Michelle and I rented a car last weekend with the intention to take Lorenzo & Cachita (our dogs) to their vet appointment on Friday. It turned out that Cachita isn't due for her shots until next month and Lorenzo not until July 2009 so we had to reschedule. We didn't want a perfectly good car rental (and weekend) to go to waste, so we decided to take a spontaneous road trip. (On a side note, it was extremely hilarious to see Lorenzo shake like a leaf while we were at the vet. Too funny!)
After buying two cameras at Market Mall, we spent the rest of Friday night contemplating where to go. Banff? Vancouver? The States? Kelowna? When we finally left on Saturday morning at around 9am we still weren't sure where we were going to end up, only that we'd have to be back by Sunday night. We also weren't sure if we'd come back that night or stay in a hotel somewhere, or even if we'd be able to find one that accepts dogs and without a reservation… All we knew is that it was definitely going to be warmer in the mountains than it was in Calgary for the weekend.
Where We Went
The photos in the slideshow are in the order of our trip. Our first stop was for breakfast at McDonald's on our way out of the city. (We were in a hurry to leave so we didn't make breakfast at home.) We drove past Banff, past Lake Louise and into BC where we stopped for a quick potty break for the dogs in the mountain village of Field. We passed Golden and went into Revelstoke.
Revelstoke was covered in snow and some garages (and houses) were literally buried in snow. The city roads were fenced on both sides by massive piles of snow that even covered some of the street signs. The snow was so high that driving there was like driving through a massive white maze – it was something else! We knew we didn't want to stay in Revelstoke, but we parked the car to take the dogs for a little walk. We happened to park in front of this toy store with a puppet chef in the window. It was so hilarious, I just had to buy it! It came with a tag that says his name is "Alfredo 'Al' Dente" and that he once won a Hallowe'en costume contest by wearing a suit made entirely of pasta.
After having dinner, we were going to drive to nearby Three Valley Gap and decide from there if we'd continue on to Kelowna or not. But we had to turn back not even two minutes from Revelstoke because the highway was closed past that point due to an accident. (For the most part, the roads were astonishingly good from Calgary to Revelstoke.) We decided to drive back all the way to Banff and stay there for the night, but just past Field it got very windy and it felt like we were floating on the road. We ended up getting a room at the Kicking Horse Lodge in Field – the dogs were only $20 extra ;-)
In the morning we left to Banff. We found out that we could leave our dogs at Guest Services at the Banff Springs Hotel and they would watch them for us. Behind the hotel staff residences are a whole bunch of paths and walkways (in the middle of the trees) that we walked our dogs through to tire them out a bit before we left them in foreign hands. And then… we feasted on the Buffet! ;-) The buffet was amazing, as it always is at the Banff Springs. It's definitely not cheap, but it's unquestionably worth the price.
After perusing the town shops and strolling through the park, it was time to drive back to Calgary. Needless to say, it was a great weekend and a wonderful trip. (For those of you unfamiliar with the area, there's some really neat photos and lots of information if you click through all the links.)