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A week off from work goes by really quickly.  I managed to pack in my first cruise experience, quality time (and eating) with friends and family and my 10 K run in Banff.   Run in Banff??  Oh yes, I booked time off at the end of September just for this event.

After the Sun Run last year, my big sis invited N and myself to join her for the annual Melissa’s Road Race in Banff.  Although it is not a fundraising event, any profits generated from the event are donated back into the Banff community.  A beautiful scenic 10K / 21K run that supports the local community.  Fantastic!

We signed up in February and by March, N set up a running/training schedule for me.   I was pretty good at keeping with my running schedule for the first month or so.  As project work took me off-site, running on weekdays became a challenge.  By the time summer rolled around, my training schedule was reduced to weekend running.

It was finally time for our trip to Calgary/Banff.  Bright and early on vacation-day Friday, N and I hopped on a plane and flew to Calgary.

above the clouds

above the clouds

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Big sis and my dear little niece welcomed us at the airport.  My niece has grown so much since the last time I saw her (February).  She had lots to tell me about and we almost missed the exit as we walked hand-in-hand ahead of the group.

Our first stop of the day was Eau Claire Market.  Although my big sis already picked up our race bibs the previous day, I wanted to stop by The Running Room to find a pair of running pants.  I tried many pairs of running pants before finally settling for something to wear for Saturday’s run.

Big sis mentioned that she made reservations at River Cafe, a restaurant in Calgary’s Prince’s Island Park.  As it was only a short walk away from Eau Claire, we set out for a leisurely stroll to the restaurant.  The sun momentarily broke through the clouds.  What a beautiful and comfortable walk.

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It didn’t take long for us to arrive at River Cafe.  While we waited for N to take pictures around the area, big sis told me about how the 2013 flood had affected the park and the restaurant.  Though there was undoubtedly much damage to the flood zone, it’s good to see that the neighbourhood has picked up and rebuilt itself.

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We took some photos outside the restaurant before heading in to claim our reservation.  When we first walked into the restaurant, it appeared to be only half full (picture shows the side that is not as busy).  Jehfu arranged to meet us there (someone still had to work!).  He arrived while we were studying the menu.

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There were a lot of mouth-watering items on the menu.  Thankfully N and I decided to share a couple of items so we could try a bit of everything.  N and I ordered the Olson’s Bison Burger and the Smoked Fiore De Latte Flatbread.  Big sis ordered the Bison Burger.  Jehfu ordered the Cauliflower & Vadouvan Soup and the Smoked Chicken & Provolone Flatbread to share with my niece.  Not giving up on an opportunity, N and I traded some of our flatbread with Jehfu to try the Smoked Chicken & Provolone.

 Cauliflower & Vadouvan Soup  -  Humpback Prawn, Gremolata, Hazelnut

Cauliflower & Vadouvan Soup –
Humpback Prawn, Gremolata, Hazelnut

Smoked Chicken & Provolone  - Corn Relish, Great Northern White Bean, Cilantro

Smoked Chicken & Provolone –
Corn Relish, Great Northern White Bean, Cilantro

Olson’s Bison Burger  -  Peach, Brie de Meaux, House Cured Bacon, Fingerling Potato Salad

Olson’s Bison Burger –
Peach, Brie de Meaux, House Cured Bacon, Fingerling Potato Salad

 Smoked Fiore De Latte  -  Olive, Gull Valley Tomato, Lyalta Arugula

Smoked Fiore De Latte –
Olive, Gull Valley Tomato, Lyalta Arugula

I cut the Bison Burger into two halfves for N and I to share.  Not sure if the burger would have been messy otherwise but after cutting it into two portions, it was difficult to eat in a neat and orderly fashion.  The burger wasn’t very big but the bison tasted quite meaty.  With the bison patty and the bacon, the meat-craving part of my appetite was fulfilled.  The fingerling potato salad had a bit of zing to it.  Not something I would crave to order on its own but as a side to the bison burger, it was okay.  I really enjoyed the Smoked Fiore De Latte Flatbread.  It was my favourite item of the meal.  Not only was it my like for arugula, but also blend of the flavours – simple and satisfying.  It reminded me of a warmed arugula salad on top of a bread crust.

I declined dessert but took pictures of what my niece and Jehfu ordered.

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chocolate ice cream (waffle crisp was eaten by my niece before i could take the photo...)

chocolate ice cream (waffle crisp was eaten by my niece before i could take the photo…)

Panna Cotta...?

Panna Cotta…?

River Cafe on Urbanspoon

It rained while were in the restaurant but luckily it was sunny again when we left.  The air was very refreshing and our walk back to the car was very nice.

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The same pathway... has it changed much...?

The same pathway… has it changed after the rain…?

 

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