I often wonder if people from other places of the world forget to explore and visit the beauty that surrounds them as often as we do with the mountains. For example, if I lived in London would I forget to explore the castles, history, and museums in every direction just because I was used to them being there? It may just be our lifestyle that doesn't often take us to the mountains, or maybe we've taken them for granted in being so close for so long. After this weekend, however, I was reminded of how we need to make more time for weekend drives West. There's something about that mountain air, feeling so small in the majesty of the mountains and wilderness, and the simple act of getting out of the city. Clarity seems to happen simultaneously. This last weekend some of our dear friends invited us to the mountains to have tea at The Fairmont Banff Springs with them. Our friends (also from the city) make a point of going for tea in Banff each year. It's become a tradition for them. When they first invited us I was struck by what a lovely gesture and intention it was to take time out of all our busyness and spend a day to step away from the city and meet for tea in the mountains. From the haunting beauty of the hotel, to the stunning views surrounding the tea room, once we had all arrived for tea we'd had the hour long drive to leave the city behind and enjoy the time we had set aside for one another. Tea felt special. It took time, and the menu was created specifically with the Royal Family in mind. There was a story for each scone, pastry, and tea. You couldn't help but feel a part of the romance of the queen, duchesses, princes, etc. We spent a lot of time discussing the history and hauntings of the hotel. If only to see the eras that have passed through the walls of that building! Once we finished tea we wandered the main street in Banff and then took a wrong turn only to discover the most picturesque view of the Banff Springs. It was the perfect way to end our day in the mountains!