Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Most Perfect Day!

The most perfect day! This fall heralded the most perfect day I have ever had in the mountains. I have been meaning to write about it and am finally sitting down to write my thougths down.
Unpacking the bikes for a day on the mountain

The air was crisp with a fall chill, the sun was shining (for most of it), we were outside doing something fun and athletic, we had a great little picnic while it snowed and then we ended it with an awesome beer and great meal!

We packed up the Subaru and off we went - it was finally time to try out my new (to me, thanks Kijiji) mountain bike and hit the trails. We decided to go to K-country and found a place that would suffice and unloaded quickly. we were on our way.

The weather was perfect as we started our little bike to a little mountain pond. We wove in and out of trees and the path grew from a paved path to just a mountain trail. Before we knew it, we were smack in the middle of the wilderness. The air grew sweeter with the fragrance of the pine needles being crunched under our tires. The birds and animals scurried and flew in the distance. It was calm and still and silent; it was perfect.

Wedge Pond - magnificant
We biked up and down hills to get to this little pond. The weather was so perfect that the mountains seemed grander in the stillness. They stood proudly, glancing in the ponds refelection to see their full magnificance. We sat and enjoyed this view for about an hour, chatting and munching on a snack we had packed - mostly homemade granola and apples with water.

On the way back, we begrudgingly started up the embankment only to, moments later, fly down the hill we had climbed. You never seem to know how high you have climbed until you have to decend. I was a wild woman, flying down the mountain side, feeling the fresh fall breeze speed past me. It was bliss, sheer and utter bliss!

The water was so COLD! We had to cross this river by foot.
We got to the car quicker than anticipated and with smiles spread so wide on our faces, and our cheeks rosy from the cool air, we loaded the car with our bikes. We happily went to The Flatbread Company in Canmore. We devoured 3/4 of a pizza each, and a delicious brown beer. The beer was cold and smooth and hit the spot! We got the dessert pizza and it was absolutly incredible. It had all the makings of a dessert people dream of.

Having had an amazing day in the mountains, we headed home, back to the city. As the sun set over the mountains that drive home, I knew that this day was going to be the day in the mountains to beat. Challenge accepted!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Reveal Day!

I got a package that was filled with British treats from my Foodie Pen Pal. It was delightful to open a package that had a nice note from my penpal and some new food to try. I am very thankful for the food - A lot of things are now gone, but we have yet to try the Yorkshire Pudding. That will have to wait for a night where we make a big roast dinner! :) My man friend thought the malt raisin cake was a British wonder!

Thank you again for the package Foodie Pen Pal! I can't wait to see what this months' brings!! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Foodie Pen Pals

The Lean Green Bean

This month I joined something called Foodie Pen Pals. I was given a "Pen Pal" at the begining of the month and we connected, shared some basic information about our likes and dislikes and then went on our merry ways gathering food to send to the lucky receipient. On the 15th we are told to mail the package to our lucky pal and then wait by the mailbox for our packages!! While I was very excited to receive my package, I can not tell you what was in it just yet... I have promised that I would wait for the end of the month for reveal day!!! :) Stay tuned to see what this adventure holds! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

My bestest travel partner

We should always celebrate when we have found success and friendship. I am celebrating a glorious year!!

One year ago, on October 6th, I met someone that would forever (and will forever) change my life. My sweet, wonderful friend Larissa! It is amazing, how 2 people from such different parts of the world, such different lives and certainly we are in different generations. None of this has ever, ever seemed to matter. We have always been able to chat easily and readily, share a glass of wine, find things to see and eat all sorts of yummy food.We plan to travel the world together, and I don't see how we couldn't, given that we have already been in 4 countries (soon to be 5 countries) together.

We have spent time in Italy, soaking up the sights and sounds of gorgeous Tuscany (and the not so gorgeous sights of Milano). We've toured Switzerland for a weekend, going to all sorts of different Christmas markets and seeing buildings that neither of us knew what they were. We have walked the Champs Elysee during the busiest Christmas Market either of us have seen and scaled the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We have shared many, many nights in the cozy condo in Calgary, with many more to come and time out in the mountains - with so, so much more to come (Winter is coming!).

We have many plans to travel, spending time in Italy, Cape Breton and Burma at the top of the list. We will stalk Steve McCurry and his amazing art. We will try and find the perfect glass of red wine, but in my heart I know we already have! We know that we will share in eachothers' joys and sorrows for years to come. I can honestly say that I met a true kindred spirit the night I met Larissa. She will forever be a part of so many happy memories that I have from Italy - even tho she was only there for a month of my time there.

She is like the sister I never had. I was so very lucky to be able to share October 7th and 8th with her, cheers-ing with wine and delicious cake - not only to celebrate how much we have done in the past year, but to celebrate her birthday!! I simply adore this lady, and wish that everyone could find a friend just like her! Everyone needs a Larissa!

Salute mia amica! Viaggeremo il mondo e bere vino per molti anni a venire!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A recap of an entire year... oh boy!


It is daunting to sit down and think of how to summarize the past 10 months since I last posted. How does one go from blogging about living in Italy to the mundane, plebeian life that I lead. well... I guess it isn't that bad! :)

Since I returned from Italy I proceeded to do the following:

1. Met my adorable new niece, who is charming and quiet and pensive and wonderful. I love our little Violet just as much as I do my other flowers, Rowan and Lily. She is almost 1 now - whaaaaat? :)
2. Spent almost every weekend in the remaining months of the winter in the mountains. Driving to Radium on a whim, staying in a tree house in April, driving through the K-country by the light of a full moon. I simply adore the mountains and I promised that when I got home I would not take them for granted.
3. Moved into a place of my own, have my own stuff, created my own routine, and got a couple roomies so I can still do fun stuff. I finally feel like an adult again!
Rowan, Lily and Violet
4. Got a new job with a great company and because of this have flown to places I have never seen before like Victoria and Halifax, but also flew to places like Yellowknife, Las Vegas and Toronto. I love the new perks!
5. Got a tattoo to commemorate my beautiful nieces (and my love of travel)... it is large, and it hurt, but it is so beautiful - just like they are!
6. Went on an amazing road trip to the Road to the Sun in Glacier National park, down to Yellowstone National Park (and Ol' Faithful) and then to Vale, Colorado for a beautiful wedding and adventure.
7. Helped my Mother and Father move back to Alberta after a 20 year stint in the NWT. It is so nice to have them close so we are able to do things with them like Thanksgiving and Christmas - both of which I am super excited about this year!!!
8. Spent almost a week exploring Nova Scotia and Cape Breton (as I said above) with one of the most generous and kind families I could ever meet - and then went to a wedding where I got drank under the table and danced my feet off. It is so beautiful and magical and feels like home... I can't wait to go back!
9. Developed plans for an amazing life to work towards, homes in places like BC, Italy, Cape Breton - businesses that I can explore my creative and passionate side, finally write what I have been wanting to write, and feel free to do and explore what I'd like. Idealistic, I know, but that is the essence of Heather!
Me and my Man Friend
10. Fell in love with a kind, generous, giving, intelligent, thoughtful, wonderful, family oriented, outgoing, athletic, motivated, amazing man. This is by far the best thing that has happened to me this past year. We started dating at the beginning of the year after knowing each other for a year as friends. Life has never been the same since, and I suspect it never will be again! For this, I am immensely grateful!

Although that is just a small re-cap of the life I have lead these past 10 months since I have been back, I try and live life with a little passion and a lot of fun. It has been such a great year, 2014, and it's a shame that it's on the down swing. BUT, if this is how great 2014 can be, what does 2015 have in store!!!

Things that are still planned this year:
1. Spending Thanksgiving with the Hamilton Clan at my parents house... good eats, lots of wine, and a ton of laughter will surely ensue. 
2. Spending American Thanksgiving with my amazing friends from Italy (Larissa who lives in Banff now and Ryan from North Carolina) in North Carolina. We will make our way there for some Ryan Stuffing, vino and remembrances of time gone by! :)
3. New York for my Birthday with my mamma! We are heading to the Big Apple for some shows, to be tourists, skate near the Rockefeller Center, and have delish food.
4. Wrap up the year with Christmas with my family - My brother and his family, Me and my Man Friend and my parents. It is going to be filled with wrapping paper and kids squealing with delight and food (oh, the food) and World Juniors and booze and more food... 

I've noticed a theme! :) Food and drink - they make me happy. Along with spending time with my friends and family. That makes me happy as well. As long as I live, I will NEVER, EVER forget this again. I love drinks, I love food, and I love my people. 

That is all!