I have been away from home for a length of time now that I am blessed enough to have my friends from the UK want to come out and visit me.
First arrival, was Natalie, who flew into Calgary at the beginning of October, just in time to spend my first Thanksgiving with. Yes Canadians have Thanksgiving to, it’s a thing!
Some fun facts about Natalie and I:
- We met by becoming roommates and renting a flat in South East London
- She and I are both from Essex therefore bound together as soul sisters for life.
Thankfully for us, Canadians do not know the term ‘Essex Girl’.
- We would host pretty epic cocktail and dinner parties for our friends and colleagues, and security was only called once
- We drunk copious amounts of Prosecco resulting often in missing our last train home, or in my case sleeping until the end of the line.
- That she is the No 1 fan of this blog, and kicked my arse big time for not writing anything all summer.
When planning what to do for the week Natalie was here, her request was simply ‘I just want to see a week in the life of Laura’.
Well obviously that would have been boring as fuck, so we actually went and did stuff.
Driving from the airport:
The one thing I asked Natalie to do was keep me awake by talking to me while driving; did she fuck. 30 minutes in, zzzzzzzzzz.
Well I guess the next 3 hours are me humming to myself. Half way through the drive I ran over a racoon, you know that would not have happened if you weren’t sleeping!
A weekend in Invermere:
Unfortunately I had to work the weekend when Nat first arrived, but that did not stop her from going out and wanting to explore the town. I did not have the heart to tell her it would only take her 25 minutes to see all there is to see. Nat did find our Kinsmen Beach, shortly followed by the pub. Naturally.
We did manage a night out at my local drinking hole Ullr, where I decided to make us do all the different shots we don’t get back in the UK. Our personal favourite, Burt Reynolds. Our heads were not great the next morning.
Road Trip Time:
First on my list was taking Natalie to Lake Louise, (After stopping at Tim Hortons of course for a double double) which even though is a massive tourist spot, still remains one of my favourite places to visit. It was great to see the sheer beauty of the Lake blowing her mind. Lots of insta worthy pictures were certainly taken.
We then went inside to the Fairmont for a cup of tea, but of course ordered a glass of Prosecco like the Essex Girls we are.
Next stop was Canmore. The guy that checked us in was English and I am pretty sure that’s why we got a special Thanksgiving treat of being upgraded to an epic Suite, which had a shower you could play the radio inside! (We could not work it out, but that is beside the point) We were due to go for dinner that evening, but decided to stay in, get pizza and drink Prosecco. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
The next day we went up to the Grassi Lakes Trail by The Three Sisters. Now this trail is not anything that is considered hard, but was covered in ice and snow, and as you can imagine, a tad challenging for someone like myself. Plenty of opportunities for Natalie to film my struggles. (Thanks mate). The view of Bow Valley at the top was breathtaking however!
Let’s stay an extra day:
Our 3 days away were not really long enough, in between us trying to do and see things while balancing with some chill time. So we booked another night to stay in Banff. I think by this point, the cold had started to get to Natalie, because as I pulled up to the Banff sign so she could have a picture, she just looked at me, ‘yeah no, I’m good’. All right love. We met up with my friend from work in the evening who took us on a bar crawl around the town. Don’t ask me what the bars are; I can only remember the first one! There was a bar which served free popcorn, but we just ended up throwing at each other. Classy Essex act. Probably something to do with the bottle of Prosecco we drunk at the beginning of the night.
We had agreed we were all going to do the Stanley Glacier hike the next day, and even though our heads were pounding, we were still persistent to do it. Nothing a good breakfast and waiting 30 minutes for a soya latte can’t fix.
Major highlights of Natalie’s trip:
- Nat eating cereal bars at every possible moment of the day. I even tried hiding them and she still found a way.
Natalie announcing she tries to follow a gluten and dairy free diet. (Would have been more believable if I had not just watch you demolish that pizza)
- Watching her lose her marbles every time we turned a corner and saw a different view of the mountains.
- Her jaw drop at the idea of a Tim Horton’s drive thru, (fast food coffee, what??) and getting hooked on double doubles
- Getting incredibly drunk in Banff, eating McDonalds for the first time in 10 months, and watch Nat cry over the fact she ate all the chicken nuggets.
- Buying her earrings for the 2nd time as a welcome to Canada gift, even though she does not have her ears pierced. ‘Laura!! This is the second time you have done this!’
Thanks mate for always believing in me that I can follow my dreams, even when I don’t believe in them myself. Thanks for being nothing but supportive about my move to Canada and why I needed to do it. Thanks even more for coming here, seeing where I live and understanding why this is now my home. This post is for you and I promise to write more.
Check out my previous posts in the links below! Winter is coming, which only means one thing, clumsy ice falling stories are back!