If you’re just joining me, read this first to catch up!

Just like last time, Kevin had plotted and planned in secret, right up until time to leave. Upon the reveal, I was absolutely thrilled to hear we were going out of the country!

We flew into Calgary, Alberta and, after getting settled in our rental car, we headed about an hour or so out of Calgary into the Banff National Park. I had heard of the hotel where we were staying, as it is quite old and referred to as “The Castle of the Canadian Rockies.” It did not disappoint.

Banff Springs Hotel (now owned and operated by Fairmont) was built in 1888, and has not only a fascinating history, but some of the most breathtaking views of the National Park found anywhere! This was the view from our room:

I know.

After a lovely afternoon and evening touring the hotel and letting the last vestiges of “normal life” fade away, we set out the next morning with our cameras and hiking shoes. It was around 60 degrees, which, after the blistering Texas heat, was like manna from heaven. Before we walked out the door, however, Kevin brought in muffins and fruit for a light breakfast. They were some of the best blueberry muffins I’d ever tasted and were the kind that were oversized, with a huge crumbly top. He ate his and I started on my banana, telling him he could eat half of mine, too, as I didn’t think I could eat all of it. Reaching over with his fork, he cut the bottom from the top and popped it in his mouth. When I asked why he didn’t just cut it in half, he said, “the top is your favorite part!”

The thing is, it’s his favorite part, too.

I thought about that simple, selfless gesture all day. I thought about it while he showed me the wonder of the area he’d been researching in secret for months.

I thought about it when he made sure I had my footing secure on the rocky trail.

Later that evening, I thought about it again when he let me pick, first, which of the four pillows on the bed I wanted to use.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our “normal” that we miss little things like this. Or, worse, we don’t think to do them for others in the first place. Our society is so “me-focused,” so “I deserve it,” so “I’m worth it,” that we forget to put the needs and desires of those we love before our own, loving them from the purity and selflessness of a servant’s heart. Truly, if everyone acted from the heart of a servant, how different the landscape of our relationships would look.

When I laid my head down on that delicious feather pillow I’d selected, I drifted to sleep thinking of the exquisite beauty I’d found in Banff.

And the scenery wasn’t bad either.