This Canada Long Weekend was so stellar, even though there were aspects that didn't go as planned.
My cousin Morgan, who lives in Texas, messaged me weeks ago about their vacation in Banff for the Canada Day weekend. My husband Cal hadn't even met her yet, and likewise with me and Chris, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity. Plus, I hadn't seen her since my Bridal Shower, which was back in 2013. A visit with her was LONG overdue!!
Long story short, June 30th was a bit of an adventure. Starting with Johnston Canyon where we went hiking with Morgan and Chris (along with Morgan's Mom and Dad, my Mom, and my siblings). It was ridiculously busy and all the lookouts had lineups to get those iconic views (and, let's be real, Instagram-quality photos). After spending a couple hours essentially wading through the mass groups of tourists, we headed back to Banff for dinner at Bear Street Tavern (highly recommend; amazing food, and they're the only place in Banff with a pup-friendly patio).
We said our good-byes to the family and went off to meet Morgan and Chris at their hotel, so we could lead them out to Lake Minnewanka!! It was exciting to see less people around, which meant we had plenty of opportunity to get in some of those amazing mountain views!! After a quick bathroom break, we split with my husband (who had Link with him) and went off to do photos.
I'm not going to lie, it made me nervous the closer we got to photographing!! Morgan loves her photo sessions, so they get one at least every year. Which means she's worked with other photographers, and those gears in my head started pushing out all the thoughts of how those photogs did it too!! But that feeling dissipated so quickly once we got into photos; essentially 'Em the Photographer' mode kicked in.
After about an hour shooting around there, we got ready to head down the loop a little ways for another quick photo stop. It was already after 7PM at this time, and the sun was getting ready to dip behind Cascade. I texted my husband and told him we were ready. Then I realized we had barely any cell reception up there. So we had to make the call. I text Cal and told him I'd be back to pick him up because I didn't want to risk losing that light.
It was totally worth it!! That sunset light was STELLAR!!
Once Morgan and Chris left, stress-mode instantly hit me. I still couldn't get ahold of Cal, and when I circled back up to Minnewanka's parking lot to find him, he wasn't anywhere. I parked and walked around a bit, but still couldn't find him. With a near panic-attack kicking in, I jumped in my car and started driving back down the loop - the way we went initially to get down for more photos.
And there he was, walking Link along the road. The relief that washed over me was insane, followed by the always persistent thoughts of, "What if I couldn't find him?!"
Anyway, lesson learned. Next time, we're bringing walkie-talkies!! 😆