I was very fortunate to have been invited by Chinook County Tourism to spend this past weekend in Waterton National Park with a group of amazing bloggers. I did everything I could to reschedule prior plans to make the trip work because there’s nothing I love more than the mountains in the fall and some great girlfriends. I had never been to Waterton before and have heard nothing but great things. Be warned, this will be a picture heavy post!
I left work early on Friday, picked Liam up from the day home and hit the road. I had considered driving in the evening to save taking time off work because I’m quickly running out of holiday time but I’m SO glad I didn’t. The scenery in Southern Alberta takes my breath away, especially with the fall colours and the mountain backdrops. I had actually managed to catch up to Brie on the highway and I’m sure she was wondering why I kept pulling over, it was to take photos. Even upon approaching the park, Liam looked out the window and gasped in awe, “Mama, the colours! It’s beautiful! And over there! It’s beautiful too!”. He wasn’t wrong.
We got into Waterton just after 5pm, got checked into our hotel at the Waterton Lakes Lodge Resort and met up with some of the girls for dinner at Vimy’s Lounge. I was warned that Waterton wasn’t really known for their food like Banff or Canmore and our meal wasn’t anything to write home about. After dinner, we took the kiddos to The Big Scoop for ice cream to enjoy by the lakeside. I could have stayed out there until the sun had blanketed the lake in darkness. It was breathtaking.
Getting the kid to bed after ice cream was a bit of a disaster and it wasn’t until almost 9pm that he fell asleep. I snuck over to the neighbouring cabin where the rest of the girls had met for some wine and girl talk. I had a quick glass of red before calling it a night.
Saturday morning we all met up at Pearl’s for breakfast where I had all.the.coffee since I couldn’t sleep at all.
After breakfast we were headed out on a boat cruise with Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. to Goat Haunt, Montana. Apparently the hiking there (and everywhere else in Waterton) is just amazing however we were only out to take in the lake scenery and hopefully see some wildlife. Spoiler alert, the only wild thing was my child on the boat.
He was fairly miserable most of the trip because he was tired which was pretty exhausting. To be honest, this was the theme of most of the weekend, but I feel like the serenity of the mountains made up for most of it.
The weather for the cruise wasn’t the best, with on and off rain and an extreme lack of wildlife spotting save for one lonely bald eagle. Liam managed to stop crying enough that he was offered a chance to drive the boat which pretty much made his day. Also helpful, watching Paw Patrol and eating snacks with Scarlett and London.
The cruise itself was great. It was the last cruise of the season before retiring the boat for winter and the tour guide gave us a personable presentation on the history of the boat, geology of the region and tales of wildlife spotting in the area. On a warm, sunny day it would have been amazing to sit up top and soak in all the sunshine and views for the two hour trip. Definitely recommend checking this out if you’re visiting Waterton.
The tour ended right at lunch time and an executive decision was made to grab lunch at Wieners of Waterton. I mean, was there any question? I grabbed Liam a hot dog, myself a local smokie and a side of sweet potato fries with rosemary parmesan dipping sauce. Unfortunately, another melt down had us crossing the street for our cabin rather than dining by the fire pit outside with the rest of the group.
A lengthy fight for a nap led me to finally throw Liam in the car and take a drive. Within minutes, before even leaving the village, Liam was fast asleep and I was free to explore the area by car. I took advantage of every roadside look-out point to sit and think, taking in the amazing views. What better place than the mountains to be alone with your thoughts.
Liam slept in the car for about an hour before we went back to our hotel to find some of the girls to stroll through some of the shops in town. There’s only about two streets to the town, but there are lots of shops and dining options to choose from. We had dinner as a group together at Lakeside Chophouse. Liam redeemed himself by sitting perfectly through dinner. I changed my mind on leaving him for the bears…
I promised Liam if he was good at dinner that he could have more ice cream and throw rocks in the lake again so that’s exactly where we headed before bed.
I admit that the day was definitely challenging due to an over-tired and grumpy toddler. I’m very thankful for all the girls being forgiving (and bringing wine). Regardless of the terrible moments and not being able to do all of the things I had hoped for the day, it was hard to have a bad time when you’re in such a beautiful place.
Stay tuned for our Sunday adventure and be sure to check out everyone else’s recaps!
Disclaimer: The #ABBloggersRetreat was sponsored and funded by Chinook County Tourism in partnership with the Town of Waterton and Travel Alberta. All opinions are my own.