We are home! Finally! Friday morning we ran some errands, packed the car and hit the road. Our first stop was in Calgary to welcome home Matt's mom who spent two weeks in Uganda. Her flight got in just before some severe weather warnings came into the area so there wasn't much of a delay, which was good for us. After a few hugs we got back on the road. It took us a while to get out of Calgary but it turns out we just missed a multi-vehicle pile up and a tornado or two. We pulled over in Canmore for a quick dinner and then finished our drive out to Panorama. It was a very long drive. Especially for Gabe. We left our house at 1:00 and got to our hotel in Panorama at 9:00 with only a couple hours out of the car in between. We were however well rewarded for our long drive. The room we were staying in was gorgeous! It was a two-bedroom condo that we shared with my parents. We stayed up fairly late the first night to give Gabe some time to play before he had to go to bed and got up nice and early Saturday morning to get as much into the day as possible. First off, we walked down to the cafe in Panorama Village and got some drinks before we headed back down the mountain into Invermere to pick up some groceries. Luckily, we went on the day of their local Farmers Market! I bought corn on the cob, golden plums, peaches, cherries, blackberries, tomatoes and cucumbers. The produce was all so beautiful! We had to run into the grocery store to pick up some more things and then we went back into Panorama to meet my parents who had just drove out that morning. After a quick lunch and a change of clothes, it was back down the mountain and into Invermere for my cousin's wedding on the Eagle Ranch golf course. The ceremony was amazing! The gazebo they stood on was on top of a hill that overlooked Windermere Lake. My niece was the flower girl and it was so cute when she stopped halfway down the aisle to say hello to her Grandpa and her little cousin Gabe! After the ceremony we took my parents into town to check out the best gelato store in Canada - Gerry's Gelati! Fantastic! Fresh ingredients, real fruit, and they make it all themselves in small batches so that it's always fresh tasting. I believe I had White Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Cheesecake that time. We also hopped across the street to the River Gems rock store where I bought a super cute pearl ring. Then it was back on up the mountain into Panorama for the reception at the Heliski Lodge. It was quite the party! Great food, awesome speeches, and for dessert, gelati from Gerry's! That time I had a bit of chocolate and a bit of vanilla. When dinner was over and the dance started my mom took Gabe back up to our room, as well as our niece, so Matt, my sister, her husband and I got a rare night off! We finally left the party at 12:20 and we were by no means the last people to leave. The next morning we again got up early and drove out to Fairmont where they have this great Par 3 course called Coy's. We had a 9:45 tee time but we also booked for breakfast before our game. Apparently on weekends they offer a $4 breakfast with your game! Bacon, eggs, toast, hash browns, and coffee - not bad for $4, eh? Well, we teed off and all did fairly poorly the first hole and just assumed we needed to warm up. Unfortunately, I never did. I played the worst game of my life. The last time I played the course I was driving onto the green and making par on a bunch of holes. My average score per hole this time around was 7. On a Par 3. Well, I'd had enough of sucking so I sat out the last two holes in the attempt to salvage what good mood I had left. In the end Matt golfed a 49, and so did I, but since I sat out the last two holes they gave me a 1 for both of those. Le suck. We got back to Panorama and relieved my parents from babysitting so that they could go catch their tee time. We had planned on going swimming when we got back, but it was absolutely pouring at the mountain village. So instead I set out a light lunch for everyone: blueberry muffins, cherries, those gorgeous golden plums, cantaloupe, blackberries and some lychee nuts that I had picked up at the grocery store. The babies had a nap before the rain let up so my sister and I braved the downpour and visited some shops in the village. Eventually the babes woke up and the rain let up enough that we decided to go swimming. Once we got back from the pool I had just enough time to hang up our wet things and think about starting dinner before my parents got back when they walked in the door! So my dad started barbqueing while I threw on some yellow beans, mini potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic toast and pork and beans. Matt ran down to the general store and picked up some white wine too. We ate a lot, although Gabe ate the most, and then we decided to have some gelati for dessert. The cafe in the village sells Gerry's too so we got some there and that time I had Raspberry Cheesecake. We pretty much sat around all night but it was a nice, easy pace. This morning I let Matt sleep in while I got up early and packed up all our stuff. By the time everyone else was awake, all of our stuff was packed and Gabe was fed and ready to go too! Matt and I left Panorama by 9:30 and event into Invermere to do some shopping. First we hit up the bakery where we bought some treats, and then we ended up at Gerry's for some coffee and some more gelati (Coconut and Strawberry Banana this time). I bought some wax beads from another store and then we started our trek home. Thanks to extremely busy highways, very bad drivers and a motorcycle in the ditch (the biker was okay) we didn't get very far very fast. We finally hit Canmore where we had planned to stop for lunch, but the line ups at every fast food place in town were crazy. Apparently everyone else had the same idea as us! So we stopped for gas (we weren't going to fill up in B.C. when gas prices were at least 10 cents higher than in Alberta, and 30 cents more at some places!) and then headed for Cochrane. By this time Gabe was very unimpressed with the amount of time he had spent in the car. We were all happy when we hit Cochrane, but Gabe perhaps was the most happy. In light of this attitude of his we decided to forego fast food and ate at Boston Pizza. After Gabe was fed, watered and changed, we didn't hear a peep out of him the rest of the way home. We got back to town by 4:45 and were all extremely glad to be done the trip. As nice as it was to go away, it's even nicer to be home!
Mrs. Vander Leek ;)