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2/05/2016

Anniversary Trip: Athabasca Falls

Hi again!  I don't know about you, but I'm so glad it's Friday, not only because it's been a long week, but also because Antoine and I are headed to Nashville tomorrow for a concert and a little pre-birthday celebrating!  Neither of us have really spent any time in Nashville (except for just passing through), and though we're only going to be there one night I'm really looking forward to a little fun.

Anyway, back to Canada.  After a couple days in Jasper we made our way back down the Icefields Hwy toward Yoho National Park.  Along the way we decided to check out several popular waterfalls, and the first one we stopped at was the Athabasca Falls.  These falls are just a short drive off the highway and are totally worth the stop!
The Athabasca Falls are very accessible from the parking lot and don't take any real hiking to get to...in fact, most of the areas surrounding the falls are paved.  Though there are some paths surrounding that are not.
What I liked about these falls were that you could view them from so many vantage points.  The falls ran through this little alley of stone and there were bridges and paths so that you could see it from different angles.
Plus the forest that surrounded the falls was so pretty and mossy.
In this photo you get an idea of just how many vantage points there are to view the falls from, which is just great!  Plus, a rainbow!
And then we were off again, back in the car to go look for more waterfalls!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

1/29/2016

Anniversary Trip: Maligne Lake

Happy Friday!  It's been a long week (make that couple of weeks) and I'm certainly looking forward to the weekend.  I've got plans with friends, plans to workout, and plans to bake...and I'm actually looking forward to all three!

In my last post about our anniversary trip I shared photos from Patricia and Pyramid Lake and photos of the mama black bear with her cubs.  This time I have photos from Maligne Lake, which is a little over an hours drive, south-east of Jasper.  The road to the lake winds up through the mountains and despite the fact that it was getting a bit cloudy, we had a great time stopping and exploring along the way...
Not sure what this lake was called, but it wasn't too big and was just a pull-off along the way to Maligne Lake.

Once we made it to Maligne Lake, we decided to take a little hike part way around the lake to stretch our legs and explore.
There was so much of this crazy, bright yellow-green moss all along the lake, it was so neat!
Obsessed much?

On our way back down the winding road that led to Maligne Lake we spotted a couple cars pulled over to the side of the road and a group of guys with huge cameras out snapping photos, so we pulled over.  At first I was hesitant to get out of the car, but then I saw what they were photographing...a large female moose sitting in the woods...
Since she was sitting up on a hill in the woods we decided to get out of the car to get close enough for me to take a photo, but cautiously.  I definitely didn't want to disrupt her at all.  I snapped a couple photos of her before she started to stand...at which point I told Antoine we had to go back to the car.  I don't want to be face to face with a grumpy moose!  Luckily for us, she just stood and headed further up into the woods.
This was both mine and Antoine's first time seeing a moose in person...it was kind of amazing, even though she was pretty far away and laying down most of the time!

That's all for now.  I have more to share for next week, so stay tuned!  Happy weekend, everyone!

1/27/2016

My Grandpa

A week ago today I found out that my grandpa had passed away.  The past week has been rough for my family and me.  My grandpa, William Bruce Jr., was a well loved and respected man.  He was a WWII veteran, a leader in the Boy Scouts, a father of three, grandfather of four, great grandfather, and devoted husband of almost 70 years; and so much more!  He lived a full, rich 92 years and was one of the sharpest and smartest people I have ever known.
Grandpa at work in the Army Airway Communication System during WWII.

Antoine and I made our way to the Cleveland area the day following the news to be with family.  We had been asked by one of my aunts to scan some photos of grandpa for a slide show, so we spent most of Friday going through albums upon albums with my grandma and mom and scanning any photos of him we could find.  I cherished that day.  I got to see so many photos I had never seen before and hear stories about my grandparents that these photos brought to life.  It was an incredibly fulfilling day for me and greatly helped the grieving process.  We scanned over a hundred photos that day, but I'd like to share some of my favorites with you now.
My favorite photo of grandpa and I, taken when I was about 3 years old.  

My grandpa and grandma, before my grandpa headed off to war and before they were married.

Antoine and I also scanned a bunch of news clippings, several poems my grandpa had written, and this letter from my grandpa to my grandma, in which he asks her to marry him while he's serving over in Europe during the war and she's back in Amherst, OH.  How amazing is that?!

Newly married after grandpa returned from the war.

My grandparents both loved the outdoors and traveling!  My grandpa had been to all but three of the US states, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska...all of which I think he would have absolutely loved.

He loved to fish, play cards (and he was crazy good at it!), do word puzzles, and cross-stitch.  In fact, he taught me how to cross-stitch and play pool when I was a little girl.

Another favorite photo of grandpa and me, out of focus, but who cares!

My grandparents both mean so much to me.  They both taught me so many things and I have such fond memories of spending summers with them.  As I grew up, they encouraged my studies and intently listened about my job or my/our travels.  My favorite part was when they would tell me stories about their adventures.  I can't imagine not having him around.  There is an obvious void now in my family that cannot be filled, but the photos and the memories help.  Before leaving my grandma's house I boxed up nearly all her albums so that I can begin the process of scanning all her photos (which is a lot!).  While it will be a long process, it will also be a rewarding one and, I hope, it will offer some more closure for me and my family.

1/21/2016

Anniversary Trip: Patricia Lake & Pyramid Lake

For our first journey away from the cabin we headed back through the town of Jasper (where we had picked up groceries on our way to the cabin) and slightly north to Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake.  These lakes were fairly free of any crowds whatsoever, which was very nice.
Patricia Lake.  We lucked out with yet another beautiful day to explore!
Pyramid Lake.

On our way back down the mountain toward the town of Jasper, we lucked out again with a couple more animal sightings...
First, these guys munching on some delicious vegetation near the side of the road.
Then this guy being smart and heading away from the road and into the woods.
Then we had our second and final bear sighting of the trip; three for the price of one...
A mama black bear and her two adorable cubs! 
How cute is he/she?!
We were so close to them, just on the other side of the street, it was so exciting!  And all from the safety of our car, which made me very happy!

Stay tuned next time for more Jasper National Park goodness.  Until then, happy weekend everyone!