Banff is really, really great but even better is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel! Neil had a Real Estate conference to attend and lucky me got to tag along. We stayed at the seriously AMAZING Fairmont where the conference was and WOW, what an unbelievable place!!! I was very sick when we first arrived. A terrible flu hit me a few days before we left and I was beyond miserable (stuffy nose, heavy head, exhausted and achy all over)on our flight there and on the two hour shuttle ride from the Calgary Airport to the hotel. However...once we arrived my spirits were immediately lifted especially once we got to our beautiful room with the most comfortable king sized bed and windows with views of the mountains like no other. What luxury!!! Neil changed and headed to his first meeting not long after we checked in and I got into bed and slept like a baby. I don't know who couldn't sleep well in this place. I woke up and showered and off we went to supper in town then back for another good rest in that bed. Did I mention the bed?! How I wish I could have packed it up in my suitcase and taken it home with me. Anyhoo, we had 4 glorious nights and 5 days in Banff and were grateful the whole time for our stay.
Neil was very busy during the day so I really had to rough it. I'd sleep in til 9 or 10am!!!, shower then walk to town. The hotel is about a 15 minute walk away from town. This is not the most accurate timing as I stopped a lot to admire the view and take pictures. The mountains are stunning and we had the most perfect weather. Banff itself if very touristy. Souvenir shops litter the main drag and yes I did get suckered. (I needed to get the kids something and also my parents something for watching the kids. :) ) Most days while in town, I would find lunch somewhere and then wander, checking out all the streets and shops. It was a dream really, very hard to take. I saw a couple movies and did a lot of looking around. I also spent a lot of time exploring the hotel. There's a lot of history and I was fortunate to take a tour with a very animated tour guide. He was so much fun, knew his stuff and told lots of ghost stories. I LOVED all the old pictures around. Imagine living in that time?! Such elegance! The place is full of great details - the public bathroom doors, the Tiffany lamp shades and fossils in the staircase among other things. It's gorgeous!
Saturday I had a wonderful surprise visit from my oldest friend in the world Gwen. I have known her since grade 1 and stupidly didn't realize Banff was so close to where she lives right now. We texted and on Saturday she and her kids drove to meet me. We go a few years between visits so it was extra cool to get this unexpected meet up in. We had a lovely lunch then wandered around town to a park with several snow and ice sculptures. After several hours and a long hug goodbye, maybe a tear or two, Gwen and her kids headed home and I headed back to the hotel. Neil had a big end of conference gala supper to go to so I had big plans with the bathtub and Netflix. More rough. :) Turns out he was able to snag me a ticket so I got back to the hotel and got ready and headed out for the night with him. It was a super way to end our time in Banff. The trip was fabulous and I'd go back anytime, especially if we are put up in the Fairmont again. Lucky and so very grateful!