I was away this past weekend in Banff , a famous tourist destination in the Rocky Mountains. Banff is a pretty cool place even if it is famous. There are mountains, lakes and rivers there, which means skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, and shopping and aimless walking in any season (which is one of my favourite activities). There are museums where you can learn about the eccentric rich people who helped create Banff in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If you had a nice legacy or trust fund in the 1920s, you could ride the train to Banff and build yourself a log cabin, then cart in your grand piano and oak furniture and heirloom china to add to the decor. Then you could do fun stuff like learn hunting and fishing from the Native people and take up watercolour painting. Hey, everybody's got to make a life.
Although I've lived about 90 minutes away for most of my life, I don't actually know Banff that well. Growing up my parents pooh-poohed Banff because you had to pay a park fee to get in there and because in their view it was full of shallow people who just wanted to shop and party. We always went to Kananaskis, which is also in the mountains, does not cost money and is not commercialized other than a couple of ski hills and conference centre. However, as a grown up I've been learning to appreciate Banff a bit more. For one thing, there are so many tourists and foreign workers there, it's a bit like traveling to another country without leaving Canada. I almost question if I belong there because I don't have a European or Australian accent. At any popular tourist destination, the license plates read like a geography lesson in Canadian provinces and American states. (The overseas tourists drive rental cars. Very slowly.)
Anyway, this past weekend I was in Banff with Mr. Turtle (and offline). Mr. Turtle was playing in a curling bonspiel. He had a good time and an especially good day on Saturday when his team won both their games. As for me, I wandered aimlessly, did a little shopping (=raiding the sales racks) and on Sunday treated myself to a morning at the spa at Banff Springs Hotel. I had not been to a spa before. I booked myself for a stress relief massage with aromatherapy. In addition there were 6 different kinds of pools: a mineral bath, three waterfall pools at different temperatures, an outdoor hot tub, a jacuzzi, and a steam room and sauna too. I had a little tour and explanatory lesson before going in, which included this line: "If you have a heart condition or are pregnant, the only safe pool is the mineral pool." Of course I was like "BOILING HOT HOT TUB, HERE I FREAKIN' COME!!!"
Seriously, I have to admit that taking a break the past couple of months from TTC/timed intercourse is kind of awesome. Sometimes I feel guilty about all those egg cells going to waste (one a month!!), or I miss fantasizing about babies during the two week wait. But mostly I'm glad to be off the crazy train for a little while. Especially since soon I will be back on it with bells on, heading full speed one way down a torn up track. The only other time at the spa I thought about IF and felt weird was when I saw a young (honeymooning?) couple. The woman looked unnervingly like Kate Middleton (officially known as the Duchess of Cambridge). I went through a spell of hating on/being jealous of Kate for a while after her pregnancy was announced (I know, under awful conditions but still, she was pregnant and I wasn't). My jealousy was ridiculous and pathetic and totally unreasonable and I'm pretty sure I'm over it now. But seeing her doppelganger was unnerving. I couldn't help but imagine the tabloid stories: The Duchess is spotted at Banff Springs Hotel, having an extramarital affair! The Duchess was seen going in the outdoor hot tub while pregnant with the heir of the British Empire OMG!! (The woman I saw did not look at all pregnant, btw.)
It was a great weekend. And what a nice surprise to come home, finally log back into the computer, and so many new comments on my last entry! I wasn't expecting that at all and I'm touched that people took the time to read the blog and leave a note with their thoughts and perspectives. I feel like I left Torthúil as an island and rediscovered it as an archipelago. I look forward to exploring the blogs of everybody who left a footprint and getting to know their story. I hope I will happen to write again about something relevant. Thank you Mel for the shout-out in the round-up, and to everyone who's not afraid to reach out to another blogger. I often am afraid to reach out. I'm working on getting over it.