Winter travels can be a real challenge so families like ours need to be flexible when making plans for getaways. This week was a perfect example. Daughter #1 had a week of vacation time so we decided to drive down to Boise, Idaho so she could visit the home office of Scentsy (she and her sister sell it and thought it would be neat to see where it all began). Apparently, Mother Nature had other plans for us since by the time we were packing there was a Winter Storm Warning for the Helena, Montana area (we planned to stop there on the first night). When the weather department warns me that roads may be impassable and the temperature will be low enough to freeze my skin in 30 seconds, I take it to heart and start looking at alternate destinations.
We didn’t have a huge wishlist for this week, simply a spot where we could find a comfortable hotel for a reasonable price, hopefully with a pool for EJ to enjoy between lessons and a relaxing setting where V1 could take a break from what has been an extraordinarily stressful few weeks at work. Living in Southern Alberta as we do there was one natural choice, a visit to the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park. A short two-hour drive from home, this scenic and historic park is one of my favorite places on earth and one we often visit during the summer just to get out of the house and take our lessons into nature.
Checking out the local Best Western hotels (V1 works for CP Rail and gets a nice discount there) we found a nice spot just outside the park gates in Canmore. Our room had a fireplace and faces the Three Sisters, a trio of mountain peaks, named Big Sister (Faith), Middle Sister (Charity), and Little Sister (Hope). I’ve heard they were originally named the Three Nuns back in the 1800s when a snowstorm left a veil over them. A nice thought for sure.
Anyway, this post isn’t about Canmore and the letter C (although it could be) it’s about Banff National Park. Canada’s oldest national park was created after three CP Rail workers stumbled upon some (incredibly smelly) hot springs on Sulpher Mountain (I’m pretty sure I know how it got its name!) Yes, I said they are smelly (mostly EJ says so) but a visit to what is now known as the Cave and Basin is a must do when you visit the park. It really is the center of it all and the beginning of what is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. (We have five of these sites in Alberta!)
As I’m sure you can tell there are lots of things to do in the great outdoors in our majestic Rocky Mountains but there are also plenty of touristy spots and scenic drives for those less eager or able to do the hikes an walks. We love to tour around and often see some lovely wildlife up close and personal (we stay clear of them and respect their space of course).
There is a nice drive up behind the Banff townsite where you can see hoodoos in the mountains (we’re used to seeing them out in the Canadian Badlands, another fun spot for a Sunday drive).
But I have to admit some of our favorite stops in Banff are Cows Ice Cream and Beavertails Pastry. We came to love these places while visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia and Ottawa, Ontario; so great to have them in our own back yard now.
So there you have it in a nutshell. Some of my favorite spots in my favorite national park but I can’t close this post without adding a couple of pics from the beautiful Lake Louise. Our family is blessed with having this amazing and inspiring place so close by. As you can see by the photos below, even our little ones are inspired by the view!
For more Blogging Through the Alphabet fun be sure to visit my fantastic co-hosts:
- Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
- Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
- Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Christine @ Lifes’s Special Necessities
- Yvonne @ The Life We Build
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane
- Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
And we’d love to have you join our inky party whenever you can!