I do love working from home out of our wee extra bedroom. But one of the downfalls about this arrangement, besides the slight Twitter addiction (it makes the self-employed feel like they’re somehow in an office environment, I think), and too-strong incentive to live in PJ bottoms, is the lack of separation between work and home. There’s always work around, and always something that should be done. So when weekends come along, particularly during a deep freeze, and especially when there are PD days scheduled on Friday and Monday, sometimes you just gotta get the hell outta Dodge. This was one of those weekends. Some people pay big bucks for high-priced hookers – I’m willing to pay for a night with a bed like this – crisp sheets, turn down service, and no need to fight for the best pillow.
Also, I adore the Banff Springs. When it’s been too long, especially over the winter, I get homesick for it.
As kids we often made day trips to Banff, sometimes staying at the Springs during a ski weekend. My youngest sister used to go from ballroom to ballroom, looking for the king. When W was about three, he was terrified to go inside, and cautiously peered up every spiral marble staircase, worried that a dragon was lying in wait for him to come around the corner.
Ben had never been, and so we told them on Friday that we were going to to Banff and stay in a castle, one with suits of armor and a bowling alley, and that we’d stop at the candy store on the way, spend lots of time at the pool, and go for a breakfast buffet Monday morning. They fake fainted.
It was a stunning, sunny, snowy drive. Banff is the perfect distance, I think – not long enough to drive anyone squirrely, yet long enough to seem like a special event. And the Banff Springs, despite its worldwide fame and regular visits from Hollywood stars and royalty, is really not at all snooty (the opposite, in fact). It’s very accessible, and big enough that you couldn’t possibly get cabin fever even when the temperature drops to -29. I could spend days wandering through the castle and grounds, sitting in chairs in nooks and just hanging out in my favourite bathroom in the world (below) – I brought W in to see it and he said, “it smells like girls in here”, and promptly left. (It has a dusty perfume that reminds me of my great aunt.)
Brunch was the most notable meal of the day. The boys were ecstatic to be able to serve themselves Froot Loops, smoothies and bacon. We ate vegetable frittatas, maple bison sausage (they also had a gluten-free chicken apple variety), creamed roasted mushrooms, baked apples stuffed with raisins and walnuts, crispy potato rösti (topped with a bit of corned beef hash!) and sticky, smoky maple baked beans. And a bit of yogurt with granola and berry compote, a wee Danish, coffee, the last of W’s grainy toast with cherry jam. They do the buffet every morning, and I’ve never seen it crowded. Every table has a spectacular view. Don’t you love supporting local business in this way?
I’m writing this in this little nook in the Mt Stephen hall – one of my favourite rooms in the world – one of these days, when I win the lottery or come into some big money or finally marry rich, I’ll throw a huge party here.
I so badly wanted to crash this party.
The boys are in the pool for the fourth time, their orange-sized jawbreakers bought at the Banff candy store yesterday wrapped carefully in the shower caps that come with the room – I always wondered who used them.