It is (1) our second successful trip to Jasper and (2) our second attempt to visit Jasper in the winter. So for both of these reasons we should give thanks.
We skipped out on Thanksgiving and instead took advantage of the outdoors still being available to us despite some (necessary) tightening of COVID measures in Alberta.
We got to the hotel slightly before check-in time and were able to get directly into our room. We had looked at a few Jasper restaurants and honed in on some top contenders. We were hungry pretty early on, so had no problem getting into The Raven Bistro. Everything was excellent and we both recommend it and plan to go back. The major highlights were the Spanish spiced wings and the Mission Hill Vineyards Chardonnay out of Kelowna. My bison short ribs were equally delicious as an open faced sandwich for a later lunch.
The hotel had a "to go" style breakfast with yogurts, granola bars, etc. And egg and cheese on English muffin. I'll be honest, those were inedible. On the other hand, the kids fought over the chocolate muffins, so it was a win some, lose some situation.
Sad to learn the lakes were not frozen enough for any ice skating, we still decided to head toward Pyramid Lake for some hiking. Terry and I are in different teams for the Consulate's Step Challenge (teams of 5 "walking" to the North Pole by end of the year) and we decided to incentivize the kids to do more hiking, less whining, by bribing them with sweets for the number of steps they take. We created monsters, but we also took in our fastest family hike times ever due to the aforementioned reduction in complaining and (for Zoltan anyway) a decline in "I'm so tired I need a rest! My feet hurt! I can't go any further!"
We returned to the hotel ready to lunch on leftovers, but there was no power at the hotel at all. We decided to eat lunch out but there was no power anywhere in the town of Jasper. So we returned to the room and gave thanks for the bread, peanut butter, jam, fruit and other snacks we had brought. Minimally fortified, we decided that sitting around a dark and gloomy hotel room (gray day, no lights) was not a great way to spend the vacation. We decided on a hike that started from the Fairmont Jasper Park. As we drove through the gates of the Fairmont, we were stopped by the staff who did temperature checks and asked COVID questions. They said if we just wanted to hike/stay outside we didn't need to do anything but if we thought we might stop in for a bite to eat we'd need the checks. The Fairmont had POWER!?!? Stowed that thought away for in case the problem wasn't fixed before dinner, because other than the Fairmont we didn't know of any electricity between Jasper and the next town, Hinton, an hour away. The hike was short, and not too strenuous, and a much more pleasant way to spend an hour or two. Upon our return to the parking lot, I poked into the hotel and learned there's a bar, not a cafe, and probably no hot cocoa. So I called our hotel Jasper to learn that yes power is back on! So we headed "home."