24.12.2012 - 24.12.2012
View California, Alberta & British Columbia on petty1912's travel map.
It was 7 am that I awoke and it was pitch dark outside. The sun finally showed itself sometime between 8.30am and 9am. It revealed the most spectacular mountains covered in conifers and snow.
We are staying at the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel or The Castle as it is known. Most people have seen pictures of it in magazines or in the Scenic or Trafalgar Tours ads. It is huge and very easy to get lost. After looking around the main building we thought it might be good to go outside and have a look see.
Going on this expedition meant it took us all 15 to 20 minutes to put on all the layers of clothing to keep us warm against the elements. While we did that, being outside for more than an hour at a time meant that you got cold because most of the time the sun is obscured by the mountains or clouds. So the shade is freezing, and we seem to be always out in the shade.
Paul and Sam felt brave and went tobogganing while the rest of us decided t o explore downtown. It is Christmas Eve and the main street Banff Avenue is full of tourists and locals alike. This town has wall to wall gift/souvenir shops. It is neat and tidy and very pretty. Mountains all around.
We were travel weary today, so we didn't wander far. Pat was still cranky and just wants to go home. Sam wants to stay in the snow forever. With that in mind we decided that we needed to have fun, so we went bowling. The hotel has it's own bowling centre which is a little different to what we are used to. The balls are smaller with no finger holes and you get to bowl 3 balls not 2 per turn. In typical Petersen fashion is was bowling for "sheep stations".
The boys hate to lose and it is all very serious when things aren't going their way. So much for the fun idea. Personally I didn't come last as I always do, so I was happy. After a evening of wrapping presents and sneaking between rooms I wasn't going to be happy for long. At midnight our neighbours decided to return to their room and party on. At 2.15 am I called security.
I am dog tired and hoping that the promise of the White Christmas that should arrive in the morning, will make everything alright. Missing our Family back home and thinking of them enjoying a Christmas without us.
Merry Christmas everyone!