Laura,Welcome to the forums! I'm glad you thought the area was beautiful. I actually call a small city, Medicine Hat, in the SE corner of Alberta home (near the Saskatchewan/Montana border), which is 3-6 hours drive from where you visited. So, if you thought the foothills and mountains were beautiful, I doubt you would find the prairie where I live as appealing. Certainly SE Alberta it is beautiful in the summer, and there are golden fields as far as the eye can see under a clear blue sky- Medicine Hat is the sunniest city in Canada, and one of the warmest; the temperature hovers around 28-35 degrees Celsius (82-95 Fahrenheit) in the summer. But the views are not as dramatic as in the foothills and mountains. I was living in Calgary for the University (just moved back to Medicine Hat this weekend), and I must agree its a nice place! Big, perhaps not to standards elsewhere, but it has a population of over 1 million people, and is super spread out (we take suburban sprawl to a whole new level out here). However, it is generally clean, multicultural, safe, friendly, and vibrant. The views of the mountains are amazing, especially up the Calgary Tower; if you visit again I recommend lunch at Sky 360 in the Calgary Tower on a clear day- beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains, foothills, and all of Calgary (the restaurant rotates 360 degrees- very slowly, but you see everything!). As for the snow, it doesn't really disappear in the mountains, even in August. I was in Golden two years ago in August for white-water rafting, and there was still snow on the mountain slopes (the water was insanely cold). In fact, I think the ski hills in Sunshine (near Banff) are still open and its now May!!! I was in Waterton last summer (what a beautiful area, the foothills around the town of Pincher Creek are absolutely stunning) for kayaking, hiking and camping, and I could literally paddle out to one edge of the lake, reach out to touch a glacier off a mountain! However, if you're interested in mountain hiking I would recommend the British Columbia interior (Okanagan Valley), as it gets warm enough to dry the area out a bit in the summer (people actually grow amazing fruit there; Okanagan peaches are particularly famous in Canada).I hope you and your husband come back to visit and get the opportunity to explore some new regions! It really is breathtaking in the summer, and even in the winter!Jamie,Feel free to send me an email anytime to "pick my brain." I too am quite interested in historical perspectives, in fact I've written a couple of undergraduate papers on various perspective related historical themes, and I think it would be very interesting to learn how others view Canada's place in the Commonwealth, particularly in the Colonial Era. I have an inkling that the Canadian history I've learned over the years has been much more nationalistic and patriotic (we tend to overstate our role and importance) than the perspectives offered in British history. Also the British connections to Canada were integral to the characteristics of both English Canada, and French Canada, and the settlement of the west (my specialty- for instance the iconic Canadian Mounties, with their scarlet tunics and black horses, they were actually modeled after the Irish constabulary!). I'm begging you to ask me about Canada's role in World War One, but particularly World War Two, because it has been so understated by the British and Americans historians, but was absolutely integral in keeping Britain calm and carrying on! So send me an email, and we'll chat! I realize it won't be for some time, but I'll still be listening to the podcast if you're still making them! Cheers!