I had never spent more than a couple of hours in Canada before this trip. I had gone over the border a couple of times, just long enough to grab a few foreign coins and think I was funny to order Canadian bacon on my pizza. But we were looking for a winter adventure and as you know, Winter Adventure is Canada's middle name. So we packed our bags for the Great White North!
1. Banff: The place where 2 out of 3 people are carrying skis, and 3 out of 3 people look more legit in their outerwear than you do.
I absolutely LOVE this town. From the moment you drive in and see the gorgeous view down Banff Ave., you can't help but love it. The people are unreasonably kind and everything looks like it should be on the front of an outdoor magazine. The views aren't too shabby either.
2. Lake Minnewanka: we took our trusty rental Buick out for a scenic drive and stumbled upon beautiful Lake Minnewanka. And by lake, I mean flat field of snow. We didn't totally realize that all the beautiful aqua lakes we'd seen pictures of were frozen over and covered in snow. So we accidentally missed most of them....oops. Canada, we'll be back in the summer.
3. The Icefields Parkway: hello, gorgeous. I don't even have the words to describe this place. The Icefields Parkway is the road between Banff National Park and Jasper National Park and it is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It's risky business driving this thing in a little Buick with no snow tires....in avalanche country....with not another soul for kilometers. So of course that's what we did.
4. Athabasca Glacier: hands down one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I knew there was an ice cave inside the glacier somewhere so we put our spikes on and set out to find it. The hike to the cave included multiple falls through waist-deep snow and 360 degree views of wild beauty the entire time. Holy cow.
5. Johnston Canyon: waterfalls that were - you guessed it - frozen! :)
6. Lake Louise: this place is absolutely dreamy. It's so beautiful and peaceful and feels like you're a million miles away from everything. Walking on the lake and right up to the mountains was pretty amazing.