Saturday, 11 January 2014

Four becomes Three - The Wolves of House Yamnuska!

Yesterday Colin and I had a lazy one! We slept in after our last dance night and a few too many delicious grizzly shots! After a day of snowboarding and a night of dancing, we started planning the boring logistics of our home coming.

It was good though, we also made lunch for Sarah and John just chatting and chilling! Which was so nice and soooooo yum! But yeah, it wasn't too adventurous unless you count heading up to the Chateau for ice skating on the lake. This was my second time iceskating ever! My first time was the week before, I have been umming and ahhhing at skating for weeks, renting skates, watching but never getting the courage to go out and skate!

Finally Colin stayed in shoes and walked me around the Lake Louise Inn ice rink. It was so perfect! If you have never skated before, I recommend going around with a chair or someone holding you. By the end of that night I was going around by myself holding onto a hockey stick. Also a hockey stick helps a lot!

But all in all, last night we skated for the first time on Lake Louise together! Absolutely AWESOME!!

Today was so much more adventurous!! Colin and I organised to go to Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. We were recommended to go there from a few friends who have also left Lake Louise. It was an awesome recommendation! We booked our tour yesterday for 10:30am. So it gave us plenty of time to drive to Canmore, buy some things for our homecoming and then head out 20 minutes further down the highway. OH I couldn't believe I was seeing grass again, I haven't seen grass for months!

We met with Georgina our tour guide and were lucky enough to be the only ones booked for the tour! Georgina was such an inspirational person, she gave us a lot of information about the wolfdogs like how there is a massive misconception about wolves being aggressive. They aren't like the fairytales "big bad wolf", they are smart timid creatures that would run away from a human rather than attack. There are only maybe one wolf attack a year in Canada. They are very much like a Lynx, where they would hear humans and run and hide. It was very much the environment we were introduced to.

Basically we were to walk into the sanctuary, walk straight to the chairs ready for us and to sit there. The wolves are use to people in the chairs, its something they have become accustomed to but if the chairs are moved or someone is standing, they become more timid and weary to the situation they are not use to. But they were not dangerous, just timid! There were five total. The first was Nikki, she's the baby of the pack and is a low content wolfdog, meaning she has less wolf in her. This means she's more easily domesticated and more friendly towards people. She was the first one up to us, didn't even wait until we were in the gate to run up and want cuddles from us.

Kyra was the next gorgeous girl we met. She followed Nikki pretty quickly, and was giant and gorgeous!! She is a mid content wolfdog. Still so friendly but she takes a tiny bit longer to sniff you before letting you pat and cuddle her. She's a dog I would take home! They both knew some cool basic dog tricks and were very much a licking loving pair!

After they had their first sniffs and licks, they wandered to Kuna, the female high content wolfdog and their boss so she could suss is out a little before coming over. The three high content wolfdogs were Kuna, Zeus and Nova. Zeus and Nova being the only males. Their job is to make sure everything is safe but it's Kuna's job to keep the young girls in line. That's their wolf pack and they introduce more wolfdogs to the pack when they need to as well as other dogs. They are amazing animals!

Another difference between the high content wolfdogs and the mid-low is that they don't have that dog instinct to try and impress humans. You can call them a bad dog and give them reward treats but much like cats they won't change their ways to impress you. But they are smart enough to know how to get treats, so if they feel like it, they will hand shake and pee outside to get treats but they don't care if they get yelled at. They are in control.

Overall, we got to feed and pat the gorgeous animals, learn more about them and fall a bit in love with them! We took some photos but soon it was time to go before the weather went sour. I am so very happy we were able to have this experience! The wolfdogs were so stunning! I loved every moment of the tour!! I highly recommend going, its about $40 per person for an hour and the proceeds go towards looking after the wolves.

Loved every second! Thank you Georgina!! Check these guys out on their Facebook!!

Colin and I headed into Banff to use our free movie passes and then headed back to the Chateau to skate on the lake again! I am getting better :)


Friday, 10 January 2014

Five Days = Six Hours of Snowboarding!

With five days left and very soon I will need to hand in my staff pass! This means we need to ride our boards for the last time.

I have only ridden a hand full of times since being here, about a month ago I had a nasty stack that scared the bejesus out of me! Plus I was working 6 days a week with one day off, no ride breaks or time to ride, it really meant I wasn't getting any time to snowboard or learn how to ski!

So it was set! Thursday would be our last day of snowboarding! We chose Thursday due to how many friends had the day off and also because Colin doesn't have a free pass anymore so its an $84 lift ticket per day for him. One day is all we needed!

First thing we were up there on the Grizzly Gondola -- I was really nervous! But after that first nice long Deer Run, I had my confidence back and ready to push myself! Up the Glacier lift, down Wiwaxy, up again on the Gondola, down Pika to Temple. A drink break before heading up Ptarmigan, down Deer Run to Whitehorn for lunch with Dave and Scott! Had a little break and a delicious lunch with cocktails and a gorgeous view before riding again. The boys eventually got my confidence up to go to Top of the World! Always fun to have snow thrown on us by Gill coming off Glacier haha (memo to self: still need to get revenge). We were literally in the clouds at Top of the World, it was such a high to be up there! I was lucky to be wearing my low res lenses but I was still struggling to see anything!

Dave and Colin were amazing! They stayed close to me whilst I came down my first blue run at Lake Louise! I was a bit scared because of how high and steep the first part of Home Run was but I did so well! I didn't fall over once on my way down! It was awesome! Unfortunately Summit was closed we got there in the afternoon, it was getting late - I felt bad that Colin didn't get a chance to do it.

For our last run we went down Jerry's Jungle where I went through the trees! It was the most fun and stunning run I have ever done! It was so very beautiful! The trees were so high and full of snow, and because we were alone, it was like we were in a magical land, just the three of us. That led onto Upper Wiwaxy where we just slowly rode down nice and easy - by the time we were at the bottom it was nearly 4:30pm, we were the only ones left on the mountain. A perfect day of 6 hours riding. Something we really needed to do before we depart.

I saw the whole of the mountain and went on all but two lifts. I really wish I could of done more, you really need a few days to do the whole mountain but its good to end my snowboarding on a high note! Feeling amazing and confident on "Lake Louise Blue Runs", linking and snaking my turns and riding switch! I couldn't end it better than that!

My favourite runs of the day were Pika -- a lot of snowboarders say they don't like it because of how "flat" it was - but I found it amazing! It was a run so relaxing and cruisey where I could just snake and link my tuns the entire way down carving nice and slow. If your someone who loves to go fast and just zoom then probably not the right run for you but it was perfect for me! SO much beautiful scenery to view - why would you want to go through Pika fast? Do me a favour if your snowboarding in Lake Louise, stop and look at it all!! Take it all in!!

Jerry's Jungle!! Again -- stunning! It was just the most beautiful thing to ride through the trees. Its also really fun, like a natural half/quarter pipe, it just leads you through. I loved it! It was so so fun!! Definitely one of my favourites - a bit less relaxing and more adventurous.

Overall, it was perfect! Everything I wanted it to be!! I just wish I could of had more time to experience it again and again and more. The best part was, I did it all with Colin! He stayed with me the entire time  we were riding, always made sure I was ok and had fun! I know its corny but my absolute most favourite part of the day was when Colin and I were coming down Wiwaxy and we were both side by side, very close together on the flat of our boards riding in unison! It only lasted a moment of course but it was just so magical to be able to do that together!

A perfect last day of riding!

Six Days -- Beautiful Banff

We need to go to Banff, Lake Louise is gorgeous but there is so much more to do in Banff! Its a real tourist town and is so beautiful.

Because we had some free passes, we decided to take advantage and go for an adventure up to the Banff Hot Springs. We weren't intending to spend and hour and a half there because we wanted to ride the Banff Gondola, the day had cleared for beautiful sights at the top and I was so excited but unfortunately the Gondola is closed until the 17th of January due to maintenance. Its a little disappointing but we just had to do more with our new found adventure time!

So we swam around an empty natural hot spring pool for an hour! It was so ridiculously relaxing. There was ice around the pool as well, so we could pick large portions of ice off and rub it on our shoulders when we got too hot. I will mention that they only recommend swimming in the pools for 10 minutes due to the heat --- not for us Aussies though! We are use to it.

After feeling very relaxed with loosened shoulder muscles we ran to catch our bus back into town. We once again just walked through all the shops we loved, bought some maple syrup flavoured fudge, a Canada shirt from Roots Canada, and looked at all the beautiful art galleries that hold some amazing pieces of the native wildlife! A very relaxed day.

For lunch we went to Tony Roma's. The only reason we went there was because they claimed to make the best ribs! So we had to see if it were true, Colin and Scott both got ribs, I had the pulled pork sandwich. It was incredibly delicious and amazing! I highly recommend going there if you like ribs! They were juicy and falling off the bone! For dessert we had a 3 dessert taste tester, we chose one each -- the red velvet cake is my recommendation! But it was really strange, as we were waiting for the bill, a random man sat down with us and just starred for ages -- we were a bit freaked out -- he then snatched up the last little bit of cake and ate it in front of us before running off. It was the WEIRDEST experience EVER!!

At home we just relaxed with our friends and amped ourselves up for an awesome day of snowboarding.

Seven Days to Go

The end is neigh and there is something we have realised -- we got too comfortable! When you're working 6 days a week with maybe one day off, all you want to do is relax! Its been like that for the past month and now that we are no longer working and planning our trip home - the holiday is really starting all over again!

So here is the beginning!! We have 7 days! We leave next Tuesday and its time to start doing all the things we loved and want to do again and all the things we always wanted to do.. A lot to cram into a week plus packing but here we go!


Something silly but oh so much fun! If you are in Lake Louise, give it a go!! The guys will spin you hard and you just go skyrocketing down the hill and over the jumps! I honestly could not stop laughing - definitely an awesome way to end a gloomy Tuesday morning planning our trip home.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Years Eve and Our Great Demise

New Years Eve

Starting work nice and early at 8am we spent a fast passed new years eve working hard. By the time I got home… I had worked until 6:10pm and was completely nackered! I was suppose to finish at 4:30pm, so initially worked 10 hours!! My first thing was to lay down and do nothing. My thoughts honestly were on bed, I had a 10am start on new years day, so partying was the furthest thing! But then Bonnie and the girls came in to say hi and not too long after I was drink drink drinking in a skirt and crop top --- getting my summer clothes out in negative weather!

We started our night off in the empty common room with a giant table playing Kings of Cups! If you have never played this before, you should!! You need a deck of cards, loads of alcohol and a spare cup in the centre of the table. Spread the cards out around the cup in a mixed like fashion. The rules we played were as followed:

Ace - Waterfall (the person to pull the card starts drinking and everyone has to drink with him until he/she stops.
2 - Two for you! Nominate two people to drink or one person to drink twice.
3 - Three for me! Drink three times!
4 - Four for Whores!! All ladies drink.
5 - I have never! Everyone holds up three fingers, we go around the table playing I have never, until the first person has all three fingers down -- they drink three times.
6 - Six for dicks! All boys drink!
7 - Seven heaven, the person who pulls this card can hold their hand up at any time and the last person to catch on and puts their hand up drinks.
8 - Pick a mate! Pick one person, every time you drink for the rest of the game - they need to as well.
9 - Bust a rhyme! Say a word and everyone needs to rhyme to it but no repeats or slow comers. Drink!
10 - Categories. Pick a specific category, go around the table saying a word that relates to the category. You have10 seconds to pick yours! Slowest, repeat or not correct needs to drink.
Jack - Make a rule!! My favourite! You can make rules around the table that everyone needs to abide to or they drink! No names, stand up and turn around before picking a card, pinky up when drinking, etc.
Queen - Question master - who ever holds this card can ask anyone a question for the whole game, if you answer it you have to drink but if you say "Fuck you Question Master" they have to drink.
King - Pour a quarter of your drink into the centre cup, the last king to be drawn, they need to drink the centre cup and the game ends.

We played this twice! It was hella awesome though! I then started going around the room chatting away to friends, dancing a little, watching beer pong and air hockey … and drinking! It was an awesome New Years Eve night! So relaxed and chilled, just a bunch of great people hanging out! I swear there was probably more than 100 people in the common room for NYE.

My main goal was to make it to midnight without passing out from exhaustion! I made it! We all ran around the room kissing each other on the cheek and welcoming in 2014!

Dave, Colin and I came back into our apartment around 1am, the boys were still up and about but I needed sleep. Colin did come to bed with me. He got up at something like 2am - I thought he was going to the bathroom - I just went back to sleep. But then I woke up to yelling in our apartment! I was in a bit of a drunken daze but from what I could tell, someone had set off a firework from the third floor balcony. If you're unaware.. its illegal in a national park!

New Years Day

In the morning I asked Colin what he remembered and if it was him who set off the firework but he unfortunately didn't remember at all. I really didn't think too much of it but I told him what I heard in the middle of the night. And that it sounded like he had set off a firework. We later heard that Colin may have been the person who did it, so he went down to housing to talk to the head of housing to find out what happened and to apologise for the mistake if it had been him.

Apparently going down was a bad idea. But what was to come was inevitable. Colin was honest in telling him that he didn't remember anything but remembered going to bed with me at 1am. The head of housing then told Colin that one of his security guards was hit by one of the fireworks that bumped off a tree. The security guard was in no way injured or hurt or even scared but because it happened, they had to write up a incident report. ----- Which made it a big deal.

The head of housing interviewed Colin about the night and told him that Dave would be interviewed and there would be a meeting about it. On a good note though, the hill was totally dead for our new years day!

Our Great Demise

It was my third week working 6 days straight plus overtime!! Busy period and all so it was expected! I was lucky enough to have Colin and Scott who picked me up from work Thursday night and drove to Banff to see Anchorman 2! Such a good funny movie! Loved the first one and the second was very much like it!

My day off was laying in bed! Friday we honestly couldn't do too much with the flu and being over worked. So it was really nice to just watch movies in bed and sleep in. Loved every second! We did get up eventually though and go iceskating with the lifties! Sarah and Michelle are amazing girls and managed to talk me into going on the ice nice and slow. I feel really amazing for that!! Silly I know! I am so unbalanced and scared of ice but Colin held my hands and got me use to it until I felt comfortable doing it on my own! I was so so so so so happy to actually get onto the ice and make magic happen by facing a fear! First time ice skating ---- amazing moments!

Everyone was talking about how angry Colin's boss was to hear about the firework. We knew something bad was coming from it.. like Colin being sent to the carpets for the rest of the season or being evicted from housing. We know people have set off fireworks before and thats the worst it got to.  And we were hoping if it was bad, that's all it would get to.

Then Colin and Dave received letters. Colin's letter asked him to go to the Head of Operations bright and early in the morning. Dave's was about the interview with the head of housing. I was nervous to see the outcome, I didn't know what to expect but since Dave hadn't been interviewed, theres no way it could have been that bad.

Oh how wrong we were! The unfortunate part of all of this is the fact that the "investigation" was open with Dave's interview not been processed yet and NO one saw Colin do it! They saw him in the kitchen moments after it had happened and blamed him. WTF! Also, the busy part of the season is over and rumour has it.. they will be looking for reasons to downsize in staff (ironically the lifts are short staffed at the moment).

Colin walked up to me while I was working and told me his position was terminated. From that moment, I honestly couldn't breath and broke down immediately! There have been moments where I had been home sick but I wasn't ready to leave yet! I love it here, its like being a big kid with a bunch of other kids, just doing what ever the hell you want and having fun!! There is no seriousness here!! I walked to my bosses office and let them know the situation. When I walked back to tell my supervisor, Gill was crying to. Radim thought someone had died! He got really sad to though when he heard.

I worked the next two days. It was really hard but we obviously needed the money. And Colin was fighting the "conviction". It was taken as far as it could, to the top of the top at Lake Louise. Our argument was that no one had seen Colin and the investigation was open and just because he was awake in his apartment and the firework was set outside our apartment, he could not be blamed for it. But in the end, they told us that even though all that is true, there was no one else to "pin it on".

Colin and I have one week here and then we are heading home.

And… I hope the funny drunken photos make the story a bit more happy!