Rafting the kicking horse river
humpback whales newfoundland
ride horseback in the canadian rocky mountains

Flying High Over the Canadian Rocky Mountains

“Look to your right” the Pilot said as we passed some mountain sheep resting high up on the cliff. It was amazing to fly so close to the mountain peak and witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. They were basically resting on the peak of a mountain! I fell in love with helicopters as we soared up high and over some of the most magical scenery in the world.

Helicopter Tour Rocky Mountains

It was only a few minutes prior that I was sitting in the office of Alpine Helicopter Tours, listening to a quick safety video and anticipating the adventure ahead. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sunny weather. It’s incredible how quickly you can go from being at the base to being above the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Helicopter Tour Banff National Park

I was lucky enough to claim front seat, sitting beside the pilot and scoring mouth-watering views from the front window and from the window beneath my feet. We started off by flying over the Canmore river valley, a beautiful landscape of rivers, pine trees and mountains. We then flew right next to the Three Sister mountain peaks, scoring a sweet view of many turquoise-colored lakes. It is unbelievable how close the helicopter gets to the mountains, which surround you on all sides. We even flew right next to a couple of glaciers, which had some narrow waterfalls flowing off of them. As we soared over a mountain peak, I’d look down towards the window at my feet and imagine myself flying over the mountains without a helicopter. That’s what it felt like, reminding me of the opening of a BBC documentary when the camera pans over a beautiful landscape.

Helicopter Tour Canmore Alberta

Just being in a helicopter is a magical experience. Lifting up off the ground feels effortless and being able to land in a space fit for a car is remarkable. Jump in a helicopter that takes you throughout the Canadian Rockies and you can see why this would be a breathtaking activity.

Alpine Helicopter Tours Canmore

Blue skies, majestic mountains, turquoise lakes and rivers, mountain sheep and luscious pine-green forests make this helicopter journey a “must-do” activity in Western Canada.

Rocky Mountain Glacier

If you’re interested in this helicopter ride, click here to visit the Alpine Helicopter website where you can get all the details and book yourself in for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Their offices are based in Canmore, Alberta; one of the prettiest cities in the country.

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Have you been in a helicopter before? Where was it? Share in the comments below!

WhiteWater Rafting on the Kicking Horse River

There are many ways to see the Canadian Rockies. You can ride a bike, fly over them in a helicopter, drive the scenic highways, go for a hike, take a gondola ride, ski down them or sit on a patio drinking a beer with the mountains as your backdrop. I’ve done all of them. But another great way to see the jaw-dropping scenery with a dose of adrenaline is to go whitewater rafting. There are a number of rivers one could raft but the most popular is no doubt the Kicking Horse. As you can imagine from the rivers name, it packs a punch or well, a kick. Though I probably should have been resting after a 6-day horseback riding trip in the backcountry, we decided to add a rafting trip with Alpine rafting in Golden, British Columbia.

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Whale and Puffin Watching in St. Johns, Newfoundland

A trip to Newfoundland just isn’t complete without a look at the famous Puffin. Small funny-looking birds with bright-coloured beaks like a parrot can be found in many windy seaside areas of Newfoundland. They are simply awesome to watch, and cute of course.

Puffin watching newfoundland

Puffins are also very interesting. They feed by diving into the water (up to 60m I was told) and are better swimmers than they are flyers. They’re nests consist of burrowing a hole into the soil and they even go as far as to have two separate rooms; one for resting and one for pooping. Although they don’t fly extremely well, they can flap their wings up to 400 times per minute and they stay in windier areas where it can assist them in flight. Smart.

We saw thousands of them on a whale-watching tour we took with Mullowney’s Puffin and Whale Tours. Located in Bay Bulls, just 30 minutes from the famous city of St.Johns, Mullowney’s is a small outfit with a lot of charm and a great track record with their customers. We love supporting companies like this and we’re thrilled to hit the seas with them.

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Become a Cowboy or Cowgirl Amidst the Beautiful Backdrop of the Canadian Rockies

horseback riding canadian rockies

I honestly thought that I knew everything about the Canadian Rockies. Okay, maybe not everything, but after living in Calgary for the last 10 years, I’ve had my fair share of Rocky Mountain experiences. I’ve spent a lot of time camping near beautiful mountain lakes, enjoying world-class skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, hiking, and even riding in a helicopter for a birds eye view of one of the most incredible places on earth. I really did think I had experienced everything the rockies had to offer. That is, until I heard about Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies. This non-profit group, which has been around for more than 90 years, takes customers for six-day journey’s on horseback through the backcountry of the Rockies. [Read more...]

A Magical Time at Lake Louise

Skiing at Lake Louise is always an amazing experience but when the Ice Magic Festival is in town, the experience becomes, we’ll, magical.

Ice carvers from all around the world gather outside the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on Friday morning where they compete for 34 hours to create a stunning piece of ice art. With the olympics taking place in Sochi this year, the theme for the Ice Magic Festival was “Freeze the Olympics”.

Ice Magic Festival Lake Louise First Place Winner

First Place Winner at the Ice Magic Festival

We arrived on saturday morning to half-finished ice sculptures. It was really cool to see the carvers mid-way through their masterpieces and see the extremely hard work that is involved. With the average block of ice weighing in at 300 pounds, these artists have to balance physical exertion with artistic finesse. Add freezing cold temperature to the mix and you can imagine how dedicated these artists must be.

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Ice Fishing at Whiteswan Lake, British Columbia

It was dark outside. A slice of moon glowed above us as we made our way to the Tim Horton’s in Invermere, British Columbia. At 7am sharp, we pulled up in the parking lot to meet up with Rylan and Chris of Reel Axe Adventures who were taking us out to Whiteswan Lake for a day of ice fishing for world-class rainbow trout.

ice fishing whiteswan lake provincial park

We were told this lake is much more of an adventure than lake Windermere, which would have been much closer. Whiteswan Lake is situated 1.5 hours away from Invermere in the backcountry of interior British Columbia. The road to get there is an active logging route and as the light came out to expose the beautiful mountain scenery surrounding us, we didn’t mind having to wake up at such an early hour.

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Fabulous Skiing at Panorama Mountain Village

One of my favourite feelings in the world is soaring down a mountain on skis, going as fast as I can and then making sharp turns so I can almost touch the snow like a surfer touching the water in a tube wave.

I had plenty of those moments this past week at Panorama Mountain Village. The ski runs are fantastic. The views are incredible. The amenities are plentiful.

snowboarding Panorama Mountain Village

One of my favourite runs was at the top of the champagne chairlift, which is almost the peak of the mountain. From there, it was 6 or 7 minutes of all-out speed as I raced down the mountain with nothing but jaw-dropping scenery in front of me. Even the ride up the chairlift itself is fabulous with tree after tree covered in hoarfrost.

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Snowshoeing, Tubing and Magnificent Views at Mount Norquay

Situated in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world is Mount Norquay, an amazing mountain for skiing and snowboarding. Known as one of the mountains where olympians train, it’s also the closest and smallest ski area to the town of Banff.

But when most people think of Mount Norquay or with any of the mountains for that matter, thoughts of skiing and snowboarding are the only things that typically come to mind. That’s the only thing I ever thought about when visiting the area during the winter time…

Not anymore.

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Walking through Historic Quebec City

Quebec City is a magical place in Canada. First, it’s just different than the rest of the country. It feels like you’re in Europe more than North America. Secondly, it’s full of history. Whether your walking around the walled city of Old Quebec, taking a picture of the famous Fairmont Frontenac or strolling through the plains of Abraham, You’re bound to enjoy your time in this wonderful city.

My family and I were visiting Quebec City in late July as we drove across the country. I was excited to see Quebec City and walk the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec. We used Priceline to our advantage and scored the Best Western Plus, which was only a 20-minute walk from the heart of the city. For a room that was normally $170 per night, $80 was a great deal!

quebec city wall mural

We had two days to wonder around before we went up north to Tadoussac  for some whale watching. Our days were packed full of activities. [Read more...]

Whale Watching in Tadoussac, Quebec

whale tour tadoussac quebec

I can honestly say that I never once imagined going whale watching in the province of Quebec.

It was my birthday actually. The day before had seen us (My parents as well as my fiancé Karla and I) go strolling around the old city of Quebec, drinking amazing mochas, standing in front of wall murals, eating delicious pizza and tomato garlic soup and even watching a FREE Cirque Du Soleil show. When we had arrived back to the room, Karla mentioned that my birthday was literally just around the corner.

It was July 30th but the 31st (My bday) was fast approaching.

She told me that when she was in Quebec 7 years prior, she remembered going out to see Humpback Whales. [Read more...]