Why Calgary? Well, actually we stayed a few nights in Canmore, a town near Banff, which is a little more exciting and beautiful. There are a couple things that drew us to this destination. First, airfare during Thanksgiving is unreal, so we knew we would be driving. Second, we wanted to go somewhere new, and we could use our Trendwest membership to get a place in Canmore for very little. (It cost more to kennel our dogs for a night than for our room!) Finally, Brian's brother Kevin, his wife Melanie, and their 7 month old baby Jamie live in Calgary and we don't get to see them very often.
The drive is about 10 1/2 hours if you drive non-stop and conditions are favorable. Unfortunately with a 6+ month pregnant woman and two dogs you can't drive non-stop. Fortunately, the drive is beautiful. There was snow all around us, but the roads were bare and the sky was blue. The air was crisp and absolutely FREEZING! (Note the temperature on the dashboard in the middle of the day.)
At one rest stop Otis got to experience snow for the first time! Trudy needed to wear the coat Alli got her because she is so skinny and doesn't have much fur. While in Canmore we mostly vegged out in our room. But we did make one venture into town each day to walk around the shops and get something to eat.
Then on to Calgary to spend a few days with Kevin, Melanie, and Jamie. Melanie and I spent a lot of time talking about new motherhood. She passed on her maternity clothes, (My wardrobe at least doubled!) as well as some clothes and things that Jamie has outgrown. We saw some of Calgary; I drove around with Melanie one afternoon and Brian went to some art shows. We played a great new version of the game of Settlers of Catan and again just relaxed.
Our dogs got to stay with us at their house. Jamie gave them a crash course in how to act around babies! She poked them, pinched their noses, pulled their tails, took their bones away while they were chewing them and even tried to pull herself to standing using Trudy (and her fur!). They were so great! She also exposed them to lots of new smells and sounds. Our only trouble was making sure they didn't lick her to death every time they walked by. Jamie and the dogs even joined forces to become an irresistible wake up crew.Our only sad part of our trip was that while we were gone Brian's grandpa passed away. We knew it might be soon and made a point to visit him before we left, but it was still difficult. The family decided to wait to have the service until after we got home, and Melanie decided to caravan back with us so she could be there too. Kevin flew in later in the week because of work.
Overall, it was great to get away with Brian. We had fun just laughing, dreaming about the next stage of our marriage, spending time with family we don't see often, and doing nothing. I came back really refreshed, in spite of spending an entire day in the car.