Saturday, June 16, 2012

Home from the Mountains

I'm back! I'm home! I was gone for a week on vacation, but now I'm back to writing!
Why couldn't I write while I was on vacation? (Goodness knows I would have had plenty to write about!) Because I was in the mountains! I had no internet access all week and I enjoyed every minute of it!

About 20 years ago my parents started the annual tradition of going out to this timeshare on Pigeon Mountain. My grandparents owned the timeshare but let my family borrow it each year and eventually my parents ended up buying their own timeshare. And this past Christmas, Matt and I decided to buy in, too! This is where we got married as well so it has quite the significance for us.

It was a crazy week that was filled with everything from frisbee golf to kite flying, and while I won't bore you with all the details, I will mention a couple of my favorite parts from the week!

My first 'favorite' actually happened on our first day. We had about a 3 hour drive ahead of us and couldn't check in until 4:00, but were still eager to get our day started, so we headed into Calgary and visited Spruce Meadows for their Nationals tournament. I had always been under the impression that Spruce Meadows was a hoity-toity place that frowned upon children and would cost an arm and a leg to visit, but I was so totally wrong. Not only do they offer free parking, free admission for kids under 12 and $5 admission for adults, but when there are no set tournaments running, it's free to come in and use their grounds. Pet are even allowed on leash - even at tournaments! This particular tournament was a biggie, so there were performers around the grounds, dog rally events, a huge tent filled with vendors, exhibits on the Diamond Jubilee and art displays and a lot of food. Oh, and a whole field filled with bouncy castles and free pony rides for the kids! It was wonderful! We were unfortunately running behind in our day so we didn't have time for everything, but we spent 2 and a half hours there and could have spent twice as mujch time there happily. Gabe in particular asked to go back and watch the horsies jump one more time before we left and he was quite content to just sit on the grass and watch.

My second 'favorite' is actually not an event, but things that I bought! Shopping is always on our 'to do' list in the mountains - both for Canmore and Banff. In Canmore I got to hit up two great little shops that had just what I wanted. The first is their specialty kitchen store, Kitchen Boutique. Since I sell Pampered Chef products I don't buy anything that I could order through them, but I did come across something that was just what I needed, and which Pampered Chef doesn't sell: a Ravioli Stamp. I've been wanting to make my own pasta - ravioli in particular - but I've been humming and hawing over whether or not to get a pasta roller. I wouldn't go to all the effort for plain linguine, and without a ravioli tray or stamp I wasn't going to bother trying. But here it was! A beautiful square stamp with a wooden handle that will be perfect for making pockets of yumminess! I can't wait to use it!
The second store that I hit the jackpot in was StoneWaters - a local high-end homewares store. I wanted to just pop in and look like I always do, even though I'd never bought anything from there (but if I had $5000 for a hand carved bunkbed, I totally would have!) and as we were rounding the corner my darling husband said, "Oh look - they have Sophie Conran for Portmerion dishes." Now, it's possible he just read the box and didn't really remember the name, but he recognized the box - not even just the dishes! I love him. Anyway, I was more than thrilled to see it, especially when I saw what a huge selection they had! The store in town that I've bought stuff from has such a limited selection that when I asked about my egg cups they said I'd have to special order them! This place, however, had them. Granted, I was a bit up in the air about whether to get the egg cups, the brulee ramekins or the mortar and pestel, but my first love won out - I got the egg cups. Those I hardly have to wait before I'll use since I'll be breaking those out for Father's Day breakfast tomorrow morning!

Well, I'm glad to be home. It was a great week, and it's always a delight in the mountains, but it's always best to be home!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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