Thursday, 28 November 2013

We're going on a bear hunt...

It came to our attention yesterday that bears often don't go into hibernation until Christmas so our theory 'it snowed last night so they'll have gone into hibernation early' went out the window. Even more so when we found bear prints in the snow on the edge of the village. I had my trusty Dr Martens on, we'd read all the safety guides in the hostel so a few paw marks weren't going to stop us. I admit the 3 inch claw marks that accompanied the paw prints stopped us briefly to think about what we were about to do but we figured our singing would keep them at bay.
 5km and countless renditions of "there was a crazy moose..." later we arrived at Lake Louise. I can't even begin to explain how happy I was to be there, a mixture of "I can't believe we're alive" and the fact that I never thought I'd be back there. We arrived as the mist was beginning to disappear but we had to leave before sunset (for obvious reasons) so we never got to see the glacier or the full scale of where we were. We popped into the Fairmont for a hot chocolate and a well deserved rest before the nervous descent down the mountain.
Big shout out to Taylor Swift, also, who's songs calmed us in times of panic.



Louise x





Bad Decisions

Today we went on a hike along the river. The bears did cross our minds but why be sensible now? Today was a day full of bad decisions starting with a hike in the woods followed by sliding down an embankment to get a better look and eat our lunch. Later that day we seen two elk in a garden after taking a back road, nearer the woods, to buy drink eh. To end the day we went over to the Samesun Hostel ('cause it's just cooler) to win the quiz but we made the unfortunate decision to play a drinking game with a Swede. I told them I was skyping my mum in the morning but they just wouldn't listen.
^We tried walking to the Banff gondolas but we got lost here. 
So we went back to town and sensibly got the bus.
We got stuck up there for an hour while the storm calmed down. 



Louise x

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Goodbyes

So I had this goodbye party before I left and I drank a lot and cried a lot and had the best time.
It started off at Cafe Crepe on Granville St, with our own room and as the night went on it slowly whittled down to my best friends.
It was my last Saturday and I couldn't go home without going to The Cambie one last time.
So we did.
We all know by now that I LOVE a good beard and a tattoo so naturally I needed one last night in my weekend home and first actual home when I first got to Van.  
The Cambie is popular every night of the week because of the hostel upstairs but also, in my opinion, because of the number of beards and tattooed men that frequent there for the cheapest beer every Friday and Saturday night. If you don't like Irish accents then don't go. 

And in the all-knowing words of the spice girls 

"No no no no 
You know it's time to say goodbye 
No no no no"




Louise x












Thursday, 21 November 2013

Head down Elk St onto Beaver St and you're there.

Elk St, Beaver St, Cougar St, Lynx St, need I say any more. Welcome to Banff, STI capital of Canada, home to the evil 100mph snow, and human-chasing deer.
First of all I'd like to address the baby clothes, neither of us are pregnant nor do we want babies...at least that's what we keep telling ourselves but could you resist those tiny little Indian shoes? No. I'm definitely not a baby person. They scare the sh*t out of me but if I had one he would be called Charleston and he would only wear cowboy clothes.
So asides from baby talk we set out, braced for the cold, ready for bears, heading towards the Banff Gondolas. In true Peyton-Preston fashion we found ourselves walking unessessary lengths to get somewhere most people would just pay for a taxi, it's almost becoming a tradition of ours. This time we were headed in the wrong direction. I know what you're thinking and no my map skills did not fail me, the map was lying. Another 2km and a bus ride later we arrived to no queues and a clear sky. Of course it was just our luck that we'd been up there an hour and the blizzard started so we waited in the empty cafe and watched as the entirety of Banff was engulfed in mist then we braved the elements and caught the gondola back down to earth. Don't you just love the magic of a snowy day!
We went back to the hostel for mashed potatoes and to put our finest woolys on for a night out in Banff.




Louise x












You're more likely to see a dolphin than an alligator...

It was 27 degrees CELCIUS today. In October. It's sick!
So, we decided to hit the beach just in case this was freak weather. We caught the bus over to Folly beach but as it happens the bus turns back 3 miles away. Now I don't mind walking but when your talking 3 miles at the side of a motorway built through SWAMP LANDS I'm not so okay with that. I'm not sure if you're aware that South Carolina is home to alligators, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, poisonous spiders...and the rest.
So just picture us pair scurrying along the side of the road, on edge, surrounded by swamps on all sides, nowhere to run,  I'm ready to throw Paula to the alligators as a decoy at any given moment and we're worrying what our parents would say. HA! We were so worn out by the time we got to the beach we just had to lie down and rest for 3 hours. 
{In the glorious sunshine. Karma's gon' be a bitch.}
I don't know much about alligators but I assume they come out the water when the weather gets cooler and the sun begins to set, say around 5 o'clock? What time did we decide to walk back? 5 o'clock. There he was, right there beside the road in the water. I'm not gonna pretend he was huge or anything but he was the kinda size which made me think mumma was lurking close by. He'd at least have taken a leg. "Just.f*cking.go. Just go" was all we managed at the time. Sorry dad, we did try and get a taxi. 
We seen an alligator though!! How amazingly awesome is that! We seen dolphins in the creek feeding and birds of prey circling above our heads , bright red dragonflies and neon butterflies, I love Charleston!




Louise x









Palm trees, Y'alls and chevrolets

There's a reason Nicholas Sparks sets all his books in the deep south. It's because it's cool as hell and literally every man is an undiscovered Abercrombie model. And because he lives here but that comes back to it being ace. Paula says I'm prone to exaggerating but come and see for yo'self.
We hired bikes today to explore and once I'd got used to the silly buggers we were a force to be reckoned with. Paula was in front because "apparently" I wasn't to be trusted on the roads. Now I don't know if it's just me but Americans make everything so difficult...miles, feet, inches, cups, toilet doors with gaps, bikes that you have to pedal backwards to brake. I mean what the hell is that! I literally had to learn to ride a bike all over again. My constant stalling at traffic lights made my pretty bike/ sun hat/ aviators combination waaay less cool. Consequently a lot funnier though. Paula more like a mother taking her 5 year old on a day trip, in particular when my hat blew away. Well imagine the horror when I realised it was on the path of death as the wheels of a truck headed straight for it. To say I screamed in terror is an understatement. I did however teach her a thing or two about the civil war today, just a little something I picked up in Philly on my Independence Hall tour...cool points to me!





Louise x