5 lakes, 1 afternoon

Breaking my knee cap then having surgery 2 weeks into living back in Banff sucked, I'm not going to lie. 
I was on bed rest for a while but I worked through it, constantly doing physio exercises and pushing myself to 

take one step at a time.

My lovely roomie/pal Yen just bought a new car, 'Bonnie'. 
I told her I am able to walk again and I am ready to go on a little roadtrip on our next day off,
She was so excited to do this so she could see a big genuine smile on my face. 
We recruited Ben that was staying at the hostel we work at, packed a little lunch and set off. 
We hit 5 lakes in a few hours, the day couldn't have went smoother. 
I am forever grateful for the kind hearted people that enter my life. 
Here are some shots and blurbs about the places we went! 

Lake Minnewanka.
(Water of the spirits)

This lake has so much character to it. 
It usually has a fog that covers the top of the lake that leaves it looking hauntingly beautiful. 
A dam that was built in 1941 raised the lake 98ft leaving the village of Minnewanka landing (built in 1888) to submerge underwater, you can scubadive to see what remains of the village.
Indigenous people long inhabited areas around Lake Minnewanka, as early as 10,000 years ago, according to stone tools and a Clovis Point Spearhead discovered by archaeologists.

Bow Lake. 
We drove by this lake after a jam packed / busy / loud Lake Louise visit. There was something so serene and ominous about this lake. It was untouched, there were clouds hugging the mountain tops like smoke, it was silent. Standing on the untouched lake made me feel unattached from the busy world we live in and it let me realize how silence is so important and fragile. It was beautiful. 

Lake Louise.

Honestly, I named this 4 lakes 1 afternoon because I completely forgot I went here until I wrote the Bow Lake entry. I feel as if this lake is now too commercialized and has lost touch with it's natural feel. I'm not sure if anyone will agree with me on this but this is my blog with my thoughts, if you're in the Rockies, check out every other lake before hitting this place up. It's beautiful, don't get me wrong but it's packed with people all the time. 

Vermilion Lakes.
The sun was gleaming through the trees and hitting the frozen lake while casting dreaming shadows on Sulphur Mountain and Mt Rundle, brown foliage surrounding the lake tops off the perfection of this scene. I'll come back for you Banff. 

Peyto Lake. 
I've seen photos of this dreamy lake before heading here, I fell in love with the shape of it, it's exactly like a wolf head. This is definitely one of the most underrated lakes along the Icefield Parkway.  We arrived here and the path was covered in snow, I just had knee surgery a month prior so I was about to turn back, I thought about how privileged I am to be out here exploring so I hustled through and made it up to the lookout. It was worth every step of pain, I got to see my new found favourite place in Canada.

Toronto, Ontario

I lived in Toronto for a few years. 
It was great for opportunity as a photographer, I accomplished a lot of really cool things. 

I am not a massive fan of the city though. 

I wanted to move back to Banff the first few months living in Toronto, I then told myself to give it another 1.5 years or so as it's a massive city (The largest city in Canada and the 4th largest city in North America)

Niagara Falls

I went camping for a friends going away party in Grand Bend, Ontario. We were on our way back home to Toronto when we passed the road sign to Niagara Falls, I had mentioned that I've never been there so my friend took the first turn to Niagara Falls so I could see it before I left Ontario (This was a week before I moved to Banff)
We are so lucky on the Canadian side of the falls, you have an amazing view of the falls. 
I had a photo of the falls in my living room since I can remember and I always wanted to see how big they really are...Photos don't do it justice. 

We walked up and down the path and I managed to snap some photos without tourists intruding the photo so that was pretty cool. 

I wish I had a time machine so I could back in time when Niagara wasn't so touristy / Las Vegas like. 
Anyway I definitely suggest visiting the falls if you have time when you're in Ontario!

Ripley's Aquarium 

I am not going to lie, this place is my favourite spot in Toronto....

I know I am in my mid 20's (when I say this I realize how young I actually am) but I act like a child when I walk into an aquarium or a zoo. I know it's not the best spot for the animals BUT I love animals so much so it's v. cool that I can see all of my favourite underwater creatures under 1 roof for 25$.
I went to the aquarium when my parents were visiting me in the big city. 

My parents are sweet folks all the way from Prince Edward Island, they love going on adventures and they are the cutest. 
They were loving it, we went to the moving tunnel with the sharks (and other sea creatures that don't get enough credit because the sharks steal the spotlight) It must have been bring your kindergarten to the aquarium day because the tunnel was filled with screaming and crying children along with people chasing after said screaming crying children. We ran ahead of the group and quietly enjoyed the rest of our time. 
I suggest going during the weekday so you can avoid all the irritating children.*

*I like children, I don't love them. 

Toronto Islands

I went to the islands once in the few years I lived in Toronto, my cousin was visiting from Calgary so we decide to grab some Amsterdam Brewery beers and head over. 
We were both brutally hungover so the ferry ride was only half enjoyable, it's like 7$ return so it's not that bad at all. 

vv The photo on the bottom of this paragraph is the view you get of Toronto on the way to Toronto island, I am a sucker for the Toronto skyline. A lot of 'Torontonians' dislike the iconic CN tower and see it as an eyesore...I don't understand why, it's the only thing that differentiates them from other major cities  [IMO] (and the six god..Drake...lol) anyway....I am ranting.

The island has cool views and there's a park you can chill at.

(I'm talking about Centre Island, if you go to Wards or Hanlan's you'll end up on either a clothed beach or a nudist beach, I hate beaches so I have nothing to say about those parts of the island)

Kensington Market 

Kensington Market is a laid back community in Toronto, Ontario. 
There's tons of shops, restaurants, pubs and there is a night life as well.

I loved going to Kensington market in the day time, typically in the summer on the weekend when it's bumpin'.
It's like a massive street market, you always run into someone you know there and end up sitting at the park drinking beers from a local brewing. 

There's always something happening in the market, whether it be musical street acts or homeless people fighting, never the less it's always entertaining.

Woodbine Beach

(east end of Toronto)
My pal Tim (I just realized he is in most of posts, clearly he is a great friend of mine) and his mate Kate visited me for a few days in Toronto. 
We checked out woodbine beach one evening, it was a perfect Spring evening. 
We looked for Lake glass (its not the sea so yeah..) because Kate makes jewelry with it. 
Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle

We skipped rocks and just had some proper friend time. I suggest Woodbine to anyone who is visiting or living in Toronto. It's a nice little escape from the concrete jungle. 

Banff, Alberta

I have been moving around Canada for the past 2.5 years. 

I decided a few months ago to head back to the majestic land of Banff. 

It's a beautiful ski town located in the middle of a few mountains:

Cascade, Sulphur, Tunnel, Norquay and Rundle. 

It's honestly the best place to live if you're into adventures, meeting a ton of people from all over the world and living that laid back lifestyle

Vermilion Lakes

This is my spot. 
There are three lakes, each lake has a dock you can chill on. 
I packed a lunch with Eli & Yen one day before work and hung out here for a few hours. 

You get a beautiful view of Rundle, Sulphur and Tunnel mountain. 

It's a pretty easy bike ride from downtown Banff to Vermilion Lakes. 

You can't really see the mountains in these photos due to the BC wildfires that are happening. 

Larch Valley / Moraine Lake

Larch Valley is located at Moraine Lake in Lake Louise. 
I woke up one beautiful fall day and my pal Tim asked me to do a "super easy" hike with him and another roomie of ours. We drove in Tims mini van (Deb) from Banff, listening to our favourite songs, singing along to them. 

I talked about how walking up mountains is really hard for me because I am not very active so I get winded and they didn't tell me I'd be walking up a mountain to get to the Larch.

We got to Moraine Lake, seeing this place for the first time is honestly breathtaking. 
You climb up an easy hill and as you get higher the water gets bluer due to the fine rocks on the bottom of the lake called "rock flour" the sunlight reflects off it and it creates the blue/turquoise color!

After we walked around Moraine it was time to hike Larch Valley, I was stoked because it was my first hike with my friends. 
We got to the entrance and there was a big red warning sign saying there was a grizzly bear in the area, so we had to wait for more people to hike with, a couple and their doggo joined us. 
My friend Tim was my coach anytime I wanted to stop, it was NOT the "super easy" hike he promised but it was all worth it in the end and I realized I don't mind hiking. 

We saw a beautiful waterfall on the way up.

We hit the top of the Larch and it was a clearing surrounded with fall colors, we play fetch with the dog and hung out for a while. 
I strongly suggest Larch Valley / Moraine Lake to anyone who is in the Banff/ Lake Louise area. 

Tunnel Mountain Trail / Bow Falls

This trail is super easy and beautiful. 
You hike along the bottom of Tunnel Mountain and it brings you to a landing at Bow Falls. 
You hike through the woods, along a bike path so you have to watch out for bikes AND wildlife.

It's definitely a Sunday Funday kind of hike, pack your bags with some beers (from Banff brewing co.) and tiny sandwiches, chill at bow falls for the day. 

Nordegg, Alberta

(Middle of nowhere in the rockies)

I moved to Nordegg April 2014.

My best friend moved to Edmonton that Christmas, he was having a hard time finding a job in the city so he decided to go on Kijiji and take his chances on this job "David Thompson Resort" 
He talked me into moving my WHOLE LIFE to the middle of nowhere...he used the word resort VERY lightly. 
I arrived to this dump and I wanted to scream at my pal for lying to me, as it was a beat down sad excuse for a family camp ground with no cell service and dial up internet...

So I decided to make the best of it.

Down below are few shots that I captured from my short time spent at the DTR.
(We put in our two weeks notice, they gave us an hour to pack up our belongings, dropped us off at Lake Louise at 2am so we got a hotel then took a TAXI to Banff the next day. 

Crescent Falls 

This is a beautiful waterfall close to Nordegg, Alberta. 
My old coworkers / housemates went here and we were taken back at by natures beauty. 
It has two drops and it's 88 feet deep. 
It's surrounded by acres of woods and wildlife, you don't even get cell service where this is located. 

I'm not going to lie, I was scared I was going to be a bears dinner. 

(It was my first trip in bear country) 

Lake Abraham 

This was my backyard and where I would get cell service to call my parents to let them know I was still alive.

Seeing this lake everyday made everything better. 
It was my happy spot in Nordegg :)

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