We went to the Canadian Rockies in September 2010 when Finnegan was 15 months old. It was actually Finnegan’s very first plane trip. It’s still surprising to me that he was 15 months old before he got on a plane, but I think most of our vacation time was spent going to weddings during Finnegan’s first year of life. By the time he was about year old, he went to seven weddings and all but one was out of state. Thank you Chad and Mary for being the exception!
In general, one of our favorite times to travel is early September when kids in the U.S. are back in school and the summer crowds start to wane. Prices in many destinations drop significantly and the weather is still great for traveling throughout most of North America. We still have one more year to take advantage of traveling in September before Finnegan starts school.
This trip got off to a rocky start, but turned out to be one of our favorites. Finnegan was really sick with a cold and ear infection the day before we left. We also flew out of Rochester, NY since we were in town for another family wedding, which meant three connections to get to Calgary. Finnegan’s health and mood improved dramatically with the help of a steroid, but I can’t say the airlines stepped up their game.
The first flight from Rochester to D.C. was fine and Finnegan received a certificate and wings for his first flight. The second flight from D.C. to somewhere in the Midwest (can’t remember exact routing) was a debacle. The flight was delayed and overbooked. Not only was it overbooked, but they issued more boarding passes than there were seats on the plane. Since there were too many passengers physically on the plane and no one volunteered to take a bump, they went down the roster and forced off the two passengers that paid the least amount for their tickets. Our tickets were free with FF miles, so we got lucky or maybe they felt bad because we were traveling with a baby. Since the flight was so delayed taking off, we had to run through the airport to make our last connection. They were announcing our names as a last call when we arrived at the gate. Phew.
We knew there was no way our checked bad made it onto the flight and we were right. However, the most frustrating part of the frantic run through the airport and not getting our bag until late the following afternoon was the fact that we ended up waiting in the plane on the tarmac for over an hour before we finally departed.
After a very long day of traveling, it was a relief to check into our cabin and get a good night’s sleep. We stayed at Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Lake Louise. The cabin was really nice and included a small kitchen, loft area that we didn’t use, and a wood burning stove. This resort is ~15 minutes from Lake Louise and it was nice to have the extra space of a cabin compared to a standard hotel room. If you want to splurge and stay in a hotel with one of the most beautiful views in the world, book a lake view room at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Our trip involved doing a lot of short hikes and spending time outside enjoying the incredibly beautiful scenery. It was cold in mid-September, but Finnegan didn’t mind and was content to enjoy the hikes riding in the Ergo and backpack we borrowed from friends. We spent three nights in Lake Louise and three nights in Jasper at Alpine Village Cabin Resort and felt that the amount of time was perfect considering we couldn’t do any really long hikes with Finnegan.
Our favorite memories from this trip include:
1.) The turquoise water of Lake Louise
2.) The beauty and lack of crowds at Moraine Lake
3.) Johnston Canyon hike
4.) Driving the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper
5.) Mount Edith Cavell hike and glacier (and not crossing paths with the mama grizzly bear and her two cubs that had been spotted in the area)
6.) Maligne Lake (and drive)
7.) Consolation Lake hike
We came back from this trip feeling relaxed and less stressed. I think it’s good for the soul to spend time walking in the woods.