The intricate traces of my breath gently curl away into nothing as I gaze out at the surrounding panoramic vista from my vantage point at the top of the world. There is truly something about being in the mountains that really causes you to step back from the immediacy of our temporal world for a moment and reflect on life and consider your position within it. I was fortunate to be able to spend a weekend with my friends Barb and Mitch to celebrate Mitch's birthday in Banff. After a pleasant four and a half hour drive, I arrived at the Hidden Ridge Resort, which is a lovely, secluded lodging tucked neatly away on Tunnel Mountain and met up with Mitch and Barb. We chatted for a little while, then went to bed to prepare for our big day on the slopes. The following morning, we packed our gear and drove down to Lake Louise to enjoy a day on the backside of the mountain skiing, snowboarding, eating at Temple Lodge, and just taking in the spectacular view.
After a wonderfully exhausting day on the hill, we thought it was definitely time to enjoy the outdoor hot tub and the sauna at our resort. Feeling refreshed and reenergized we drove into Banff for Mitch's birthday dinner at the Maple Leaf on Banff Ave. The atmosphere, food, and dessert was absolutely exquisite as it always is there.
We decided to sleep in the following day and then do a bit of exploring in Banff and, of course, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. A stunning castle, beautifully decorated, nestled within the snow-covered Rocky Mountains.. who could ask for a more perfect setting to spend a day reconnoitring. Like a walk through the imaginary mansion setting of "Clue", minus the dice, we examined the magnificent stone staircase, danced through the Ballroom, navigated several enchanting dining rooms, surveyed the grounds, and even checked out the conservatory for good measure. It actually looks like the conservatory on the "Clue " game board, except it even has a piano, and possibly an underground tunnel to the lounge.
We then spent the rest of the day in and out of stores, restaurants, and coffee shops along Banff Ave, before embarking on the late night drive home with nothing but the music, the road, and great memories of time well spent to keep us company.