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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Banff Day 2

Wednesday, 23rd December 2015
Banff at night


Cow ice cream

Thermal springs

Jack upright

Jack's new skis

Shan made the decision last night that we should eat out, given it was out first night in Banff.  Once again, we spent half an hour getting into our outside gear – full thermals from neck to toe, winter pants, woollen jumper, down jacket, thick socks, hat, scarf and mittens – before setting out in the pitch dark for a restaurant about a kilometre away.  Most of the houses were decorated with lights, especially all the fir trees – very pretty.  We managed to find a parking spot large enough (and easier enough) to park the Suburban before setting out on foot.  The first road crossing went well, the second was my downfall – literally.  I managed the most amazingly fast bum plant!!!  Thank goodness for a bit of padding.  Walking on the snow is okay but the compacted snow turns to very slippery ice and can be a bit difficult to see, especially at night.  The chosen restaurant turned out not to be the best choice – the lack of diners should have been an indication – but the boys did enjoy the poutine, a Canadian delicacy of chips/French fries covered in melted cheese and gravy, with ketchup on the side.  We decided to have an ice cream (what else when the temperature is -11?) for dessert, bought at the Cow Ice Cream Shop, which also sold some fantastic t-shirts.

The sun doesn’t appear until 8.45 am, so sleeping late is much easier.  The temperature was -16 at 8.00 am; Shan decided to take the two young boys to the outdoor thermal springs for a swim.  David and I hit the shops for a bit of last minute Christmas shopping and I even found a new suitcase.  Himself spent a quiet morning at home.  This afternoon, David and Jack took to the ice rink for Jack’s first experience on skates.  From all reports, he wasn’t falling over as much by hot chocolate time, but is looking forward to his next experience.

We had a mild spot of panic this morning when trying to book a dog sled ride.  The first two companies we rang were fully booked until the 5th January (we leave here on the 4th) but the third company could offer us a booking on the 3rd January – whew!

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