Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend in Banff National Park

One of the couples in our circle here in Calgary was suddenly transferred back to Houston a couple of months ago. It got me to thinking about all the things I'd better hurry up and do in case the same thing happens to us. This weekend we crossed two things off the list.

1. We spent the night at The Banff Springs Hotel. It was originally built for wealthy people who traveled from all over the world to "take the waters" in the Banff hot springs. It still usually costs mucho dinero to secure a room but we were able to take advantage of an off-season special rate. woo-hoo! 

From their official website:

Located in the heart of Banff National Park and styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, a National Historical Site of Canada, has been turning moments into memories for our guests for over 125 years. The opening of the hotel in 1888 marked the birthplace of tourism in the Canadian Rockies. 

(Not my photo! It's from wikipedia. All other photos are mine.)

2. Being in the mountains at certain times of the year gives people magical powers which enables them to cross over any body of water without a flotation device. Number 2 on the list of "Things to Do Before We Move" involved  employing those powers. In other words, we walked across the ice on Lake Louise. Yes! It's late April and the ice is still thick enough to walk on.

We headed straight for Lake Louise from Calgary on Saturday morning along a scenic route. We were rewarded with a few animal sightings!

*TIP* If you want to see any of the photos larger, just click on them.

Rocky Mountain Sheep:

Lake Louise

Then off to the hotel in Banff! We checked in and then walked around the golf course behind the hotel:


"Hey! No pictures!!"


The view from our room. Or it might be a mural they taped up outside our window. Even in person, it didn't look real:

We had a fantastic meal at an Italian restaurant that evening and got up in the morning to walk along the golf course again:

Lunch in town and then we headed for home. More sheep!

"You looking at me?" Most of the sheep are looking at me!

Is he sticking his tongue out at me?

It was a really nice weekend. So glad we went.

Oh, by the way, did you know you can easily share any of my blog posts using those handy-dandy buttons down there? Cool, right?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Learning to Use my Digital SLR Camera

When we first moved to Alberta, I took pictures with a plain ole point and shoot camera or my iPhone.  But the more my husband and I explored the mountains, the more obvious it became that we needed something better suited for the job. We did a little research and decided on a Nikon D5100.

Photography has always been a hobby of mine but I never ventured beyond those automatic settings. Here's what I've learned after making an effort to understand my new camera's manual: I don't want to know. Ha! Yes, I am that lame. I just want to aim the camera and press the button. 

Luckily for me, the camera takes great photos when set in automatic. To test the results when the camera is left to it's own devices, I spent most of the day on Tuesday in Banff National Park, taking photos ranging from grand vistas to small shards of ice. 




The camera does a beautiful job even though I'm not patient enough to learn the manual settings. I'll play around with them in the future, but I"m glad the automatic settings will cover for me so nicely in the meantime. 

So what about you? Have you upgraded to a DSLR camera? How are you doing with those instructions?