Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 159 -165 - Goodbye Canmore

First we have to apologise for taking sooooo long to post our last update.  We are now safe and sound back into our old lives on the Gold Coast, and it almost feels like our time in Canada was a dream...  Thank god we have this blog to remind us of all the wonderful adventure and the beautiful sceneries we experienced in amazing CANADA!!!

We finally said goodbye to the place we called home in Canada, Canmore, more specifically we lived at the Falcon Crest Lodge which was pretty awesome!  

In the last few days in Canmore the weather turned significantly colder.  We did however manage to get one last Snowboard day in before the weather turned and the ski fields were closed:

Marc got upgraded to a flash nice car...

We even had room for our snowboards.... so off we went to Sunshine Village..

We had a great day, but I got a little too confident towards the end of the day and took a few hard falls straight on my back which was a shame.  At least the weather was nice for our last day!!!

As our last post indicated, we had our beautiful "Spirit Bear" to take care of, which meant 2 walks a day, this proved particularly challenging on our last few walks in  -40 degrees (-31 plus wind chill)!!!  I had never been so COLD in my LIFE!!  We don't have many pics of those walks as we couldn't bring ourselves to pull the camera out for too long without wearing gloves but here is one that paints quite a picture:

Here are some pics of the last few days in Canmore.

Spirit on my favourite town walk along the river...

Photo of us at the top of Norquay with Mt Rundle in the back ground.

And here is our last night in Canmore, we had dinner with our stunt doubles.... Katie and Sean.  Don't they look like us...

I met Katie as she was my replacement at work at the gallery, turned out they needed a place to live so they ended up taking over our lease as well.  We joked that they were taking over our lives....

We had an awesome last night in Canmore and had heaps of fun with our new friends, pity we didn't meet them earlier!

The next morning we had to finally say goodbye to our comfy little condo in Canmore, nicely greeted by crazy cold weather!

Marc clearing the snow off the truck before we could drive off...

Not many crazy people out in this weather, but we did bump into Katie and Sean out in the street while we were walking Spirit, so we took that time to say goodbye to Spirit and left her with our stunt doubles....

Marc was very sad to say goodbye and so was Spirit 

Before we hit the road for the airport, we stopped by our favourite coffee shop for some hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick... mmmm

And we couldn't resist coming back to the gallery to give Spirit one last cuddle before we got in the car.

The drive was crazy, windows all fogged up and frozen, could hardly see where we were going.

Marc had to fill up the gas (petrol) tank and didn't put his gloves on.  In that time alone he got 1st degree frostbite!!

Would you believe we got charged for excess luggage.....

Hello (much warmer) Vancouver!!!

 First thing we did in Vancouver is go to our favourite Fish and Chip shop in the WORLD!!! Go Fish!!  HELLO SALMON BURGERS, TUNA TACOES AND YAM FRIES!!

Although it was cold in Vancouver, we didn't find it cold at all, just a little too wet!  We still ate outside under a heater!

Then it was time to get some yummy fruits from Grandville Island markets!

We had the chance to catch up with Hailey, an old friend of ours from the coast who had just moved to Vancouver for work.  Pretty funny when we drove across town to meet her, only to realise she was staying in the exact same hotel we were....

So after cleaning our apartment and packing up 8 bags, a long scary drive to Calgary, a flight to Vancouver where it didn't stop raining, a flight to Sydney where we went to an awesome wedding, a flight to Brisbane where we nearly lost our lap top and hard drives (which means all our photos!!!)  and drive back to the Gold Coast we are finally HOME!!

It took me forever to get the chance to post this last blog, simply because we slid straight back into our busy lives with gorgeous friends a family to spend time with.  Very different from our quiet little town of Canmore where our days consisted of driving around and taking photos!

We had a once in a life time trip, Marc and I will never forget our time in Canada.  Not only did we have the amazing chance to see so much wildlife and expand our photography portfolio, what the photos remind us of is the simple and special things like: 
- The first day it snowed, 
- The first time I saw my wild bear
- Gaining an appreciation for hiking :-)
- Carving pumpkins with mum for thanksgiving
- Seeing wild animals around the country side like moose, elk, dears, big horn sheep, black bears, coyotes....
- Walking with the WOLVES!
- One of my favourite memories of all, kayaking and camping along the Johnston straight seeing and photographing killer whales, bald eagles, wild salmon and sea lions

I have to say, what made our time in Canada such a pleasant experience was the wonderfully kind people we met along the way.  From our first stay in Vancouver with Patrick and Kevin who gave us a tent and queen blow up mattress, we would never have camped without that, to the amazing friends we made on our Kayak trip Christy, Flo & Caroline, Helen and of course our friend Claude who took us in and made us discover "her backyard" as she calls it! 
Not forgetting our friends from the Discovery Lodge Beth, Allan & Donna who made us jump into freezing cold water at night to witness the most spectacular natural phenomenon of the Bioluminescence (thanks guys!) and the memorable roommates we had at different hostels like Helen & Chris and Vangelis!

Meeting Jason and his dog Spirit really made our time in Canada so much more than we expected.  Not only was Jason a great mentor and boss, he is a great friend and we feel very lucky to have met him.   

Thanks everyone for being so kind, supportive and genuine along the way!  Thanks to our friends and family who followed us on our blog and sent us wonderful messages of support and encouragement.  One thing we did learn is that lifetime moments are made better by the people you share it with...

Sending you all a big hug and kiss from us both and again thanks for everything.

Love Marc and Sandrine

PS: Marc is planning on putting together a collage video or our time in Canada so stay tuned, until then take care!

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