My crazy idea started just after New Year’s. 2014 brought an absence to our social circle as we had a lot of close friends move. My family has always lived on the other side of the mountains and we had gone through a holiday season of missing everyone.

As I looked forward to summer reunions I quickly realized that where our friends and families had moved to all kind of connected… in a perfect road trip kind of way! Before I knew it I was full on planning a 3-week road trip across British Columbia and Alberta! Tourism Calgary jumped on board right away offering us lots of amazing ways to check out their city. Jasper Raft Tours was excited to welcome us for 5 days of family adventure and we had great trips planned in between. It was sure to be a summer we wouldn’t forget!

Here’s a map of our planned itinerary:

Road Trip through BC and Alberta

Now the blue is our intended schedule and the green is what actually happened: You see, some things just don’t go as planned…

Our trip started off in an awesome way! We enjoyed 2 days in Osoyoos, staying with friends who live on an orchard that overlooks a lake. We spent our days going between picking fresh fruit, swimming in the lake, hanging out with good friends and eating good food.

Orchard

Nelson was our next stop, where we started off our trip with a dip in the lake and then set out the next day to hang out with some locals! We spent a beautiful afternoon on a white sand beach on Kootenay Lake and finished our last night there at dinner with friends overlooking the beautiful views that only Nelson can offer.

Nelson Beach and Nelson Bridge, Nelson, BC Canada

2015 Road Trip

Our next stop was Waterton Lakes National Park. WHY didn’t I know about this place sooner?!? This International Peace Park and National Park is a true treasure and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it since our trip. I wrote three different blogs on our experience there and if I wish anything for anyone who reads this, it is that you someday take a trip there. As far as I’m concerned it’s one of Canada’s most natural wonders, our best kept secret!!!

Prince of Whales Hotel, Waterton Lake, Alberta

Does it get any more picturesque then this?

 

 

Tourism Calgary welcomed us with open arms and spoiled us rotten while we were there! Each trip got their own post… check them out:  Drumheller, Heritage Park, Calgary Zoo, and Calgary Tower I never knew there were so many awesome family adventures to explore in Calgary!

Adventure Awaits 2015 Road Trip-5 Adventure Awaits 2015 Road Trip-4 Adventure Awaits 2015 Road Trip-3 Adventure Awaits 2015 Road Trip-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bashaw brought an awesome cousin reunion where we surprised my kid cousins with our visit. Even writing about the visit makes me sad though as I miss those little guys every day and wish we lived closer! However being able to spend quality time together in the summer is priceless and I know the kids created memories to last a lifetime.

 

What a beautiful sunset as we wind down another day.

Home sweet home! This tent was amazing! If only I could have gotten the car into the tent everything would have been fine!

Home sweet home! This tent was amazing! If only I could have gotten the car into the tent everything would have been fine!

Our time in Bashaw changed our trip a bit though, with a storm that took us by surprise. We had heard that a storm was coming but that it wasn’t going to be that bad. “There will be some small hail”, a town 15 minutes away reported.

storm cloud

This was the storm as it rolled in over our heads. Can you say, creepy?

 

The kids were exhausted and ready to go to bed so they snuck into the tent to watch a movie and listen for the storm. All cuddled in they heard the rain, and then the hail and then the BIG hail. I took some quick videos as the storm started and then ducked into the tent with the kids.

The storm got stronger and stronger and the size of the hail increased. This is the size of it BEFORE it got really big!

 

I picked these up just as the storm was STARTING. They got bigger and bigger but we were in hideout!

I picked these up just as the storm was STARTING. They got bigger and bigger but we were in hideout!

Being inside the tent was scary, but we were somewhat trapped. The hail was too big outside to risk getting hit by so we had to stay inside. The tent had a lot of give, but it was scary being inside. The hail was hitting me as I hunched over the kids. Tree branches were falling from the tree above, cracking and then hitting the tent with force. I was able to stay calm through the storm and fortunately it quickly passed.

The tent and my kids were fine. My car? Well, we learnt that golf ball size hail makes a car look like a golf ball. We had $15,000 damage from that storm!

I was a nervous wreck after I got the kids settled into the trailer. My anxiety took over as I ran through “What if” situations in my head. I wished I had been in the safety of the trailers sooner –  I want to go home, what if a tornado touches down? “Oh Alberta Storms” the locals said… it wasn’t as easy on my nerves though!

 

The next day we decided to take our very damaged car to Leduc to stop with friends and get some repairs done so that we could keep going on our trip. There’s something so comforting about walking into a friend’s house when you’re so far away from your home!

That night the kids were all cuddled up watching a movie and our friends had make popcorn and given each child their own Tupperware container full of popcorn. Within minutes my daughter came into the kitchen and was having an allergic reaction.  We later learned that the Tupperware container had held a peanut butter sandwich in it about 3 washes ago and the plastic  (even though it had been through a dishwasher) held enough residue to give her a reaction.

Fortunately we were close to a hospital and within 2 minutes we were at Emergency being admitted. Fortunately the reaction passed quickly and she didn’t need any major interventions (such as her Epi Pen).  Scariest night of my life though? Yes.

Emergency Sign

 

 

The next morning we woke up to pack up the car to carry on and discovered we had a flat tire. I was tired. Things weren’t lining up. It was time to go home. My husband was on the 5:00 flight to pick us up and drive us home. It was time. Our trip was over.

Our BCAA service came in handy and the guys at Kal Tire were AMAZING to deal with. They fixed our tire holes for free!

Our BCAA service came in handy and the guys at Kal Tire were AMAZING to deal with. They fixed our tire holes for free!

Sure, a flat tire, why not add that to the list! Thank goodness we got BCAA!

Sure, a flat tire, why not add that to the list! Thank goodness we got BCAA!

 


I felt defeated. I felt like I hadn’t succeeded in my first big adventure. I wrote a blog titled, “The top ten reasons I never should have gone on an adventure”

Storm

 

 

I highlighted what I learned. It was one hell of an adventure, and while it didn’t go as planned, I am grateful for the journey and it certainly won’t stop me from planning another road trip.

Our goal to enjoy our 700 days of summer is still alive and well….

700 Days of Summer

 

 

So, Summer 2016 Eh? Adventure Awaits in _______________!

Comment with YOUR recommendation!