The Disney Adventure

The Disney Adventure
The Cinderella Castle!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So as promised, here are some camping photos!! Banquets is very quiet this week so we all only have 3 shifts, thanks goodness I picked up a morning shift in the restaurant, that makes it a little better!!

this is the bridge into town, kind of along my 10k run route.


Me at the lake that we camped at. So beautiful.

Bec at the lake at sunset

The lake in the morning

I'm collecting firewood!!

And now, as promised....dun dun duuuuun. The photos of the Diva's restaurant. They closed it for the summer so we all went in to have drinks on it's last night and I took a bunch of pictures. It's so my favorite place in the whole world. I want a room in my future house to look like this!!

Kristy by the fireplace.

Women's washroom with photos of male divas

You can't really see through the glass but you can see the mountains through this window!

The fullest view of the room that I could get!!

The bar!

The marilyn wall. And we all know how much I LOVE marilyn!!!

As you can see, the bar is amazing. I love it in there and I'm sad that it's closed! And how gorgeous was our camping lake!? Love it!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spring Fling

So I worked the spring fling and it was super fun. Since it was a staff party of sorts, all the higher-ups helped work the event so more staff could attend. This meant there were just two of us actual banquet staff working and the head of human resources, the operations manager, and the food and beverage manager were all clearing the plates. I worked the bar with the sales manager. I used that opportunity to pick his brain about my career and such. He said that if I'm working towards GM, I'm right on target, having tons of food and beverage experience is good. He also said that getting front desk experience would be crucial. I really hope I can get some of that here before I leave. He was very helpful and when I asked if I could come and shadow him for a day he thought that was a great idea. I think I'd be good in sales. As much as I adore food and beverage, banquets in particular, I think I'd really excel sales. I'm a connector, I bring people together and help get them what they want. That's what sales in a hotel is all about. So that's another interesting avenue I could look into.

I can't remember if I mentioned that I get to do random server assistant shifts here and there in the restaurant. I figure the more I branch out, the more management will think of me for random tasks and moving up etc. ANd just to learn how they do things in other departments. I've been coercing people into letting me ring things in while i'm there so I get used to their particular micros system. I have a lovely restaurant shift next week.

It's getting a little slower around here so I'm going to look into getting a nightclub job as much as I hate the clubs here. I have found that I actually really miss working in the bar and a little extra income wouldn't hurt me at all. I love nightclub bartending, so much fun.

Also, I called my parents last week and was all excited to tell them about my big epiphany about how I thrive on change and need to be constantly challenged and they were like 'of course sweetie, you've always been like that'. So my big revelation was in fact just a known truth. Sometimes you discover things about yourself that everyone else has known all along.

There's an opening for a banquet captain that I would be considered for if I didn't have to go home so soon. It's tempting to not go back, I really love it here and think I could stay longer. But I can't just not go back to school. It wouldn't be right. Not legit!!

Monday, June 21, 2010


So after a grueling week in the banquet department we all got 3 days off. So we decided to go on a team banquet camping trip. We drove to near Invermere, at Lake Enid. 10 of us and a few friends of one of our supervisors. It was so nice to get away from Banff for a little bit. The weather was unbelievable and gorgeous. The lake was so lovely. We went swimming, made a fire, cooked over the fire and did all the fun things you do while camping. It was great to have a chance to hang out with my co-workers outside of the banquet department. Even though we spend like a million hours a day together, it's not the same as getting social time together. Photos will be up shortly, but right now I've gotta run to work. Tonight is the Annual  General Meeting for the Rimrock, all the staff go and I'm working for it. Almost everyone has the night off, but there's a few of us who volunteered to work for the event. It'll be so nice to see everyone all dressed up and fancy!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Doiley Notes

I may need to google how to spell doiley because I can't seem to get it right. Anyhow, so sorry about the delay in writing. It's been a crazy few weeks. I worked 140 hours this pay period. 130 in my home department (banquets) and another 10 in the restaurant. So needless to say I haven't had much time for anything but work, gym, and sleep. SO, keeping that in mind, I have a few things to say. I wrote on a doiley (hence my confusion about spelling the word. I need to use it!!) while I was working a bar a few days ago to remind me of the things I need to write about. My iphone decided to stop working a few days ago which was devastating for me, but I've procured a new one and life as I know it shall go on.

To start off with maybe I'll talk about the last few days. We've had a group of executives from a huge oil company in the hotel for about a week and they've been living a breathing in banquets. Also we had the Canadian Tire executives in and we are trying to steal their business permanently from other hotels so the staff had to bend over backwards making sure they got everything they wanted. The oil company is the one I'd like to talk about specifically because we went all out for them. These people are a big deal. A few of them had just flown back into town for this conference from South Africa from the World Cup. On their private jets. Which they will be taking back to watch the rest of the cup. Yea. For true. They have their own jets. That's plural. JetS. Anyhow, their organizer planned a huge event the other night with our head chef that was extravagent to say the least. They created an 'Iron Chef' type dinner where the 80 people were divided into teams and each team (under the supervision of a Rimrock chef) cooked a meal. Each team represented a country. Each team leader received an engraved iron chef silver spatula. And we didn't do this inside. No sir, we did it outside the pool on the patio terrace under tents with heat lamps. As you can imagine, this required a huge amount of set up on our part. We rolled portable bars out of the parking garage and down hills, we moved 26 8 foot tables from the 6th floor down to the 3rd and outside, we clothed and skirted all those tables as well as pinned flags and table numbers to them. I was assigned to the bar which I was very excited about until it started thundering, hailing and pouring. The portable bar was kind of under an awning that ended up leaking and pouring all over us, I have never been so cold in my life. Still the group drank an admirable amount of alcohol and managed to complete the event with not a single mishap. It was amazing to watch so many departments come together to make something this huge happen and go so smoothly (from the guest's point of view anyway). It was unreal.

Oh my goodness. I have so much to blog about. I've been really feeling like I've been learning so much about myself and what I want out of not just this job, but also life in general. And I've met some seriously amazing people that I really think I will always have in my life.

One of my goals is to take something about a manager in my workplace and identify a trait of theirs that I like and discuss it and analyze whether or not I have that particular trait and what I can do to include it in my management style. So, keeping that in mind, I'm going to discuss one of my managers that I worked with quite a lot this month while training up on night shifts. He has a very big personality, always very jovial and loud. He's very good with guests as he is quite personable. He has a super high energy level, which is what I'm looking at today. I think that I also have a very large personality, which is why I identify with this particular trait. I think that seeing someone else with a trait similar to mine has made me  really analyze the good and the bad. On the good side, energetic loud people have a fairly easy time motivating others and keeping up the team moral. This is very useful particularily in my home department where we are often working anywhere from 12 - 18 hour shifts and when you're carrying 8 foot tables around at 2am after being at work since 8am, having someone to keep your spirits up can be crucial. On the other hand, loud energetic people can be really annoying. Especially when you're tired and I'm not. Also, this particular trait can often go hand in hand with being easily distracted by work, people, shiny things, etc. This is something I've noticed in myself and also my manager. I love this aspect of my personality and am very interested in watching how my manager utilizes it in his management style. However, observing him has made me a little more conscious of my own energy levels and trying to tone it down sometimes isn't a bad idea. I tend to get carried away and sometimes it isn't necessarily appropriate or necessary. This week I'm working on keeping my enthusiasm and energy at an appropriate level and trying not to scare people. I think this self awareness will help me to use my high energy personality to it's fullest potential without sacrificing who I am, while still being an effective manager.

I've discovered something interesting. I've always thought of myself as a fairly adaptive person. I adjust to new situations and people quite quickly. Leaving on this co-op was a fantastic opportunity to test this theory. Leaving my comfort zone for somewhere new, I wasn't entirely sure how I'd react, since I've never really packed up my life before. I've done lots of travelling, even for months at a time, but this is different. I was pleased to discover that I was correct and I do indeed adapt quickly. My best friend here came to Banff from Vancouver and is originally from Edmonton. She has been having a hard time adjusting and talking to her about her problems has made me realize how quickly I really do adapt. I think that part of this is due to the fact that I am so obsessive compulsive that I HAVE TO have my routines in order to feel comfortable. Therefore the first thing I did when I got here was satisfied my compulsions and obsessions which immediately made me more comfortable. I never thought of my condition as a blessing before but it's really made it easier for me to settle in. Home is where I can train and count things. Sad but true. I've also realized that I thrive on change. I'm never happier than when I'm learning something new or meeting new people. I've developed a theory that the larger one's comfort zone is, the easier it is to become complacent. I found myself bored at home, too comfortable, and becoming complacent. I think that the more comfortable I get, the more complacent I become, and that causes me to not do my best work. I really excel when I'm learning a new skill or trying something hard, or pushing myself beyond what I think is possible. My comfort zone is large, therefore I need to keep myself constantly challenged, which is why I love this industry I think, there's always something new and exciting to do or see and new people to meet everyday. I love it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So I know that I keep talking about my goals and such and if you're actually reading this than you may also be wondering what exactly those goals are. Well, here you are, a copy of my goals for future reference. Also for my own reference when I have to come back and talk about them, as I shall do very soon, I swear!!

GOAL:  To improve my management skills and mindset by watching and learning from the members of management that I currently interact with
1) Each week, identify a skill or quality in a member of the management team that I admire and would like to possess______
2) Analyze my own behavior in terms of that particular skill or quality and determine whether or not it is one that I possess______
3) Incorporate that skill into my daily interactions with others. ______

GOAL:   To perform to my maximum potential in my current position and achieve an ‘outstanding’  evaluation from my manager at the end of my co-op.
1) Complete assigned tasks promptly, efficiently and correctly______
2) Ask for feedback weekly from my supervisor throughout my work term______
3) Go above and beyond what is required of me, look for extra projects to do
4) Spend some of my time off learning the computer system and the different methods of billing within my department______

GOAL:  To expand my knowledge base and learn as much as possible by working shifts in other departments when possible______
1) Discuss the possibility of picking up other shifts with my direct manager and ask that he keep me in mind if any shifts come up______
2) Speak with the managers of other departments and let them know that I am willing and able to cross train.______
3) Take any measures necessary for each department to ensure that I am able to cover shifts. For instance, present a photocopy of my driver’s license to the controller so I may be added to the on-call bellman list. ______

GOAL: To make more time in my life for the things that make me happy, this will make me a more balanced and happy person and therefore, a more effective worker and manager.
1)    Do one thing a day that is just for me, whether it is going to the gym or watching a movie or even taking a nap. One thing that is JUST for me and not for anyone else.
2)    Make time to keep up with proper nutrition and vitamins, missing meals is such a simple thing but takes such a huge toll on one’s body and mind. This means I must take my supplements twice a day and eat 4-6 meals a day, (including snacks and protein shakes)

GOAL: To get my marathon time down to under 4:30 for the Royal Victoria Marathon on Oct. 11.
1)    Run at least 4 days a week.
2)    Make one of those runs a long distance run, 20 km every week until July when it will increase to 30 km.
3)    Make one of the runs a hard but short run, perhaps uphill or sprint intervals.
4)    Make sure to not over-train at the end of September and taper down until the Royal Victoria Marathon on Oct. 11th

Health and Safety

Oh my goodness. I have a such a long list of things to blog about, but I just got off work and don't have the energy to write about them all. I've been neglecting the blogging because I've been working so much, and for that I apologize. Tomorrow I don't start til the afternoon so I think I'll be able to get more done then. For now I'm just going to mention a little something about Health and Safety meetings. Now, I've been in the service industry a long time, however, in many of the establishments I've worked in, the Health and Safety Meetings consisted of the staff doing shots in the walk in cooler. So when the head of my department asked if I wanted to go to a real live actual Health and Safety meeting, I jumped at the chance. Very little goes on in the real grown up H&S meetings. There's a representative from each department and that person tells the group if there's anything that is of an H&S concern. For example, today the rep from security told us all that someone had been playing with a can of bear spray in the staff cafeteria this morning and that if anyone sprays that in the hallways it can get into the vents and go to all the floors and then we'd have to evacuate the hotel. Apparently bear spray is more bad ass than I gave it credit for. They have actually had to evacuate the hotel in the past because of carelessness with bear spray. I guess it makes sense that anything that is supposed to protect you from bears really means business. So it was interesting to hear the few problems that were brought up, but more interesting just to see how the meeting was run, and to get to be a part of it.

So also, I'd like to post  few photos of the trail that I run from the resort to downtown. It goes between my hotel and the Banff Springs, it's lovely and I really enjoy the run.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One more time

ok, lets see if this will work now that I'm on a new post
Schwing! It worked. So here is the inside of the alcove, as set for a function.

This is the Larkspur lounge, as seen from just outside the alcove, right next to the concierge desk. In the daytime, the floor to ceiling windows display the Bow Valley quite spectacularly. To the right of Larkspur (you can't see it) is the entrance to the legendary Eden restaurant, where there are 5 diamonds and dreams are made in the kitchen! I'll have some more pics soon, better ones hopefully. I need to get my business clothes on one day and go take pictures of the sugar and chocolate sculptures that our amazing pastry chef has created. That's all for now! love love

Boo ya

Well now I have internet in my room because one of the boys gave me his wireless password. Which is awesome. For some reason it seems like a big ordeal to get internet hooked up for 4 months. Which is silly, I know, but now I don't have to. Yay. Ok, first things first, Aussie word of the day:

Razz = try
'Ok, let's give it a razz'

I know, I also immediately thought of being razzed on, or razzing someone, giving them a hard time, but no, this one is different. I have a few random pictures that I've taken over the last few days when I happened to be wandering through the hotel with my phone, so the quality isn't the greatest but you'll get the idea!

This is our super sweet chandelier in the ballroom. There's another one at the other end of the ballroom. The ballroom is big enough to serve 600 people, and you can also divide it into three smaller rooms (salon A, B, and C) using the air walls. BTW: Air walls are awesome. I had forgotten just how cool they are. I remember starting in banquets when I was 17 and being so amazed by the wall panels that are stored inside the wall and then can be slid out and locked into place to divide up a room. Seriously. How cool are we?! MOVING WALLS. Just saying, I think they're neat. Anyway, when the ballroom is fully open and set for a big function (like prom for instance, or weddings) and you can see both chandeliers it's really quite lovely.

The magic of this setup was kind of lost in translation and the photo looks a little cheesy. But in real life the ballroom was set in a steel grey color and these trees were behind the band on the stage with a dark blue background and lit by the blue lights that you can see. It created a really neat kind of winter wonderland look.

This is the door to the alcove which is one of our sweet meeting rooms on the 7th floor by the Larkspur lounge. Incidentally, I can't remember if I talked about this or not, but a week or two ago, my manager and I googled the flowers that our rooms are named after to see what they looked like, just out of curiosity. Just to clarify, two of the restaurants are named after flowers (Primrose and Larkspur, which, BTW, I doubted was even a flower, which is why we started googling them in the first place, I didn't believe that Larkspur was really a flower, turns out it is) and a majority of our meeting rooms are as well. In banquets we have rooms named Lobelia, Rosemary, Bluebell, the Wildrose Ballroom, and Hawthorne (which is another large room like the ballroom that can be divided into three). Incidentally, the Hawthorne room is the best, it has an amazing view of the valley. Well, technically the best view is room 900, but I digress. 
I'm having some issues uploading more photos so I'll have to start another post. bye bye

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

oh yea

by the way....thought I'd just mention exactly how much I've been working since I got here. Last pay period I had 105 hours on my paycheck (I had the most in the department). This pay period I once again have the most hours in the department with 112. Looks like the next two weeks are going to be just as good since the boys are going to Vegas for 4 even if we aren't busy I'll be working for sure. Yay. This is what I came here for.


So,  I realized that I forgot about some Aussie slang.Or maybe I just learned some more since I last discussed it.

Keen - interested in
'I'm really keen on going to bingo tomorrow night'

As - used in conjunction with anything to make it even more awesome
'This movie is keenas'

I know what you're thinking....keen as what??  I'm still not sure, but it's something great.

Speaking of keen, I had a chat with the head of my department today, I've been working mostly nights the last week or so and so I haven't seen him much since he's mostly days. I asked him how I can improve and what I can do better and he said to keep up my enthusiasm and that after the first few days I was already better than some of the current staff. He said I really impressed them.  That's such a hugely amazing thing to hear, and really rewarding also. I've been really working hard since I got here and it's really fantastic to hear that it's been noticed. After my shift, he sat me down and asked if I have a business suit here and I said yes and he said that sometime soon it's be nice to get me in a business suit (only the captains wear suits) shadowing the captains for a few shifts to get a better idea of what they do on a day to day basis. I said that would be amazing and then he said that I might get to actually do some captain work when one of our captains leaves at the end of the summer before they hire a new one. I was blown away. What a fantastic opportunity for me! I'm really lucky to have someone in charge that is so interested in helping me succeed and teaching me things while I'm here. I'm SO EXCITED!!!!!! I did a happy dance in the elevator on the way down to my room!!