Jul 25, 2014 by Krysta
Ryan and I love camping. The fresh air, beautiful mountain scenery, and vast array of foods cooked over a campfire used to have us pitching a tent nearly every weekend of the summer. Somewhere between full time jobs, pregnancy, and a baby, life has gotten in the way over the last few years.
When we (finally) found ourselves with a free weekend in which Ryan was off of work and in the city, we loaded the car (no exaggeration... it was full!) and headed to Banff.
Camping with a baby sounds like a lot of work, but to be honest it's really not much different than being home. Babies are simple creatures. They eat, play, and sleep... regardless of their surroundings. We are fortunate that Aaralee sleeps well away from home and can cope with being away from her crib. I accepted the fact that she would inevitably get dirty and let her play outside to her heart's content. Her personal favourite activities were climbing the dirty, dusty trailer tires and attempting to eat tiny rocks before I grabbed them from her. Kids are gross.
The first day of our trip was a long one as we made the drive from Edmonton. We got a campsite and set up the tent while we waited for Ryan's parents to join us. They are expert campers and we usually go along with them as they are always up for a weekend in the mountains. Having four extra legs to chase our busy baby was an added bonus.
Once they arrived we ate dinner and sat outside on a beautiful, warm summer evening. I bundled Aaralee up for her first night sleeping in a tent. It wasn't long after she was asleep that I retreated to the tent myself. It had been a long day and I was exhausted!
A couple weeks back we'd visited the Glacier Skywalk with my family. After posting a photo and tagging it on Instagram, I'd won a photo contest thanks to Brewster Canada! As part of my prize, I had tickets to the Banff lake cruise, so on Saturday Ryan, Aaralee and myself drove to Lake Minnewanka and enjoyed the views from the boat. We've been to the lake many times, but it was my first time on the cruise. It was a bit rainy, but we were fortunate that some of the smoke from the wildfires further north had cleared. We spotted a bald eagle, played with Ryan's new tilt shift lens, and Aaralee even got to sit in the captain's seat and drive the boat!
It was a rainy afternoon, so once we returned to the campsite we piled into Ryan's dad's truck to go for a scenic drive. Aaralee fell into a car ride induced nap while we took in the gorgeous views. I love the Rockies and the fact that we are fortunate enough to live so close by.
The skies cleared as we returned towards the campground, stopping along the way for some ice cream in Banff! We cooked up some delicious food, ate supper, and had another quiet night.... until 2 am rolled around and we awoke to the sound of our rowdy campsite neighbours. Nobody in our tent got much sleep, but that unfortunately didn't convince Aaralee that she should sleep in the next morning.
Sunday had rolled around and it was time to pack up camp and make the journey home. Our first camping trip with a baby had been a success, and I'm pretty sure that Aaralee loved it as well! That's a good thing... she's got a lot more camping in her future! I can't wait for her to grow up spending her summers by the campfire.