We truly embodied the holiday all week as we spent so much time together!
Side note: it seems like my life is destined to be measured in weeks from my 20's onward... First college semesters, next pregnancy and then Matthew's week on, week off commute...
We woke the girls early on Saturday morning to head on our weekend roadie to Banff. We dropped the dogs at the Pet Resort (ahem... boarding kennel) the day before and were packed and ready to go. We grabbed breakfast to go, and despite the early rise, we were still behind schedule, as always... We made good driving time, though, and arrived at Sunshine Village before open.
It took some time to get through the crowds, grab my rentals and head up the gondola. The girls spent the day at the hill's Tiny Tigers Daycare program so Matthew and I could ski. I was nervous to be on the mountain... but for the first time, an excited nervous and happy to join Matthew doing something he loved. I set out that day to enjoy it no matter what, and I did.
The chair lift was my biggest fear but I got over that, right away, and didn't fall. I had a handful of falls going down the hill though. Most of which were me bailing when I got scared. All (except one... ouch!) I laughed at. After a few hours of green runs, I got better and felt better. Not to mention it was an absolutely beautiful day! Fresh snow the day before, mild temperature and blue skies.
We thought we would grab the girls for lunch but since we had been delayed dropping them off, we decided to go to the pub, just us. It made the afternoon more relaxing and seemed like an afternoon date. We did a few more runs after that and called it a day.
The girls seemed to have fun together at the daycare and were excited to head to the hotel for the swimming pool! We got there in time for check in and got ready for supper. The first night of food, we deemed a flop. We had sushi on the mind, and should have went to the recommendation of the ski hill worker. Instead we went to a Japanese place that was okay but not what we wanted. Not to mention the girls were wound up and not in the mood for sitting at a restaurant. We left not totally satisfied and headed to the pool and hot tub. It was small and packed with guests of all ages but the girls had a blast! It was their bedtime when we made it back to the room but since we were on vacation a late night pizza was ordered ;) After our busy day, we all fell asleep pretty quickly soon after.
Sunday brought another early rise, although later than the day before. We thought being closer to the hill would work to our advantage but instead we arrived about a half hour later than the day before. Even just at opening, the traffic line was way deeper and it took us nearly 30 minutes to drive the 7 km road to the parking lot. We hopped on the shuttle bus this time because the walk was much to long with ski gear and the girls.
During the drive, the girls were already saying they didn't want to go to daycare, despite seeming to have liked it the day before. Halle wanted to go skiing with us right away. We agreed because we didn't want to pass up on the opportunity for her to practice. However, this meant Autumn had to go to daycare without her partner in crime. She did not go in all smiles like Saturday but instead had a big cry making it hard for me to leave.
After a couple of runs on the bunny hill, Halle was ready for her first ride on the chair lift. You gotta admire kids for their lack of fear! She laughed the whole way up and then broke out in tears at the top. With a little convincing she was ready to ski down with dad and his poles around her. She did awesome! Only a few falls and all the way day the green. Everyone was proud!
The only problem, she didn't want to go again... and it was becoming evident just how overtired she was from all the going the day before. We decided she should go to daycare for lunch and to play if she didn't want to ski. Matthew brought her while I went for another run myself. Except when he got there, she protested, and then Autumn saw them and all the fuss led to Matthew signing them out early. This left us with two tired, hungry kids and no way to ski together. We both did some solo runs. I stuck to the greens by myself and continued to get comfortable. It sucked that Matthew didn't get the skiing he's used to or we didn't get a day like the one before. In the end, we all had fun and deemed it a learning experience, that we'll likely do differently next time... cause damn those hills are expensive!
We made our way down the gondola and back to the hotel for another round of swimming. We opted for before dinner this time and it was less busy. The girls could double as mermaids they loved it so much!
After showers we headed out for a late supper at the Spaghetti Factory. The popular place had a wait, so we walked around the mall it's in. Even though we were all hungry and fairly tired this was probably one of the most enjoyable family dinners we've had out. One, the food was great but two, it was true quality family time. We discovered an awesome "restaurant game" when Halle started talking about a dream she had (which I'm pretty sure are all made up.) And then, turned in to all made up ones as we played round after round of "once I had a dream..."
Seriously, if you have kids old enough to talk/story tell but not too old enough to roll their eyes at you, this game was hilarious! Even Autumn, whose 2, played. Halle's favourite way to share a dream was "one time I had a dream, I woke up and went downstairs and..." There was all kinds of stories! Some clever and silly and some totally toddler foolishness but either way this was a really memorable dinner for the conversation alone.
PS. This has now become a regular meal conversation, so the novelty may wear off, ha! But for restaurants, awesome!
Autumn passed out on the drive back to our hotel (it was almost 10 PM) and we managed to move her in to the hotel bed without her waking. We packed up our bags and turned out the lights. Halle fell asleep quickly too. We relaxed and were comforted knowing we could all sleep in (a little) tomorrow before heading home.
And that we did, until almost 9. Which is sleeping in with kids. We got ready and had a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Buffet breakfast is the way to go, we both reminisced it had been a while since we had one. Then with full tummies we got on the road leaving sunshiney Banff for a colder, strangely foggy Calgary.
I wish we could have spent the day strolling the charming, mountain town streets but the pups were happy to see us! We returned home happy from our time together and our little escape. It's crazy to think the Rockies are in 'our backyard' and we could go any time yet they can seem like a whole other world...
I think I'll end things on that daydreamy note.
I rambled probably a little more than I should... Although as I tend to forget things, it's probably better this way...
Thanks for reading XO