Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It ain't no Dirty Dancin'

You know that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby discovers the staff bar and walks in amidst girating, sweating bodies and meets the lovely Patrick Swayze? I have to admit that when I moved to Lake Louise, I was expecting evening upon evening of gyrating bodies of my own. Alas, not quite. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is a tiny ski town in Alberta, 45 minutes West of Banff - it's the typical tourist town, filled with Japanese tour groups who do the tour between Vancouver to Calgary in 2 days flat and ski bums who smoke too much weed.

Leaving Ontario post-uni, hubby (then mere bfriend) and I backed out of my parents' driveway to begin the drive cross-Canada and never looked back. I remember feeling elated, so freakin' excited to FINALLY get away. Funny, we never even discussed when we would be back. It was just understood that it was just not an option (oddly - we never actually discussed getting married or having kids either. Maybe we need to work on communication?!?).

We both worked at Chateau Lake Louise (yes, the grand one in all the photos) - In the 3 years we were there, I worked Banquets, Front Desk and Concierge. Hubby worked in Food Stores - the warehouse where all the food & liquor arrives for the 5 restaurants. It was funny, the 'boys in food stores' got to all wear black head to toe and everyone was intimidated by them. I used to love sneaking into Food Stores and stealing rasberries from the giant freezers... It also meant I had an 'in' with the Executive Chef - I was the only waitress he didn't make cry on a daily basis. Every day, I would have lunch with the Food Stores boys in the staff caf - it was 5 guys dressed head to toe in black and me, dressed in my heritage uniform - think LARGE burgundy skirt, frilly white top, burgundy vest (always attractive) and a flowered necktie. I was the envy of all - or so I thought...

On days off, we went hiking, skiing, snowshoeing or just hung out with roomates (we had to live in staff accommodation with 4 others). Yes, we did drink quite a bit and yes, there may have been some drugs. Once a week, we would make the trek to Banff (45 minutes drive away) to buy some over-priced groceries, treat ourselves to lunch at St. James' Gate (yummy brie & strawberry sandwiches and potato, leek and ham soup - I can still taste it....Delish!). True fact - if you needed to buy underwear, you had to drive to Calgary - 3 hours away! Banff was filled with Canadiana stores and souvenir shops. After 3 years, driving 3 hours to buy underwear and paying $5 for a bag of chips got old. Hubby and I packed up, and ended up here, in Vancouver (well, there was a 3 month stint in Thailand but that's another post).

Kris - hope this was enough to let your mind wander - your turn!


  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Gosh. Your escape from Ontario was similar to mine. The day after my last exam, the hubby and I packed all our worldly possessions -- including our cat -- into the Mazda hatchback, drove across the country, stopped briefly in Vancouver to drop the cat off at the place we'd arranged to board him, then headed north to plant trees in northern BC and Alberta for four months.

    I think you win, though, in that Lake Louise has a higher glam factor (heritage uniform notwithstanding) than Prince George, BC, or Whitecourt, AB.

    Sleeping in a tent for four months -- first through the coldest spring in 15 years, then through the buggiest summer in god knows how long (if the locals were to be believed) -- gave me an appreciation for the simple things... such as indoor showers. When we finished up our contracts and moved to Vancouver so I could start grad school, we didn't have any furniture (I mean NONE: we slept in our sleeping bags on thermarests... the ultimate minimalists) for three months, until we got our paycheques (ahh... the skeevy corporate world of tree-planting). I didn't even care. I was thrilled just to have a flushing toilet.

    It's funny that you mention never looking back to Ontario. Neither have we, but it took our families seven or eight years to stop asking us when we're "coming home." Do you ever get that?

  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger Cataclysm said…

    Too cool Anne Marie! Perfect little snapshot! A nice mix of 'behind the scenes at disneyworld' with the odd human dynamics that make life worth living .

    Funny the choices we make and why - in our 20s, the world is truly made up of a multitude of choices. Some things I wouldn't go back to, like being so broke, but I loved thinking that anything was possible. Like the part in Reality Bites where Ethan H is doing the tour of his employment history - love the crazy collection of interesting jobs! I might write a blog on that actually...
    Good one!!

  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger Anne-Marie said…

    My parents (well, my mom) still thinks I'm gonna pack it up and head back to Ktown. Even worse now that we have a little one - I dread talking to her on the phone. To be honest, it's all so dramatic and I don't deal well with drama. Too much 'oh, i miss you.... do you miss me???' - uh, no. Is there a nicer way to put it?

    p.s. We also had nothing when we moved here - house-sat for friend's parents for a month in burbville Burnaby but when we moved into our place in Kits, all we had was a kitchen table and 4 chairs... - we drove across in a green '85 jetta ('little green') who really shouldn't have made it, but not only performed beautifully, made it thru 2 winters in the Rockies til it got a flat tire and the rim froze to the ground. We sold it for $100 to friends who were gonna wait for the Spring to thaw it out...


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