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38. Athena Pizza & Spaghetti House

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Classification: Traditional

Location: Banff, Alberta

As much as one can attempt to not become ensnared in traditional gender-assigned households duties, there are just some things that men and women tend to gravitate toward, intentional or not. It might be cooking, trash removal, lawn mowing, or changing diapers, but chores such as these can be inadvertently divided along anatomical lines. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And as an occasional recipient of the Prestigious Spousal Seal of Approval, I mention this because one of my more valued household/relational contributions is to amicably stroll along the streets of Hallmark movie-inspired villages while on vacation, examining Christmas ornaments and sampling candied almonds for hours at a time. In most instances, dinner is the carrot at the end of this stick, and although I'm certainly not exclusively food-motivated, you might realize by now that my behavior can be influenced by a well-manicured pizza.

A day such as this occurred in the summer of 2019 while wandering the streets of Banff, an idyllic Canadian hamlet that would leave even the Von Trapp Family slack-jawed. As daylight melted into evening, we stumbled across Athena, an Italian eatery that suited us both, and while the food was very good, the scenery and setting were the star of this show. We felt a bit like extras on the set of Beauty and the Beast as we were seated across from rows of provincial-styled shops on a second story balcony hanging out over the sidewalks of the main drag in town, Banff Avenue. Enjoying pizza and watching the world pass underneath was the perfect elixir after a marathon of walking and sight-seeing. I wouldn't rate the pizza itself as an elite-level showstopper, but working in tandem with its surroundings, we agreed that it was an outstanding dining venture that won't soon be forgotten. And for her efforts, I will be issuing Wifey my own Prestigious Spousal Seal of Approval—right after she's done folding the laundry. (8 of 10 stars)

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