Baby’s First Alberta Road Trip!

Guys, guys, guys! Do you know what magical things happened last week?

1) The temperature was in double digits (celcius!).

2) David had two days off IN A ROW.

3) Baby J got his vaccinations and was ridiculously subdued (in a good way) for an entire day.

What does this mean, you might ask?


alberta road trip with baby

Yeah… I was a little excited about this. Plus, it’s not often that I find a reason to do my make-up anymore, but a day out with my boys was enough to make me shower. Sigh. It’s the little things.

First step in an Alberta road trip is deciding where to go. Considering this was J’s first time having a long car day, I wanted somewhere an hour or less from home. We landed on Black Diamond, determined to hit up Marv’s Soda Shop for lunch.

Packing the car was another experience unto itself. Previous road trips would mean grab your wallet, fire up the tunes and make sure your phone is charged for Google Maps. Holy sh*t do you ever need way more stuff with a baby in tow. Stroller? Check. Carrier (in case he doesn’t want to stroll)? Check. Diaper bag? Check. Blankets to keep him warm pre-double digit weather? Check. Snacks for us? Check. It may not sound like a lot… but trust me, it felt like a lot.

There’s something glorious about a road trip on a weekday. The roads are quiet, I can handle my road rage with grace, and there are no line ups anywhere. It also leads to easy detours. Passing through Okotoks, Google Maps told us to take a right on Big Rock Trail. Then it clicked.

“David, I think there’s a big rock around here!”

Silence… and possibly David looking at me like I was a fool. I finally explained about rocks being moved through the foothills by glaciers, and he agreed it would be worth a pit stop.

alberta road trip with baby

The Okotoks Erratic (a.k.a. The Big Rock) is about 7 minutes drive from Okotoks, on the way to Black Diamond. You can easily see it from the highway, so we pulled in to the near empty car park. Joy of all joys, there was a ramp down to the path, letting us stroll in peace, keeping J fast asleep.

This collection of rock weighs over 16,000 tonnes and is thought to have traveled all the way from Jasper National Park area.

alberta road trip with baby

alberta road trip with baby

Fun fact that I didn’t know before: Okotok is a Blackfoot word for big rock. Makes sense why the nearest town is named Okotoks, hey?

alberta road trip with baby

From the erratic, we drove the short distance to Black Diamond. I was in need of coffee, pronto! We stopped at The Stop Coffeehouse, knocked back a coffee and Baby J was STILL asleep. At this point I was starting to worry about the after effects of his first vaccine, but reminded myself that most babies are a bit knocked out after their shots. We dream fed him half a bottle, he fell immediately back to sleep, then we strapped him back into the stroller.

alberta road trips

Black Diamond is pretty small, but very cute! There’s Cool Hand Luc’s, the second hand shop, The Bluerock Gallery (and adjacent shop of great books, crafts, etc.) and Bohemia (the self-proclaimed eclectic shop where we got a neat coat hook board). Our shopping trip was done in a short space of time, so we quickly popped down the hill to visit the infamous Black Diamond, then back to Marv’s Classic Soda Shop for lunch.

alberta road trip with baby

alberta road trip with baby

This is somewhere I’ve always wanted to come. The last time that I visited Black Diamond, we’d just had lunch so it wasn’t in the cards for us, but this time we were ready. Baby’s First Soda Shop. Ahem, lots of firsts for the boo this day.

alberta road trip with baby

You gotta love a place that lists 150 types of sodas on offer. No joke.

And then I saw the menu item that I just had to try.

The Goober – a Peanut Butter burger.

Baby’s reaction…

alberta road trip with baby

The picture I took of the burger wasn’t super interesting, but rest assured it tasted incredible! Who knew that beef and peanut butter went so well together?

Marv… that’s who.

Bellies full and hearts happy, we strolled on back to the car and headed to our next stop: The Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley.

The problem with David not getting weekends off is such that we weren’t able to get a tour. In winter they offer tours Friday to Sunday. Rest assured, we will be back! In the meantime, we checked out their beautiful wares, and when I say beautiful, I mean that I would keep an empty bottle and use it to hold candles. Or for any decor, really. They’re that pretty.
alberta road trip with baby

alberta road trip with baby

alberta road trip with baby

See what I mean?

Anywho, all in all we were out and back in four and a half hours. Not bad for baby’s first road trip. Given the sucky dollar this year and us using all David’s vacation time for Scotland, I see many one-day road trips in our 2016 future.

What is the best road trip you’ve ever been on? Any suggestions for our summer Alberta road trip list?


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