during take off. Upon our arrival in Vancouver we checked into the Fairmont Hotel at the airport (one point for luxury). From there we ventured into downtown Vancouver, where I was able to admire the scenery and the wonderful life of the area. I got no shopping done, which physically hurt me later on, but I survived.

The very next day we rented a car and drove for about 5 hours to Kamloops, which is a small BC town with a very dessert like climate, but I'd live there. They have the Toys R Us right beside the A&W. I felt home. We spent one night there, then piled up the car the next morning and drove for another 5-6 hours to a cozy little down called Banff. Apparently this place is one of the most visited areas in Western Canada, and now I know why. Louis Vuitton and Versace on the same street! Besides top labels covering the town, there was also a rather large number of Aussies. That's right. I would say that about 5 people who served us, including servers and other attendants, were Australian, but I heard many more Aussie accents floating around. I left the town completely convinced that I was born with the wrong accent.

Not only did I ogle stuff that I couldn't buy, but I also went on a completely terrifying, life threatening adventure... A gondola ride, up the side of a mountain. It was scary, but after the first three or four cries for help I eventually got over myself and "enjoyed" the ride to the top. Once there I managed to find the gift shop in a nano second and instantly when to work picking out souvenirs for everyone and trying to find great Canadian stuff to use as a blog giveaway (you're welcome). Only, everything was really expensive. I wanted to yell at someone and say, "Hello! You aren't Prada. You're a gift shop on the top of a mountain. I need bargain bins!" I also found something that officially changed my life. Chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Have you ever tried them?!

Saturday involved a rather short, scenic drive to Lake Louise, where I had the opportunity to walk the circumference of Pluto and smell some horse paddies, as one boy passing by so affectionately named them. Despite the walking, the bus loads of tourists from around the world, and the horse paddies, Lake Louise never failed to take my breath away. The lake is fed by a giant glacier that runs ice cold water into it. Some people were crazy enough to canoe, but I decided to choose the option that didn't involve me potentially falling into a lake of icy cold water. Don't forget the surrounding mountains. It was truly a place of wonder!

Sunday involved some shopping, where I visited a fudge shop and about 20 or 30 gift shops along the main road of Banff. I grabbed some chocolates and peanut brittle, which, I'll tell you now, I forgot in the mini fridge of our hotel in Calgary. I know, I hate myself too. I could really use some peanut brittle right now.

We drove to Calgary later that day, returned the car, and checked in to the Delta Hotel at the Calgary airport. I shook my dad down and finally convinced him to let me have room service. Twice.

This morning, our scenic, life changing journey came to an end when I was once again cattle in the airport, being hustled through security, where I was lucky enough to undergo a bag search to satisfy the curiosity of the screening officer in training. Apparently, the piggy banks I bought for my niece and nephew were potential threats. You want to talk security? Maybe don't let the guy screening the bags take 30 minutes per person as he examines the screen with a magnifying glass. I really have no tolerance for anything that doesn't happen right away. I also really had to pee.

The flight home was great. I watched 300, stood in line for the bathroom for about 10 minutes, and didn't eat a thing because of a bad cheese experience on the way to Vancouver. Also, turbulence is not fun. I may or may not have grabbed my dad's hand as the plane started shaking.

Thanks for an amazing adventure dad. I will never forget the trip we took. The first trip we took together, without mom. Despite my initial worries, we managed to make it home alive, and we didn't get lost once. I swear. Really.

I also couldn't help but throw the low carb lifestyle out the window, because believe it or not, places like Chili's and The Keg don't really have a lot of low carb options, and I was really sick of salad. Some of the great meals included:
Hamburger with onion rings
Chicken with mashed potatoes
Chicken fingers and onion rings
Salad with chicken
etc. etc.

I also fell in love with onion rings all over again.

I hope you're week is going great! Stay tuned!

Happy baking!



CSN Stores Giveaway Winner:

I'm so sorry about not posting this sooner. As you've hopefully read above I had a very busy week, but I still want to thank everyone who entered! There will, of course, be more giveaways coming up so stay tuned.

Drum roll please...

The winner is...


Please e-mail me as soon as possible to claim your prize!


  1. You could try making peanut brittle. If you have the patience to wait until the brittle reaches hardball consistency, it's not difficult at all. :)

    I'm glad you had an exciting trip. I haven't stayed in a hotel- or really been on a vacation- since I was about eight years old. Consider yourself lucky. ALTHOUGH I am right now on a sortoftrip, but it's technically a photo workshop and we have to work 13 hours a day. So it's hardly a vacation. Also, though people here are from all over the place, I'm only about two hours away from home. So...

  2. That trip looks amazing! My dad and I were talking the other day about grad school options and he said, "pick somewhere cool like Banff, and I can go heleskiing there" and then you went there!

    So excited to hear more!


I love you all for reading! Your support means everything!

If you have any questions regarding recipes, posts, or use of photographs, whip up some buttercream, then send me an e-mail: kitchenkarate(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You shouldn't have to wait too long for a reply. I'm a computer fiend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...