We travel with kids all the time, but have seen very little of our own country.
However, we just got back from a trip of a lifetime.
With the assistance of Travel Alberta, we flew into Calgary and began an 8-day epic road trip where we connected with family and friends, as well as explored and experienced the beauty of Alberta. My husband was born in Edmonton, and was raised in Calgary, but this was our first visit in over six years, and we were eager to introduce our kids to the mountains, as well as attend a most-lovely family wedding.
Our itinerary was an ambitious one, especially with a just-turned-three-year-old. We also never spend that much time in a car, so we knew the drives would be interesting for all of us. (I made sure to follow my own road trip tips!) Flying out we had a crack-of-dawn flight and hit the ground running as soon as we landed and never looked back. Bub had an epic meltdown as we boarded our flight home this morning, of the get-thrown-off-a-plane variety, but he was quickly distracted and calmed by the introduction of his favourite headphones and the offer of as much Wiggles as one could tolerate thanks to Air Canada‘s seat-back entertainment. It was our only real incident in eight days of driving, museums, zoos, rock and mountain climbing, as well as sitting nicely in restaurants. I’m incredibly proud of all of us.
My kids have both traveled extensively, my daughter since she was 11mos, and my son since he was 10 weeks. They know what to expect on travel days and behave accordingly. At the start of our trip, the early morning drive to the airport had bright eyes and excited faces in the back seat – they knew they were going somewhere fun. And this was a VERY different trip for us to take – worlds away from our week in Cuba or Disney Cruise – and they rolled with the punches and adapted to every new situation with ease. I’m not sure I would have attempted this kind of trip as a travel newbie, but the fact that we sailed through the week with flying colours has risen my travel confidence even more.
I’m now bursting with information on Alberta to share, so soon you’ll see brand new pages on baby-friendly things to do and see in Alberta – in Calgary, Drumheller, Banff, Jasper, and Edmonton. This trip took us from the Badlands to the Ice Fields, and almost everywhere in between. The drive along the Icefields Parkway changed me for life, I think. I used to be all “Mountains, Schmountains,” but now I feel forever transformed after driving through them. My husband loves the mountains, but he grew up with them. My dad loved the mountains, and now think I understand why.