#CIJVacation – Banff, Alberta, Canada With DesertDabbler

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s take a vacation with Desert Dabbler from DesertDabbler

Banff, Alberta, Canada

Banff, Alberta, Canada

1. What is your favorite vacation destination and why? Where exactly in the world is it located?

My favorite vacation spot is the Canadian Rockies, specifically the towns of Banff and Jasper. The people are friendly, and I love the beauty of the mountains and the wildlife. So far I’ve seen elk, moose, grizzly bear, and mountain goats. One of these days I hope to spot a wolf in the wild.

Banff is in the province of Alberta, Canada, and within Banff National Park. Lake Louise, which has its own beautiful hotel, is nearby. From there you can drive the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. It is also located within a Canadian national park.

2.  What are several places everyone visiting this destination should see?

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is spectacular and not to be missed. It’s like a castle. Although I can’t afford to stay there, I love to look at the art, visit the specialty shops, and soak in its beauty. The last time I was there, a harpist was playing in the main hallway for everyone to enjoy.

The Icefields Parkway is a spectacular drive between Banff and Jasper. It has towering mountains and glaciers plus you might see mountain goats, elk or bears. It all depends on the season and how lucky you are. If you’re adventurous, you can take a tour and walk on a glacier!

For me, it’s all about getting out into nature. There are hiking trails for every ability level. Some, like the walk at Lake Louise, are paved and suitable for everyone. Others are very steep and strenuous. I usually avoid these harder hikes now and stick to easy to moderate ones. If you plan to visit here, I recommend buying a hiking/trail book, which will have lots of valuable information.

3. What special customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. are intriguing about this destination?

I don’t know about any special customs or traditions since I’m not Canadian. For me it’s the peacefulness I find there, the fresh pine scented air, and the wildlife that makes this place special. The people I’ve met have always been friendly and welcoming.

4. Where are the hot spots to eat and drink?

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is my favorite place to have lunch in Banff. In summer you can dine on the patio, surrounded by beautiful flowers, the mountains and cool, fresh air.

In Jasper I recommend Becker’s Chalets for a great dinner. The food was wonderful when I was there a few years ago. There’s also a lodge in Jasper National Park that is smaller than the one in Banff but also a great place to go for lunch or dinner.

5. Have you been to your favorite vacation destination more than once and will you visit again?

Yes, I’ve visited there 4 or 5 times. Each time I stay a little longer and go a little farther north. I keep going back because I love the mountains and the wildlife. I’m planning to go again in September. I’m hoping to get good pictures of the elk and maybe a bear. Fingers crossed!

6. What are your social media sites?

Blog: DesertDabbler

Pinterest: DesertDabbler

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#CIJVacation – Valais, Switzerland With saxdsign

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s take a vacation with Lisajoy from saxdsign

Valais, Switzerland

Valais, Switzerland

1. What is your favorite vacation destination and why? Where exactly in the world is it located?

Oh! vacations are my most favorite thing in the world!! I think European Vacations are amazing, and it is hard for me to just pick one place. If I could choose, my top two spots in the world are Valais, Switzerland and London, England…. So I flipped a coin, and Valais, CH wins this time. Where else in the world can you eat breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in France and dinner in Italy?

saxdsign

saxdsign

2. What are several places everyone visiting this destination should see?

If you were going to visit Valais, I would recommend trying to make it there the first week of October because that is when the “Foire du Valais” is taking place in Martingy (pronounced Martini). Here, is where all the best restaurants, vintners and distillers join in one giant week long party to promote and share all their new recipes, wines and aperitifs. This is something Not to miss, it closes at 9:00 pm so get there early!

3. What special customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. are intriguing about this destination?

Every weekend there is some kind of festival, where you can try all the local eats, pastries and Chocolates! This is also where you can see traditional Swiss dancers or the Alphorn blowers. These are the famous long wooden horns that the Swiss blow in the mountains. The geography is unlike any other place in the world you are High up in the mountains and sometimes you are high up above the clouds. Nature is incredible and one of the only places in the world to see the illusive Bouquetin, or Alpine Ibex, a long horned species of mountain goat that lives in very steep, rough terrain above the snow line at very high altitudes. A really adorable and cute custom of the Swiss is that they LOVE to wear red shoes, just check it out when you get to the airport, every 5th person will have red shoes.

4. Where are the hot spots to eat and drink?

My favorite restaurant to visit in Valais is Croix de Coeur in Verbier. (address and phone number below) Resting at the top of a lovely peak overlooking the glacial alps and looking in to the valley of Valais. One of their specialties is the Hunting meat which comes on a sizzling stone, yes it is exotic Venison cooking on a rock. OMG… my mouth is watering right now. This is where all the celebrities come by helicopter just to have lunch, and it is not a hoity toity dress up place to go, dress is completely casual, and mostly hikers, mountain bikers, and families. It is a cute place where people bring their dogs and have a hot chocolate while watching parasailers fly through the wind gusts coming up from the valley.

Croix de coeur,
Verbier 1936, Switzerland
+41 27 775 25 36

5. Have you been to your favorite vacation destination more than once and will you visit again?

Yes, I have been to this destination several times, and Yes, I would completely go back, there is so much to do and see here, but is not for the couch potato, the Swiss are famous for their hiking, biking, skiing, and chocolate. The castles are all open to the public as well as dams, and museums. Switzerland is rich with deep history and the people are incredible. Tips: brush up on your french, wear layers as the temperature changes rapidly, and make sure to bring really comfortable shoes, red ones if you have them, you’ll fit right in.

6. What are your social media sites?

Etsy: Saxdsign

Facebook: Saxdsign

Pinterest: Saxdsign

Twitter: Saxdsign

Instagram: Saxdsign

Etsy Trade Team: EtsyTradeTeam

Website: sachsdesign.com

June – Great Outdoors Month

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

“Great Outdoors Month is a time for all to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors. Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage by experiencing it together.”

Carrie of madcapz says:

I’m getting ready to do some amazing hiking with my family!

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Wendy Joy of wjoydesigns states:

In June, our family begins to celebrate nature by going on many camping trips! This is where I get a lot of my inspiration for my creations and sometimes even items from our mother Earth to make them with! I look for unique stones along the rivers and lakes to use in my designs and pick flowers to press and use later on when they are dried. While camping, I have the time to slow down and connect with my inner voice. I bring my craft supplies with me in case I am inspired to create while in beautiful surroundings! I believe that this adds peaceful energy to my works and that those feelings can be passed to the wearer of my pieces

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Lin Collette of rhodyart said:

Gosh, I’m a dedicated city girl, I hate bugs, hate camping, and can’t build a campfire to save my life. I even hate S’mores. That said, when I have the chance to walk with my brother through Ninigret Park in Charlestown, Rhode Island – its nature preserve – I am in awe at what I see, the wildflowers, the trees in fantastical shapes because they’re in a salt marsh and affected by the salt in some way, and so on. I love flowers and am always taking photos of flowers on my camera. I admire those who garden and those who go trekking.

Just don’t ask me to go along. This item is inspired by Downton Abbey’s Mr. Bates and Anna. I imagine that they love to go on long walks, in spite of Mr. Bates’ leg injury, and I would love to think they’re long romantic walks.

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Melissa R of missy69 discusses:

It starts getting really hot here in June, in Florida. We are in a heat advisory, already, for this weekend. We do have a pool, but we love to visit our local springs and ocean beaches. One of my favorite things is to turn pictures we take into paintings.

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios says:

We go into winter here in Australia, so for me it means wrapping myself up in several layers and heading out with my camera before dawn to one of my favorite photography spots to enjoy the sunrise. Watching the fog lift off the lake is a wonderful sight and I love capturing it every possible chance.

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Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns discussed:

I used to do a lot of camping many years ago – but these days like the comfort of my own bed!!

However, I have maintained an appreciation of the outdoors, especially while living on 10 acres in a rural part of Australia.

Many of my original art gift cards are inspired by the great outdoors, such as this one!

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Not only is there a lot of nature and beauty in our crafts, but there is so much more in the Great Outdoors!

Get up, get out and enjoy your time outdoors.