My Darling McKenna,
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, an hour outside of Calgary, and 4 hours away from our home in Edmonton, lies Banff, Alberta. It is a skiing town – surrounded by many mountains that are a winter sportsman’s dream. But it is also a tourist town, so it remains busy throughout the entire year.
We were lucky enough to take some time off from our day to day and spend some time here as a happy little threesome. It was nice to get away – your Dad had just finished a long stint working nightshift (20 or so days straight!) and it was so great for us to have this opportunity to reconnect.
And you, Miss McKenna, you – were a dream. A content little traveler. I intend to write an entry about our tricks of the trade when traveling with you, but for this post I will say this – aside from a rough first night’s sleep, we could NOT have asked for anything better!
We headed out on Saturday morning at 11, and arrived shortly after 3 – impressive for a road trip with a baby. We checked into our cozy little condominium, at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone (bonus – all employees have Australian accents! I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, the world would be a much better place if everyone had an Australian accent :)) – settled in, then headed out for a nice dinner. Afterwards, we came back and went for an evening swim at the pool’s facilities. You were quite exhausted from the day’s events, and after bathtime and an hour or so of play, you were ready for sleep.
The next day we headed into town. Now Banff has always been one of your Mum’s favorite places to visit – all the little touristy shop’s bring such a smile to my face. And they did for you too, baby. You watched all the people, places and things with such wonder, happy as can be. I have some treasured childhood memories of this place, in particular visiting the Christmas store (officially called ‘The Spirit of Christmas) with your Auntie Helen, Auntie Ethel, and Granny. We ventured into the store and spent upwards of an hour shopping, and bought you your second Christmas ornament to commemorate your second Christmas. We also started a new tradition, one that my mother, your Granny, previously practiced – we bought our first Christmas house, for our own Christmas village, thereby committing ourselves to return to this place before each Christmas for the next however many years :).
After shopping, we headed back to the hotel so you could take a much needed nap – after all, shopping is so tiresome! When you awoke, we headed out to the Banff Gondola and went for a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Now you my darling, are fearless. I was afraid as to how you would react on the ride, but you sat contentedly on your father’s lap, and stared out the window. You have obviously inherited your father’s love of heights.
We stayed at the top of Sulphur Mountain for awhile, taking pictures and enjoying the views. Afterwards, we headed down and went out for yet another nice supper. Then it was time for relaxation in the condominium, and you went to sleep while your father and I had a couple of drinks and enjoyed each other’s company. You slept 7 hours straight that night – we must have tired you out!
Day 3 was Monday, and the day we had planned to leave. However, once we woke, it was quickly decided that we would extend our trip for yet another day – we were having FAR too much fun to leave! I was so happy your Dad decided to take another day off of work to spend time with us. He works so hard, and he truly deserved the break, and we love being in his company. Things just feel so complete. We spent the morning of day 3 touring around the shops we missed from day 2, then returned for your nap.
After you were rested and refreshed, we headed out to the hot springs. We stayed for about half an hour, and you LOVED it. You relaxed and splashed contentedly while watching the other children play about the pool. You are such a water baby. It makes your Dad and I so happy that the three of us can share this common hobby together.
We then stopped in town for some groceries, and went back to the hotel where I cooked us a nice dinner. We stayed in for the night and relaxed some more, perfectly happy just enjoying each other’s company. All 3 of us played and laughed together, and you and your Dad fell asleep, cuddling, early that night.
I remember watching the two of you sleeping so soundly and just feeling so overjoyed. It had been such a perfect little holiday, and it was just a huge reminder of how unbelievably blessed we all are to have one another. Your father and I are the happiest we have ever been since you entered our lives McKenna, and there are so many moments like this where I stop and am just in awe of how wonderful our little family is.
I cooked us a nice breakfast on Tuesday, and we headed for home tummies full, minds rested, and hearts happy. The trip home went just as smoothly as the rest of the holiday, and we were welcomed back by our very excited furbabies.
It was a perfect getaway. Banff will always be one of my favorite places on Earth and it was so special to be able to share it with you. I look forward to many more holidays such as this one, look forward to the millions of special moments that we have in our future.