Banff It Up, Days 2 + 3

by Holly on June 14, 2010

in 2010 hiking trip,travel

I <3 Banff.

It’s true. In fact, I am thinking of saving up money, moving to the Town of Banff, persuading the adorable yoga teacher at Rocky Mountain Yoga to become my yogi, work part-time at Lululemon (for the discount, obvs), work part-time at the Wild Flour Bakery, eat maple fudge all day and try to score myself one of the million cute Australian boys who live here.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Why do I really love Banff? Oh let me count thy ways…

(1) Tag-team oatmeal concoctions from Susan + yours truly.

maple nut oatmeal
1 smashed naner
water
soy protein powder
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter
maple jelly (!!!)

We are seriously contemplating writing a book entitled, “The Beginner’s Guide to Crafting the Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal While Traveling.”

This bowl was a heavenly, maple-y concoction of loveliness.

It was this maple jelly – made in Susan’s hometown of Riverview in New Brunswick – that really stole the morning oatmeal show…

The best part? I get to take the rest of the jar home for myself.

(2) Amazing views everywhere you look. Even when you are just staring outside your bus window, there are majestic mountains to behold everywhere.

Comfy buses that provide you with said views AND safely get you from Point A to Point B (ahem, Calgary to Banff) are wonderful as well.

(3) Lock boxes in hostels. Don’t underestimate this perk people. Not all hostels/lodges/cheap housing provide this much-needed service. So when they do, you immediately lock up all the things that are most precious to you in the world…

A.k.a. your food.

Passports, wallets and cameras aside, this is clearly your most treasured possession.

(4) Fabulous travel companions. Specifically, travel companions who also understand that the most important thing one must do in a new city (after checking in, unpacking and locking up food, of course) is to go out and savor the local culinary specialties.

Me + Susan = creepy E.S.P. moments all trip.

First stop, a recommendation per Susan’s mom – Rose and Crown!

Since I OD’d on meat the previous day in Calgary (see my Day 1 trip recap here), I went with a DELICIOUS Veggie Portabella Burger to get some veg in my system. Just a foreshadowing of things to come, I definitely have NOT eaten my daily # of veggie servings while on vacay.

Also a foreshadow of things to come, expect to see more sweet potatoes fries in this blog’s future.

Bloggers hard at work…

That would be Susan taking a lovely pic of her amazing Rangeland Elk Stew. You can take the food away from the blogger, but you can’t take the blogger away from food. I take that back. That statement makes no sense.

Moving on…

(5) Maple Nut Fudge. Nuff’ said.

There are no words to describe how rich, fudgy and amazingly tasty this stuff is.

I will be picking up more before I leave.

In reference to point #4, I am going to have to add having local beers – like this Big Rock Traditional Ale (made in Calgary) – with aforementioned traveling companions…

…and picking up new traveling companions along the way!

Karen, who lives in Western Canada, joined Susan + I this weekend and arrived in town just in time for dinner + beer Thursday night.

She’s outgoing, fun and an experienced hiker – in other words, she fit right in.

Also, in reference to point #1, I shall point out this glorious bowl of oatmeal we concocted bright n’ early Friday morning…

apple cinnamon oatmeal
water
1 smashed banana
soy protein powder
Justin’s Cinnamon Peanut Butter
maple fudge crumbles
AllBran Honey Nut Bar crumbles

Amazing.

(6) Local coffee shops that offer an “extra extra large” size. When is this option going to come Stateside? I need this in my life everyday.

Back in reference to point #2…more amazing views. This view literally greets us every morning upon walking outside YWCA Banff…does it get any more gorgeous than this?

I think not.

(7) A fabulous local yoga studio. Rocky Mountain Yoga is perhaps one of the most adorable studios I’ve practiced in. Our teacher, Mindy, was great and lead us through a 50-minute Flow Class targeted at intermediate yogis.

This was the view we performed our sun salutations to…

Pure bliss.

(8) Organic cafes situated right underneath a local yoga studio. Wild Flour Bakery is adorable. I know I am completely overusing this word this post, but Banff is full of character, charm and just plain cuteness.

Don’t believe me? Check out this bowl of Parsnip, Butternut Squash + Curried Coconut Soup alongside a piece of generously seedy bread

Not enough for you? How about I add in a piece of toasted Rosemary, Salami and Roasted Red Pepper Foccacia?

I’m going to assume I safely convinced you on this one.

(9) Hiking. I could probably go on and on about the wonder of traversing trails, enjoying mother nature, breathing in the fresh mountain air, soaking in every spectacular view and appreciating the beauty of Banff National Park, but I think I am going to let the pictures do the talking on this one…

In reference to point #4, I am going to reiterate how much fun it is to go out to eat with fellow food bloggers to local places oozing with local flavor…starting with beer: my favorite brew of the trip, Rickard’s White Ale.

A $7 CAD plate of fish n’ chips? Yes, please!

By far the cheapest meal I paid for all trip.

A side note: Americans should be grateful for how cheap groceries + going out to eat at restaurants is. In Canada, it is EXPENSIVE – the beer alone was $7.50.

(11) An absolutely ridiculous cone of ice cream from Cows. I take that back…an absolutely ridiculous cone of 16% mikfat ice cream (the normal is 10%) from Cows. I went with the Wowie Cowie (toffee, Skor Bar, chocolate + caramel) in a chocolate peanut waffle cone, and it did NOT disappoint. At all.

(12) Going to bed and sleeping the night away after filling your days with non-stop delicious food, friends, hiking, shopping, eating, walking, activity and views. Absolutely the best.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 4 of our grand Canadian adventure!

{ 44 comments }

Erica June 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

So gorgeous! I have never been to Canada but seriously want to visit! The food looks incredible. Maple jelly? I have never heard of such a treat! Deliciousness. And the Parsnip, Butternut Squash + Curried Coconut Soup …steals my heart! I want to try to make something similar at home. Ya’ll are so cute!

Jenna June 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Ohh, you are making me want to go back to Banff. I was young(er) when I was up there and still to this day have such a clear memory of that trip because of how breathtaking and beautiful the experience was.

Garet June 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

What views! Amazing! It’s easy to forget that there are places like that in the wold when you go a while without seeing one. Thanks for posting!

Holly June 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Oh man…I usually love reading your blog, but this post made me sad. Only because I visited Banff for the first time two summers ago, and your photos are making me miss it terribly! It’s like a precious dreamland. However, I am grateful because I somehow (?!?!) missed out on Wild Flour Bakery. Definitely a place I will be visiting the next time I am there. Which, I hope is very soon. Happy travels! :)

Christa June 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I posted the following on Susan’s blog, but thought I’d post it here too! I’ve been a ‘lurker’ of your blog for about a month, love it!

‘I live in Calgary, and quite honestly I never get tired of the Rockies and Banff!! If you stop in Canmore, you need to check out The Communitea Cafe, Crazyweed Kitchen, and/or The Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. All amazing places to eat! Also, in Banff there is a restaurant called Nourish Vegetarian Bistro & Tea House (maybe a break from all the Alberta beef?!), I just went for the first time about a month ago and its SO yummy, and a very cozy place. The veg chili is to die for!

BTW – I just bought maple walnut fudge yesterday after seeing your amazing oats breakfast! I am so excited for breakfast tomorrow :)’

Evan Thomas June 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Oh mah God. Please eat an extra piece of maple nut fudge just for me

Susan June 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Oh Holly, you are the BEST travel companion. I love you even after a stinky weekend of camping and hiking!!! xoxo

Amy B @ Second City Randomness June 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Can I volunteer to move there and work with you part-time in the bakery? And then I’ll pick up a second job at a local pub- that way we can also get discounts on alcohol and bar food… so it’d work out. Your trip looks like it was just awesomeness.

claire June 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Love this holly! Looks and sounds like you had such an amazing time. I can’t believe I’ve never been to BANFF…that wild flour bakery…mmm…amazing!

can’t wait for more of it!

Jess June 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Looks like you’re having an AMAZING time. LOVE all your eats. Maple fudge?! YES PLEASE :D

<3 jess
xoxo

Crunchy Granola Gal June 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

oh what fun! livin’ it up with foodie friends is such a treat. enjoy the rest of your trip. that ice cream cone looks fabulous. mmmmmmgood.

Kristie June 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Love this recap – the food and scenery pictures and you :-D.

Low June 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

You’re making me seriously want to hit up Canada. I’ve never really planned any Canadian travel, but I think I must reconsider.

And you look SOOO happy! I love your happy, smiling face.

Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) June 14, 2010 at 5:58 pm

There’s just too much goodness packed into one post. I can’t decide if I’m more jealous of your yoga in front of those gorgeous views, the awesome oatmeal concoctions, or the fact that you were able to hang out with fellow food bloggers. Love it! :D

Jessica June 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm

You are absolutely the cutest thang ever! You are just BEAMING happiness, and I love that. Have I ever told you that you’re rocking the FELICITY HAIR?! (The show’s jeany and my newest obsession–no shame)…you’re just the brunette version! Your curls are so freaking adorable. I love that picture of you doing the yogi pose!

The hiking views are gorgeousss, and the canadian food does not disaPpoint! I want that portabella burg and/or the ice cream stat! LOVE YOUUU!

Kristin (Salty Tooth) June 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm

It looks like a great trip. I am so jealous!

Katie June 14, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh love the oatmeal creations!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love the idea of creating a book oatmeal creations while traveling! Baller!!

Looks like you and Susan are having a blast, I am jealous of all the amazing things you have seen, ate, and drank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

U and Susan are rock!

Adrien June 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Ahhhmazing! I love these recaps!

American’s should also be appreciative of the fact you can get Kashi Heart to Heart cereal, that looks like cat food, but tastes like fibery-heaven at just about any grocery store (not to mention Good Friends cereal- that’s legit!)..

I would die to go to those mountains- Banff is on the ‘to-do’ list! woop!

Andrea@WellnessNotes June 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

What a BEAUTIFUL vacation!!! :)

rebecca lustig June 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm

your pictures are beautiful, so glad youre enjoying the trip

hope you have a marvelous evening,
Bec

Molly June 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Amazing pics Holly! Looks like you had an AMAAAAAAZING time! Can’t wait to hear about Day 4!

Kailey (SnackFace) June 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!! MOST GORGEOUS PLACE EVER!!!! Seriously, I could not help but think of how much I would love to go there…with a certain DM!!

HOLLY I MISS YOU.

Just thought I’d let you know.

This post is glorious in more ways that I can count.

It is a huge feat that you’ve made me want to go hiking in mountains, though; I will say that.

MAJORLY HUGE CATCH-UP SOON, PLEASE?!!

K. Love you! xoxoxoxxo

Maya June 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

There are no words. The view is gorgeous. The view that desktop backgrounds on computers are made of.

MAPLE JELLY. YUM.

maxinthegym June 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm

So much delicious food! You’re making me seriously want to hit up Canada right now!

Maple Jelly just sounds…amazing. I want some for my breakfast now!

Lynn @ The Actors Diet June 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm

i’m loving all your adventures! i want to chomp into that maple nut fudge…

Madeline @ Greens and Jeans June 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

In the words of Rachel Zoe,”I die.”

Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 14, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I’ll be your chauffeur or something….that way I can get all the tasty stuff you find too. Looks like paradise up there!

Angharad June 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Oh sweet child. You had me at fish and chips. And hiking. And susan. And that beer.
Im so happy reading this post because its so obvious how much fun youre having! Much Love and safe travels!

Jenn June 14, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Mmm Rickard’s White! Hard to find, but so crisp and quenching. Most places just have Rickard’s Red.

Little Bookworm June 15, 2010 at 3:28 am

I love all the photos in this post, your trip sounds fantastic! :)

brandi June 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

so, so jealous of this trip :) Looks like you’re all have a great time!!!

samantha June 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

UNREAL. i want to go hiking SO BADLY! the last awesome place i’ve been with mountains with interlaken, switzerland. the views didn’t even seem REAL, they were so beautiful.

also, maple fudge. get in my face right now. kthanksbye.

TorontoGirloutWest June 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I’m totally impressed of the pictures you took of the Wildflour and yoga studio signs. Look at you and your great eye! :)

Anywho – I hope you girlies had fun during the rest of your trip. Happy travels back to the States! And feel free to take me up on my West Coast offer!

Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) June 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Aren’t mountains the best?? Only thing missing in WI/MN….and the ocean :)

Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover June 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Oh, WOW.
I´m so jealous, Holly!
Such amazing eats, pics… I´m absolutely sure you girls are having the time of your lives :D
Wish you a wonderful week, girl!
Brazilian XOXO´s,
Gabriela

Holly June 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Banff seems awesome! Between the hiking, yoga, and gorgeous scenery, you are a lucky lady! The maple fudge looks delicious. I want to go to Banff!

Jason Sandeman June 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Banff is alright, I just hope you make your way to Lake Louise or even better, Jasper. You will see scenery that will blow you away. I had the privilege of working in Jasper for 5 years. The best part was the scenery.

amanda June 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm

healthy fun trips with friends are the best!

runnerforever June 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I don’t even know where to begin, everything from the views to the food looks amazing!

Jamie @ Tearaveler June 15, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Holly!!!! Banff looks incredible!!! You’ll have to plan a trip next year where more people can come (aka me and Molly haha)! I could picture you here in Nepal doing yoga! We did it the other day – just incredible! Have a fun rest of your trip!!

LP June 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I’m from Calgary as well and, like Christa, have been lurking…loving seeing you hitting up all the spots I’ve been to a hundred times before, and giving it a fresh perspective!

Any time I travel down to the States I go CRAZY for Blue Moon and in my extensive search of trying to track down somewhere in Canada that sells it (nowhere does), I found out it’s the exact same beer as Rickard’s White! Just bottled differently for different countries….so there you have it :)

Katie June 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. I can’t even pick one thing to comment on except that I want to go on a trip with you.

Nic June 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Possibly a strange question but…what are those shoes you are wearing on your trip? I might love them and need some of my own ;0)

Bekah June 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

i know this post was written a while back, but as i’ve been steadily catching up on blogs the last couple days, this post really just stands out. Kind of in love with it.

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