The spring air makes me yearn to get out of town for the weekend. When we were invited to do just that at Grande Rockies Resort, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to cross some of the things off of our to do list, like biking the Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff, climbing on the catwalks at Johnston Canyon and spending more time exploring the trail system in the town of Canmore with the kids in tow.
Like every weekend out of town, we have fantastic aspirations to leave early, around noon, on Friday. When it comes down to it, we always end up leaving the house between two and three. This weekend was no different. Just over three hours in the car, we arrived at Grande Rockies Resort at just after five o’clock, checked into the family friendly Canmore hotel and proceeded up to our room, finding a balcony that looked over the indoor/outdoor hot tub and pool area.
Tip: This property is one of the most family friendly that we’ve stayed at, with suites up to three bedrooms available, a toddler pool, water slide and indoor/outdoor hot tub. If you want to skip the kid noise of the pool, ask for a room away from facing onward of the hot tub area.
Immediately, after discovering the view from the balcony, the kids tore into their luggage to find their swimsuits, excitedly telling us to do the same because we needed to go try the waterslide. With a pool that was open until ten, there is no need to rush. The kids slid down the slide, we soaked and enjoyed the gorgeous weather while the kids made insta-friends with other guests.
We rushed. The kids were dressed in their swimsuits before I even had a chance to put away the snacks that I brought along in the fridge. Had I known there was a barbecue on the deck, I would have made a quick stop at Costco on the way and cut the costs of eating for the weekend, in half. What an easy way to save money all weekend long – and barbecue cooking is simple! Everything you need is in the suite, from dishes, a corkscrew and utensils, all you need to bring is the food.
We swam, went down the waterslide, enjoyed the gorgeous spring weather as we soaked in the outdoor portion of the hot tub, and made our way to Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. where I described waiting for the food as a ‘hangry trainwreck’ because all the kids wanted to do was go back to the hotel and go down the waterslide while they played with their new friends.
Sweetly, Jamie ordered my favorite dessert while I was herding the kids from the small area to play at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. and creme brulee made everything okay, as it always does (the cinnamon orange flavor was delicious). After dinner, we drove back to the hotel where the kids fell asleep in six seconds. We moved them to the pull out bed in the living room and Jamie and I enjoyed a bottle of wine on the balcony, enjoying spring mountain air.
I will give you three guesses as to what we did as soon as we woke up on Saturday. It rhymes with water-slide. They were excited to head to the slide as soon as they heard the kids in the morning, outside, and I have to admit, it was a refreshing way to start the day. Starving, I rushed the kids out of the pool and insisted that it was time for breakfast.
We had heard fantastic things about the Habitat Restaurant+ Bar and knew that we needed to check it out for breakfast. Jamie ordered the meat omelette, on special that day, and I ordered the Southern Stacker. He quickly let me know that if I made omelettes like this he would eat breakfast every single day. I didn’t take offense. I was too busy mmmmm-ing, over the Southern Stacker (Bourbon bacon pancakes, peach compote, maple pecan butter) and oohing over the kids well priced (around $7) children’s option (tip: they totally could have shared one).
After breakfast, and those pancakes, we went back to the room, had a quick thirty-minute catch up on some reading time and got our shoes on to make the drive to Johnston Canyon.
Johnston Canyon was fantastic, though a little slick, until the last 3/4 on the way down when Violet decided she was done with the outdoors, and repeated ‘hotel’, ‘hotel’ over and over, and over. And over, with a ‘waterslide’ thrown in every few minutes for good measure.
A quick trip to the Old Tyme Candy Store, in Canmore, remedied that. Olivia spent her glittery ten dollar bill from the Tooth Fairy (ironic, right?) and I couldn’t resist the jelly bellys and pop rocks, before we went back to the hotel so the kids could have a nap and Jamie and I could share a couple of glasses of wine and leftover pizza from the night before.
We ordered room service for a late dinner, because: lazy weekend, where I was once again impressed with the kids meal (they devoured the pasta). Jamie and I half/halfed the game changer burger + pulled pork (both yummy), before going down to the pool and soaking in the hot tub outside, as promised, before bed.
The post-wake-up trip to the pool was made a little easier with swimsuits that could be dried in the in-suite dryer for a few minutes so they’re not cold and wet when you put them on. Easy check-out, and putting the bikes back in the Flex from where we were storing them underground at Grande Rockies Resort, we got ready to hit the trails, ending our stay with one last soak before our next adventure.
Turns out the kids vetoed the trip into Banff for lunch, on the bikes, so instead we hit some of the green trails in Canmore on our bikes for a few hours where we made no less than four different stops to throw rocks in the water. Grande Rockies Resort is a location in Canmore that you can park the car, and forget about it the entire weekend that you’re there. There are lots of places to park the bikes (and skis), securely, underground in the parking garage.
We did some of the green trails in Canmore, stopping for the kids to explore a bit of woods, dip their feet in the water, walk across a bridge and throw rocks into the green water. “Give me this rocky riverside over a beach within a couple of hours of Edmonton any day of the summer” I said to Jamie, and he agreed. We’ll be back, as always.