Van Life

Recently my husband Cam and I had the chance to go camping in Dusty, our ’93 VW Camper Van, for one night. In other words we had someone that was willing to watch the kids for us so that we could get away!

The trip helped us to refocus and reconnect through a healthy mix of R&A (Relaxation & Adventure!).

While that might not seem like a long time away from the kids, we were completely stoked. We LOVE our daughters, but needed some time to take off our parent hats and fuel our relationship as husband and wife. The trip helped us to refocus and reconnect through a healthy mix of R&A (Relaxation & Adventure!).

Our day started at 12:30pm after we dropped our kids off at the grandparent’s house. We were planning on spending the night camping in the mountains, but decided to take a quick stop before hitting the open road and drove straight to the cinema. It had been over a year since we had sat in a movie theatre together! It felt luxurious, to say the least. Not only did we eat fully buttered popcorn and watch a matinee uninterrupted, but I managed to stay awake for the whole thing!

Following the movie, we hopped back into Dusty and drove straight to the mountains for dinner at Nourish, one of my favourite restaurants in Banff. After scarfing down the first course of our meal we realized that we did not have kids with us and could relax, take our time and enjoy the tasty meal. We slowed down and had some drinks along with some great conversation.

Fairview Mountain Alberta

After dinner we headed to the campsite. It was pitch black outside when we arrived at 9:00pm. We found a spot at Kicking Horse Campground and set up the van for sleeping. It was honestly so extravagant sleeping on the bottom bunk instead of up in the pop top. When family camping, we find it safest for our two kids aged 1 and 3 to sleep on the bottom, while we haul ourselves up to sleep in the pop top.

Breakfast the next morning was slow… it was amazing. We sluggishly rolled out of the bed at 10:00 am. We cooked bacon and eggs while I leisurely sipped on a warm coffee. My husband indulged in his favourite chai mix that we bought from Remedy Café in Edmonton. After cleaning up and getting ready, we left the campground at 11:45 am, 45 minutes past check-out time. The park wardens did not seem to mind one bit, and we were happy we took the extra time.

By this time, we’d had our dose of relaxation, and now it was time to up the adventure. With a few hours to complete a hike before heading back to get the girls, we decided to tackle Fairview Mountain. We’d heard it would be covered with Larch trees changing colours in the fall. The hike started near Lake Louise, a tourist hotspot, which meant that we’d have to park far from the trail head. This was not a problem since we did not have our two little kiddos to worry about and so we didn’t let it stop us. We ate lunch in front of the famous glacier-fed, turquoise lake before heading on to the trail.Fairview Mountain Alberta

The larch trees were spectacular and the conversation was amazing. Cam and I spent the time totally engaged with each other. The conversation ranged from reminiscing on old times, to thinking out loud about things to come, to pondering the world we live in, to chatting about our daughters (no, we couldn’t completely forget about them!) and led to more than a few belly laughs. We enjoyed pushing ourselves quickly up the mountain, and even more so taking in the breath-taking views at the top. It was windy up there, but we spread out our topo map and pointed out the different peaks surrounding us. We felt alive and in the moment. It was exactly what we needed as a couple.

The odd time that we get as just the two of us revitalizes our love for each other, which in turn gives us the strength and energy to look after and love our two beautiful little girls.

Hiking in Alberta

Cam and I truly love adventuring with our kids but we are trying to remember to take time away from the kids together too. It’s not easy for many parents to find people to watch their kids for such extended periods of time, but if you can swing it, it is well worth it. The odd time that we get as just the two of us revitalizes our love for each other, which in turn gives us the strength and energy to look after and love our two beautiful little girls.

VW Eurovan Camping
By Annika Mang
By Annika Mang
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