Good Morning & Farewell

Here we are back in Jasper for the last lap of luxury before the long portion of training. We’ve been getting ready because space is limited and we carry three nights of supplies. No internet until Toronto. I will check in then before the flight to SA. We will separate from the group in Toronto when they go visit friends. I have to see the CN Tower and eat at Lee. 

   
    
 

Everywhere on earth has something to see

Banff is a gem on Rocky Mountain fun and we are taking advantage of the great hospitality and awesome environ! 

 
Our hotel, again! Magical.

  
Others took the gondola, but I hiked. Just kidding. Borrowed the props from a hiker wanting me to take her pic.

 
These are hoodoos😝

   
    
Kate and I catching up. Where is Al? You guessed it.

 

It was only a matter of time. 
 
 

   
What is not to love?

Rocky Mountain splendor

Photos cannot show nature’s majesty. Al and I are in awe of this opportunity to share this area with friends. Jasper was quaint, remote and gorgeous. Now we are at a Fairmont “castle” at Lake Louise and all you can say is, Wow!

But first, we have to talk about the beautiful drive from Jasper to Lake Louise with too many scenic spots to note. We’ve seen a few glaciers in our time, but never one as accessible as the Columbia ice field glacier.  Though earth can boast over 200,000 glaciers, many have a life expectancy of less than 100 years so sorry we were driving all over this one😳 


   
 
What I loved about this glacier is that it is a triwatershed glacier eventually feeding rivers and streams until it delivers water to three oceans and they are the Atlantic, Pacific and Artic. Plus it has a tremendous ice field and an ice field must have at least to glaciers feeding in. Canadians feel this is the only triwatershed glacier in the world and thank God we had no Siberians in our group!
   
So far, we’ve travelled from Vancouver through many towns along the way. The train took as far as Jasper and we will return to that conveyance in a couple of days after we tour Banff currently by motor coach (bus.) They reckon 80-90% of Canadians live with in 200 miles of the U.S. Boarder so we expect to meet lots of folks. 

   
The hotel was an oasis for me. I needed to recharge and get my mojo back. I didn’t even play in the snowball fight with the Aussies from the train.

More snooping has revealed Bo is not the only Fairmont employee. There are dozens of yellow labs with this job around the globe for guests missing their dogs. Don’t tell our little Samantha the panther that. She would be annoyed and I am missing her.

  
My Sammy and a friend at home in Kerrville awhile back.z  

Training!

We boarded the train yesterday in Vancouver.

Sleeper car through the night to Jasper, Alberta. The overnight was a hoot and there was absolutely NO discussion who took top bunk!

Skylight  viewing only daytime.  

Pyramid Falls over 347 meters tall!

 

   
Al missing some of the breathtaking scenery.😳

    
We are overnighting Jasper Lodge in Jasper National Lodge. What could be more gorgeous than this lodge. Great golf course, but no time & no clubs. Me 😐 Al 😩

  

This is right in front of our cabin and the rest are the grounds.
  
    
 
Tomorrow is an early departure to Lake Louise.

Moving Day

We are packing up and heading toward The Four Seasons across the street from the Fairmont where the gang will be drifting in all day. Al has reservations at a great restaurant tonight that is very different from the small local hangouts we’ve been seeking.

We did go to Yoga every single day and fell in love with everyone there. Vancouver has offered us great food, nice people and miles of intriguing walks everyday. The attitude of the people is awesome. They recycle everything! The city is big, busy and tidy as it can be.
http://www.yyoga.ca

Yyoga has an incrdeble facility with built in Spa, complementary tea room as well as huge spaces to bathe, dress and ……

   
 
We did not attend a spin class nor did we join the Bikram studio (not pictured.

Filtered water.
  
Zenful Al with a cuppa.

 

Sorry to Mary Ann for not getting a photo of our VRBO. Al will give you the website with great photos. It was a knockout for location with neighbors willing to help with anything.

Awww! The Four Seasons! So nice. Al paid extra to get a king sized bed and that was good. I came down with a sore throat and needed some serious ZZZZ’s

   
The Clinic was as nice and clean as the rest of Vancouver and they were most apologetic about the half hour wait!😳 We’re good to go and back on the move. 

  
Only one thing on earth that could quick start immediate health restoration and ,Dot, you know what it is. Vietnamese Phó.  I’m better already. Vancouver serves this dish that rivals what we enjoyed in Saigon. OK, Ho Chi Minh City.
 
Let this Train Trip begin. Characters arriving. Spirits are high. The Rickards joined us for great Italian seafood and Jazz.

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Vancouver does not disappoint

Yesterday the weather continued to be cool with overcast skies and showers. We enjoyed Yyoga and we have a  new teacher everyday. The classes run about 20 plus people, but the atmosphere is not conducive to whipping out the IPhone for pics.

We spent quite awhile enjoying a wonderful exhibition at The Vancouver Art Gallery on loan from Glascow. The paintings were mostly from Italian painters. It reminded us of our fantastic walking tour of Tuscany and time in Rome. 

After reminiscing about that trip we were excited to hear from those dear friends from Aberdeen. They are planning another walking tour for July! More later.

The exhibition we could photograph was a strange one from local beloved artist, Jeffery Farmer. Enjoy.

   

  


This exhibition was depicting the sounds, sights and world while Frank Zappa was alive. It moves and changes constantly. I asked where the yellow snow was and was told the piece only reflects the world he would have been influenced by, not his actual work.😳

The other art represents the first 2,000 years of the history of the world. The real fun was letting the local enthusiasts brag on Mr. Farmer.

  


Last night we enjoyed a lot of laughs at a club called Comedy Mix and it was fun. The people here are so friendly you always feel part of the group and that is enjoyable as well. The show was hilarious and reminded us Canada’s great contribution to comedy. It seems like most of the greats are Canadian. Don’t believe? Google top funny people and see for yourself.😘

  
Today we have lots to finish on our list, but we also plan to get ready for training!

Stanley Park, Granville Island and more City Walking

Both Stanley Park and Granville Island ( not really an island) are the two most visited places in Vancouver. We haven’t walked the entire sea wall yet, but we will.

   
    
 
We also had quite a walk about ChinaTown and Gastown. Gastown was the spot where they gathered under a big tree and decided on the name Vancouver. It is a lovely spot of restaurants, shops and pubs to date. The gardens are named after Dr. Sun Yat-Sen who is considered the father of modern China.

   
    
    
Ovaltine Cafe!

    
   
And we closed out the evening “in the pink” and happy.

  

Settled in & the weather is rainy!

  
 This is the doorman at our condo. He isn’t very friendly nor helpful, but he is always there for me. Yes, the dress code for the day is Helly Hansen rain gear and the activity is walking. We start each day with a relaxed morning and then Yoga at Yyoga. The girls love Al and brag on his technique and good posture. You’d have to be here to hear his responses and watch him beam with the aura of yogic pride.
Gary and Jane are heading home, but not before we got to join them with friends at a great Italian restaurant a walk along English Bay.
  
EATING!
Ethnic foods, pubs, live music etc are things we adore. So far, we’ve had salmon(required,) Japanese food, Korean, Italian and wonderful sea food or is that see food?!?
   

   

  

  

These 14 laughing men are made by artist Yue Minjun to look like himself. The group of statues are called A-mazing  laughter and they are fun. The exhibit was on loan, but the owner of Lululemon paid $1.5 million dollars to make their permanent home Vancouver.     

  
I told you the gang will be staying at the Fairmont when they arrive, but I have to include a photo of “Bo” who will be greeting them and checking them in. Alex is using the Fairmont as his personal concierge and they have been exceptionally good sports about it.

  
  

Stanley Park Part 1

We continue to enjoy casual mornings before yoga and the day. The best way to enjoy Stanley Park is no doubt on bicycles, but rain has put us on the open air hop on and off trolley. It is cold and we continue to dress in rain gear.
The guides boast Stanley Park to be the 2nd largest park in the world. This is amusing because we’ve heard that many times running around other parks like Central Park NYC, King’s Park Perth, Moscow and don’t forget Texas if you want to have a good old fashioned whose got the big park debate. It is all in good fun and truth is who doesn’t love giant parks full of fun and activity?
     

    
   
 The earth covered convention center is privately owned so no peeks inside. It was built like many fantastic facilities for the 2010 Olympics. It protects endangered bee hives and some produce is grown on top. It gives literal meaning to dinner is on the house tonight😜

    

They also have a huge heated outdoor swimming pool right by the sea and an indoor Olympic sized pool with a glass top. We’re not partaking in the swims this trip.
   

  

This is Lions Gate Bridge that leads to the highest real estate in Vancouver hosting large single dwelling homes. We have help in not getting lost here because the mountains are always North.
    

 Light on eating. Salad for lunch and Tom Yum soup for dinner. Most calories consumed were liquid at a new Pub for us called the Winking Judge😜
Watch out for bear hugs, eh!
    

 

Vancouver, eh!

  
Alex has updated my blog so excuse our progress (delay.) Here is the man doing his famous airport yoga in San Antonio prepping for the adventure.

   
 
Very first night and we already ran into Jane and Gary Garbish our Canadian team from Kerrville. We found a happy hour with half price drinks and eats. 

  
We will be staying in many Fairmont Hotels once training begins just like this one. However, it was full the first night of the great train ride adventure so they will be putting us up at the Four Seasons. In meantime we are centrally located in a VRBO flat in Vancouver this first week.

Today we shopped for condo supplies and Al bought a new workout wardrobe for golf and Yoga. You are welcome for me not posting those photos!😜