Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maple and Banff

Our next stop was Banff.

Kasia explains to her Mom the difference between squirrels and chipmunks as they meet this guy at the top of sulphur mountain.

Mary took the kids up the Sulfur mountain cable-car, a mandatory excursion in their view, but one I skipped to work on my novel. (My knees had been bothering me so paying to limp around a mountain top seemed like a bad idea.) The kids reportedly had a great time, though they’ve done this one repeatedly; and I had a wonderful time writing overlooking the valley forest. There is something about basking in the sun, writing, that significantly improves productivity.

Then checking into the Brewster hotel, quick walking tour of the townsite, hitting the usual kid-friendly shops (e.g., COWS ice cream), plus the Banff Tea Shop.

We ate at the Maple restaurant because a $40 voucher came with our hotel room, but it was one of the few disappointments of the trip. The food, while adequate, was overpriced even with the $40 discount; and the service inflexible to the point of being ridiculous: we couldn’t help but overhear the next table being told all the things that couldn’t be done for their toddlers, the substitutions that couldn’t be accommodated, and the allergies that couldn’t be vouched for. So lots of pretensions towards being a high end restaurant, but neither the service nor food preparation to carry it off. Just the prices.

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