I think I got up to about day 4 or 5 in the last post... Note: these are not in exact chronological order as they re-organised themselves when I imported them, and I don't have the time to go back and put the in exactly the right order. They are roughly correct.
Today I'm starting off in Banff...
The Goldola in Banff gave a great view over the whole area. I can't imagine it being covered in snow during the wintertime but it would be beautiful.
This was the view from the top of the gondola. Our hotel (the Fairmont Banff Springs) is towards the bottom right of the picture and the town is about in the centre. It was only a few minutes walk from the hotel and absolutely lovely. Although, there were plenty of Australians there (not that that is a bad thing!) The taxi driver, waiter & hotel concierge were all Australians.
This was the view from our hotel at Lake Louise. Absolutely stunning. It was a pity we were only there for 1 night, but apparently, this is about all there is to see. There is no town or anything like that near the hotel. We did go for a short walk around part of the lake which was lovely, but they warned about bears and other animals so I always had a eye out for rustling bushes just in case.We saw a real live bear on the side of the road on the way to another night-stop (I can't remember where at the moment). Luckily, it was only about 50-100 mts from the road and the bus was able to pull over and let us all get our bear fix.
At Whistler, we posed with the Winter Olympic Rings (actually these are my parents). I really like Whistler and could see myself going there again. It was very busy though - heaps of people and mountain bike riders. The shopping area is huge and has just about everything you could think of. That was where I got some Cow Chips. We discovered these in Canada last year and loved them. This was the first shop we found that had them. They are chocolate covered potato chips which sounds a bit weird, but they are so delicious.
This is Shannon Falls - beautiful
This is the ship we were on for 7 nights - Holland America Westerdam. It was so relaxing to get on board and not have to have our bags ready by 8am or be somewhere at a certain time - we could just do as we wished when we wished and it was wonderful.
I think this is from Sitka - a town in Alaska. Alaska used to belong to Russia, so there is still a lot of Russian culture around. These dolls and Santas were beautiful.
This was one of the beautiful sunsets were watched whilst on the ship.
Glacier Bay was truly spectacular. This glacier is approx 100m high but the photo doesn't do it justice. There were several glaciers entering the sea. We hoped to see some break off, but we weren't that lucky.
I can't remember where this was, it might be Ketchikan. Beautifully painted houses line the creek which runs into the ocean. The green house on the right used to be a brothel and very popular with the visiting sailors, now it is a museum.
Next we went to San Francisco where we attended the baseball game between SF Giants and the LA Dodgers - a home-town rivalry of sorts. We had good seats right up high so we could see the whole pitch and out over the water. I had no idea what was going on, but still loved it. We got free caps so that was a nice souvenir to take home from the game. We had hot dogs for dinner and I was surprised, they were actually quite OK. I don't know what I was expecting but they were yummy.This was the view from our hotel room on the 6th floor. The Golden Gate bridge is to the left and Alcatraz is to the right, both behind the buildings.
It is hard to get a picture that really shows just how steep the hills are in San Francisco. I think this one does a pretty good job. I knew it was going to be hilly, but it was so much more hillier than I expected. I don't know how there could be any overweight people in San Francisco if they have to do any walking at all around the city!
Here is the world famous Lombard Street. I feel sorry for the people who actually live there - they have tourists going past all day long and people queuing to drive down the street - it would be a nightmare to actually live there! The flowers look lovely and it was indeed a very steep street!
On the day we had our SF city tour, it was a little overcast. We had lunch on the other side of the bridge shortly after this photo was taken. Over at Sausalito it was bright, warm and sunny - completely the opposite of this photo.
And I had to include a photo of Alcatraz. We only went past it on a ferry and I don't know what I was expecting, but I was disappointed. It had graffiti and was in ruins. I'm glad we didn't pay to visit it.
Then we ended up in Los Angeles. This was the view down the street from our hotel - just as I imagined it would be with the tall skinny palm trees.
This was the view from our hotel room right in Long Beach. It was lovely.
Just one of the many beautiful beaches. I didn't make it to the beach as I was involved in a conference during our time at Long Beach, but my husband and parents got there.
And on our last day we did a LA city tour. Here is the obligatory Hollywood sign picture. Around to the right of this picture we could see the big bush fires burning in the LA hills.
When I was going through all the photos on the weekend, I decided to watch a slideshow run through of them all before I started to pick and choose which ones to use. I didn't think it through - I have almost 5000 pictures. It took 4.5 hours to watch them all for 2-3 seconds per photo. I have to admit though it was enjoyable to relive the holiday that way. I think I'd like to print some sort of holiday book with the good photos but I'll leave it a while before I start on that.
So now I won't bore or make you jealous with my holiday talk (until the next one that is...)
Thanks for sharing my holiday!