Tuesday, December 14

Happy 30th Birthday English Sam

I am not sure if we are friends because we eat together, or if we eat together because we are friends.
Either way, I am happy.

This past weekend Dean wanted to take Sam on a trip for her 30th birthday. It is his unbelievably romantic tradition to take his darling wife on a trip to celebrate her special day. Past trips have taken them to Rome, Tuscany and Verona to name a few. So when he asked us to join them we were thrilled. Drew and I have been racking our brains for weeks trying to think of the best things to do, and places to eat, to make every minute we were away as enjoyable as possible.

After what felt like the longest week, Friday finally arrived and I was getting super excited. As far as Sam knew Drew and I were not going to be around because of plans we had made with my parents, to try and throw her off. But what actually happened was Drew's parents (bless their hearts) stayed with the children. When 4pm finally struck I was out the door, bags packed, to surprise Sam and drive down south.

The weekend was wonderful, the weather was exactly as I arranged it, and the food was glorious.
We had a lovely time!

Here are some of the highlights!

We had just gotten to the hotel and went to the Pacini restaurant to eat supper.  What a beautiful place.  They had a bread bar and the food was amazing.  

Piatto Maximo (Italian for "Holy Crap I'm Delicious")

Desert of Chocolate Mousse Cake with a berry sauce.  Fantastic!  

Saturday morning we went straight to the Gondola after arriving in Banff, so Sam could be on top of a mountain for her birthday.

Up Sulphur mountain, and in the background is where Drew and I got married twelve years ago.

Hmmm Englishman... somebody should have told you it would be windy and cold up there and you should bring a toque.  Wait... someone did.

After the gondola we went shopping and I found this little gem.  It pretty much sums up Canadian tourist humour.

For dinner we ate at the Grizzly House in Banff.  AMAZING! That night we ate... ostrich (which is delicious), buffalo, frog legs (horrific, yuck), shark (sensational), venison, alligator and rattlesnake.  Their catch phrase is "For Lovers and Hedonists" which is true; they end the meal with a Toblerone chocolate fondue.

After dinner we went to the Banff Hot Springs but didn't take pictures.  This picture is Sunday morning at the hotel, with Dean and I playing the game of Let's see who's stupider by hopping out of the hot tub, and seeing who sits in the snow chair the longest.  Drew & Sam also were playing but Sam chickened out halfway to the chair.  Also on this morning Dean officially became a Canadian by licking a metal pole and having his tongue stuck to it.  

My hair is actually frozen into icicles in this picture; it was freezing on top of the roof in the hot tubs!

For breakfast/lunch on Sunday, we found the most fantastic little place in Calgary.  This was the inside, so we knew we would love it.  Absolutely delicious.  We'd recommend it to anyone! The Overeasy Breakfast.

We did a little shopping on our trip at the CrossIron Mills mall and went to the Bass Pro shop to see all the animals.  

Sam found this beautiful Union Jack Trunk which Dean lovingly purchased for her and toted around the rest of the day.

Sadly, the weekend was over and we headed home. Samantha, Samantha, where for art thou Samantha?  It was no Verona but I hope you had a good time.



I am grateful it's almost Christmas break - my poor children need some time away from school.

I am grateful for my husband who brought home an early Christmas present today.

Remember today is the second day of the 12 days of Christmas.  Don't forget to do something special for the person you chose!  To put you in the mood, I found this little diddy:

Faith Hill-Little Drummer Boy

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