Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Beautiful Banff - Day 4

For New Year's Eve, we went to Park Distillery for a five-course meal and live music. The distillery makes gin, vodka and rye whiskey. We booked too late for a table, but had two nice seats at the bar with a great view of scotches and whiskeys. Some of the highlights were the tuna ceviche and their chili vodka in a shrimp shooter and in a yummy pineapple cocktail. We left in time to walk back to our room to watch the midnight fireworks from our balcony window. Cheers!
For New Years brunch, we headed to the Juniper Bistro. We shared the salmon benny and the stuffed French toast (full of warm apples and brie). I love a good sweet and savory brunch!
After brunch, we headed out to find a few final sights including the Banff merman. Brian gave me a copy of Atlas Obscura for Christmas and this oddity is one of the Canadian mentions. The origin story is a bit of mystery but whatever it is, it's a rather creepy thing to behold.
We then headed to the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum to learn about several of the First Nations peoples in the area. This display let you stand on squares of light on the floor to hear a phrase in different native languages.
We then walked around a bunch of art galleries and headed back to the Park Distillery for a tour and tasting. We learned about their process and saw their compact, on-site facility. They have four vodkas (espresso, vanilla, chili and classic), gin and the rye whiskey. In 2020, they will have aged rye and they also have aged gin in their shop for sale, but we didn't get to try those.
We headed back to start packing and to do some reading. We walked around downtown a bit more and had dinner (which was fine but not notable). We have enjoyed our time here so much and really want to come back in the summer. Everyone has told us that the hiking is the best here and that summer is their peak time. It's hard to believe, given all the people here this week, but we're willing to come back and see for ourselves. Until next time! (Which I hope will be in a few days when I am off to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for some hurricane relief work, but the WiFi might prevent real time posting. Either way, I'll be back to share some photos and stories soon. Hope your 2018 is off to a good start!)

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