Late to the party: Why my summer in Alberta is delayed

How to make the most of your summer when it's delayed
Watching grizzlies from gondola at Lake Louise (Photo credit: Shannon Martin)

My summer always feels delayed. We have a week’s reprieve between school ending and the Stampede, but you can’t really count Stampede as being part of summer. It’s an entire season in itself. Every year I’m off on a work trip the week after Stampede, so my summer doesn’t seem like it officially begins until the end of July.

And now, just back from Costa Rica, I feel it. It sounds like ice tinkling in a chilled glass. It tastes like strawberry juice muddled with freshly whipped cream (that you just may have licked off your plate when no one was looking). It smells like freshly mown grass, coconut suntan lotion and pine resin that wafts through the air in the heat of the afternoon.

Every year I like to make my summer bucket list, and this year is no exception. Except I haven’t really thought about it too much. The last two years have been bananas with my book. This year, I want to straight up chill. As much as a hyper, Type-A gal like me can, of course. Here’s what’s on my roster for the six weeks of summer I have left.

Chill on a ferry

I’ve decided I need to take a ferry trip. And do nothing on that ferry. No catching up on emails. No shuffling through Instagram. Just me, the water and ideally, an artisanal B.C. cider. Okay, okay, my family can tag along, too. I have no idea how or when I’m going to make this happen. Just throwing it out there.

I spent a blissful afternoon at the Fairmont Pacific Rim outdoor pool. It’s open all year round!

Plunge into the Fairmont Pacific Rim pool

I’m pretty sure I make this pledge every summer. I am obsessed with outdoor pools and I want to dive into as many as possible. Luckily, I was able to give some love to the pool at Fairmont Pacific Rim at the end of June. It’s an excellent heated outdoor pool with bar and menu service. 

The Fairmont Pacific Rim pool was a good start, but I fear it’ll be hard to keep up the posh pool momentum. Only time will tell…

Take the Lake Louise Gondola

I’ve wanted to take the gondola in summer at Lake Louise Ski Resort for years now. By doing so, you just might see a few grizzlies down below. How cool would that be? Afterwards, I’m keen to soak up some sun on the Whitehorn Bistro patio. If you’ve never eaten here, you really should. It’s one of the best restos in the Alberta Rockies.

Late to the party: Why my summer is delayed
Moose love hanging around Moose Mount Engadine Lodge in summer

Another bucket list item is to go back to Mount Engadine Lodge, but in summer. It’s a back country lodge outside of Canmore, but you can drive right up to it.

Mount Engadine serves up the best meals ever and I’m particularly partial to the cakes they lay out at teatime. I’m told that at this time of year, moose like to munch on the grass beneath their massive patio. I’ve booked Eve and I in for an overnight at the end of July.

 Couple’s trip to Seattle

Last year The Huz and I wised up and took advantage of Eve being away at sleep away camp. We hit Seattle and while it was good, it wasn’t exactly mind blowing. I want mind blowing.

I want a funky city hotel with a sexy outdoor pool and excellent shopping. I want this to magically happen without having to do any research or book flights. I fully concede this is unlikely to happen.

food truck women
The gals who run Motoburrito are so much fun

Head to small town Alberta 

I’m besotted with small Alberta towns like Black Diamond and Turner Valley. My girlfriends and I went for dinner at Motoburrito (cool taco truck on an acreage between both Black Diamond and Turner Valley) at the end of June and it was way charming.

Turner Valley has this sweet little outdoor pool I want to hit, and I’ve never been to the Chuckwagon Cafe. After downing what I expect to be an awesome burger, I’m going next door to Eau Claire Distillery.

No, I’m not doing a distillery tour (god, I hate those!) but afternoon tea. Correction: G and Tea. Get it? Every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon in summer they offer afternoon tea and serve it with a teapot filled with some sort of gin cocktail. Who wants to join me and drive me home?

Learn to veg out

I don’t mean in the vapid sense, but in the I really need to eat more greens kinda way. I feel so gross, heavy and generally blah. I was so diligent with my workouts before summer hit, but now I have zero routine.

I want to step up the veg rotation in our house and eat lighter when dining out. I checked out Coup’s vegetarian brunch menu and it looks fantastic. After a disappointing full on animal protein brunch at Cleaver (and I usually love that place) I’m going to the lighter side.

What do you have on tap or want to accomplish this summer?

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