Curling is so Canadian. If you visit any small towns in rural Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario and they are bound to have a curling rink. It's a social sport. I love curling, but curling sober is kind of like ice-fishing sober. :) Either way, it's a heckuva' lot of fun - but seriously, it took me 5 days to recover from 1 hour of curling. For a girl who can seldom even get close to touching her toes, curling was a major stretch. Maybe I need to drink more to be good at this sport. But I digress.
Getting outside when it's cold outside is a Canadian thing. Skating, tobogganing, building forts in the snow, throwing snowballs, cross country skiing and ice fishing are all the fun kind of things that I did as a kid and I was a city kid. Once, I even had an "accidental drunk" when I was ice fishing with my dad - but that's another story. All I can say is: Tia Maria and Coffee sure do taste good when your toes are frozen. This past week, I did my duty as a good Canadian and embraced winter in a variety of different ways.
After a hard afternoon of curling, we headed up to Lake Louise for our company Christmas Party and a great night at Deer Lodge. It was a pleasure to wake up in Lake Louise and have a long slow breakfast and coffee at the lodge before beginning our day. Decadent in fact. Hey, Guys Out There! If you want a romantic night with your lady, take her to Deer Lodge for a night in winter. It's historic, charming and aaaaawesome. After many cups of coffee, we headed out into a frigid, clear and cold Lake Louise morning. Man, no matter how many times I visit Lake Louise - it still blows my socks off. On this day, we were surprised when we woke up to see such a perfect day.
BAM! Hello, Lake Louise
On this fine, beautiful cold Friday in December - there were only 2 other cars in the parking lot at Lake Louise. If you've ever been to Lake Louise in the summer months - you will find 3 football field sized parking lots that are usually FULL. For a crowd intolerant person like me, it was sweet bliss.
We made it back to the house just in for a quick hot-tub before our weekend guests rolled in. Erin Fields-Delude (a member of our extended Trans-Rockies Run family) came for a weekend visit and brought the whole family. It was an awesome weekend spent running and hangin' with Erin, Donovan and Drake. This family rocks! We went for a couple of great runs - but the cold temperatures meant my camera wasn't cooperating for taking pictures. So, no sexy photos of Erin and I bundled up in multitudes of wooly layers running with the speed and grace of wooly mammoths. After the run, we warmed up with a trip up to the Banff Upper Hot Springs - a must-do for the family on a cold winter day.
In retrospect, I think Erin and her family should be honorary Canadians. They like to play outside when it's cold and they practically live on the border in Northern Idaho. Heck, both of them were raised in North and South Dakota and that's got to count for something. I reckon, they might as well be Canadians! It was a fun weekend spent in good company.
Finally, this past Tuesday night was Winter Solstice (thank Gaaawd, the days will be getting longer!) and the lunar eclipse. Evidently, the next one isn't for another 84 years! I was trying to convince myself to get up in the middle of the night, but it was really cold out. I went to bed without setting my alarm. Fortunately I woke up to pee in the middle of the night - and when I looked at the clock it was 1:15. The peak of the red color of this Eclipse was supposed to be at 1:15!! Woohoo!
I ran downstairs in my fuzzy bathrobe, put on my fuzzy boots and topped it all off with my ridiculous full length hooded puffy jacket. I was naked underneath it all, but I was surprisingly cozy on this -25C winter's night. First, I went out in to my backyard - but no such luck - the tall trees were obstructing my view of the moon. So, now I was awake and determined. I went out the front door, down the block, through the woods and out to my favorite view point in Middle Springs. It's really only minutes out the door, but it felt pretty hilarious running around the neighborhood, in my fuzzy robe. As I walked down the boardwalk, the first thing that caught my attention was Mount Rundle glowing white and snowy under the moonlight. When I finally glanced skyward, there it was: glowing red under the freezing night sky and a milky way of a million stars the moon was shining brightly red. It was worth every moment of my naked, fuzzy robed sprint on this freezing cold evening.
Thank-you Mother Nature for delivering my the the Goods this week - you never cease to amaze me. And heck yeah, I'm a proud Canadian. Now go take your kids outside to play. Even if it's cold outside.
And oh yeah, have yourselves a Merry little Christmas!
Walking to work on Tuesday: Mount Rundle and the Bow River