One Big Shock at Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

Two years ago I wasn't aware of the existence of a Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It wasn't until seeing the Banff Film Festival on tour in Pittsburgh, PA in the summer of 2009 that I learned of Canada's premier national park.

The film festival, which focuses on adventure sports in beautiful locations around the world, has become a world wide sensation; drawing visitors from around the world to the tiny town of Banff in the Rocky Mountains to submit their films to be aired in the festival and following world tour. From the brief introduction from the tour, I knew this was one place I had to visit.

So when I accumulated enough miles for a frequent flier plane ticket good in the USA and Canada, I posed a question to the blogosphere and twitter universe: Where should I go that is far away from Ohio and photogenic? A near-unanimous response came back from the Canadian crowd: Banff National Park!

Due to the overwhelmingly large number of votes for Banff, I booked a plane ticket to Calgary and corresponding bus from Brewster Tours off to Banff, with 3 nights in the “village” of Lake Louise and 2 nights in the town of Banff as a brief mental break from thesis writing.

My original intent was to hike around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake while in the Northern part of the park and continue hiking around the town of Banff to the South. When I got to Lake Louise, something unexpected happened and turned out to be one big surprise – the lake was frozen over.

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5 Sight Seeing Do’s and Don’ts for When You Visit Egypt

The Do and Don't list is something that I have always enjoyed watching on travel specials and am throwing my hand into the style with this new feature! 

While some of these features are often in the style of “you must do this” and “you might as well miss that,” this version will be formatted in a different way and in no way tell you not to do something major, as my misfortune might be someone else's highlight.

Instead, the “Do” will feature a specific place or thing to do in the destination that is a great site and/or experience, and the “Don't” will spotlight what to keep in mind during that activity that is not well known and publicized when planning the trip.

For all posts in this feature, check out the Do and Dont link in the category list on the side bar in the future for countries, cities, and regions!  Now, onward to 5 Egypt Do's and Don'ts!

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A Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe to Try at Home

Food on cruises is always something to be suspect of, and with good reason. Feeding 3000 people daily on a floating vessel is a feat only done by true masters. 

While the overall quality of the food received a hit or miss rating from me in my food report, there were some amazing gems mixed in with some unfortunate misses.

One of those was the warm Carnival chocolate melting cake, a dessert so rich, so decadent that my fiancee ordered it seven nights in a row.  While that may be impressive, what is more impressive is that my anti-chocolate palate was satisfied such that I even ordered it a few times myself.  

So what are two food loving bloggers going to do about it?  Make it at home, of course!

Read moreA Carnival Chocolate Melting Cake Recipe to Try at Home