We have gone on a few different holidays with the twins since they have been born, but this was the first get-away we did with just the four of us! Our dayhome is closed for two weeks, so we decided to rent an Airbnb in Canmore for a few nights and spend some of that time in the heart of the mountains.
The boys had an absolutely amazing time and were tired out at the end of each day. They had been teetering on the edge of dropping their naps for the last few weeks, so we made the decision to do away with it for our vacation so we could get the most out of our days, and get them to be so tired that they would fall right asleep at night instead of playing in their room for an hour or more like they usually do at home. And, it was a successful tactic; they still fell asleep anytime we drove anywhere between Canmore, Banff or the Kootenays, so they weren’t over-tired by the time they went to bed, but we were still able to stay out all day.
We made the most of out time at “vacation house”, as the boys called it, and had a ton of fun doing different activities every day. We went mountain biking on some green trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre on our first and last day of vacation. We spent our first full day of vacation at Quarry Lake, playing in the sand and rocks, swimming, biking, and boating in the little inflatable boat that we borrowed from friends.
On our second full day, we drove into the Kootenays to hike Marble Canyon and then over to the Paint Pots. The trail was beautiful and relatively flat, which was good since the boys spent most of the hike in our backpacks. The way to the Paint Pots followed the Vermillion River and recently had a forest fire in the first half of the section so we were able to see the new trees coming through the old. The boys also really loved the Paint Pots and even had their shoes off for a bit so they could step in and get the orange-clay between their toes!
Each night, back at our “vacation house” we booked an hour at the pool. There was a kiddie pool that the boys could walk around and go down the froggie slide that was set up there. There was also a bigger pool which they loved jumping into and discovered that they could swim in without help from Richard or myself, when they were wearing their life jackets. They spent most of the time at the pool jumping into the water and then swimming by themselves to the side to repeat again.
On our last day, we drove up to Lake Minnewanka and rented a canoe. The boys got their own oars to help us paddle and James really loved it. He kept wanting to reach over the side to dip his hand in the water, and helped paddle quite a bit – he only dropped his oar in once (thankfully)! Philip on the other hand did not like the bumpiness of the canoe ride, and it was pretty windy for the whole time so the water was choppy. We only ended up staying out on the water for about 40 minutes since of the hour we rented the canoe for because Philip was not enjoying it, but once we got back on solid ground he said he had fun.
After the canoe ride, we walked around the lake a bit, had a picnic lunch and even found a little island on the other side of some shallow water so spent some time there. We finished the day with dinner in Canmore at some food trucks that were set up by a local restaurant on part of the down-town road that had been closed to allow for more foot traffic, and then made our way back to Calgary.
Overall, it was a great holiday and we were able to try out a ton of different things in our few short days in Canmore.