Land of the Ice and Snow

How about a little Led Zeppelin to kick off your Saturday morning as we take you on a little trip to the land of the ice and snow. As you know we recently returned from a little vacation to the North. Alberta, Canada to be exact. This was our first trip to the province and our first trip to the mountains in the fall.

We started the trip with a stop in Edmonton. While Mike was working, the kids and I had a day all to ourselves, and what better way to spend it than making our first stop at a museum.

Mr. N crash landing his plane. Fortunately our ride was much less harrowing.

We spent all morning at the Telus World of Science playing airplane, building and exploring.

Miss A (who is terrified of bathtub drains) thought this was amazing!

The kids even put a little music in their steps.

At one point Miss A was performing while in a handstand. Of course.

And Miss A made me some very fancy glasses.

She is a visionary.

After a few good hours at the museum when then set off for West Edmonton Mall at the recommendation of Barb from Profiteroles & Ponytails. Great suggestion Barb – this was the highlight of the kids’ trip. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in North America (owned by the same group that operates the Mall of America) and features an ice rink, amusement park, water park and even a life-size replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship, The Santa Maria.

They still get an education when we pull them out of school.

The kids’ highlight of the mall, well, and mine too, was the play park. A giant tubular climbing structure. We had at least a two-hour adventure in here. You’d be amazed how dark those tunnel slides can be!

Ready or not here I come!

So after a fabulous day in Edmonton, it was time to set off for the mountains.

Sure we meant to take the back roads into the park. (Either that or we missed our turn.)

It was a stunning and crisp morning. The mountains looked spectacular and the fall colors were so vivid. I think we spent most of the drive with our mouths hung open. Even the kids were impressed.

On our way to Jasper National Park.

And we thought Minnesota was the land of 10,000 lakes.

Anyone up for a dip?

We’ve searched Colorado high and low for some big horn sheep, and here these guys were, just chilling roadside.

Join us for breakfast?

Now while we have seen a few glaciers in the Colorado Rockies, the glaciers we saw along the Icefields Parkway seemed so much bigger. It’s hard to imagine what the world looked like during the ice age, but this sure gives you a new perspective.

Where did the sun go?

Our next destination along our scenic tour was Lake Louise. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite cooperating with us, but we still got a sense of the magical beauty of this serene mountain lake.

Nothing serene about these two though – they were clamoring to get out on a trail.

This rock looks like a good place to rest and then tackle each other. Good thing mom is quick with the camera.

Mr. N even tried his hand at photography. Not too bad for his first time with my big camera.

Say cheese!

And finally, we ended our night in Banff.

Are we there yet?

It is a beautiful, mountain resort town nestled in the Canadian Rockies. Peaceful. Majestic. And relaxing. The only challenge of the trip was deciding what to do first.

Next post we’ll share one of our favorite meals from the adventure along with a few more pics of the journey. Until then, Barb, thanks again for the recommendations. Having now been to Toronto, Montreal, and the mountain towns of Alberta I can honestly say Canada is fast becoming one of my favorite places – ice, snow and all.

Good night, sleep tight.

66 thoughts on “Land of the Ice and Snow

  1. Caroline says:

    Sounds and looks like you guys had a great time! The photos are gorgeous…and how crazy that you got so close to the big horn sheep. Too cool! My friend was actually in Lake Louise last month and talked about how gorgeous it was–now I understand!


  2. smartfoodandfit says:

    Lovely pictures, Kristy! Looks like a relaxing vacation, so serene and peaceful out in the mountains. I’m hoping in a few years we can take the boys on a vacation like this, our youngest son can be a handful! Mr. N is a natural with the camera, I agree with everyone, you should frame this one! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!


      • says:

        I’m hoping next May we can take the boys to Colorado for my cousins wedding. They’ll get to use up their energy running around. πŸ™‚
        Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ™‚


  3. helene dsouza says:

    Wow what breathtaking nature, it looks more empty then Europe. Which is good by the way! =) There are even Capricorns, how did u get close to those? they are very shy otherwise. I myself have never had the chance to see them from close in the wild.

    I love interactive museums where you can learn while having fun. My parents used to take us a lots to those museums and I swear I could have lived there. lol

    I can see your kids enjoyed their time there. I wish I could roam and see the world more, so much to show my husband. =)


    • Kristy says:

      I love that you call them capricorns! That’s so much prettier than big horn sheep. This was our first time seeing them so close. We just pulled along side the road, used a zoom lens (we didn’t want to park too close) and they just sat there watching us watch them. πŸ™‚ And that’s how I feel too – so much of the world still to see. πŸ™‚


  4. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says:

    Oh, gosh, I can’t believe you were so close to my hometown (Calgary) I wish I’d know and I would have taken you around!! Come back!! It looks like you’ve visited some of the best hot spots, what hotel did you stay at in Banff? I love the mountains and feel so blessed to be living so close and being able to see them while just driving around doing every day stuff. Lake Louise is a favorite as is Emerald Lake. Your kids are adorable and it looks like they loved the adventure!!


    • Kristy says:

      That would have been fabulous! I wish we could come back tomorrow in fact! Next time we’re up that way I will let you know. We didn’t make it to Calgary this time – only to fly in and fly out. I think the hotel in Banff was the Delta Royal Canadian. Nice rooms and walking distance to the shops (if it wasn’t raining). We’ll have to check out Emerald Lake next time too. πŸ™‚


  5. Charles says:

    What a beautiful post Kristy – first of all, I’ve gotta say – Miss A is right to be terrified of bathtub drains. We have crappy plumbing in this apartment and seeing some of the gunk which bubbles up sometimes when there’s a slight blockage and you turn the sink tap on… yuck (ok, maybe don’t tell her about that!).

    Were adults allowed in that giant tube-slidey adventure place too? Damn, I’d have loved that. Well, I guess you need a child in tow, but yay – an excuse for me to play in the adventure parks again… I haven’t been in them since I was so small! πŸ˜€

    Mr N did a great job with the photography. All the photos of the mountains and countryside though – whoa! That is some beauty. I love img_0424, even though it’s not mountains, actually – it reminds me a lot of Sweden and it’s got such a beautiful light. Can you imagine living in a town like that with those huge mountains looming up behind you? What a place – thanks so much for “bringing us along” πŸ™‚


    • Kristy says:

      LOL – yes, maybe she is wise for her age being afraid of bathtubs. Those drains can be quite nasty. πŸ˜‰

      And yep – grown-ups could go in the tube slides and all over the park too. I had a ball! At one point I came down just absolutely belly laughing like a kid again. It was fabulous!!! Kids are a great excuse to be a kid again.

      And I can totally imagine living in a mountain town – it would be a dream come true for me. πŸ™‚


  6. Three Well Beings says:

    I read this wonderful post on the weekend, Kristy, but was interrupted before I could comment. I think it’s possible that I started googling first…I was immediately taken with how beautiful the entire landscape is and I think it called my name! I’ve moved this trip up several notches and want to be sure to plan an extended vacation to just luxuriate in the beauty. I’m so glad you could go as a family. I’m sure the children, young as they are, will still never forget it! πŸ™‚


  7. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious) says:

    okay the picture of you two is beautiful, the pics of kids too cute and the pics all together looks amazing. I am not going to say I am jealous but I will say while you were taking these amazing photos on this amazing little excursion I was cooking, cleaning and chasing kids around- just sayinnn! LOL!


  8. Bam's Kitchen says:

    Thank you for taking us along on your trip. Breathtaking scenery and happy kids- a perfect holiday. Now tell me the truth… How many times in the car did your kids say, “Are we there yet.?” Take care, BAM


  9. midnitechef says:

    This is my home!!! Your post made me so homesick… It will be August before we visit again. I love the Alberta Rockies. Did you go to the Rose&Crown Pub during your trip? I hope you tried Big Rock beer at some point too, it’s made in Calgary. If you make it up in July, go to the Stampede in Calgary for rodeo and live music and carnival all in one πŸ™‚


    • Kristy says:

      Oh I can just imagine how much you miss it there! What a fabulous area to call home. We didn’t get to the Rose & Crown Pub. I’ll make note for the next time we go (we’d love to get back someday). I’ve heard the Stampede is a great time. Miss A would be beside herself there. πŸ™‚


  10. cecilia says:

    What a wonderful holiday, i especially liked the images of the museum, I have always found childrens museums tons of fun.. for the grown ups as well.. my son works up in sunshine valley, up that way, maybe you will see his strolling past! c


    • Kristy says:

      I think we do Mandy! I was expecting our heads to be cut off, but he actually did a great job photographing us throughout the trip. He even manned his own camera on a hike recently and was very into taking “artistic” and macro shots. Very cool. πŸ™‚


  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I really enjoy reading about your trip! You are right – sometimes kids learn special things even outside of school. I love nature and I enjoyed each picture, but I love you and Mike’s picture a lot. You two make a great family and looking at you two (along with your posts) make me feel that you are wonderful parents! My children would love all these places!


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Nami! Your kids would have loved the mall and the museum for sure. They are totally built for kids of every age. There’s so much to do and so much for all their little senses. πŸ™‚ And for the parents – it’s great fun to play with them and just step back and watch in wonder too.


  12. ChgoJohn says:

    I had the pleasure of driving in Manitoba to visit family. Such a beautiful country and it’s amazing the wildlife you’ll see just off the road. Didn’t see any big horn sheep, though. Maybe I should go back.
    It sounds like you had a wonderful family get-away. The pictures are fantastic and the look on Mr N’s face as he’s “crashing” the plane is priceless!


    • Kristy says:

      It’s funny…Mr. N has pretty much outgrown most kid museums, but he and Miss A must have played “airplane” for an hour! I’d say you should definitely make the trip back someday. πŸ™‚


  13. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Thank you for the wonderful virtual journey Kristy
    the scenary is indeed breath taking. I think I would have pulled over every five minutes to take a picture! and your kids remind me so much of my little ones. When they are out and about they are bouncing around full of energy!


  14. hotlyspiced says:

    What a wonderful holiday. That part of the world is so scenic. Just stunning. I would love to go there at some stage and ski. I keep hearing how wonderful the skiing is in Jasper and Banff xx


  15. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Oh, Kristy, I’ve never considered myself much of a nationalist (more harm than good in that in my view), but I have to say, my whole body is tingling looking at these photos of the rugged, beautiful, Canadian Rockies. I hope you return for what the locals call a bluebird day – stunning blue skies, fresh snow fall, boundless views… Your family photos are downright inspiring too (she’s a visionary – heehee) – You should blow-up the snap of you and Mike… GORGEOUS!! (great work Mr. N!).


    • Kristy says:

      The Canadian Rockies are incredible. They reminded me of the Teton range in Wyoming. So rugged and such true peaks. I would love to return for a bluebird day (what a great name for a sunny day!).


  16. Eva Taylor says:

    Great pics Kristy, and Mr. N sure has got a good eye! The mountains of Alberta were certainly a favourite when we were there a year ago June. And Lake Louise was also incredible. We didn’t get to Edmonton but maybe next time.


  17. sallybr says:

    Loved the virtual tour with you guys! As you can imagine, this trip is a bit too chilly for me, although I had a blast when I went to Canada with Phil years ago (during Summer, mind you) and a snow storm almost froze us both to death… πŸ™‚
    I was wearing shorts and a light shirt….

    and, great photo of the coolest couple in the world!


    • Kristy says:

      I have to say it was weird for us to go from mild to cold. And when we landed it was snowing! Talk about shock to the system. Still it was beautiful and I’ll take snow in the mountains over snow in the suburbs any day. πŸ˜‰


  18. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    The ponytails read the post with me and they loved it! Thank God for your last slide because my oldest daughter kept saying “don’t they ever sleep — is this all in one day?” and then they asked if you went to the chocolate place! Glad you enjoyed the Canadian Rockies–it has a special place in my heart. We didn’t see any wildlife on our trip and the girls were so disappointed. We were surprised because as you say they are often just hanging out by the side of the road. Looking forward to hearing about your favourite meal.

    It was a pleasure to pass along our tips Kristy. So glad you had such a great trip. Thanks for the shout out!


    • Kristy says:

      Not all in one day…all in about four days which was still really fast. We enjoyed every minute though. We didn’t make it to the chocolate place, but we did do the hot springs! Thank you for all the recommendations! It was a FANTASTIC trip. πŸ™‚


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