It’s been a hot minute since I shared my adventures with you guys, hey? I miss that! Although Living Mint Green has transitioned from tidbits of my life to a platform centred on self-development, I still want to share fun highlights here and there.
After all, my thirst for the outdoors and sense of adventure is what brought many of us together.
I spent a few days in Banff last week and thought it would be fun to show you what I got up to. Winter is generally the time when I hit the gym hard and avoid the cold elements as much as possible because I’m a sissy. Hahaha!
It was so nice to ring in the new year in the mountains and celebrate the greatness that’s unfolding in 2018. I’m incredibly excited by how everything is shaping up and coming together. The past few years have felt a little confusing to me. I’ve had visions of where I wanted to be, but didn’t know how to get there and now here I am. Life is funny that way. One day you’re there and suddenly you’re here. Living and creating what you always knew to be true. My dreams weren’t crazy and my inner being was guiding me the entire way. 😀 I hope 2018 is incredibly sweet to you too, friends. What’s been on your mind and heart as we transition into the new year?
I love the small town hustle and bustle of Banff and if you visit during the winter months, you’ll typically have the place to yourself in the daytime while everyone is enjoying the slopes at Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise.
We stayed at Canalta Lodge’s newly renovated hotel on Banff Ave. It’s nice to see new properties opening and existing hotels being renovated and rebranded to meet travellers modern-mountain expectations. Most Alberta Rockies accommodations are dated and rustic! Which is fine, but sometimes you just want to enjoy current decor and amenities, right?
Before checking in, we strolled through the townsite, popping into stores when we needed a reprieve from the cold. And enjoying a bubbly toast to the new year – underneath a bridge. 😉
That night, we went out for nachos, burritos and tequila at my favourite Mexican restaurant, Magpie & Stump. Their fun and lively atmosphere is such a great place to enjoy laughs and margaritas with friends. One of my favourite games to play there is tequila roulette where one unlucky amigo receives a habanero infused shot. Sometimes I’m nice and take a spicy one too. I legit had heartburn and indigestion for 12 hours after that one. Not my greatest idea. I’d do it again.
The next day, I hit the hotel gym for a running + strength circuit. I was super impressed with Canalta’s gym – in addition to a handful of cardio machines, it had a Synergy 360, kettle bells, medicine balls and a full dumbbell set. My fitness routine has been a mix of Orangetheory, boxing and boxing bootcamps lately. Who would’ve thought I’d fall head over heels with strength training?! I’m not motivated by solo training, or lifting a boring weight up and down several times. Put me in a group training session where we do box jumps, medicine balls slams, battle ropes, etc and it feels more like play than a workout.
In the coming weeks, I want to start building a consistent, solid base mileage. I’m eyeing the Calgary Marathon (half) and crossing my fingers I get into Seawheeze! Do you have any upcoming races on your calendar?
For lunch, we shared salads and calamari meal at Park. They distill their own spirits in house and you *have* to try their vanilla vodka. It’s so good. Afterwards, we checked out the history at Cave & Basin – Banff’s original hot springs! Admission is free with your park pass, yo.
After enjoying touristy sights, we purchased spa day passes for Moose Hotel & Suites and settled in for an afternoon of deep relaxation. The previous day, we checked out all our spa options in Banff and decided Moose Hotel was the winner – they have three rooftop hot tubs with great mountain views, a dry sauna and fire pit.
We alternated between the pools and sauna before wrapping ourselves in the coziest robes and reading magazines in their relaxation room.
Back at the hotel, we spent most of our time chatting by the fireplace and playing Jenga. I brought ingredients to make charcuterie in our loft for dinner. Here we have prosciutto, salami, duck pate, stuffed grape leaves, artichoke hearts, olives, beet hummus, pita bread, crackers and four types of cheese.
On our last morning, we walked up Tunnel Mountain to take in the sights of the Bow Valley. How bout these views, hey gang?! It was extremely chilly and windy up there so we didn’t stick around long.
Do you have any winter getaways planned this season?
Would you rather have a beach or mountain vacation? (Beach, no question!)