So seeing that we have had the benefit of others' experiences, we thought we might put up some notes including hits and misses for our trip to Banff. We decided on two nights in Vancouver to see an ice hockey game, followed by 11 nights in Banff to ski and siteSee (mainly ski though!). We decided to book through a travel agent - he handled co-ordination of flights , and also suggested the Elk in Banff - although the package price wasn't any cheaper than what we could book ourselves online we were happy to let him have some commission for his trouble in providing a quote and airfare ideas. Miss: The travel agent suggested Air Canada, and we preferred Qantas - well, because we like Qantas! (even though they don't fly direct and have a changeover in LAX including booking in luggage again through customs) Big mistake, because whilst the travel agent thought a 2 1/2 hour changeover would be plenty for us to make the connecting flight, LAX was a mess (we spent at least 2 hours in the queue to get through customs), and missed our connecting flight. When re-booking our missed flights, we were were initially dismayed to be looking at arriving in Vancouver at 10:45pm night instead of the originally scheduled 11:30am Luckily the booking desk went above and beyond for us, securing a flight with another airline that would arrive around 5pm instead, but that went via Seattle, requiring another flight change to get to Vancouver. We were a bit worried about how our luggage would go though because we only had 45 minutes to make the flight - a really really long walk from where we were, and had oversized luggage to go in as well. Lo and behold, it all arrived on our rescheduled flight! Hit: The views around Seattle airport of the Rocky Mountains are beautiful, and they have some pretty cool looking shops at the airport Lesson learned: Next time fly direct - saves having to go through customs twice (if everything had gone to plan), and negates the risk of missing a connecting flight. So for our first two nights we are staying at the Pinnacle Harbourfront with beautiful mountain views, and we had our first dinner at The Keg, a steakhouse which comes highly recommended for a nice night out from a Canadian friend of ours. The baked brie with pesto and chilli jam was delicious, as was the steak and salmon that we ordered Really nice surroundings, great food and service. Tomorrow we have a full day in Vancouver including seeing the local Canucks play an ice hockey game before heading off to Bannf the following Thursday.