Road trip to Alberta

July 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm 35 comments

road trip map 

July 14, 2007, Saturday

3:00 a.m.  I wake up.  My family is going on a road trip to Alberta.  This is our first family trip ever, first for me actually.  We are going with my sister’s family and my mother.  We decided to leave at 5:00 a.m. since it’s a 14-hour drive from Winnipeg to Alberta.

4:00 a.m.  I wake hubby and kids up so they can start taking turns in the washroom.  Reggie alone takes half an hour in the bathroom.  We also have a quick breakfast of cereal and toast.

5:00 a.m.  We start loading our luggage and bags in the car.  Mama’s already here.  We load some of our bags in her trunk.  I think we have too many stuff.  But we are going to be there for six days.

5:15 a.m.  Sis and family are still loading their van. 

5:22 a.m.  The three cars finally pull out of the driveway.  Reggie and Agnus (Ah-nyus), my oldest niece, are riding with Mama.  Our two youngest kids are with hubby and me in the second car.  Sis and BIL have six kids in their van.  We have three walkie-talkies, one in each car.  The van is at the front.  BIL is navigating us since he’s the experienced traveler.  Mama in the middle and us at the back.

heavy rains 

Around 6:00 a.m.  We encounter dark heavy clouds and then it rains.  Ryland has his blanket over his head.  After we pass the rains and as we are driving under the clear skies, Ryland says, “Mommy, I was scared of the rain.”  I say, “Oh, is that why you were hiding under your blanket?”  He replies, “Yeah.”  I say, “That’s okay, it’s behind us now.”


6:33 a.m.  We stop at Tim Horton’s at Portage La Prairie, still in Manitoba.  Mama needs a washroom break.  Some of us also go.

8:00 a.m.  We stop at Brandon (Manitoba) to fill up the cars.  Washroom break, too.

11:30 a.m.  Gas fill up and lunch break at Regina, Saskatchewan.  We eat inside our cars.

12:00 noon.  We leave Regina.

1:00 p.m.  We pull over to the roadside to switch drivers because Mama is falling behind. The speed limit on the highway is 100-110 kmh, but the speedometer reading of Mama’s Toyota Corolla is not right.  She has to drive at 120 kmh to catch up with the other two vehicles but she insists on driving at only 110 on her speedometer.  We have five drivers by the way: hubby, Mama, sis, BIL and my 19-year old niece, Agnus.

2:30 p.m.  We pull over to switch drivers again.  Sis is falling asleep on the wheel.  Hubby also needs a break.


This is mostly the view on the prairie highways, flat lands and fields.  Very boring and it will really make you feel sleepy.  We do see cows, bisons, hay, haystacks, irrigation pipes sprinkling water on the fields, and once in a while trains.  But that’s about it.

But doesn’t this canola field look so pretty?  The yellow look so lovely against the green.  We pass by a few of these fields.  This picture is taken from a tinted glass window and doesn’t really give justice to how beautiful it is.  But you can see much better pictures of canola fields here.

canola field

3:45 p.m.  Gas fill up and washroom break near Medicine Hat.

4:23 p.m.  We reach Alberta.  We finally see hills and horses.


7:27 p.m.  We arrive in Calgary.  We see mountains here and there.  We are enjoying the view in Calgary.  We see houses built on top of the mountains and also more horses.  I imagine Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger filming Brokeback Mountain here and I have the sudden urge to watch this movie again which I’ve seen twice already. We see the mountains in the horizon and we think that’s Banff.

As we enter Banff, we are driving in winding roads in between The Rocky Mountains.  The view is so breath taking!

banff national park

9:05 p.m.  We enter Banff National Park.  We pay $17.80 per family/vehicle.  It’s only 8:05 p.m. in Alberta. 

9:40 p.m.  We check in at Banff International Hotel.

July 15, 2007, Sunday (Alberta time)

9:00 a.m.  We hear mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

11:00 a.m.  We check out of the hotel and then we go sightseeing around downtown Banff.  And then we head to the Banff Gondola (lift car) ride.  Fees:  Adult – $24.95, Children (6-15 years old) – $12.50.  Sis is having second thoughts since she has an equivalent of four adults and 5 children.  I tell her that since we’re already there, why not take advantage of this opportunity to take the ride and anyway it looks like the fee is all worth it.  And it is.  The ride and the view on top of the mountains are so cool and awesome!

Let the pictures and videos speak for themselves.  Enjoy!

The Canadian Rockies  The Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies  The Canadian Rockies

Downtown Banff

Banff Gondola ride


Entry filed under: Alberta, Detour, Vacation.

The one that complains West Edmonton Mall

35 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ptvj  |  July 22, 2007 at 12:36 am

    i’ve always wondered what those yellow things on the fields were. canola field pala iyon. lol.

    the farthest i’ve been to this summer was kenora, we’re planning to go to montreal or bc next year, though.

  • 2. karen  |  July 22, 2007 at 12:39 am

    as usual, i forgot to log out from my other blog, again.

    i think i already met your niece Agnus. is she she in THIS PICTURE?

  • 3. niceheart  |  July 22, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Yes, Karen, that’s her. She mentioned to me about that Sigaw picnic. I was also at Kildonan Park that day for my friend’s baby shower. She actually asked us to give her a ride but she couldn’t wait because my husband took so long to get ready. 🙂

    I also didn’t know it was canola. I just saw a sign in one of the fields. So sabi ko, canola pala yon. 🙂

  • 4. Wil  |  July 22, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Now that’s what I call a gondola ride. 😀 I’ve ridden in those things before (Alaska and in California) but they weren’t as long as that one there in Banff.

  • 5. Daphne  |  July 22, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Great pictures of Banff mountains! Glad to know you all had a great road trip 🙂

  • 6. kathy  |  July 22, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    There was an opportunity before for me to join a conference in Banff, but unfortunately I passed it up. Didn’t really know what I missed until I saw your pics, hehe.

    Anyway, I’m very happy to know that you had a great time on this road trip with your family. Ang saya-saya siguro niyan, kasama ang buong pamilya! 🙂

    I’m assuming you got back to Winnipeg already. Am I right?

  • 7. niceheart  |  July 22, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Wil, the ride itself was actually 8 minutes long. Then we got off on the top of the mountain and there was a trail that led us to the other one, Sulphur Mountain. And then we took another 8-minute ride to go back down. It was an unforgettable experience. 🙂

    Thanks, Daphne. And yeah, it was a great trip.

    Kathy, we got back on Thursday night. Nakakapagod at ngayon pa lang medyo nakakabawi ng lakas. Pero masaya nga dahil buong pamilya. 🙂

  • 8. Kyels  |  July 22, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Wow, I love the view … They’re brilliant!


    Glad to hear that you guys had fun … Road trips are good!

  • 9. ladybug  |  July 23, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Wow! Thank you for the pics and videos. What a wonderful trip and all the beautiful sights to behold.

  • 10. eric aka senor enrique  |  July 23, 2007 at 4:44 am

    Obviously a fun trip for the entire family. Wonderful photos as well. Thanks for sharing, Irene 🙂

  • 11. Tin  |  July 23, 2007 at 11:16 am

    So Alberta really exists! Hehe. It made me think cause I thought it was just made up in a role-playing game I’m currently playing. It has a town called Alberta too. Hehe.

    Wow, what a lovely place! 🙂 You surely had fun!

  • 12. JO  |  July 23, 2007 at 11:17 am

    welcome to calgary!!!

    If you have the time, go see Waterton National Park too. It’s 3 hours south of Calgary. For me, definitely a much nicer view than Banff.

    Also, Sylvan Lake [north of Calgary] is a good place for swimming and picnic.

    Enjoy your stay…

  • 13. pining  |  July 23, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Breath taking pics niceheart 🙂
    Made me think, it’s been a long time since we had a proper holiday… nainggit tuloy ako!
    I guess that canola field is the same as the rapeseed field as we call it here 🙂

  • 14. pinayhekmi  |  July 23, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, great pictures. Aah, when you mentioned Tim Horton’s I remembered eating breakfast and getting coffee there. I loved Tim Horton’s and Hardee’s. Do you have in Alberta?

  • 15. ipanema  |  July 23, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    What lovely sceneries! I personally love prairies. It’s good you’v finally had a break. Enjoy! 🙂

  • 16. niceheart  |  July 23, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Kyels, the view is really magnificent. You have to be there to really enjoy it. 🙂

    You’re welcome, Ladybug and Eric . It was indeed a wonderful experience.

    Tin, of course Alberta exists. he he he. You probably haven’t heard the song Four Strong Winds – Think I’ll go out to Alberta….

    Thanks Jo. Actually, we’re already back here in Winnipeg. We just passed by Calgary. My middle son says that it’s nice there. 🙂

    Pining, I saw that picture of rapeseed field in your album. I did a quick search and found out that canola is a variety of rapeseed.

    Pinayhekmi, I didn’t really notice any Tim Horton’s in Alberta, but I would think that they also have it there. Here in Winnipeg, we do have Tim Horton’s and Hardees. Thanks.

    Thanks, Ipanema. It was really nice to have a break from work. Pero nakakapagod ding mag-travel. But it was all worth it. 🙂

  • 17. Toe  |  July 24, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Wow! That is a long trip from what I can see from the map! Truly amazing! It’s great that your entire clan would have bonding time on the road. Those mountains are just spectacular!

    And your mother drives in the Canadian highways? Bilib ako ha! 🙂

  • 18. Rey  |  July 24, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    As much as I love places, it’s the traveling itself that I dread. I really don’t like long distance travels especially if it’s on a car or bus. I guess I’m more of a “destination” guy rather than a journeyman. 🙂

  • 19. Gypsy  |  July 25, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Awesome photos! Worth the long trip and the early morning wake up call..:) I love land trips like this–the last time I was on one of these long trips was to Sagada…worth it talaga. 🙂

  • 20. annamanila  |  July 25, 2007 at 5:12 am

    Wow. I loved that vicarious ride from Winnipegto Alberta. Breathtaking views of the mountains. Thank you Niceheart for taking me. 🙂

  • 21. julie  |  July 25, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Wow! The place looks really nice. Thanks for sharing the photos and videos, Niceheart. 🙂

  • 22. verns  |  July 25, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    ohhhh….so beautiful Niceheart 🙂

    Me I don’t mind driving that long as long as the roads are okay and there’s no traffic. Long drives are relaxing 🙂 The view is so lovely..gosh I can only imagine.

    Surely you had a blast. What is more fun than be with the whole family in a place like that, right?

  • 23. haze  |  July 26, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    You gave me an excellent idea Niceheart ! Since I am driving now I could maybe do some roadtrips, challenging though and I will not forget to do my IT kasi mahina ako sa directions 🙂 ! Great pictures I love the snow left on the mountain, seaching for a fresher air hein !

  • 24. pauL  |  July 26, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    looks like you had quality time with your family. ^_^ that’s good… enjoy the rest of your vacation! 😀

  • 25. Belle  |  July 26, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    you must have taken those pictures while in riding in the car, right? beautiful open field! did you and your husband take turns driving?

    is this going to be a yearly event now since you guys had a wonderful time?

  • 26. rositta  |  July 27, 2007 at 10:45 am

    This is my first visit to your blog. I loved your photos’. My late mother absolutely enjoyed the Gondola ride in Banff. It was her favourite place and favourite thing to do. Enjoy your trip…ciao

  • 27. niceheart  |  July 27, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Toe, it was indeed a long trip. In the end, it took us 16 hours to drive to Banff, what with all the stops we had to make. Yes, my mother drives in the Canadian highways. But I really think she should try to speed up, otherwise, she’ll be a hazard to the other drivers. 🙂

    Rey, long distance travels are not easy, even for the passengers. On our way there, my middle son was actually complaining because it’s not comfortable to be sitting in the car for a stretch of four hours. And then you fall asleep in the most awkward position and you’d have a stiff neck when you wake up.

    Thanks Gypsy. As much as the long distance travel is hard on the body, it definitely is worth it once you get to your destination. 🙂

  • 28. niceheart  |  July 27, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you, annamanila. And you’re welcome. I rarely travel and now it’s my turn to bring you guys to where I’ve been. 🙂

    Thanks, julie. I’m glad you liked the photos and videos.

    Verns, thank you. There ‘s no traffic on the highways so it was really smooth sailing. I don’t know if I can say that the drive was relaxing, but it sure was nice to see the beautiful scenery along the drive.

    Haze, I’m sure you can drive anywhere you want to go. But it’s a good idea to study the directions, so as not to get lost. 🙂

  • 29. niceheart  |  July 27, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for dropping by pauL. Yes, it was a good time spent with the family. Vacation’s actually over. I’m back at work. 🙂

    Belle, some of the pictures where taken from inside the car but some where also on top of the mountains. My sis and BIL switched driving with my husband, as I don’t drive. I know, kinda embarrassing. But what can I say, I’m a nervous wreck behind the wheel. I don’t think we’ll do this every year. It costs a lot of money eh. We didn’t know anybody in Alberta so we ended up staying in hotels for 5 nights.

    Thank you for the visit Rositta. I’m glad you like the photos. I can definitely understand why your mother enjoyed the gondola ride. I myself wouldn’t mind going back there. 🙂

  • 30. Major Tom  |  July 28, 2007 at 1:33 am

    What a roadtrip you got there. I bet only in Canada that such sceneries could be had while travelling by car—snow-covered mountains and all…

  • 31. chelsea  |  July 28, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    wow. the place looks so serene.

  • 32. vic  |  July 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    The one and only long trip I had taken to the west was back in ’75 to Winnipeg by Bus and by Train on the way Back. And travelling by train during those days were quite memorable, same as when we still have the bullet train to Montreal, it took only 3 1/2 compared to 6 to 8 hours by car. I like the way you keep tab of your trip.

    someday, I was planning to do a long drive to Northern California and maybe I’ll do keep the record of the trip like you did. I made dozens of long trips and not a single record to show for them…

  • 33. West Edmonton Mall « Journey to Honeyville  |  July 28, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    […] left Banff at 4:49 p.m. that Sunday, after our breathtaking trip on top of Sulphur Mountain and exciting ride […]

  • 34. Rach (Heart of Rachel)  |  August 7, 2007 at 1:48 am

    Hi! I’m enjoying catching up with your recent posts.

    The view of the mountains is breathtaking. Beautiful photos! Sounds like a great and exciting roadtrip.

  • 35. Drumheller, the dinosaur town « Journey to Honeyville  |  August 12, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    […] 12, 2007 When we originally planned our road trip to Alberta, we agreed to visit only Banff and Edmonton.  But a couple of weeks before our trip, my sister had […]


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