Smiles, Adventures, and a bit of German

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on May 31, 2011

Time flies when you’re having fun, and our latest vacation with Kevin’s family from Germany was no exception.

It was my first time meeting Kevin’s sister Asli, and husband Marco.

Asli loves to have fun, has an infectious attitude and doesn’t get too wrapped up in things. It was clear to see that she lives in the moment and loves life to the fullest.

Marco never stops smiling, laughing, or making people laugh. He genuinely cares for his family, and doesn’t let the little things drag him down.

The pair of them together made for such a positive week!

Plus it doesn’t hurt to be around a couple that’s so crazy in love it gets you all gitty with joy.

I don’t know if we’ve ever packed so many amazing experiences into 6.5 days. But, here goes!

We started off at Johnson’s Canyon in Banff National Park.

After a 4km hike, we got back in the car and headed to Lake Louise.

After driving out to Golden, we headed to the visitor center to book a couple of excursions. First up, white water rafting!

I’ve rafted at least 50 times in the past [I used to be a camp counselor] but with the rain not letting up and temperatures staying below 41F, I wasn’t too excited to go…

But once we got in our wet suits, there was no turning back!

Checking out the rapids before we go through them:


Going through them…


We went horseback riding on Saturday. Thankfully it stopped raining and the sun even came out for awhile.

After days on anticipation, Marco took me for a ride on his motorcycle.

I was so ridiculously nervous!

About 5 minutes into the ride I got way more comfortable. My favorite part was looking up at the trees and seeing how fast they were flying by. That, and leaning into corners at 65 miles/hr.

My farewell [I love what Asli says at the end of the video :|]


I made it!


We did a lot of hanging out,

chocolate eating,


dog cuddling,

wolf howling,


and smiling.

All in all, it was a fantastic vacation.

When was your last vacation?

What did you do?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

Looks like a perfect weekend! I want to go to Banff soooo badly. It’s gorgeous up there!

Rafting in that cold = very impressive! Cheers!


Cait @ Beyond Bananas

Seriously.. you packed SO many things into your short little vacation. I can’t believe you were able to get so close to the chipmunk (I think that is what it is anyway…)

And I’ve always wanted to go Rafting.. looks like you guys had a great time.. and what a superb video. I have missed you though! Thanks for the guest posts while you were gone! :)


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

Oh my gosh that looks like fun!!!! I’ve always wanted to go rafting, too!!!

My last vacation? Hmmm….I am always traveling, but I wouldn’t call them vacations!



I love these pictures. Your smiles are contagious! I love all the videos, too. That whitewater rafting looks INSANE. I so would have chickened out :P (…and I love that guy’s accent.)


Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

Your pictures just capture adventure, love, friendship, and youthful energy. So glad you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

Looks like you had an amazing time!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

So much fun!! :)


Jessica @ Adventures in...

Looks like you had a blast! I haven’t been on a good hike or camping trip in what seems like FOREVER. I’m quite jealous! Hopefully I can get to having a nice adventure myself this summer!

P.S. I enjoyed all the guest posts while you were gone!


Alaina Rose @ Sweetness Of Life

Yay! It looks like you had such an awesome time. What beautiful smiles on all your faces. Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your photos and videos of your trip. :-)



This post seriously put a huge smile on a face. Love all the smiles in pictures as well! It really does look like you have a GREAT time, as other commenters have said!

Welcome back and thanks so much for sharing your photos, videos, experiences, and smiles + joy! :)

My last vacation was at Christmas, to see my family… We all live in different parts of the world now, so I really miss them!


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)

Leanne, these pictures are FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!

so happy that you had this vacation and time away. It looks wonderful and that you savored every second.

And I agree, being around ppl that are genuinely happy and in love and just positive in general, does wonders for one’s OWN spirit. Love that :)

Last vacation? Im still on it.!!! Leaving Aruba later this week and heading home to San Diego…not a bad place to head home to :)



Awh I love the pictures! you look like you had such a blast =D! Everywhere that you went looks GORGEOUUSS.
My last vacation was to California where I did the Avon Walk for breast cancer :) I’m supposed o have a trip to New York this summer though which would be a blast if plans go through!


Kristina @ spabettie

wow, Leanne, looks like an amazing time! you stretched and did some “scary” activities, which is always good :) beautiful photos and looks like fun company – good energy to be with is a good thing!

our last vacation was 2 weeks in the bay and napa – and it was glorious. I am out of town again right now, and while it is not REALLY a vacation, I do have downtime to run around and have fun!

glad you had fun, have a great week!


Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh

Such a cute family! What a FUN week! I don’t think I have ever done half of those things! Glad you had such a great time!



Wow, these pictures are great!! Looks like you had such a fun time and some awesome adventures. My family and I went to Banff several years ago, and looking at your pictures made me a little reminiscent of that vacation :).


Heidi @ Food Doodles

That looks like you had so much fun :D
Those rapids looked scary. Haha, then again I’ve only ever been a couple times. Oh and I love the end of the first motorcycle video, haha. That made me laugh :D
Love the wolf video, they’re so beautiful.


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

haha ya… Asli said nothing about me falling off the bike when I was around (thank goodness or I wouldn’t have done it!)


Tiina McKay

Hi Leanne! What a beautiful place! And you got to experience so many wonderful things! You all look like you enjoyed yourself thoroughly!! That’s so great! I live in a vacation spot right now (Hawaii!) and I’m a stay-at-home mom for the time being, so I’m kind of on a permanent vacation… Lucky me :)


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, that sounds marvelous! Although being a full time can be a challenge I’m sure. I wish I could live in Hawaii. Alberta is great now, but I’m not looking forward to January!


Caroline @ Out of Liney

Hi Leanne, I’m new here and just want to say how much your post makes me want to go hiking! I just got back from LA on Sunday, and posted about it on my blog (Out of Liney), but I could use a trip someplace far away – like Germany!


(what runs) Lori

Brrr and beautiful, and fun and WOW! You did so many cool things! What a great experience. Looks amazing. Seriously. I’d be way to afraid to do half of those things… especially for it being cold!


Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie)

What a fun vacation!! I haven’t been on one since May of last year when I went on a cruise, definitely miss it :(



You and Kevin are so cute! And couples in love are just the sweetest thing:)
Looks like you had a great vacation! But Im happy to have you back ;)



Looks like you had an incredible time!



Oh My! What a perfect weekend – planning my summer vacation with my boys, and this has just become a top contender! Last year we went out to Utah to Zion National Park. It’s a must do if you ever make it out that way. We spent an entire day canyoneering. I think we all grew more as individuals in those 8 hours than we have in the past few years. Such an amazing experience!


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy

Oh my goodness, this looks like such a fabulous vacation Leanne! I’m so glad you had an amazing time with lots of smiling and laughter!! :)



Lake Louise is SO beautiful, I need to get up there soon!
Looks like a b-e-a-utiful weekend, I really want to try rafting too!!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Yes, you have to try rafting! It’s such a great time. Maybe we can convince Emily to go, and the 3 of us can do it? That would be such a riot!


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