That’s right, this is Peonies to Palm Trees’ very first real honeymoon from the Great White North! This week’s real honeymooners had a great time driving all around the Canadian Rockies, and it just goes to show that you don’t need to fly halfway around the world and spend a small fortune to to enjoy an awesome honeymoon. Read all about their fun Canadian honeymoon below, eh?:
When and where did you honeymoon?
We travelled to the Rockies in southern Alberta, right after our wedding in July 2013.
We flew into Calgary, and spent a few days in Banff, followed by two nights in Calgary (for the Calgary Stampede). We then did a day trip northeast to Drumheller (dinosaurs!), then went back to the Rockies, staying in Canmore for another two nights (where mostly townies and winter athletes live), and then Jasper (after driving through the Columbia Icefields). Finally, we finished the trip with two days in Lake Louise.
The itinerary wasn’t ideal geographically, but we did it this way to catch the Calgary Stampede (which ended in the middle of our honeymoon); plus, it was only about 4 hours of out-of-the-way driving.
How long was your trip?
Ten days, although we’d already been away for a week just prior for our wedding in the Maritimes.
How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?
Our criteria were: 1. Somewhere we’d never been before; 2. Take advantage of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (i.e. we’d rather save a Caribbean beach vacation for February when we need a reprieve from Michigan winters); and 3. Not super far away.
This essentially left North America, north of 45 degrees or so, and Western Europe. Since we’d both been to various parts of Europe relatively recently, North America it was. Banff just came up as a pretty place that met all our criteria.
The best part about our honeymoon was…
A tie between endless gorgeous mountains views, and watching the rodeo at the Calgary Stampede (which the Canadian one between us wanted to do since seeing it on TV as a kid). We had some ambivalence about cowboys riding bucking horses and roping calves, but it was still a fun cultural experience to have once.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…
We would have probably come back a day or two earlier, both to save on cost and to have more time to settle back in at home after being away for three weeks. (So much laundry to wash and presents to unpack and garden to weed!)
We knew Banff was a tourist town, but we were still blown away by how expensive everything was. We wish we’d spent a bit less time there, and more time in the more chill and less yuppie Canmore, which was still pretty and had a cute, walkable downtown.
We also should have looked at the fuel gauge more often. Luckily we found a gas station in the lovely, very small town of Carbon, only 11km off the “main” road on our way to Drumheller (dinosaurs!). No pushing a neutral car required, although it was a tense ride, with as much coasting on the downhills as possible.