Monday 28 February 2022

Part 1: Rocky Mountain Family Getaway Diary & Tips for Your Next Vacation

Morning view from our Airbnb in Canmore.

It's the last day of February and for me this month flew by.  We welcomed a new baby niece, my husband turned 40 and we had a family vacation to the Rocky mountains over the last week.  Although this was not our original vacation plan or the way to ring in my husbands 40th birthday, we enjoyed our time away skiing/snowboarding as a family.  One of the benefits of having older children is that we can finally do this kind of activity without anyone holding anyone back, needing nap times, or ski school, etc. Upon writing this post, I decided to break it up into two different parts, exploring and skiing/snowboarding.    Let's take a look at how we spent the first three days of our vacation.

Part 1- Calgary  

We had to travel by car from Saskatchewan to Calgary which is 6 hours away.  Logan and I chatted, listened to music and started listening to Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey on our trip.  Again a benefit of traveling with teens is that they take care of themselves, reading their own books, listening to their own music and watching downloaded movies on their own devices.  I just brought snacks and water along.

Calgary we shopped at the Chinook Mall which had something for everyone, and much more.  On the shopping front we all ended up scoring some new spring items for ourselves including a dress that I am obsessed with but wont be able to wear really until June, a new bathing suit, and a bright pink sweater to get me through a few more months of cold.  The girls also found a variety of items that they liked and I talked Logan into getting himself a pair of Blundstones, very similar to the ones I own, see here.

I'll shout out the Delta  by Marriott South hotel.  It wasn't glamorous by any means but it was a pefect location to the shopping center, provided clean and comfortable one night stay, a great pool and the gym was more than I expected it to be.   We would definitely stay there again for a one night stop over or shopping trip.

We also hung out with a university friend of mine and her family.  Since she had her first child just prior to the pandemic and her second arrived just a few months ago, I really haven't properly spent anytime with her kiddos.  The came to our hotel to swim, visit and I even had a dance party in the hotel room with a almost 3 year old.  I can't wait to visit and see all the pandemic babies more as things improve and we all become more comfortable seeing one another.  

Part 2 - Canmore & Banff

First off our Airbnb accommodation was PERFECT!  Two bedroom, two awesome bathrooms (key with teenagers), living room, full kitchen and the most wonderful view out the balcony.  Also a great pool with both a kiddie pool and waterslide, as well as our favorite an indoor/outdoor hot tub.  Although there were minor things that I would have improved upon such as having wine glasses in the cupboards, more chairs by the pool as there were maybe 6 at most for the whole complex, we were really happy and pleasantly surprised.  Our host was kind to leave us a chocolate which we all enjoyed and was super responsive to any questions we had.  Logan and I are already looking to book again just the two of us to do some hiking, and we would like to return next winter as a family.  If you ware looking for a place to stay we highly recommend this condo or anything in this building.  Also the restaurant attached, Gradne Kitchen + Bar offered a great menu, family friendly, great service, and reasonably priced; no wonder it has such high ratings on TripAdvisor.  

The first day was extremely cold in the morning, like -38C, so we decided to skip going to the hill and waited until the afternoon to explore Banff.  We didn't take many photos because our hands would freeze as soon as they were out of mitts for too long.

1.  Banff Upper Hot Springs:  Meh.  Honestly cool to do but we wouldn't do it again.  The water was hot and the view was nice but it's was ultimately like a large hot tub.  

2.  Exploring Banff downtown and the little shops was great, and we kept warm by going in and out of stores.  The kids like looking at tourist nick knacks and we all picked something out; I got a new mug for my travel mug collection.  

3.  Beaver Tails were the highlight of our day.  Anya got strawberry cheesecake, Logan and Halie got brownie and I went for Nutella and bananas.  Worth every calorie.

4.  Bow Falls So I desperately wanted to see these "waterfalls".  The kids and Logan braved the cold and walked the 1. 6 km to see it.  it was cold, icy at times, and we only met one person on the trail.  We get there and....... it's not a waterfall but rather a rapid that's very nice to look at.  HAHAHAHAH.  Well at least we walked off an eight of our beaver tail.  

5.  Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  This is a castle hotel like no other I've ever seen.   We had friends staying there so we went into their incredible pool after a day of skiing.  The luxury is top notch and the view was incredible.  The hotel is huge and tourists are welcome to explore it on foot which I would recommend and wish to do next time.

Honestly there was so much we didn't see and we would like to see in both Banff and Canmore, especially on foot.  Some of the things we want see is Johnston Canyon, hike up Sulphur Mountain, see the Three Sisters reflected on the water at sunrise and endless more hikes to explore. I think we need to go there in the spring, summer or fall to truly enjoy the natural beauty and all it has to offer.  

Next Monday I'll review and give you our opinion on Sunshine vs. Lake Louise for skiing/snowboarding adventures! 

Your turn!  Tell me something good from your February!



  1. This sounds like a wonderful getaway! I'm glad you got to meet your friend and her kids. Lovely to see these pics from your trip.

    1. thank you very much. Always nice to create new memories while traveling, exploring and reconnecting.

  2. It looks so cold! but it's nice you got that time as a family together and you have the memories together! :) How sweet you got to spend time with your friend and her children too!

    Hope that your week is off to a good start! The flood waters have gone down here so we are no longer flooded in which is awesome :)

    Away From The Blue

    1. I am so happy to hear that things are improving with the flooding. How awful. It was dang cold, I can't even lie! LOL!

  3. It looks like you had the best trip! Visiting Banff is on my bucket list. It looks absolutely beautiful!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  4. That nutella and banana dessert looks so good! Ahh, I welcome your husband to his 40's! I'm 44 and I still can't believe I'm here! It is always so nice to catch up with people you haven't seen or seen as much since the pandemic started. I have 2 h.s. friends I'm very close with that I still haven't seen since Covid started! :(


  5. Wow, the mountain landscape looks so good! I'm not much of a winter person myself because I dread the cold, but I do love seeing everything covered in snow. <3
    Glad you had an enjoyable trip! :D

  6. Brr that sounds so cold! We never did do our snow vacation this year but we did book a week to the Great Smoky Mountains for our spring break. 4 more weeks till we go!

    1. Isn't it great to have something to look forward to? Do you guys ski or snowboard?

  7. First of all, happy belated birthday to your hubby! Secondly, you look so good in that two piece and love that pink sweater you bought. The color is so eye catching and vibrant! Swoon! Lastly, what a fun trip! I've always heard good things about Banff and would love to see it one day. I also want to go to Beaver Tails. Everything looks so delish! P.S. Your friend's baby is so cute! That's awesome you were able to spend time with them as well. Yay!

    Maureen |

    1. Thank you so much. Having the opportunity to do something that we haven't done in a while, like a trip, visiting with friends, etc. feels so good. The beaver tails were 100% worth it, so good yet I am so glad that we don't have them as an option near by. LOL!