Friends Old and New

“There are some people in life who make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little better.” ~ Anonymous

Wind turbines stand in the canola fields near Pincher Creek, en route to Cochrane
Wind turbines stand in the canola fields near Pincher Creek, en route to Cochrane

As we left Waterton Lakes National Park, our journey continued northward to Cochrane, one of the largest cities in the Alberta province and one of the fastest growing communities in all of Canada.  It’s Western, outdoorsy culture, with rolling hills, turquoise rivers, trails and paths, set against a Rocky Mountain backdrop, was divine.

Turquoise waters of the Ghost River
Turquoise waters of the Ghost River

Cochrane was on our radar, as we couldn’t pass an opportunity to reconnect with friends Jim and Barb.  We had met this lovely couple two years ago in Florida, where a quick introduction found us spending the rest of the evening and several days after talking like we had known each other our entire lives.  We have since caught up with them in So Cal and were now looking forward to seeing them on their home turf.

Wonderful friends Jim & Barb
Wonderful friends Jim & Barb

Jim and Barb graciously extended an invitation to stay in their beautiful home.  We couldn’t have had a lovelier experience had we stayed in the finest B&B.

The next several days we were treated to Barb’s scrumptious home-cooked meals and were the lucky recipients of Jim and Barb’s tour guide expertise, giving us a taste of Calgary (a beautiful city) and a full-day tour of Kananaskis Country, where the breathtaking Canadian Rockies surrounded us at every turn.

Our visit ended with an invitation to their annual block party, where 60+ neighbors warmly welcomed us into the fold.  I found myself wishing for someone to adopt us.  I was ready to pack my bags and head north.

And if that wasn’t enough, I had one more highly anticipated visit while in Cochrane.

When I was certain our travels were taking us to Cochrane, I reached out to a blogger friend in the hopes that she lived closed enough and was interested in meeting.  She did and she was and a plan was hatched. And now I can say that I have met one of my favorite bloggers, Sue Slaght of Travel Tales of Life.  If you aren’t already following her (and I’m sure many of you are) you really should check her out.  Funny, engaging, and chock-full of adventure, Sue’s is the consummate blog that all tourism boards would love to know.  Over coffee, both Sue and I agreed that meeting felt like reconnecting with an old friend.

Sue & me at Legacy Guitar House in Cochrane
Sue & me at Legacy Guitar House in Cochrane

I find meeting those who you can easily engage in conversation, yet find comfort in the silence, one of the most delightful pleasures in life.

We cannot thank Jim and Barb enough for their gracious hospitality, and hope to see them again next spring.  As for Sue, I would have been so disappointed had we been so close and our paths hadn’t crossed.  I hope this is just the first of many visits.

A sign outside a great restaurant, Anejo, in Calgary. Our crazy political scene is not lost on our friends north of the border.
A sign outside a great restaurant, Anejo, in Calgary. Our crazy political scene is not lost on our friends north of the border.

41 thoughts on “Friends Old and New

  • Yes, that picture of the sheep is spectacular, and the others are too, but it looks like you are right up close to those sheep. I’m glad you are finding so much joy in meeting up with old friends, so far away from home. I would like to see a picture of one of your campsites. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Joan. Just like most NP campgrounds, the sites have been fairly nondescript, but we aren’t there for the campgrounds, are we? 🙂

  • There is no better way to see a new area than to have a personal tour guide. How nice to visit the Calgary area this way:) Alberta is such a beautiful province. We loved everything about it, from the cities to the National Parks:) What a nice extra treat to meet a blog friend in person:) You and Sue could be twins:) Your header is spectacular!!! The Bighorns are so beautiful:)

  • Oh, how fun! It doesn’t surprise me at all that you two are so warmly welcomed wherever you go. 🙂 I just recently heard of Kananaskis Country—how cool that you got a personal tour! Your photos of the sheep are wonderful, LuAnn.

    • Our Canada trip has been lots of fun. Jim and Barb are so much like you and Eric, kind, generous, easy to be around. Kananaskis Country is beautiful! The Canadian Rockies are spectacular! That herd of bighorn were just passing by as we pulled off the road so I could take a photo. Had to snap fast. 🙂

  • Thanks for a tour around Canada – somewhere I would love to go if there’s still any room there after the US elections – love the bill board for the Mexican restaurant :>>

    • There may not be room after the elections. We received many invites from Canadians. I’m gathering up warm clothing just in case. 😉

  • Who would not take you to their home anyways, and have a good time with? Luann!!! You are looking fine, fine, fine! Do you have the Benjamin Button syndrome? ‘Cause you’re getting younger and younger. Ahihihi 😀

    • Ahhh, aren’t you the sweet one Rommel? Thanks so much. I am convinced that one of the elements to aging gracefully is regular exercise and getting nourished through friends and nature. Will the US be graced with your presence anytime soon?

  • The scenery is beautiful, but the sign outside the Mexican restaurant is the highlight in this blog. I love it!! Thanks for making my day, LuAnn.

    • I couldn’t resist adding that photo. I told Terry I was very surprised to be approached by so many in Canada making comments about Trump, and never once asking how we felt about him.

  • LuAnn how generous of you to include me in your post and to share such a kind description with your readers. What an absolute pleasure it was to spend the morning with you! I hope the years ahead find us crossing paths regularly. Enjoy Canada and I have to say that sign made me snort my morning coffee! Thanks again dear friend. xoxo

    • Seriously Sue, meeting you was one of the big highlights of our time in Canada. When I began to blog, I quickly put a list together of bloggers who I would love to meet and your name always floated to the top of that list. You made my day! I couldn’t resist adding that placard to my post. I was surprised to see how many locals commented to me about Mr. Trump, without any idea of what my thoughts might be. I did get many invitations to move north. 😉

      • Oh my I think I will read this Simmental and your post daily for my ego. So sweet of you and again such a pleasure to spend time together.
        I think because we are bombarded with the news of your election it is top of mind for all. Perhaps we assume if you have been brave enough to cross the wall you are safe to chat with on the topic. 🙂

      • My pleasure Sue. It was wonderful to spend time with you. We might need to brave the wall again depending on the outcome of our election. 😉

  • Personal tour guide…aren’t you the lucky one! How nice to meet up with a new friend.

    Hahaha…live the humor I the sign!

  • What a great shot of the sheep! We had a bear run across the road in front of us today but it was a comedy of errors trying to get the camera to get a photo.
    It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time in Canada. I had never even heard of Cochrane before but now I want to go!

    • Cochrane is a great little city. I had to quickly snap the photo of the sheep as they were moving on by when we pulled off the road.

  • What gorgeous photographs of such gorgeous scenery! The color and intensity of the turqouise waters is quite something.

    I love the photo of the sheep. Its a great shot!

    I do read Sue’s blog and agree woth you its terrific.

    Lets hope the Trump circus ends soon and we all realise it was a huge big bad dream. (Nightmare.)


    • Thanks so much Peta. I feel fortunate to have found Sue’s blog. I never enjoy an election year but this one seems the most maddening.

  • Love that you met a fellow blogger! These contraptions make the world a bit smaller in a good way, eh? Your posts make me want to stow away with your gear and accompany you to all the wonderful places you describe.

    • It has been a wonderful experience to meet several bloggers over the past5 years. As for your posts, I find more and more depth each time you write…so beautiful. I really enjoyed this past post. I have had this dream of doing an extended kayak trip. Terry is not as enamored of kayaking as I am so it will probably not happen, unless I find some like-minded women.

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