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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Salted Air

Vibrant red earthy soil, breezy salted air , live lobsters dipped in melted butter, are things I love about the Maritime. It is a distinct frontier of Canada, tucked away in the sleeve of  the Atlantic.  There are no fancy restaurants or glamourous hotels, but it offers the beauty of nature untouched by man and  a priceless sense of tranquility. Retracing the footsteps of Lucy Montgomery through the Haunted Forest and Lovers Road made me believe I am quite suit in being the country girl. 

On our way to the Maritime we also past by Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. One of my highlights is the New France Festivals. Every year in the bright summer of Old Quebec, there hosted a New France Festival .  Metis warriors, elegant French Ladies with their laced umbrellas, and the odd Johnny Depp strides the cobble streets. Adorned with the soothing harp music and bustling street vendors this historic military fortress became a gem of the city, adored by locals and tourists alike. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Brand Name

It is trust. It is quality. It is reliability. That makes a name a brand name. Reputation is our brand. In the beginning, it is not worth much, but as we invest love, wisdom, endurance to it, the return is great. It is the details that define us as outstanding, no longer anonymous.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bon Voyage

Day 2

 I opened the curtains of our room, and saw several tourists frantically snapping photos at our hotel sign. When I observed a little longer I soon saw that they are shooting three deers, whom were taking a leisure stroll right in front of our hotel. It just made me smile, knowing  the beauty of nature is within our reach.  We ventured to Mt. Sulphur for a gondola ride. Mt. Sulphur is the tallest mountain in Banff National Park, with an elevation of 2281 meters. It got its name in 1916 from the hot springs found on its lower slopes.  From Mt. Sulphur we where able to see other mountains including Mt. Tunnel ~ 

Day 3

 We joined the Sundog tour, which takes us from Banff to Jasper. At the early stages of planning this trip, both Anthonia and I were determined not to join any tour. But at the end I was glad we did, and I highly recommend it for other people. Actually this was my first time joining a Caucasian tour. I must admit it was by far more enjoyable then Chinese ones. The tour took us to the famous lake Louise, Columbia Ice field, and made several stops along the way at various lakes and waterfalls. Our driver even pointed a family of mountain goat to us, while driving 100 km on the highway. 

 I was expecting a large tour bus, so when a humble van showed up in-front of the hotel, I was pleasantly surprised. Just two other passengers, a retired school teacher, and a master wine expert were on the tour with us. Our driver was actually a professional hiking guide. The atmosphere was very friendly and comfortable.  The wine master was a real gentleman, putting down the stool for us girls to get off the vehicle  . 

We stayed at Sawridge Inn during our Jasper visit. It was a little dated, but it was very clean, and bright from the numerous moon windows. The receptionists were all very helpful, recommending me for various horse rides, and even phoning the stables for me. All the rooms in the hotel are faced to the Jacuzzi and indoor pool which nest in the centre of the hotel. 

Jasper was not as commercialized as Banff. I found walking the streets after dinner very frightening, especially with the "October decor" if you know what I mean. Nonetheless we got back to the hotel safe and sound. 

Day 4

 While we were enjoying our breakfast in our cozy room, the stable phoned and announced that we have " disgusting weather" composed of snow, slush and strong wind. We had no choice but to postpone my much anticipated horse back ride. After wrapping layers and layers of clothes on, we decided to brave the snow and went on the 4 hour hike. I did regret going, but my dear friend was so in awe at the snow. It was fun just watching her. 

Day 5 
It was the last day. Wrote some post cards early in the morning. There is actually a little red metal mail box at the entrance of our hotel. 

We tried contacting the stable again without success.  So after we left the luggage with grey hound station, we tried to hike to old fort point. We didn't get that far but sighted some mule deers along the railroad track!!! We could get fairly close because there was a train passing through, and the mule deers were forced to stay where they are. 

I found their white buttocks to be the cutest thing~ 
The mountains were all white after a day of snow but the city remains autumn like.

Thanks for viewing~ and Special Thanks to Anthonia for being the most wonderful tripmate~

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A sweetness from France~ Crème brûlée

Just egg yolks, whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar and ta da you have Crème brûlée; a 
 sophisticated dessert that plays with contrast, burnt vs chill,  creamy vs. crispy. I think
Crème brûlée sounds so classy , but it actually means " burnt cream" in French. Nonetheless it is surprisingly delicious to eat, and tones of fun to make. Everyone loves lighting their own dessert with the blow torch~ how cool is that! 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Aftertaste

It was like fine dinning, one that takes hours to appreciate and digest. The starters, entree, cocktails, and  desserts were all thoughtfully prepared with love.  You are left with an aftertaste of contentment and comfort. That is the feeling I got thinking back on the wonderful trip I had with her. 

 We travelled Bali, Indonesia one year ago. Exotic fire dances, talkative  taxi drivers, mischievous " monkeys thieves" were some of the highlights of our summer trip. This year we decided to hit the road  aiming for an opposite experience, so off to the vibrant Autumn in Banff and Jasper it is. 

We rode the greyhound bus from Vancouver Main terminal station at  6pm. I was a bit frightened by Greyhound buses due to the " head chopping" incident, but I was soon put to ease by the alert and authoritative drivers, whom can recognize all the passengers' faces. He even managed to catch a penniless guy who tried to sneak on the bus during one of the 10 min rest stops at 3am in the morning. We arrived at Banff station 9am a little noxious, but after a energy boost of apple cider and raspberry scone, we were more than ready to venture this charming town. 

Our first stop was the Cascade garden, an enchanting place with antique architect and landscape. We then challenged the lowest peak of Banff, Mt. Tunnel. The view was more stunning then I could have ever asked for. On our way there we even saw a wedding reception held at the Kinnear Center. The couple celebrated their big day with the autumn leaves and snowy mountain as a backdrop. It was like a scene in the movies~ 

That concludes my highlights of day 1 stay tuned for more entries ~