Friday, August 22, 2008

Kelowna to Calgary, Part 2 Day 2 - August 18th

What a rough night!!! The Kelowna Hospital keeps a small house for doctors temporarily working at there and Barton was able to use this house for the last two weeks of his stay. We arrived there in evening and it was SO HOT. I guess because Barton had been away for a few days in the stifling heat it became it's own little hot box. There was no breeze and only one fan so the boys slept with their heads up against the patio screen door (but wouldn't sleep outside for some reason!) and Riley had the back room with the window wide open. We didn't have a play pen and so Mattea had to sleep with us which never works well. Because she can crawl, walk, roll and knows how to climb off the bed trying to get her to sleep without a four-walled contraption is near impossible. It took forever, because always just as she's drifting to sleep she'll open her eyes a tiny bit and start talking to you, or kicking her legs or just squeaking and chatting. It's SO frustrating! Then all night, most likely because of the heat, she woke up constantly. It wasn't great... but we got up in the morning and headed down to the beach. The nice thing about the Kelowna hospital area is that it is only a few blocks to the lake and there's a fantastic beach with ziplines into the water and a playground. We played there for a bit and had a swim (I say that like I did!) and then around 11am it was time to head out. We left Barton in the driveway and headed East for home.

Our plan was to stop in Revelstoke because they have this great rec centre and on the way west we had told the kids we would stop there on the way back. After that, I would head on to Banff and then Calgary.

One thing to note is that if you're ever in need of a camping spot in the vicinity of Sicamous, the Mara Lake area was really pretty. I don't know much about it but it looked like a nice place to stop.

I found my way to the pool, about 2.5 hours from Kelowna, and if you're ever in the area, the Revelstoke Rec Centre is the perfect stop for a family. The pools are great, including a tiny baby pool, a huge but shallow kid's pool and then a regular pool with diving board, waterslide and a climbing wall that falls into the water. It's also all salt water so when you're done you don't have that gross chlorine feel or smell. It was a refreshing break, even if we hadn' t been on the road too long. If you have the time, bring a picnic because across the road from the pool is a picnic area overlooking the river and it's quite stunning.

If you ever find yourself uttering the words "We'll stop for a quick supper in Banff" you may as well have said "I'll just hop into IKEA for napkins" or "so and so and I are going to have a quick coffee, I'll be right home." It was a total gong show. First of all, the drive from Revelstoke was a bit longer than expected, so we arrived hungry to the point of tears. (peanuts and beef jerkey only get you so far!)

Between the bad parking, the huge lineups and the lack of employees, it took TWO HOURS to get 'fast food'. If you are looking for work, apparently Banff (and I've heard the rest of Alberta as well) is the place to be. One Subway was shut down because they didn't have enough people to run it. The other was run by two people and two people were manning the McDonald's. Had I taken the time to park and walk it would have been better, but I was trying to be 'quick'. Considering Camrose was 15 minutes down the road we should have plugged on. Note to self (and you!) eat in Camrose or Golden before or after your drive through. That being said, Banff is really beautiful and I'd love to have a couple of days there with Barton to stroll and explore. There are lots of great shops, and it's a beautiful setting. I was tempted to stay a bit but it would have had us arriving in Calgary later than we were already set for. We left Banff at 9:30pm.

The drive to Calgary was smooth sailing and we got to my cousin's around 11, after a little roundabout jaunt thanks to the GPS! My cousins Norm and Dana and their sons Jared and Blake put us up for the night and treated us to a crepe breakfast in the am, after we woke up at 9, thanks to the time change. It was really nice to catch up with them- it's been waaaaay too long.

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