Our last full day! We were up at 6:30am and, after eating breakfast with Judy, met everyone in the lobby at 8:15am.

Our first stop was at Lake Louise. We arrived there around 9:30am and when we got to the area where the lake was, the first word out of my mouth was “Wow!” The view was just breathtaking. After a group photo, we had about 45 minutes to wander, take pictures, check out the nearby Lake Louise Resort Hotel at Fairmont, etc. After a quick potty break there, Joe and I spent our time walking on the shore of the lake and taking pictures. Granted, it was different versions of the same subject matter over and over again but even so, let’s see how many different ways we can show off the same scenery, shall we? (big, evil grin)

Joe and Sharon in front of Lake Louise

Close-up of the glacier on the other side of Lake Louise

Typical Sharonesque photo in front of Lake Louise. Yes, I know it looks Photoshopped. I swear it isn't.

Typical Sharonesque artistic photo. Flowers in the foreground, stuff in the background. In this case, said stuff is Lake Louise.

More water going into (or perhaps coming out from?) Lake Louise

Lake Louise behind a pile of rocks, trees and benches

Not Lake Louise, but on the way to the public parking lot for Lake Louise. Probably the closest to "fall color" that these two Floridians will see this year. By the way, there were still at least another half-dozen various "Lake Louise" pictures I could have shown. I chose not to. You're welcome. 😉

We loaded back onto the bus at 10:15am and Tim drove to the nearby Moraine Lake. It was another picturesque setting (even better than Lake Louise, I think), with many mountain views. We were given until 12:00pm to do as well pleased, with a choice of canoeing or various trails for hiking. We had originally planned to canoe but Joe finally suggested we not, simply because of the wind, cold and, let’s face it, how much would I actually be able to help row? So instead we spent 15 minutes or so climbing up the moraine, which had a 1/2-mile trail of steps that brought you 200 feet to the top. Not easy for this out-of-shape old lady who is used to living at 20 feet above sea level – I had to rest to catch my breath every 5 or 10 steps or so, but I did it! It was really such a little thing but I was SO proud of myself! And let me tell you, the views were DEFINITELY worth the effort!

I'm gonna climb THAT?

Well, here we go. I can DO it!

Still climbing. Resting. Climbing. Resting more. Climbing more. I WILL do this, dammit!

I DID IT!!!! I'm not such a wuss after all! (ok mebbe i am, a little...)

Look, this even shows you how high we were. There's the bus!

Aren't we cute together?

And, of course, the obligatory "looks like a postcard but it really isn't. Geesh, is it possible to NOT take a good picture here?" photo.

When we got back down from the moraine, we climbed among some old timbers to get some more pictures (fallen logs, like rocks, are where my “mountain goat skills” come in – I leapt from log to log like a slightly overweight gazelle while Joe oh-so-carefully climbed everywhere, LOL!). We still had about 30 minutes until lunchtime though, so we looked in the gift shop. Of course 😉

Yes! Now I'm in my element! Climbing over timber and rocks is MUCH easier than climbing several dozen (well over 100) steps uphill at an elevation of several thousand feet.

Joe sitting on a log

Lunch was at the Moraine Lake Lodge at 12pm, where I had a salad, most of my chicken wrap and a small piece of cheesecake drizzled with maple syrup. Once we were done with lunch, we had until 1:30pm to do our last-minute stuff and we were back on the road by 1:40pm – we would have left by 1:30pm but we had our very first latecomer  of the entire trip. I won’t mention names but he knows who he is, LOLOL!

Lunch at the Moraine Lake Lodge (say that 5 times fast, LOL!)

Taking our last opportunity to walk along the shore of Lake Moraine

We got back to the hotel and had about 2.5 hours of free time before the final time we would all eat together before going home (or, as I liked to call it, “the last supper”). Joe and I dropped off our stuff and, since the weather was still beautiful, went back to the Cascade Gardens, so we could take another picture looking down Banff Ave., this time WITH the mountains behind it, not with them hiding behind a plethora of rain clouds. We also did some last-minute shopping, mainly gifts for friends and a quick stop at that liquor store again (Joe got a Maple Liquor he had tasted at the bar the evening before, I got a bottle of Canadian pinot noir from British Columbia, since it would have been just north of Oregon, which is where most of my favorite pinots come from). Then we went back up to the room to do our next-to-last-minute packing.

Oh, so THAT'S what that picture is supposed to look like, if there's good weather. Anyone want to Photoshop us into that shot, please? 😉

Geraldine & Tiffany had instructed us to meet at 5pm in the meeting room across the hall from where we had breakfast. Of course, a bunch of us got there early but the staff wasn’t ready for us yet so we milled about for 5 minutes or so before they opened the room to us. It was open bar (thank-you, Adventures by Disney!) so after Joe got a Molson and I got a pinot noir (don’t know what kind. It was OK), we grabbed seats at a 6-top table with Chris & Kari and Bob & Bonnie. All 36 of us (the 33 of us, T&G, plus Tom) just stood and socialized for a good long while but eventually G&T encouraged us to sit so we could start eating. The 6 of us were apparently at the “who did we piss off” table (we got served last for every single course –  even got our main courses while the table next to us were receiving their desserts) but the food was still great! I got tomato soup with a red pepper puree, then shrimp cocktail, followed by filet mignon with mashed potatoes and veggies, and a kids’ chocolate mousse cake for dessert. Again, slow, SLOW service but really, REALLY good food.

Mingling at "the last supper"

Tomato soup with red pepper puree

Shrimp cocktail

Filet mignon with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables

Chocolate mousse cake. The only disappointment of the meal. Not enough flavor. Definitely not worth the carbs. I only had 2 bites of it. Shrug.

When we were done eating, we had the pleasure of a visit from a Royal Canadian Mounted Police worker (retired). He told us about the history of the RCMPs, as well as some stories of his career. We were encouraged to have our pictures taken with him, after which time we all socialized some more.

Joe and I with the RCMP

After the RCMP had left (albeit with a final reminder that we should return any stolen towels ;-)), we each discussed what we liked best about our vacation and shared our favorite memories of same. Tiffany & Geraldine then showed us our video montage of the week, which was, as always, so much fun to watch – for those who have never seen the ones from our past Adventures by Disney trips, besides taking our picture with our camera whenever we ask, the Adventure Guides take pictures of you with their cameras throughout the vacation. They periodically convert a small handful of pictures into postcards that they give to us as “gifts” (sort of like the pins) throughout the week and then they also do a chronological montage of pictures (with background music, virtual pins on a map, etc.) that is shown during “the last supper”. We will be getting a copy of that, as well as all the pictures they took over the course of the vacation, in a few weeks (we don’t even have to pay for it anymore! Now it’s part of the package! Woo hoo!)

The party broke up around 10pm (they had told us it would start at 6pm and take about 2 hours or more. Emphasis on the “or more”, I guess, LOL!). A good dozen of us went over to the Lounge to continue the party, just as we had the night before. This time though, no one wanted to leave and we hung out until around midnight.

Our last night...

Luggage drop off would be at 8am the next morning so we set the alarm for 7 and called it a night.

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