Monday, October 30, 2017

Our Honeymoon- Clearwater, Osoyoos, Vancouver (again), and Victoria

 After Jasper we headed down south and spent a night in a KOA in Clearwater, BC. We didn't have any plans for Clearwater, expect as a rest to break up the long drive to Osoyoos, BC. It was a very scenic drive, however the smoke came back in and it was HOT.

After Clearwater, we drove down to Osoyoos! Cam has family there so the plan was to visit them while we were out west (even though they did just come to the wedding, it was great to see them). We stayed at Shira Villa, which I booked solely due to the fact the hotel room had a giant hole in the wall between the bathroom and bedroom, but it actually ended up being a very nice hotel. Who knew? While in Osoyoos we went for a hike along the canal trail and we swam in Lake Osoyoos. It is a really neat area- it is a desert, but also full of orchards! Then, of course, we visited Cam's aunt and uncle for dinner and had a wonderful time! The next morning we drove back up to their place for brunch with them and one of Cam's cousins (and his friends) who had just come in for the weekend.

The only downside is we really wanted to visit an observatory while we were there, but the smoke was just too heavy! You could barely see the view from our hill-side room.

the hole! also the bathroom was HUGE

After Osoyoos we drove back to Vancouver for just a night and ended up going out for dinner with my friend Sarah from high school, who moved out west years ago, and her boyfriend. Of course, I got no photos of that, but it was really nice to catch up and reminisce on old times!! Oh, we also returned our rental car, because we were headed off the mainland!

The next morning we took the train and then a bus and then a ferry, and then another bus (omg) to Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island!! We stayed at the Swan's Hotel & Brewpub and I totally recommend it. It was such a cute little suite. While in Victoria we ate some delicious fish and chips (natch), went to the museum, where they had a Terry Fox exhibit, checked out the Parliament Buildings. Then we rented a new car and were off to Tofino!


Terry Fox's leg!

Our hotel room had two of these beautiful juliet balconies

I never did find a way up to that "second floor"

Our Honeymoon- Banff and Lake Louise!

After Revelstoke we travelled eastwards to Banff, AB!

On the way to Banff we drove through Yoho National Park and hit up Emerald Lake and Natural Bridge, and Takakkaw Falls. It was a gorgeous park to drive through and the weather really started to clear up!

Emerald Lake

Natural Bridge

Takakkaw Falls

In Banff we were actually camping at a park called Two Jack Main. They had what are called "equipped campsites" so each site comes with a tent, sleeping mats, a lantern, and a propane stove. We had vacuum-packed some sleeping bags and pillows and bought a few basic cooking necessities and a cooler while on our trip, so we were go to go! We spent 3 nights camping and actually took it pretty easy in Banff.  A lot of our time was spent in Two Jack Lake and hanging out at the campsite. Camping in Banff was interesting. We got a whole spiel about bear safety as there was an aggressive bear in the area (yay?). And it got SO COLD at night. I had to sleep in all my clothes. And the campground had no shower. 'Twas a really romantic honeymoon spot ;). But all jokes aside, we had a really nice time!!!

home sweet home

it was very cold

bacon making

drive by elking

We did venture out to Lake Louise, but unfortunately the timing of our trip meant we were in Banff on a long weekend- so it was....not pleasant. We ended up hiking about 3km from the town to the lake, which we hadn't been planning on doing. It was a nice hike! But still glad to have seen it, especially as the smoke finally cleared and it was a beautiful day! We ended up skipping Moraine Lake because of the crowds.

hike to the lake

Cam dipping his toes in Lake Louise

After 3 nights in Banff we drove up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, AB! The Icefields Parkway is 232 km of beautiful mountain views and glaciers. We stopped off and hiked to Columbia Icefields (really neat hike through the rocks, though it looks closer than it is, so be prepared!). And we stopped at a multitude of waterfalls along the way, including Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. We actually drove through Jasper and stayed in a cabin at a KOA in Hinton, AB.

We had 3 nights in Jasper, but actually didn't do too much (a theme of our trip- relaxation was #1 priority. We both really enjoyed Lake Jasper, which is a very shallow lake. We walked super far out into it and it never hit our knees! We also did laundry in Jasper #funtimes. But yay to showers and clean clothing! Our favourite Jasper Activity was the Jasper Planetarium and Telescope experience. It is an inflatable planetarium where they teach you about constellations, outer space, and history of the Jasper area. Jasper is a Dark Sky Reserve and aims to keep light pollution to a minimum! After the planetarium you get to look at the night sky through two different telescopes- one with your eye, where we looked at Saturn, a nebula, and the moon's surface. The other telescope was hooked up to a giant monitor and we good look at things more closely. There was also a meteor shower that night so we saw a few of those fly by too! It was a very fun experience and I definitely recommend you check it out if you go to Jasper!

Home in Jasper

view from our porch

Lake Jasper

Elk friend I made in the middle of the night

I also convinced Cam to finally go to a Hot Springs while were there and we went to Miette Hot Springs one evening. It was a little busy, but relaxing in the hot waters (and we dunked ourselves in the cold water too). Really cheap, so I recommend others check it out. You can also rent old-timey swimming costumes for a $1, but Cam was not game.

And then after Jasper it was time to head south!

Our Honeymoon- Vancouver, Whistler & Revelstoke

We had decided to take our honeymoon one week after the wedding, which meant going back to work for a week, which was weird and I'm pretty sure I was quite unproductive. But then Cam and I flew out to western Canada for a glorious THREE WEEK honeymoon! We decided shortly after getting engaged to spend our honeymoon in British Columbia and Alberta because 1) I had never been to either province and really wanted to see them and 2) my passport was going to expire a few days after the wedding and I am changing my name, so I didn't want to renew it.

We started off our trip in Vancouver, where we stayed at the GEC Granville, which we both really enjoyed! On our first full day we did the looooong walk around Stanley Park (I think I had 30,000 steps that day) and then in the evening we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge. I totally recommend exploring the park, but we were both pretty meh about the suspension bridge- it was cool, but very touristy.


The next day was Monday and we rented a car to begin our long roadtrip! Our first stop was grouse Mountain, where we did the Grouse Grind! I would like to point out here that we were totally unprepared for this climb. The trail is a 2.9km hike, with 2800ft of elevation gain. My hip was hurting from yesterday's long walk. We weren't in athletic gear (though we at least wore running shoes). We ran out of water 3/4 of the way up and it was so hot out. But we made it in 1:51! Once we reached the summit we got some lunch and then headed back down by cable car.

seriously. NEVERENDING

we made it!!

View from the top

Then we drove to Walmart to pick up a cooler and some cooking gear for camping later in the trip and we drove to Whistler! Unfortunately, upon arriving in Whistler we were so beat from Grouse Mountain that we just skipped seeing the town, ordered pizza to our gorgeous room at Aava Hotel, and called it a night. #noregrets

The next day we were up early for our longest drive of the trip- to Revelstoke! Our trip happened to coincide with the end of the horrible fires that B.C. experienced this summer. We were lucky that the roads had re-opened by the time we got there, but some parts of our trip were very smokey- and this included the drive to Revelstoke. We couldn't see more than a kilometer in each direction and we passed a lot of burnt areas.

Anyway, we arrived in Revelstoke, where we were staying for 2 nights. We had booked an adorable cabin at the KOA there- just like the one we stayed in in Cape Breton, when we got engaged #aww. It was a great little spot- they had some goats and ducks to feed, and they served up a cheap pancake breakfast each morning! Due to the fire ban, we weren't able to BBQ at the KOAs like we had planned.

The goats were named Billy and Herald

Our home!

The main thing we did in Revelstoke was drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway to the top of Mount Revelstoke. 100% recommend!! There were beautiful sights on the drive up (though a little smokey) and at the top was gorgeous tress, wildflowers, ponds...and even a less smokey view! We had taken the shuttle bus from the parking lot to the very top, but decided to hike down because it was hot up there and the wait for the shuttle looked hotter. There were a lot of signs about a Grizzly in the area :S but thankfully we never saw him/her. Actually, the only bear I saw on the trip was on the side of the road from the safety of our car!


Next we were onto Alberta!
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