The Hubs recently told me that he wanted to take a Vancouver to Calgary road trip. “Are you crazy?” I asked. “A 13 hour road trip with a 1 year old and an almost 5 year old?”
Somehow I ended up getting talked into it… and I confess it was *mostly* a great experience. We left last Sunday and got home yesterday afternoon.
The Hubs’ parents and brother live in Saskatchewan. His sister is currently living in Red Deer, Alberta and his cousin lives in Calgary. We decided to all meet in Calgary for a family reunion of sorts.
We did so much on our trip (aka it was a TON of driving). We went to Drumheller to visit the Badlands and the Royal Tyrrell Museum, we visited Canada’s largest mall- West Edmonton Mall, and we went to the Calgary Zoo which was effected by the big flood that happened in Calgary a couple of months ago.
I’ll write about our time in Alberta later, but today I thought I would focus on the drive from Vancouver to Calgary.
As we were driving The Hubs said to me “You see, isn’t this such a beautiful drive?” He told me that his family used to make the drive when he was a kid and how foreign and beautiful the landscape of the mountains and the trees was to him in contrast to the flat plains of the prairie where he grew up.
His thoughts made me think about how I felt driving through the mountains. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. When I took in the sights of the mountains, trees and rivers I wasn’t shocked by the beauty, instead it felt like coming home. Driving from Vancouver to Calgary made me think “Yes! This is why I live in the Pacific Northwest. This is why I can’t imagine living anywhere else!”
I thought I would share a few photos that I took on our drive with you. Whether they are a familiar sight or a foreign one, I think we can all agree that British Columbia truly is a beautiful corner of the world.
Driving for 13 hours with a 1 and 5 year old was an interesting experience. My tips for other families making the trip would be:
-Take lots of breaks. We tended to drive for 2 to 3 hours and then stop for half an hour to an hour.
-Bring lots of drinks and snacks with you.
-Create fun music playlists for different moods. When the kids needed a boost we played a Disney playlist, when we needed a lift we played my “Feeling Good” playlist and when we were driving through Merritt we were in the mood for some good old country music so we listened to Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton.
-Don’t push yourself to hard. We considered doing the drive all in one day. It would have been too much for us and the kids. When taking along road trip allow for an overnight stop.
-Allow time to stop and visit fun places along the way. A road trip isn’t just about arriving at your final destination… it’s about the destinations you find along the way.
Wow – how timely..we’re headed there tomorrow morning! Leaving Vancouver at 4am hoping to get to Lake Louise around lunch…and though we’d love to stay there, it’s quite pricey so we’ll be hanging out in Golden / Radium area hiking the local mountains.
Golden ended up being where we stopped when we were headed to Calgary. There is a fabulous little pizza place there called Red Tomato Pies. I highly recommend getting dinner there one night. I would love to go back to Lake Louise one day and do the hike around the lake. It was too much for the kids but it was so beautiful there.
Also Bacchus Books in Golden is a really nice stop and they have a cafe upstairs to get your morning coffee or tea.
I hope you have a fabulous trip!
Fantastic..thanks Crystal! Red Tomato Pies sounds like a worthwhile ‘attraction’ in Golden 🙂
Hi! I found you through the SITS girls “Craft Blog Page” thread– I love all your crafty tutorials, but I had to comment on this– I grew up a Jersey Girl and got married last week and moved to Washington state- you are right- the Pacific Northwest is beautiful, and visiting Vancouver was definitely on my must-see list while I’m out here, but reading this post has definitely bumped up the “must see-ness” a bunch of notches!
Welcome to the west coast Dana! It’s a beautiful place to live. It’s always so nice to meet other Pacific Northwest bloggers. Thank you so much for stopping by. You’ll have to let me know how your Vancouver visit goes. 🙂
Renata Wurster says
Crystal, you are a brave soul to do that long of a trip with little ones. I am curious, how did you handle the 1 year old’s nap schedule? Did it mess up sleeping at night? Did you try to keep him awake? How did you do it?
I’ve been blessed with REALLY REALLY good sleepers. Both of my kids were sleeping 6 hours straight at night by the time they were 1 week old and sleeping 8-12 hours straight at night by the time they were 1 month.
They are very flexible with their sleep schedules. I was thinking we would probably be up all night with the little one but he was fine. He napped on and off as we drove and then slept through the night too. We did get to our hotel rather late and by the time he ate dinner it was past his normal bedtime but he slept like a little trooper.
The way my kids sleep make other mom’s hate me. 😉 I’m a really lucky one when it comes to sleep schedules.