Within the past couple of weeks, I realized that I was coming upon a very special anniversary. It was 10 years ago that I moved to Lake Louise. Of course, when I discovered this, I tried to deny it. It couldn’t possibly be 10 years already! But I was 21 when I moved and I’m 31 now so yeah, 10 years.
When I applied online, I had no idea what Lake Louise was. I just knew it was in Alberta and that it was in the Rockies. It was only after I googled the hotel I ended up working for (pre-interview) that I discovered how incredibly beautiful it is. Google it, yourself I promise you it’s stunning.
Here it is in the winter.
The initial plan was to be there for the summer (5 months top!) and go back to school in the fall. Clearly from the above photo you can tell that didn’t happen. lol I ended up staying for two and a half years! For someone who doesn’t ski or particularly hike, I really enjoyed the laid back lifestyle that living in the Rockies provided. I also have never worked so hard in my life. 12 hour shifts in banquets were not uncommon especially in the winter when there was less staff. There were also weeks when the paycheques were around $100. Overall though, it was a lot of fun. Two years after my first stint ended, I moved back there for another couple of years. Even though the lifestyle out there can be tough and a little claustrophobic (everyone knows you and your business), I still miss it. It’s definitely my second home. Every time I feel a pang of homesickness, I wish I could just hop a train and go visit. Unfortunately, the distance is too far for quick weekend jaunts (18 hours drive from Winnipeg).
My time in Lake Louise is equivalent to the typical College dorm experience showcased in the movies. I was drinking 4 to 5 days a week (not good!), made a ton of friends and learned a lot about myself in the process. Some of those friends I mentioned, I’m still in contact with daily by phone, email or Facebook. Thank god for Facebook! Having friends from around the world and across the country opened my eyes to so many things I never knew of before. My Aussie slang is particularly impressive as there are so many Aussies living in the Rockies. I also have them to thank for my love of Tim Tams and my continued disdain for Vegemite. At least I tried it! I also have friends from the UK, South Africa, Denmark, Germany, Japan and South Korea. The first time I had sushi, one of my Japanese friends made it for me. I have yet to taste any sushi that’s better.
One of the big things I learned about myself is how much I love to throw parties! Here’s pics from the first party me and my roommates threw in September 2002. It was a Hawaiian theme to celebrate the first snow fall. Yes! Snow in September! I think I went a little overboard at the Party Store when I came back to Winnipeg for a visit.
Yes that’s garnish! lol. I love garnish. I still have those flower bowls and use them all the time. Best $6 I ever spent at the Banff Dollar Store. I also threw an 80s theme goodbye party for one of my roommates who was moving back to Australia.
This was obviously taken after the fact. What absolute carnage! I remember talking with a friend during this time because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. She asked what I like to do, I said, “Plan parties.” She replied, “Then that’s what you should do.” I remember laughing off the suggestion like it was completely improbable. Yet, here I am. Granted, my job isn’t exclusively party planning but it’s event planning!
Anyway, I could write an entire novel about my experiences there (and considered it), but I don’t think this is the place for that. lol. I just wanted to share this with you so you know a little bit more about me.
Do you have a place that you consider your second home? Where do you get homesick for?