So, if you are wondering how a numpty like me won a trip to Canada via Lonely Planet taking along my whole 3 piece family, well your not the only one. Off we went and now here you are. So without further adieu, let me show you how our insane Canadian trip rearranged my sons neural pathways and gave my husband and I the biggest eye watering fist bump of our lives.
This is how the story goes......
You know Canada is a beautiful place and extremely photogenic so keep in mind we are only just beginning this bloody long blog. If you haven't already, grab a cuppa and start warming your scrolling finger up with some hand yoga.
We landed in Vancouver feeling pretty dazed. The jet lag flattened us like an export can in a carpark but we persisted and explored the bejesus out of the coolest city we have ever set foot in. Water taxis ferried us from one end of the place to the other and there were many shops and stores selling Canadian souvenirs but the best thing was poutine, so much poutine in every inch of this joint. We couldn't get enough of this traditional delicacy.
When we finished eating our weight in Canada's national dish we flew to Calgary and Hired a Kia to begin our Canadian Rockies adventures. With the late flight in we decided to spend the night at Emerald Lake Lodge. It is located in Field and is probably the most magical winter wonderland I have ever seen. We frolicked in endless snow and watched as the reflective pond deepened our thoughts and send us into a tizzy. Could have also just been the $80 shiraz we were necking straight from the bottle. The January Super moon shone through the thick cloud and caused some hectic romance in the air. Pretty sure there were a few couples holding hands in their cozy log cabin beds late that night. After one hell of a sleep-in we scraped the ice from our windscreen and took on the snow covered highway up to Jasper.
I'm Just going to interrupt your frantic scrolling to give you an update on where we have been. After our insane trip driving through Banff national park and exploring Jasper, Alberta taking in all those massive snow covered mountains, the incredible sunrise and frozen waterfalls we took a 7 hour detour (thanks to avalanche warnings and some heavy snow) back to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden.
We had a few days booked here for some major pow shredding. Not only our own extreme sporting pleasure but also the Free Ride World Tour was happening and some of the best skiers and boarders in the world were in this small village competing for the title live and broadcasting world wide! Sebastian made some new friends and acquired some decent snow skills on the slopes with his dad and we all spent some good quality time soaking in our own hot tub, 2 of us drinking a few bottles of vin rouge and regretting it in the morning.
Can't recommend this place enough, the mountain was hairy as with the majority being black runs and the amount of snow we had during our stay was the icing on the cake. It was hard to leave but we had some extreme weather to experience up north so we gathered all our luggage and jetted back to the airport for our flight to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.
By now you are probably sitting in a sweaty mess just trying to catch your breath over the excitement you have endured from this read. Well congratulations you have made it to the end of my first ever blog post. As you can see I left the best till last so lets jump right in and conclude this journey so you can all continue with your lives. Yellowknife blew our fucking hair right back. The first day we layered up until we all resembled the Michelin tyre mascot and waddled our way into town. -32 degree air welcomed us with a punch to the throat and a brand new experience we would never forget. Yellowknife was interesting and had a fair bit going for it in terms of a base for artic activities. There are diamond mines just outside of Yellowknife and many hard working individuals could be seen coming and going from many of the stores and restaurants. Being in the artic region we knew we couldn't rob Seb of a dogsled ride so we booked a tour with Aurora Village Tours and set off on a bus full of other tourists to the famous Aurora Village just 20 minutes drive from our hotel. There we roasted marshmallows, rode the tube slide and got carted around the wilderness by a very enthusiastic team of huskies. Sebastian was squealing with excitement as we slid along the tracks while the dogs barked and howled. He had a ripper time and we definitely recommend this to any families with kids to give it a crack, you won't be disappointed.
The next morning we caught the small sea plane, sharing the cabin with a gas bottle and a lovely lady, Norma to Blachford Lake Lodge. This place literally brought me to tears. Not because I hated it either. When we arrived after an hour flight we were greeted by the team of lodge workers and shown around the premises. We walked into our massive room with it's insanely big Aurora viewing windows and just couldn't believe how sweet this place was. We didn't waste any time and pretty much tried all the activities as fast as we could all at once.
We saw an ermine, a ferret looking creature ducking in and out of the decking looking at us with curious little eyes. Sebastian became obsessed. The sun went down and the in-house chef served up some extremely delicious food with chocolate brownie deserts. That night I woke up to the sound of one leg hopping on the floor boards and some serious rustling of snow gear. It was 2am. My husband Brett was losing his poop at the window whispering like a fog horn at me. Sebastian didn't stand a chance to sleep through that so we layered our selves up again and left the comfort of our cozy beds and entered the freezing night. As we trudged in the deep snow with a torch for help we made our way to the igloo by the frozen lake. By now you should be onto what comes next. Sebastian pointed to the sky and said "look mummy a night time rainbow!". I howled like a little girl and couldn't fathom the fact that this was happening to us. I have never felt so appreciative or overwhelmed by an experience before. My tears were freezing my eyes shut so I had to pull myself together if I wanted to see any further into the future. We stayed as long as our bodies allowed before we received frost bite and snuck back into our lodge beds.
We continued to have such a rad time at the lodge before leaving, making our way back to Whistler and then the long journey home to Perth. The memories we have in our hearts and photos to look back on will be with us forever. I can't thank Lonely Planet enough for this opportunity. They really don't know how grateful we are for this and these memories we hold as a family will be remembered while we are taking our last breaths on this earth. Yeah, that was a little bit dramatic but seriously true. ;)
Hi, I'm Kylie
Aussie Based Photographer. Obsessed with our world.