A Love Post to Canada

Alright, you guys. Who is ready for another travel post because personally I think it has been way too flipping long since I've written one. I'm going to go back to a trip from a couple years ago but it is a trip that might actually be one of, if not THE, best I've ever been on.

Norquay

I love traveling. You all should know that by now and I will take new places however I can get them. But for the past nearly three years I've been lucky enough to share it with the person I love most in this world and who I fortunately get to ride through life with by his side. I've made so many memories in different places with him and honestly, is there really anything better than exploring new cities, countries, cultures, delicious food, with the person you feel safest with and know you'll have an endless amount of fun with? I'll tell you, at least in my opinion, there really isn't. He is home to me and sharing my passion of traveling the world with him has been a dream come true and I can't tell you how happy I am that I get to do it for the rest of our lives. 

Okay, gross, I know. I promise we're getting to the good stuff now. So, when I met him three years ago, he was pretty adamant about convincing me he was from Canada for a good week or so. Turned out, he's a true San Franciscan, but he did spend two years in Banff playing hockey and so a year after we started dating, we planned our first big trip out to Calgary for Stampede and I got to meet some amazing people and see where he spent some pivotal years of his life. So, let's start with the Calgary Stampede.

I have to say, I was slightly skeptical about Stampede when he told me about it. I'd never been to any kind of rodeo before and even though I've learned to embrace and love the country girl inside of me because of him, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I will say, one hundred percent, the Calgary Stampede was probably the most fun I've ever had at any kind of carnival. The Stampede events actually last an entire week, if I'm remembering correctly. We only spent one day at the actual fairgrounds to see the rodeo and just hang out. All the pictures above are just from that day we spent at the fair, but there is plenty going on around Calgary that will keep you more than busy. 

The day before, Mike and Kelly got me really excited about this thing called Stampede Breakfast so we headed downtown with Mike while Kelly was at work to meet her for lunch. (We missed Stampede Breakfast but according to Kelly, the pancakes were amazing.) Also, quick side note to give a huge thanks and so much love to Mike and Kelly for taking us around everywhere and welcoming me in with open arms. I can't wait to see y'all again soon! Anyways, Downtown Calgary is pretty insane during Stampede. There are booths everywhere selling hats, boots, belt buckles, food, etc. I'm still waiting on some cowboy boots for our next trip out there. After lunch and exploring downtown a bit, we made our way around to a few different malls to find me an appropriate country stampede outfit (thanks Bluenotes) before we made our way to Cowboys that night for Hunter Hayes. 

I was honestly scared for the rodeo the next morning. I'd never been to one but from what I'd heard of them or seen on television, I wasn't thrilled. I loved it though. I guess we missed one event that would have changed my entire view on it, but I think everyone should experience a real rodeo at least once in their life. Like any other city fair, there is food, games, rides, beer gardens. Only in Calgary, the beer gardens have mechanical bulls and one of the games entails lasso-ing a truck from a wooden horse. Have I convinced you to book tickets to Stampede yet?

So, yes, Stampede was nothing what I expected it to be but it was so much better and I'm counting the days until we get to go back. But, as much fun as I had there, nothing would have prepared me for our weekend in Banff.

Banff

I've been to plenty of beautiful places. Edinburgh is and probably always will be one of the most magical places in the world to me, but I have never been anywhere that felt so unreal in it's beauty as Banff. It was pouring down buckets of rain as we drove into the park, but that didn't stop me from literally taking a breath as soon as the mountains came into view. You see pictures and you hear about how untouched Canada's national parks are, but nothing will ever prepare you for when you see it right in front of you. I don't even know what to write about this place because nothing I write is going to do it even a fraction of justice. So, enjoy the pictures and put Banff on your bucket list of places to see before you die.

fairmount
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It's a small town and I loved seeing where my boyfriend lived for two years, the bars he went to and streets he walked, where he played hockey, the town moose he took a picture with. What it meant to him is probably why it means so much to me. I have been lucky being able to go to the places I've been and with the person I'm with. I don't take any of it for granted and I hope you all get to experience things with the people you love, even if they are just in your home town. Don't take our world or the ones we love in it for granted. That's the one thing I've learned and have taken with me in life. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post, as usual, subscribe and keep checking back for more posts about life and places I've been. Comment down below with your favorite place you've traveled to or who you like to have by your side in your travels! Next week, I'm talking all about The Color Factory so stay tuned!