Ahoy ahoy! I am back from my trip out west!
It was nuts – I feel like we were everywhere. We did so many things and I have so much to update on. I wish I blogged some stuff during our adventure because now I have so much to say it feels daunting, but half the trip was camping with no internet (or cell signal sometimes), so it was not exactly ideal blogging conditions. I’ve never snapchatted so much in my life though, so if you were following that you’re probably pretty caught up.
I try to get out to Alberta/BC about once a year, since my mom and brother live in BC and my bestie Lisa lives in Calgary. Ideally I like to hit them all up in the same trip. This year was a bit different because I had my good friend Sherrie with me. Earlier this year Sherrie told me her friend Yamina would be visiting from Switzerland so she was thinking of taking her to explore the rocky mountains and asked if I would be interested in coming along. I barely hesitated in my yes. When I told Lisa about it she cleared her schedule for the week so she could come adventuring with us. YES! It worked out really well. We had originally planned on renting a car but with Lisa coming that wasn’t necessary, so that was an awesome bonus.
The plan was to fly to Calgary, stay a night at Lisa’s then drive to Kelowna in BC to my brother Eric’s house where he lives with his girlfriend Kenya and best friend Dixon. My mom was going to meet us there as well and we would all stay for two nights with them. Then our original foursome would drive back to Revelstoke, camp there for a night (near the dream site a bunch of us stayed in last year for Canada Day), then drive to Jasper, Alberta and stay in the sweet yurt we booked in the National Park for two nights. We were going to finish our trip with two nights in Banff with a few of our other friends before heading home, the last night being my bachelorette party! Here’s our route.
A lot of driving but it’s the most beautiful scenery ever so it’s a road trip I think everyone needs to do at least once in their lives.
We left early last Saturday, arriving at the airport around 5am for our 7am flight. Going through security in Toronto was probably the best security experience I’ve ever had. Sherrie was first and the man said to her “Are those natural?” and if you are a woman and you’ve heard this question before I’m sure know what we assumed he was asking about. Rude. But no, he meant her eyes! He just wanted to tell her how beautiful her eyes are. I was next and he looked at me and said “Wow, you have really beautiful eyes too! You all have beautiful eyes!” And then another guy told Yamina how much he loved her tattoos. Then when we were leaving there was a security lady inspecting a dollar bill so we asked what it was and she said it was a British pound and then handed it to us. So airport security complimented us and then gave us money. Pretty sweet deal.
After that pleasant experience we were off!
We were pumped! Sherrie really does have beautiful eyes.
I find it so much easier to get up early for a trip than I do for work. When I’m traveling I like to leave as early as possible so I have the majority of the day once I arrive. It’s about a four hour flight and Calgary is two hours behind Ontario so we ended up getting in at 9am Calgary time, which was great. Lisa and her boyfriend Scott picked us up from the airport and the five of us went out for brunch. We had a big day ahead of us on Sunday so we spent the rest of Saturday just chilling out at Lisa’s place, drinking wine on her sunny balcony (Calgary was colder than here but in the sun it was really nice) and hanging with Lisa’s hunk of chunk Charlie.
I have missed him. I was very careful not to lock him in my suitcase this time.
I’m so glad we got that leisure time before we left. It was good to catch up. Lisa and I ALWAYS drink more than we expect to the first night we get together. We plan to have one glass of wine and suddenly the entire bottle is gone. This was no exception, but we were exhausted and in bed sleeping by 9:30 so I felt pretty fantastic the next day.
We got up super early in the morning and packed up the car for our big adventure. We were planning on camping for a few nights so with our camping gear in addition to our luggage we had SO MUCH STUFF. Scott tetris’d the crap out of it for us and somehow we were able to fit it all in the car.
Who needs windows anyway. In hindsight a trailer might have been a good idea… Sherrie took over the car packing for the rest of the trip, which I was very happy to let her do.
So on Sunday we drove from Calgary to Kelowna to see Eric and friends. It is about a seven hour drive, and as you can see from the above map we did a lot of driving on our trip, but this was the longest haul in one day. I’m glad we got it over with early while we were still fresh, because if that seven hour drive was on the last day I would have wanted to kill myself. Even though it is the most beautiful drive I have ever experienced.
The entire way is just mountains and more mountains and some of the bluest lakes I’ve ever seen. I have driven that route by myself and had the best time ever. It was super foggy from Calgary through Canmore and Banff that morning and the mountains were quite misty, so the mountain visibility was definitely not what it usually is.
But it was still beautiful, and the fog lifted a lot after we got to Revelstoke area.
We sang at the top of our lungs for pretty much the first six hours, all our favourite road trip songs. Poor Yamina. She said she enjoyed herself but her native language is Swiss German so listening to us yelling our English songs that she doesn’t know had to have gotten annoying after six hours. Can you imagine being in a car with a bunch of Swiss Germans listening to them blasting their music and yelling along to it? I can’t even.
After about six hours we were all done with the car, the last hour was getting painful. But we made it to beautiful Kelowna!
And BC is an hour behind Alberta so we actually gained an hour. The gang was all there, so the four of us hung out with Eric, Kenya, Dixon and my mom for a bit before we all headed out for tacos. Best of all, they were surprise tacos! Sherrie had asked me a couple weeks ago out of sushi, Indian and tacos which I would go for. It was a tough decision but I don’t think I could ever pass up a good taco so that’s what I told her. She planned a special taco outing for me as part of my bachelorette trip, so that was really cute.
Yamina had never eaten tacos before so she was pretty excited.
We started with a few bowls of chips, salsa and guac for the table.
And then got two platters of assorted tacos, with refried beans and Spanish rice on the side.
I had four of those tacos and they were SO GOOD. Ah I want them again right now.
After the tacos the owner brought me some kind of tequila shot, also as a surprise for bachelorette things.
I am not a fan of tequila shots usually but that one was actually quite tasty. It had a ton of sugar in the bottom, so that’ll do it.
I was so happy to have my mom there for a sort of bachelorette activity. She really enjoyed hanging out with all of us.
After the taco fest it was back to Eric and friends’ for some games.
We played beer pong on their custom made table (that is triple varnished, they were very proud of this).
And also slap cup, which I had never played before. They were teaching us old dogs new tricks!
And then we played spoons, and then we set up our air mattresses in the living room for a slumber party and fell asleep watching Tangled.
Which happened pretty early. Sitting in a car all day somehow makes you exhausted, I tell ya. So that is day one of epic road tripping, and it was pretty awesome. More adventures to come!