Calgary’s Cool Colonel Kananaskis Day Trip

My hubby at the last remaining Guard Tower at the Camp.

45 Minutes from Calgary…If you like history and hiking…this is it.  The Colonel’s Cabin in Kananaskis is an amazing place. this gorgeous mountain park, the last thing you can imagine is an internment camp full of Nazi’s in Canada.  In 1939 this former employment camp started stringing barb wire, built guards towers, (used to be 8), and started interning German Canadian sympathizers to the Nazi cause, known as the group; Deutsche Bund fur Kanata. they would get propaganda from Germany via The US, (who had not yet entered the war).  This literature was used to gain support and sympathy for Nazi Germany from within Canada, it was rumored to have been authored by Josef Goebbels himself.

Barrier Lake
Kananaskis Hwy 40
Colonel’s Crazy Skies…went from cloudy to sunny as soon as we arrived.

Later on at the camp, radical German Communists were added who had more disdain for the Nazi’s then their British guards. It made for a tense environment among the prisoners.  During the course of WWII, life at this camp, (that grew to 700 prisoners at one point), had held many high ranking prisoners like spies for Herman Goering that were later traded for the release of two English Lords.  In 1941 a group of young Nazi sailors captured in the Pacific Coast were sent here, among them were reported to be Gastapo.


During the war years the Fascist prisoners often started riots, purposely provoking their British guards…in hope someone would get shot and die, then with luck, word would get back to Hitler in Germany so he would know how much they supported him! Another case of history really is…stranger than fiction.

The interpretive hike here at the Barracks is easy and pretty…a little further along from the Barrier turn off of Hwy 40, turn east, (on the other side of the road from Barrier Lake), into the University of Calgary Research Park…huge green sign…hard to miss.  Turn there and you will quickly see signs to the Colonel’s Cabin.

Lieutenant Colonel WH Watson was strict, but also would walk among the prisoners to earn their respect.

The original cabin for the Colonel and one guard tower is all that remains.  There are interpretive signs and commemorative plaques honoring those who served, mostly the gorgeous Kananaskis Country is all around you.

I love taking pictures of insects...and this lovely one posed so nicely for the picture.
I love taking pictures of insects…and this lovely one posed so nicely for the picture.

The History Loop trail is light and relatively easy and you have the option to hook up to the Forestry Loop that is a fabulous hike to Barrier Lake and back.  The trees seem to speak a story about the history of this place, a strange feeling…after all, just about every tree that was cut down to create the trails in the trees were likely cut down by a Nazi!

Best time to go is late June when the flowers are blooming, like these rare orchids.
My hubby leading the way, enjoying the pretty forest walk.


ChiChi at the Calgary Chateau

Every Corner is full of treasures…this store is for Ladies.

What a beautiful, whimsical, gorgoeus presentation of everything girlie…not just girlie, but elegant…and well…I guess ChiChi.  I am forty’ish and almost every morning of my life…since age 13, I have done my hair, make-up, selected jewelry and sometimes a scarf, to go with the outfit I have put together that day.  I try to match the purse and shoes or boots…depending on the occasion, and the weather…and I have always had a little place in my homes to complete my daily ritual. In my current home where I have lived in for 12 years, I have converted a small bedroom into my dressing room or as I like to call it my “nest”, where all my makeup, hair supplies and clothes are located.

Fabulous Vignettes that tell a story to attract you to the all the unique pieces in the store.

I have a 70’s era vanity in maple and a 30’s maple and black leather arm chair, (made in Calgary).  I have my Great Grandmother’s Canadiana Heart Pine Dresser, an Italian Wardrobe and a very rare 1900 arrowback side chair…  The nest also houses all my girlie treasures too.  I have lots of Canadiana treasures like Vintage Birks, figurines that belonged to my dearest Mum in law…treasures from my Mother and Grandmother…all housed in my mid- century, (made in Quebec), side board.

A chandelier hangs over head and my 40’s lamp with gothic, gold swirls and crystals light up my make up mirror from France…it is my eden, my very own place and where I do my best decompressing,  I love my nest!


When I walked into Chateau Country Lace it is like a giant sized nest to me. Basically I love everything in this store! They have such lovely vintage finds, mixed in with new luxury bath and beauty products, accessories, as well as quality garments.  GORGEOUS sweaters, knit ponchos and jewelry galore. This is a ladies paradise.  Nothing trendy here…this store is elegant, traditional and timeless quality. A place to go shopping with you girlfriend, mother, daughter or grandmother! The merchandising is creative genius that has gone into every corner of this store mixing new and vintage pieces together.  The upcycling and artistry is amazing, with museum like presentation.


There is a very keen and talented eye at work, that LOVES what they do.  I could literally feel it as I walked inside.  Every real lady in Calgary should visit this store and spoil yourself with something special from Chateau Country Lace.  There is quite literally no other store in Calgary like it…maybe even Canada?

Best part is there are delicious desserts and coffee across the street at Lazy Loaf and Kettle after you have finished shopping!


Calgary’s Lunch at the Loaf

Dining in my truck for lunch…cause I arrived at 11:25 and there was not one empty seat in the place! Should take my own advice and arrive earlier for lunch!


Why do I love bread soooooooooo much…why? My waistline certainly does not need it! Bread glorious bread…so many bread options here at the Lazy Loaf and kettle and the sandwiches…!

It’s all about the Chocolate Cake on the lower right and the Chocolate Cheesecake on the left…oh who do I think I am kidding!  It’s about…everything in the case!

Everything on the menu is amazing…the breakie is divine, and the soup quite excellent, but after the meal…the very best is for                                                                                           last…the DESSERTS!

All home made, all amazing!!! Really, really good…and classics. This is the place your Grama will like to come and your kids…basically anyone who loves traditional baking. Make sure you take some of their bread home! This is some of the best bread I have ever had! Every variety…All of them!  Things sell out fast…my faves are usually gone by 2:00…so get here early!  I have been disappointed enough times to say that.  If you are lucky enough to get a seat…don’t miss taking in the art on the walls…it’s all for sale!  If you love art like I do, you would be amazed at some of the pieces for sale…great works for a great price!  Even my college age, art student daughter agrees!  Great pieces can be found here at The Lazy Loaf & Kettle…such a great spot!

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If I am on the subject of bread…I have to give a bread shout out to Glamorgan Bakery…Cheese Buns.  As my husband and daughter are cheese bun addicts…I have bought every Cheese Bun available in this city…and these are the very best!

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Smugs feels like a Hug.

O20160216_131536K I admit it…I LOVE Salad Bars…the idea of unlimited combinations on one plate drives me wild!  (Chinese Buffets used to…when I could digest it that is…aahhhh back in my twenties!) Smuggler’s Inn on McLeod offers the BEST salad bar in Calgary period!  The bread sticks…well they are no joke, but the…real…reason…we come to “Smugs” for lunch is the STEAK SOUP!!! Ya did I mention I like soup?

Well I do and this is the most beautiful, savory, rich, velvet like Beef20160216_134136 soup like no other…with AAA Prime Rib bits floating throughout the broth..made from the gods…it is simply amazing soup!  The bread sticks with a plate of salad is a meal fit for a king! Available every single day at lunch!


Smuggler’s has always had the reputation for lunch, but their Prime Rib, is the Top Cut in Cowtown…to be sure!  They are the masters at it!  Smuggler’s dark, woodsy wall paneling, fire light and the legendary Henry the 8th, velvet upholstered, nail head, 100 lb throne chairs…make you feel like a king or queen when you sink in the super comfy seat…it just makes the Beef taste that much Beefier.  Love Smugs…great lunch and Sunday night Prime Rib treat!


Party at the Pig

ENVY is a GREAT local band, with music from the 70’s straight through to current tunes…Great time!

The Pig & Whistle Pub has been a NW Calgary landmark for a long time…22 years in fact.  For Calgary…that is impressive!  To survive in the non-descript, Beddington Towne Strip Mall in NW Calgary is even more impressive. Through the years it has been given a “rep” to say the least. Pretty wild nights at the Pig with large crowds drinking heavily…I myself can attest to some dysfunctional, drinking behavior there when I was in my 20’s…err…maybe 30 something…once or twice as well.  Now that I am a more subdued, selective and a mellow drinker, (who can no longer waste a weekend over a hangover!),  it is clear the Pig has evolved with me.

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Krank’s continues to Krank out top rock of the 70’s and 80’s…fun show for dancing!

The crowd is a little older than it used to be, and a whole lot kinder. There still is a mix from 20’s to 60’s, so still a colourful crowd, but finally a place where I do not feel like a fight is about to break out or that I am geriatric!

The best part about The Pig, (other than being 5 mins from my door), is that they have LIVE music and frankly that is all I even care about these days…oh and a wine list does not hurt either!  LOL!  The Pig delivers! Fortunately my super cool, amazing, guitar playing and guitar building husband is plugged in to the music scene, so he knows who is great and not so great in town for our taste.

Junk takes a break to have a shot with a Birthday Boy…these guys are all so talented and FUN! We love Junk!

The Pig delivers great local music and a dance floor. Excellent staff in this place, always has been…and great seating arrangement so just about every seat can see the stage area.  The menu is decent pub fare and pizzas…all made in house by Tony.  Lots to choose from with specials throughout the week.  If you want to dance, listen to great local talent and have some drinks in the NW, the Pig and Whistle Pub is for you.

Suckerpunch knocks it out at the Pig & Whistle!
Suckerpunch knocks it out at the Pig & Whistle!