Day 8: Brooks, Ab – Banff, Ab

It’s hard to believe we left a week ago today. It’s seems like an eternity and quick all at once.

Today we drove (about 4 hours) from Brooks to Banff. Rain and Moxie were completely awed by the mountains. And c’mon let’s face it – you’d be a fool not to be mesmerized by these phenomenal forces of nature.

Their amazement of nature soon gave way to their excitement of tourist stores. I had initially planned to take them on a mountain hike or a gondola trip but the weather was overcast and calling for thunder storms so we will put that on hold until tomorrow. Instead we walked up and down the main drag of Banff searching for a souvenir. They had each brought their own money which they had earned at a yard sale at my parents. (They sold a bunch of their toys and worked hard at the sale). After a couple tacky tourist stores I had reached my limit. So I sat outside with a cappuccino while they paired up and went hunting for treasures. (At least one of us should be enjoying this magnificent view!!) I made them a list of their favourite items (including the name of the store) and contemplated their choices over a very yummy dinner at Coyotes. (My friend Kim had recommended this place and it was perfect!). Both had chosen stuffed animals (as if we need more stuffed animals!) since it was their own money I relented but made them promise there would be no more stuffed animal/doll purchases for the rest of the trip!! I even made them shake on the deal and took pictures should I ever need them in the court of law.

After dinner we walked (er ran) to buy their must-have items! Then it was back to our swanky room (did I mention we were granted a free upgrade at our already super fancy hotel? We now have a room with a view of the mountains!) for an early bedtime. I feel compelled to wake up early in the morning and spend the entire day enjoying nature!! (No more shopping!). Although in saying that I had to check in with myself a couple times today. As much as I had envisioned us traipsing through the park being one with nature I just had to look at the beaming faces of Rain and Moxie and remember that this trip is more about them. I also remembered how much I used to love looking through these tacky tourist stores searching for just the right souvenir. They will still remember the mountains and besides…this is only day 1 in mountain territory .. Plenty more to go!

On a side note, as with most days we spent a lot of time talking about their dad today. The two of us had come to Banff together many, MANY years ago and I shared some stories of our vacation. Jason was a big nature lover and took about a thousand pictures of mountains while we were here. As the kids were skipping rocks into a lake I heard Moxie murmur, “this is for you, daddy”. The healing journey continues.

On a related (funny) note, the waitress brought us chocolate mints after our dinner. As I was paying our bill Moxie exclaimed, “yum- these taste just like our sleeping medicine!” I wanted to slink under the table but the waitress didn’t show any signs of judgement. Since their dad passed away in May, sleep has not come easy to any of us. I tried lots of strategies but finally resorted to Melatonin, a natural vitamin which aids is sleep (I usually but the chocolate mint flavoured strips). I’m not a drug pusher but these things are incredible and let’s face it – life is easier for everyone when no one is sleep-deprived.

On that note I should end this here and have a bit of quiet time enjoying my mountain view while the kids enjoy their melatonin-induced sleep.

Sweet (chocolate mint) dreams everyone. Til tomorrow,
Team Adventurers

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(I picked out a bunch of pamphlets at the visitor centre. They picked out one. Can you guess which one they picked?)

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