Take a babymoon, everyone told us. What, you ask, is a babymoon? A babymoon is a fairly recent term for the last trip you take with your significant other before your first child is born. Think of it as the last hurrah as a twosome! Given that I’m 33 weeks pregnant and starting to feel heavy and very tired, we chose Canmore, Alberta as our babymoon destination. Banff seemed a bit too busy, and to be honest, I had the tiniest fear of what would happen if the baby was born ridiculously early. Seven weeks early would be unusual, but given the kind of year I’m having, we were taking no chances. The hospital in Banff does not have a maternity ward, whereas Canmore Hospital does, so Canmore won out.
On to the trip!
So what did we do? Well, it ain’t a babymoon unless it’s complete with rest, relaxation and big eats. Lots of eats. I’m proud to say we accomplished all of these objectives.
We checked into our one bedroom suite at the Falcon Crest Lodge. I highly recommend getting a room where the bedroom and living room are separate when you are this far along in your pregnancy. It’s no secret that these days I crash at 8 p.m. Why should I ruin David’s trip (did I mention, it was also his birthday trip?), just because this preggo goes to bed so early. Having a separate living room let David chill out, beer in hand and enjoy a movie or two. The kitchen was also a nice bonus, as the first night we were too lazy to go out, but had brought all the fixings to make our own nachos. Seriously, we ate nachos and watched Meet the Parents on Netflix. Classy.
The next day, we explored!
Canmore is full of cute little stores that I adore. This was the first time I’ve ventured into Cafe Books and I can’t believe I’ve never visited before. There were so many books and book products that I’d never seen before, but a hint at the owner’s British accent had me guessing that she imports some items specially. That, and the British prices on the books. Dead giveaway! She even had a sign outside her store advertising tea, scones and fresh clotted cream. I think you might have to call ahead for those, but it sounds worth the effort to me.
Breakfast starts my day off right (beware people who don’t eat breakfast…), so with a recommendation from a friend, we headed to The Summit Cafe on our first morning. It was pitch black at 8 a.m., so we didn’t really know what we would or wouldn’t see by the time we’d eaten. It’s a small space, but clearly popular with tourists and locals alike. Locals were popping in for their coffee and “black bottomed muffins” to go. My guess, or hope, is that the bottom of these muffins is pure chocolate. Om nom nom. We had the luxury of taking our time, tucking into a fluffy omelette with the tastiest hashbrowns I’ve had in a while (and I have a hard to beat favourite!).
As we finished the last dregs of our coffee, we were treated to the gorgeous mountain views and pink sunrise. I’m sure David got better photos on his camera, but for now, here’s what I captured with my meagre iPhone. Can you imagine what it’s like to live in Canmore and wake up to this every day?
We wandered through the other shops in town and enjoyed the old time candy store (old time/selling everything you can imagine), purchasing some Cadbury’s Turkish Delight and birthday cake flavoured M&Ms. We have quality taste, I’m sure you’ll agree.
We passed The Rocky Mountain Soap Company, which has the BEST belly butter you can get for an ever-expanding pregnant stomach. Flannel stores got David thinking about his future lumberjack shirt purchase. Home stores like the Tin Box make me realize just how much I want my own place, very soon, so that I can fill it with throw pillows that say “Come Cuddle With Me”.
The other two stores I always visit when in Canmore are the “Arty Farty” gallery and the Jason Leo Bantle gallery. Arty Farty has some great, fun artwork depicting animals and mountain ranges near Banff. I’ve purchased a couple of the owner’s works, including a cartoon drawing of animal butts. Yes, I’m that sophisticated. The Jason Leo Bantle work can also be found in Banff, but I love the Canmore store so much more. His recent works done in Algonquin Park are incredible photos. Slightly out of my price range when we have a baby on the way, but his smaller prints are more affordable for the average photography lover. This is the first time that I learned that he doesn’t photoshop any of his pieces. It just goes to show even more how incredible his pieces are.
Aside from the shops, we took a bit of a walk down some of the trails in town (easy ones!) and nipped back to our condo for a much needed nap. Now, that’s what I call a babymoon. The opportunity to catch up on our reading, wander around town, enjoy tasty food and nap at our leisure. This might be the last time it happens for many years…
For David’s birthday dinner we enjoyed a meal at Sage Bistro. It’s a nice place with fantastic food. I only wish the sun didn’t set so quickly after we arrived. Without the view, the atmosphere was a little lost.
Breakfast on our second, and final, morning was a filled bagel at The Rocky Mountain Bagel company. Delicious! I don’t know about you, but I rarely buy bagels, so it was a nice treat to have one filled with bacon. Take that World Health Organization!
All in all, we had less than 36 hours in Canmore, but it was just what the doctor ordered. Rest and relaxation. Hard to believe that a year ago on David’s birthday it was our first day in Southeast Asia. We were jet lagged, battled Bangkok traffic, bought train tickets and had dinner on the rooftop of our hotel watching the boats dot the river. I was glad for Bangkok, then, and I’m glad for Canmore now.
Oh… and the baby? It may have kicked like a banshee, but it behaved itself and helped me to avoid any unplanned trips to the Canmore hospital. Thanks, little one.