Part of what makes coming back to Banff in the summers so easy is that while I’m here I live with my parents. And like the stereotypical student that I am, I live in their basement.

This works well as it keeps us all out of each others’ way – especially in the morning when we’re all getting ready for work – but its unusual this year because my sister, who rounds out our quartet, isn’t here. While she is often my partner in crime during the summer months, this year I’ve been spending much more of my free time with my parents.

And friends. They count too I suppose.

What’s fun about this is that we go wandering. Not wanting to stay in Banff we meander off on random adventures and go kayaking on Johnson’s Lake, out for dinner at the bistro at Baker Creek, and even off to Field, BC to check out Emerald Lake. With Mom and Dad in tow I can count on good food, good tunes, and good times. Plus they pay for me, so that’s nice.

Sometimes its fun pretending to be the tourist.

Who has the burgers?

With friends its much easier and very entertaining to stick around town and try out places we haven’t been to. We like finding out which restaurants have the best specials on food and drinks on any given night and scope out next week’s spot. It is so easy in this town, especially for those who have been here for so long, to develop our favourites and stick with them until the end of time.

Plus a lot of places have super fun board games and we’re secretly all children.

However, working in this job has shown me that I can’t play favourites anymore; I need to be more fair when dishing out recommendations for dinner or breakfast or whatever it is humans eat. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner and send people to the places I don’t like so that I can always have a table… Oh well.

Truffle Pigs in Field is well worth the drive out to Field. Trust me.

Anyway, to aid this attempt to become familiar with the eating establishments in town I’ve started developing a cheat sheet for our staff to use. The hope is that even if they don’t get the chance or don’t have the desire to try out every restaurant in Banff (there are a stupid amount of restaurants in Banff), this list will at least give them an idea of what’s going on. At the very least it will tell them all the places that have pool tables.

These mini adventures are a great way to get away from town and enjoy my home before the madness of the peak summer months begin. I think it also gives me experiences and perspectives that I can take to work and share with visitors.

Summers can get pretty mad here and I’m grateful to have this chance to spend time with my parents (we’re not getting any younger here, you know) and my friends. Plus its fun.

The most damage Mom and I could inflict on the Kicking Horse River was skipping stones on it. And I wasn’t all that good.

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