Monday, January 5, 2009

Random Travel Update 35

Last location: Banff, Canada
Arrival Date: December 26, 2008
Departure Date: January 4, 2009

Current location: Tucson, AZ
Arrival Date: January 4, 2009
Departure Date: January 19, 2009

Next Location: Farmington, UT
Arrival Date: January 19, 2009
Departure Date: TBD

Photos at:

My non-vegan cousin may be the most brilliant vegan cook ever. This Christmas, her and my aunt teamed up to create one of the most righteous family feasts yet. We had terra chips, hummus, jalapeno cranberry sauce, strawberry mandarin spinach salad, cranberry bread, candied carrots, rosemary roasted potatoes, green bean supreme, a vegan roast by Field Roast Grain Meat (available at whole foods) and chocolate cake. Of particular note was the cranberry sauce, which is absolutely brilliant with jalapeƱo (who would have thought?); the vegan cranberry bread, which was sticky, tart and sweet to perfection; the green bean supreme which I never liked as a kid but love now that it’s been veganized; and the eggless chocolate cake which was decadently moist on the inside and flawlessly crisp around the edges. I have attached the recipes for you foodies out there. They are also available here with pictures.

When it became apparent that I would be in North America for the winter, my parents invited me to join them on their annual ski trip departing the day after Christmas. This year we went to Canada for the first time as a family. We stayed in Canmore, a small town between Calgary and Banff put on the map when it hosted the Nordic events for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. 1988 is significant because it is the first year of Olympic Games that I ever watched. (Points to anyone who knows what city hosted the 1988 Summer Games.)

We skied three resorts in Banff National Park: Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise. Norquay is small and untouristed, a local spot with great attitude but not-so-great-snow. Sunshine and Lake Louise are world class resorts comparable to those in Colorado and Utah with wonderfully rugged (read rocky) terrain and a healthy respect for avalanche danger. On our fourth day, we took a break from downhill to try our skills at cross country skiing at Canmore’s Olympic Nordic Track. On our final day, we packed up and drove two hours north along the Icefields Parkway to stare in awe at the massive glacier formations and ice falls impressively suspended over towering rock formations.

If you live or travel in Alberta, I recommend checking out The Coup in Calgary, a super trendy joint serving up spectacular meals and a live DJ on the weekends. This place is no secret and is obscenely popular. Expect a worthwhile wait. In Canmore, I highly recommend The Chef’s Studio Japan for Sushi. The menu is great for vegans (they even leave the fish out of their miso), the staff is uber friendly and the bathrooms include chalk so that you can guiltlessly tag the walls. If you are anywhere in Canada, I recommend checking out the new Vegetarian Chicken Sandwich at KFC. Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken sells vegan chicken that is absolutely delicious. The people at the counter may not know that it is vegan so make sure to ask for no mayo. Unfortunately, it is only available in Canada. So, if you live in Canada and don’t mind eating fried food every so often support it so that they’ll start offering it in the US. Related trivia: the first KFC ever is in South Salt Lake, Utah.

There is more to write but I’ll save it for update 36. Thanks to all of you who wrote back with your New Year’s updates!



1 comment:

keynesiandreamer said...

sounds pretty sweet indeed.