Good morning! On this fine day I am happy to present to you a perspective from my home province of Alberta. There is a lot to love about this provinces, especially in the winter.
I asked my friend Jeannine a bunch of questions to get a sense of her winter. Jeannine has a beautiful close knit family who spend a lot of time together doing all sorts of activities. Any time that I have spent with Jeannine has had her sharing a story or two about adventures that they get up to. I knew that if I were to do this feature week that I would hope that she would participate. I was happy when she agreed and am looking forward to sharing with you what she had to say.
How long does winter tend to last in your neck of the woods?
Way too freaking long in my opinion… I usually count winter as 5 months
How cold does it get?
I’ve seen the actual temperature hit -40 almost every winter, however this year as been an anomaly. It’s been so mild and lovely, I think the coldest I’ve seen was -20
At what temperature is it too cold, in your opinion, to spend time outside?
I’m a pansy, so anything below -20 is too cold. I made the mistake of wearing the wrong socks on a walk the other day and ended up with frostbite around the cuff of my ankle socks!
My hubby loves cold weather, so he’s happy skiing down to -25… personally I think he’s crazy.
Would you say that there are any winter activities that are unique to the area where you live?
No, we have the usual activities… cross country skiing, tobogganing, downhill skiing, snowball fights (yes I count these!), etc etc.
Are there any winter events that take place in your neighbourhood?
We have a great little tobogganing hill in the greenbelt by our house, along with great walking trails.
We use the hill almost every weekend that we’re home, and quite frequently if we have kids hanging out over at our place. It’s close and friendly, but not well known to people outside our neighbourhood.
We use the walkways that are right outside our house on a daily basis. The city usually does a good job of maintaining their public walkways, however homeowners living on the walkways are not so courteous. This results in treacherous walks when the snow starts melting and our walks need to be delayed until the sun is up.
What is your favourite thing to do outside in the winter?
As a family, we love skiing both locally and up in the mountains. It’s a fantastic sport and an amazing way to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world!
When is the last time you built a snowman?
We built one last year! We also build snow forts off the back deck every year… well except for this year!
Who do you spend the most time with outside?
Hands down, its my brother’s family. It doesn’t matter whether it’s skiing, tobogganing, snowmobiling, motorbiking or camping, we love being outside with them!
As a kid, what was your favourite thing to do in the snow?
We loved to ski as a family and that’s probably where our love started.
What is your favourite winter related memory?
There were so many, but outside of skiing, I loved saddling up our horses and going on a trail ride on a warm winter day. Living out in the country, there were so many activities available, we just had to decide (which sometimes was the hardest part).
With a puppy in your household, does that get you guys outside more often to play in the snow?
We definitely get outside more often now, whether it’s for long walks, or meeting up with friends and letting our dogs go for a run together. We’ve met so many fellow dog lovers out on our walks and it’s turning into a bit of a community out there. People stop and comment on how Bond is growing up, which starts great conversations about our neighborhoods.
As the kids in your family are getting older, have you noticed a change in winter activities?
Absolutely! Abby’s passion for climbing has definitely changed what our days and weekends look like. She is spending quite a bit of time training and competing these days and we are travelling to beautiful areas like Calgary, Banff and Canmore.
Who would you say in your family enjoys winter the most?
My hubby definitely! I’d rather be in Palm Springs than in -20…
When you head back inside, what is the best way to warm up?
A wood burning fireplace, coffee and Bailey’s (or peppermint schnapps) and a mohair afghan that my parents received as a wedding gift 50 years ago.
In line with Canadian stereotypes, how much of a role does hockey play in your life and which team, if any, do you cheer for and why?
The only time we enjoy hockey in person is when our friends come up from the US and we catch a game with them. The only time we watch a game is if we actually make it to the playoffs… suffice to say that hasn’t happened much recently!
Speed Round: Choose one or the other
Baileys in your hot chocolate or coffee?
Ummm… both together? Actually, either.
Hockey on TV or on the road in front of your house?
Hockey isn’t a big thing in our house.
White or tropical Christmas?
We love spending Christmas in the mountains, that’s our absolute favourite! The JPL puts on an amazing Christmas party that lasts all week, the kids were able to do crafts, decorate our Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread cookies, you get the idea! Their lodge is magical during the holidays (complete with a lifesized gingerbread house!) and it’s an experience everyone should enjoy at least once in their lifetime!
I agree with Jeannine that the Jasper Park Lodge really knows how to celebrate a holiday. It is beautiful in the mountains all year around but it is easy to imagine that Christmas times is just that much more special.
While I was going over Jeannine’s answers it sent me back down memory lane of my own childhood, hitting the slopes and toboggan hill. It really is a lot of fun.
Thank you to Jeannine for taking the time to contribute to this week’s feature. I hope that she and her family continue to enjoy our winter months and make even more wonderful memories.