Kananaskis – God’s Country

Here I am just a week after getting back from my 3 week cruise, heading off to Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  I was in Calgary for my friend Gail’s son’s wedding.  It was a wonderful day – the sun was shining, the bride was radiant and the groom was handsome as always. 

Gail created an amazing weekend itinerary for her friends and relatives that was delivered to my hotel room.  It was actually printed on hand-made paper like an invitation.  She had our whole weekend planned out from morning ‘til night. 

Saturday, of course, was filled with wedding events, but Sunday was just as great.  We had brunch at the hotel and then packed ourselves into as few vehicles as we could to head out to Kananaskis Country.  Kananaskis Country was pretty much unknown to most people until the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.  In preparation for those Olympics, Mount Allen was developed to become Nakiska, the Alpine Ski venue.  Another friend and I managed to hitch a ride up the quad-chair with none other than Prince Albert of Monaco who was also there to watch the Giant Slalom.  He was much younger and still had hair.  acheter rifaximin

Also for the Olympics the Kananaskis Village was born.  The village is comprised of several low-rise hotels with shopping, hot tubs, pubs and other amenities available to guests and casual visitors alike.  There are hiking paths, picnic areas, fish ponds, you name it.  The village is designed to fit into the surrounding panoramic landscape and it is this landscape that is the big draw. 

This IS one of the most beautiful places on earth.  The majestic mountains, the green valleys, the bears, the wolves, the mountain sheep and goats, the deer……you get my drift.  There were some wildlife conservation officers on hand with demonstrations and information on the different wildlife in the area.  They try really hard to educate people while they are in the park in order to avoid any confrontations.  The land does belong to the wildlife – not us – and they need to be left to live their lives as nature intended.  Very little upsets me more than hearing that a bear or other wildlife had to be destroyed because of some human’s stupidity.  They may be cute but they are still wild. 

Anyway, I have a couple of videos and photos of our day at the park that I hope you will enjoy. 

Walking_Trail tandem_bike

Panama Canal Cruise – Day One – Hurray!!!

We are finally at Day One of our cruise.  We got everyone assembled in the lobby of the hotel and checked that everyone’s luggage was properly tagged and on the luggage trolleys.  After collecting some that were still in their rooms, we managed to get it all together.

The hotel had all the luggage put on the shuttle bus which could only hold 14 people.  That meant there were 4 that had to go in another vehicle.  The vehicle they sent for our seniors was a Suburban.  I could barely get in it, let alone some of our passengers.

After getting everyone on the ship, through the security and check in, Rick and I delivered gifts to our passengers cabins to welcome them aboard.  This was a little easier than I thought as the staterooms were still being cleaned so they were a surprise when our passengers finally got to their rooms.

Everyone was on their own after that.  Whew!!!  Of course our work is never done, so we were off to see the maitre d’ to make sure our group was sitting close together at dinner.

One of the nice things about cruising is that you can unpack, put things away, and not have to pack up again until the very end.  We are on the ms Westerdam from Holland America and found the staterooms to be slightly different from other ships we’ve been on.  A big one is that there is a minibar now which has taken the place of DRAWERS!!!  What’s with that???  Anyway, we managed to find homes for everything and then we were off to dinner.

We are on the early sitting in the dining room which is a little too early for us, but it does give you lots of time to take in the other evening activities.  We went to a “Game Show”, the Showtime extravaganza featuring the singers and dancers of the Westerdam, Charles & The HAL Cats in the Queen’s Lounge and of course, the “Disco” in the Northern Lights.  Can’t miss that.

It was a busy day and I think it will be a very busy cruise for us.  Time for a “Drink of the Day”…..

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Miami to Fort Lauderdale – Day One -1

Today was a fun lesson in getting from one place to another.  I had to get to Fort Lauderdale airport by 10:00 am and wasn’t sure how far it was or how to get there.  I asked at the front desk of my hotel, but got more information through the Internet.

If you ever need to get from Miami airport to Fort Lauderdale airport or vice versa, there is the SuperShuttle that will get you there for around $30.  You pick up the shuttle by the bag claim area of the airport.  Unfortunately, you may have a few stops to make before getting to the airport as it will take each passenger where ever they need to go along the route.  So even though it’s only about 40 minutes door-to-door, it may end up taking you longer.  So give yourself lots of time.

Along the way I got to see what a typical seniors condo complex looks like.  I hope they were nicer on the inside than on the outside.  I guess you live there for the weather.  I think I’ll stay in Vancouver for a while yet.

Anyway, after picking up our passengers at the airport, Rick Mauro from CAA Niagara and I, waited with them to get rooms.  The timing was not great as the plane got in at 10:00 am and most hotels will not let you check in until at least noon as they need to get the rooms ready.  This is another thing to consider when travelling and having to make connections.

Despite everything, our passengers seems to enjoy themselves though they were very tired from having to take such an early flight – many had not bothered to go to bed.

After checking everyone in and making sure all the luggage was in their rooms,etc, Rick and I went to Fort Lauderdale Beach, walked the beach and had lunch at Bubba Gump’s.  The bucket of shrimp is still to die for and tastes great with a cold beer.  I highly recommend it.

So, three things I learnt today is that you need to investigate travel arrangements yourself when in a strange land and, if possible, don’t book air travel to land hours before check in time of your hotel.  And thirdly, always make sure your guests are well looked after.  It’s only Day Zero of our cruise……