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 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 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!


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.


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!


Anniversary Trip: The Road to Jasper and Our Rental Cabin

Hi there!  I hope everyone had a great weekend?  Man, three day weekends are awesome, but boy, oh, boy do they suck too!  They are so bittersweet.  I know, I should stop complaining before someone who didn't have yesterday off (like my husband) throws something at my head.  Anyway, I spent my extra day off tidying up a bit, watching The Wind Rises (snuggled up on the couch with the dogs) and editing photos, which means I have several more anniversary trip blog posts lined up.

Last time I left off we had just left Peyto Lake and we were continuing up the Icefields Parkway toward Jasper.  We stopped a couple more times along the way, mostly just at little turn-offs, before we made it to the cabin where we'd be spending the next 3 nights (one of which was our anniversary)...
I don't know what made us stop here.  It was just a little pull-off that had a little trail leading off of it, so we hiked down a bit to a stream with a pretty view of the mountains.  And I was of course paranoid of running into a bear the whole time!
The little trail.
More pull-offs with pretty views!
Another pull-off just before we made it to the cabin.

We finally made it to our cabin and we were both blown away!  It was definitely our most extravagant lodging of our trip, though we definitely went a little bit crazier than our usual trips!  But it was our anniversary, so we thought it was warranted...
We found this beauty on HomeAway and it was so beautiful and secluded, tucked in the woods just north of Jasper.  
The front door.
The livingroom, aren't the windows insane?!
You can kind of see the fireplace off to the right, it was beautiful and toasty.  The stairs in the center led up to the two loft bedrooms and the master bathroom.
The downstairs bathroom.
The dining room, and the door to the right held the washer and dryer.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the kitchen, which was large and had a big island in the middle with additional seating.  We spent a fair amount of the time in the kitchen, cooking all our meals, including our anniversary dinner/desert of pizza and bananas foster (what we had in Hawaii after we got hitched)!

We really enjoyed staying in this cabin!  It was so peaceful and serene that we actually spent our whole anniversary day indoors, relaxing.  It was wonderful.  Next time (and the time after that too) I'll share some more from our anniversary trip and our explorations in and around Jasper National Park.  Until then, have a great rest of your Tuesday!