Monday, January 26, 2009

Jasper in January!

I had a great weekend partying it up in Jasper. And by "partying it up" I mean "being in bed by midnight every night." But with good reason!

Aaron and I ended up getting in to Jasper pretty late on Friday night... I think it was around 11:30. I had intended to be there earlier but on my way to pick him up in Edmonton I got stuck behind a collision on the Walterdale bridge. I was still about halfway up the hill on Queen Elizabeth Park Rd (right here in fact), right beside a small park road. I sat there, not moving for about half an hour, all the while watching people turn off onto the park road. I wasn't sure where the road ended up, but nobody was coming back from the road, so I figured it must end up somewhere that would get me around this traffic jam. I backed up enough that I could turn onto the road and off I went!

Well, it wound its way through the woods for a while, and although the road doesn't show up on Google Maps, I came out here. Yay! Should be easy enough to swing over to Scona road and cross on the Low-Level Bridge, right? Wrong! What I found out is that the last part of 91 Ave is a long, steep, icy hill. When you're driving a standard and you have to stop on a hill, it can already be a little tough getting your car into 1st gear. Now add super slick icy patches into the mix, and let me tell you, it can be downright scary. I got stuck at a point about half way up, where my tires were resting on nearly pure ice, which the person in front of me had polished up by spinning his tires. It took me another 20 mintutes of moving a few inches at a time, reving my engine and spinning my crappy tires to finally get up that damn hill.

So anyway, it took longer than expected to get out of Edmonton... by the time we arrived at the Athabasca Hotel in Jasper I was pretty pooped. It seemed like the rest of the gang was too, though, so we all headed off to our respective rooms not long after.

Saturday was a blast! We had a tasty breakfast at the Soft Rock Cafe, and then puttered around town a bit, shopping and deciding what to do with our evening. After stopping at the Jasper Info Centre, Lesley came up with the awesome idea of entering that evening's Human Foosball Game, part of the Jasper In January festival. It wa soooo much fun! I had a great time, despite the fact that my lungs didn't really appreciate all the running around in -30 C temperatures. I'm mildy asthmatic, and I've been coughing up phlegm* pretty much non-stop since then, but it was totally worth it!!

After cleaning up from being a Human Foosball Player, we went for dinner at the Fiddle River Restaurant. I was still pretty full from snacking all day, so I just ordered a bowl of French Onion Soup. It was pretty good, although they did something to make it a little creamy... I would have prefered just a regular onion broth. It was still tasty though, and everyone else's meals looked delicious, so we wandered out a couple hours later, a happy, and full, crowd. It was getting close to midnight by then, and again, everyone was pooped, so we all shuffled off to bed.

We got to sleep in on Sunday, and just met for brunch at 11:00. We chose the funky and delicious Cafe Mondo, where the food was just as eclectic as the jazz music playing in the background. After brunch, it was time to head back home (after getting a boost for my dead car battery from the friendly Atha-B maintenance guy, Steve). It was still cold on the drive home but the sun was out and it made for a nice trip back.

More pics are here!

* Phlegm is one of my favorite words for spelling and pronunciation. It is also one of those great words where the word actually sounds as gross as the substance it describes!

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