Our perfect weekend

Banff Travel Blog

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We had the most perfect weekend, a beautiful way to share the world together.

We flew up to Banff on the Friday night and stayed in the beautiful Fairmont Springs, the fairy tale castle of the Canadian Rockies. On Saturday we went on a few wildlife trips around the Montane forests of Banff. We forests are mostly Lodgepole pine and Spruce, with a few groves of Aspen. It was really interesting to hear how the flora was shaped by the geography (the harsh weather and alkaline soils blocks the growth of most other trees) and fires (Lodgepole pine cones need the warmth from fires to germinate). the previous fire suppression tactics have caused a lot of problem by building up the fuel in the forest to the point where the fire burns too hot, killing the cones, so burnt areas are turning into meadows.
The fire suppression has also given a large pine bark beetle problem. The extra meadows, however, are perfect habitat for many of the grazing animals of the Rockies. Trembling Aspen also have an interesting reproduction tactic - it is not know how new trees sexually reproduce, because all of the known Aspens grow from ancient colony root systems, springing up new trees as the grove expands. The colonies in Banff are 3000 years old, which makes them relatively young compared to Pando in Utah, which is an 80 000 year old Aspen colony of 47 000 stems.

We saw two white-tailed deer, an elk, a very close Bighorn sheep, a pair of nesting Loons (which can only live in large still lakes since their solid bones require a long smooth runway to take off), an Osprey and a bald eagle, a pika and a few very cute Colombian ground squirrels.

In the afternoon we also went in and signed for our wedding licence, affirming that we understand that marriage does not make the other person your property, and that every person has the right to a marriage free of violence.

Sunday morning was simply perfect.

"Our bride and groom have brought us amidst the beauty of these mountains to celebrate the peace and joy that they have found together. Let us gather our thoughts and good wishes as we witness and share in their formal joining in the legal state of matrimony. The state of matrimony has matured as our society has matured. From an ancient tradition, marriage has developed into an expression of joy between any two people sharing love, respect and understanding. Our couple have found true happiness in each other, and with joy they have entered a life-long companionship and will comfort and support each other with gentleness and strength. In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift. Today our bride and groom proclaim their love to the world."

"I call upon those persons present to witness that I take you to be my lawful wedded wife. To grow with you and learn with you. To cherish you for who you are. To be a loving friend and equal partner in marriage. To laugh with you and live life to the fullest with you. You are my best friend, and you bring out the best in me. You have brought me my greatest happiness. I love you dearly, completely and utterly."

"I call upon those persons present to witness that I take you to be my lawful wedded husband. To share hopes, thoughts and dreams. To communicate fully and fearlessly. You are an amazing and extraordinary person. You have my deepest friendship, respect, trust, confidence and love. I give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace. I ask you to share this world with me."

"Having shared your vows and exchanged these rings, now by the authority vested in me by the province of Alberta, I pronounce you husband and wife."

I couldn't have been happier as I formally expressed my love at being joined with the most beautiful, generous, kind, loving and charming person I have ever meet, the truly special person who showed me all the happiness in the world, and who gives me the shared joy of special moments every day.

After our perfect morning we had a delightful afternoon visiting Lake Louise (where we saw the cutest chipmunk) and Moraine Lake (where we saw Clark's nutcracker and several golden mantled ground squirrels. On the way back to our castle we saw a mother black bear with three baby bear cubs, very cute as they clambered over rocks to keep up with mum. There won't be any new bear cubs in Banff next year, since normally the bears eat 200 000 buffalo berries every day during summer (making their scat look like strawberry jam) so that they are fat enough to nourish new bears during the winter hibernation. This year the berry crop failed, so mother bears will not express the hormones to allow the eggs fertilised in June to the wall and develop. We drove the rest of the way back to Banff along the trans-Canadian highway (which has 20 underpasses for wildlife, and 2 overpasses for bears), and then got dressed up again for a perfect dinner.

I couldn't be happier :)
free08 says:
Congrats! What a perfect place to start a beautiful union of two people in love. Wish much happiness!
Posted on: Jun 30, 2010
kingelvis14 says:
What a beautiful place to start your life together. Best wishes:)
Posted on: Feb 02, 2008
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photo by: jeffy