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Old 20 May 19, 12:59 AM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
(Complete!) From Calories in Calgary to Snacking in Seattle (trip & food report May 2019)

As this trip report is all in one thread, you can find the index here to skip directly to the updates.

I really enjoyed doing my Disney food report last year so I thought I’d do another report for this year’s holiday - although as there’s no Disney this year I thought I’d widen my scope and include more aspects of the trip than just the food. (In the hope of making it more interesting for you all!)

The trip party is DH and I, both in our 40s (please note I am several years younger than him!) Outline of the trip is as follows:

Edinburgh - Heathrow - Calgary with BA.
Two nights in Calgary.
Two nights in Banff.
Two nights in Lake Louise.
Two nights in Jasper.
One night in Kamloops.
Three nights in Vancouver.
Train from Vancouver to Seattle.
Two nights in Seattle.
Fly Seattle - Heathrow - Edinburgh with BA.

We did the same route in Canada almost 10 years ago with my parents, but we returned from Vancouver to Calgary on the Rocky Mountaineer. This time, we thought we’d try giving the train to the USA a go!

Edited at 02:44 PM.
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Old 20 May 19, 01:33 AM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Mobile Travel day

Today started in a far more civilised fashion than travel days usually do, because rather than being on the first flight from Edinburgh to London, we didn’t have to fly until the early afternoon! This is because the Calgary flight didn’t depart until 6.30pm.

The morning was therefore spent pottering around the house (DH even washing a load of clothes!) before our taxi to the airport at 12.

There was a short delay getting into the airport due to a bus blocking the access, then a short wait to check in our suitcases, then a short wait at security, before we finally made it into the departures area. As we had BA lounge access for the trip, we headed there.

I decided that after all of the waiting I needed a cheeseplate to snack on, and it definitely hit the spot. DH has a bowl of lentil soup. No alcohol yet though - we were pacing ourselves!



The flight to Heathrow boarded on time but we had to wait to take off - the pilot commented he’d never seen Edinburgh airport so busy. Once we were up in the air, we were offered a choice of salads along with a drink.

DH went for the Mexican bean salad while I tried the chicken tikka salad - I think mine was the better choice! Both were served with a lemon pot dessert that was delicious, and we both declined the bread rolls offered. I had a gin and tonic - I’d been hoping to try the special Pickering’s Gin made for BA’s centenary but that wasn’t available - never mind, Gordon’s will do!







The pilot came back on the tannoy to tell us we’d be straight into Heathrow without having to hold, which was surely unheard of but certainly welcome! Once off the plane, we made our way through flight connections and then headed for the Galleries South lounge in T5.

They had a hot food buffet out as well as soup and sandwiches; I tried the chilli (which was ok) and the pasta (which was rubbery). For drinks I had another G&T; later I had a cup of tea with a scone, jam and clotted cream, but I don’t seem to have a picture of that.



The Calgary flight started boarding about 30 minutes late and that delay carried through to take off; I always stick with water for my preflight drink but once in the air I ordered, you guessed it, another G&T! This was served with nuts.



Here is a photo of the food on offer during the flight:



Both DH and I ordered the soup to start with; this was tasty although the accompanying bread roll was hard as a rock. I’d switched to drinking the French white wine with dinner, while DH chose a Californian red.



BA let you preorder main courses on certain flights - I chose the Thai chicken curry weeks ago and was not disappointed, i think it was the best main dish I’ve ever had on a flight.



DH enjoyed his beef as well. He fared less well with dessert; he’d picked the lemon and lime slice which, when served, looked suspiciously like the disappointing delice I had on our Florida flight last year.





He was also sad about how small the portion was - especially when he saw the size of my cheese plate!



The crew were brilliant during meal service, keeping drinks topped up at all times and continually offering something else. I felt it would be rude to say no, which is why I ended the meal by consuming both a Baileys and a peppermint tea. And then for some strange reason needed a nap...

I managed to nap for several hours on and off and didn’t properly wake until we were just over an hour out from landing. I was immediately offered a snack plate (again, a brilliant crew) but I decided I wasn’t peckish for anything but a cup of tea (and if you’ve read this far, are you really surprised?). DH did accept the tapas plate but wasn’t impressed; he said it was all too cold and the tiffin slice was particularly disgusting!



Despite the delay in taking off, we made up enough time to actually land 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Immigration was fine and, although we had to wait for our bags for longer than usual, picking up the hire car was also easy and we were soon on our way to downtown Calgary. By this time it was about 9.30pm so once we found the hotel, checked in and got to our room, it was basically bed time!
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Old 20 May 19, 07:48 AM  
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OB1LukeLucas
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Mobile

What a lovely travel day. I’m looking forward to reading about your trip.
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Old 22 May 19, 10:32 AM  
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parisdisneyfan
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Will be looking forward to reading this as we are off to Calgary, Banff and Jasper for a week on Friday. The BA evening flight looks a great idea as it is bed time over there as you land. Hope you get some more done before we leave! Enjoy x
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Old 25 May 19, 12:00 PM  
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CrispyA
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Sounds a good travel day, look forward to reading the rest of it.
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Old 25 May 19, 11:28 PM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by parisdisneyfan View Post
Will be looking forward to reading this as we are off to Calgary, Banff and Jasper for a week on Friday. The BA evening flight looks a great idea as it is bed time over there as you land. Hope you get some more done before we leave! Enjoy x
Sorry I think I’ve missed you - my data plan doesn’t cover Canada and in particular Jasper has fairly spotty WiFi.
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Old 26 May 19, 05:43 AM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Day 1: Calgary

Despite the time difference and late bedtime we were still up at silly o’clock (5am for me) the next morning. We did what we always do in this situation, which is stay in bed watching random tv for a few hours before finally getting up! This was even more the case today giving it was raining - in fact it would rain on and off all of the day.

First order of business was breakfast! We decided on the downtown Calgary branch of eatoeb/ and thanks to bring up so early, were seated with no wait. We both ordered breakfast poutine - I chose “Soul in a Bowl” and DH the “tuna crudo”. It was delicious! We both also ordered breakfast tea alongside this, as we were too early for mimosas.





As it was still wet outside, we navigated Calgary’s “plus 15” network of sky tunnels to get to the Core shopping centre. Again, because it was so early, we had to wait for opening time, but once 10am arrived we had a quick look around the botanic garden calgary.ca/csps/parks/pa...n-gardens.aspx and then the shops, although we didn’t buy anything.

At this point the rain had stopped, so we decided to head up to Prince’s Island Park for a walk around. We saw a lot of Canadian geese with goslings, which was pretty cool.







At this point the early start and damp weather were catching up on us, so we headed back to the hotel for a break.

Later on, and despite yet more rain, we decided to venture out to check out the Olympic plaza (where the medals were awarded during the 1988 Winter Olympics in the city) and some of the sculptures dotted around the downtown area.















We then headed to the hotel again, to get ready for dinner. While researching options for our trip I’d decided we (I) wanted to try tenfoothenry/, because of the good reviews and sharing plate concept. It was a short walk from the hotel and we weren’t disappointed; the restaurant was bustling with a good atmosphere and the food delicious. I booked our table online a couple of months in advance without an issue, thinking a Saturday night would be busy, which was a good choice.

Initially we shared 4 savoury dishes - asparagus with shiitake mushrooms and miso butter, fried potatoes, hanger steak with truffle mustard and bok Choy and broccoli with spicy ketchup. I’ve listed them here in order of preference!



For dessert we shared a sour cherry filled donut with “English cream”, which confused us until we realised they’d translated creme anglaise!



We also shared a bottle of wine, but I couldn’t resist also having a cocktail when I saw the “benedict cucumberpatch” on the menu!



Suitably stuffed, we walked back to our hotel - the Hyatt Regency - and perhaps unsurprisingly after the early start (and the food and wine), were soon tucked up in bed! This was the view from our bathroom...we actually stayed in the Marriott the last time we were in Calgary.

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Old 29 May 19, 07:18 PM  
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KarenG
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What a great report!

PS it’s never too early for a mimosa
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Old 1 Jun 19, 10:05 AM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
What a great report!

PS it’s never too early for a mimosa
This is my thinking but sadly the licensing laws did not agree!

On our way home now so will soon have both the time and the WiFi access for more of the report.
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Old 1 Jun 19, 10:47 AM  
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Wordsworth
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Join Date: Sep 18
Location: Auld Reekie
Day 2: Calgary to Banff via Canmore

We were up relatively early again and debated over whether we should go out for breakfast because checking out of our hotel for the drive to our next stay point, Banff. On the way we’d planned to stop at a mall so I could get a shopping fix!

In the end we decided that we weren’t that hungry after our lovely dinner of the previous evening, so we’d go to the mall and grab something at the food court there.

It was a fairly easy drive to the Chinook Centre. We’d checked in advance that it had the stores we were interested in - basically the chains we don’t have in the UK like Old Navy, Sephora and Bath and Body Works.

Before we hit the shops, we headed to the food court. I let DH pick the food and he went for the Japanese counter and teriyaki chicken and shrimp with rice. They asked how many scoops of sauce we wanted, which we’d never been asked before - we went for two! This was around $13 (CAD obviously not USD). It was nice enough - they actually cook the shrimp to order.



We then started to shop! B&BW were selling their three wick candles for c$14 and by signing up to the Canadian B&BW emails I’d got a choice of $10 off $30 spend or a 20% off voucher, so I picked up a couple of candles and some antibacterial gels. I also bought a bundt loaf tin from Williams Sonoma - I love baking. They were having a 20% cookware sale for Victoria Day and I’m not sure if it was supposed to apply to bundts but they gave me the discount anyway, which was great.

We spent an good hour or so shopping and then decided more food was required - I love frozen yogurt and DH loves key lime pie so key lime pie frozen yogurt it was! This was nice, I can’t remember how much it was but it didn’t seem ridiculously expensive.



A quick bathroom break followed and then we were back on the road. Again we had a debate about whether to head straight for Banff or stop off somewhere on the way. I had a guide book that mentioned the town of Canmore as a potential alternative to Banff, and a quick google brought up a trail that sounded interesting. We decided therefore to head to Canmore and walk the Grassi Lakes trail.

This was not a quiet trail - although it turned out we could have parked a fair bit closer to that trail head than we did (we just saw a bunch of parked cars and found a space). We’d read there were two ways to get to the lakes - the “easy” way and the “more difficult” route - and everyone commenting seemed to recommend taking the more difficult route up and the easy way back. So when we came to the fork in the trail, that’s what we did!



The more difficult route was definitely correctly named, but it wasn’t too tough - there was one incredibly steep section by the waterfall, but it was stepped and fine as long as you took your time, and I definitely think going up that way was preferable to trying to come down it! To get a view of the waterfall is why you go that way.





The lakes at the top were worth the trip!





And the easy path down was paved and gently sloped. We did the round trip in about 90 minutes but stopped frequently for photos and took our time at the steep section as it was muddy and wet - you could do it faster. We took some pics at the lake at the bottom then walked back to the car to head for Banff.



We stayed at the Fox Inn and Suites in Banff - it’s of a similar theme to the Wilderness Lodge but not quite so fancy! Having stayed there before however we knew that it was clean and had parking, and most importantly...there’s a Chili’s onsite!

If you read my Florida report you know I love Chilis so that is where we headed for dinner. First order of business:



Holiday margarita!

I will say that unlike the US branches, there were no deals available at this branch so it does work out a much pricier meal than it would in Florida - we shared nachos to start, then with two mains, DH’s Pepsi and my drink, it came to (I think) $90 including tip. Not entirely sure it was worth that, but we enjoyed it so we didn’t worry too much - hey, we’re on holiday!





But it was enough for the evening - we headed back to the room for the night after this!
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