The Banff Chronicles: A dream vacation

October 6, 2008

Kenny, Sara, Travel

On our 9th wedding anniversary last July, Sara and I started planning a vacation. Originally we planned to rent a canoe and paddle around Lake Austin, but we were rained out on that hot summer day. Since we already had a sitter for Titus, we decided to hit a local Barnes and Nobel to research where we wanted to go for vacation.

Initially we narrowed our search down to three areas. The northern coast of California, the canyon lands of the southwest or Glacier National Park combined with a few days in Banff, Canada. Although I was leaning most toward the latter, I told Sara that she could pick.

Sara had two tools that that would determine where we could go or what we could do.

  • $800 in travel vouchers (thank you Titus for being a good boy as we were stranded in various airports making a 4 hour trip closer to 16)
  • A truck-load of credit card reward points (the positive side of being able to use my own card for reimbursable work expenses)

After just a few hours, Sara had narrowed down our options to Banff, and only Banff. Initially I was a little disappointed. I really had my heart set on seeing Glacier National Park. I’ve wanted to visit the park for several years now. However, our reward points didn’t work with any local hotels (and most were only a step up from roughing it). The thing that sealed the deal was that our reward points could afford a 5-night stay in a 4 star hotel right in the heart of Banff. I was sold!

So for the next few months we made our plans. We secured our tickets, rented the car, booked the hotel… and most importantly, invited my mom and dad to come stay with Titus.

Fortunately I had plenty of clothes suitable for the Canadian weather. Sara bought me two sweatshirts and I was done. Unfortunately, Sara had to start from scratch. Last winter Sara was pregnant and the winter clothes from the year before had been turned over to Goodwill just a few months earlier. Remember, we live in Texas, you can survive on bare-minimum winter clothes. So, Sara got to upgrade her closet with Canadian ready wear. Fortunately the strategy was to layer, so all the clothes she picked up were suitable for our short and mild winters.

Okay, enough with the clothes. On to the trip!


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