PART I – EN ROUTE TO THE CANADIAN ROOKIES
International anniversary trips are kind of our thing. They are something we plan, save and look forward to all year long and this June was no exception. The Canadian Rockies have been on our radar for a couple years now and our current proximity made it a no-brainer for our 5th anniversary.
A week before our departure when reports speculated Megan and Harry would also be in region at the time of our trip I changed our main objective from hiking to Operation: FIND THE ROYALS! I’m not going to lie; I know if we “accidentally” bumped into the newlyweds on a trail we’d instantly become besties. Sadly, our BBFs changed their honeymoon destination, which means our double dates have been postponed. I’ll report back with the status of our budding friendship at a later date.
On the morning of June 2nd we boarded a train to Vancouver. Unlike traveling by plane, you’re not assigned seats until moments before you embark. Our appointed seats happened to face backwards which for someone who gets severe motion sickness on a daily basis; this was not my dream come true. Our car was filled to capacity, so my ingenious solution was to ride backwards the entire four-hour journey. Albeit not the most comfortable – barf bags were averted the problem was successfully solved.
After our valentine debacle we didn’t feel like risking it or putting the extra miles on Jarred’s 4Runner while in Canada. We retrieved our rented Volkswagen Golf [AKA our “fancy station wagon”] and hit the road towards our first overnight destination. We hadn’t reached the city limit signs of Vancouver before we noticed our car making noises that were definitely not normal. We contemplated returning to AVIS, but ultimately our appetites proved a bigger priority. That’s mature, sound adulting right there ladies and gentlemen.
As soon as possible we stopped for lunch at the coastal, boarder town of White Rock. [If you’re wondering why we deviated all the way back to the boarder when our destination was NE of Vancouver you’d be in good company. As the signage for the US and Seattle increased we nervously consulted our GPS, but it turns out if you want to avoid toll roads that’s the price you have to pay. Pun intended.] We wandered into one of the numerous restaurants boasting of “the best fish and chips in town” and proceeded to let our hungry stomachs do the ordering. Four plates of food later and a waiter commenting on how we ordered entirely too much food (thanks for not pointing that out before the fact, buddy) we left White Rock and drove the three and half hours to Kamloops.
Due to either the open road, our excitement or our loud music we were able to put the Golf’s troublesome commotion out of our minds and enjoy the journey. However, as we entered town we realized the disturbing noises were far from gone. Jbabe called AVIS’ helpline and after a brief conversation determined that we could simply swap for another rental at the nearest AVIS location free of charge. This sounded great in theory until we realized the closest site required a four-hour round trip in the wrong direction. Not happening.
Plan B was to ask about switching cars at the local Budget instead since they are both owned by the same company. Seems logical, no? Forty minutes and three operators later we decided it was a lost cause and to chance it until our third day when we’d be in Canmore, which had an AVIS location. We were hoping since our Golf hadn’t blown up on the first leg out of trip that was a good enough omen to continue with Plan C.
The next morning we said a few prayers, cranked up the tunes and hoped for the best as we traveled from Kamloops to Revelstoke. Despite the rain (which made the prospect of breaking down in the middle of the road less than appealing) the drive was breathtaking. After a successful arrival and delicious lunch at Main Street Café we opted to entertain ourselves at Mt. Revelstoke National Park until we could check into our airbnb. Our proposed itinerary seemed brilliant until we started to climb the mountain in our not-so-trusty rental. It appeared that the Golf strongly disliked elevation as its sounds became increasingly more ominous with each passing mile.
Our capricious car managed its time at the park without exploding and Jarred and I squeezed in a short hike in less than appropriate attire. To our defense, we weren’t planning on the afternoon exercise; it just seemed like the safest option to let the Golf rest. Following our adventures on Mt. Revelstoke we checked into our tiny cabin [what else would you expect?] and then set our sights on the local watering hole for the evening.
As we walked into Chubby Funsters the world’s friendliest bartender, Stephen greeted us with a handshake and proceeded to deliver pints and conversation throughout game two of the NBA Finals. When the game ended we switched to teakettles and continued discussions with our new friend well into the night. Let’s just say we wish Trump had waited a week to label Canada as a national security threat.
At last it was the morning of our third day, which meant an AVIS store was finally within reach. After breakfast and lattes we completed our morning ritual (prayers and loud music) before leaving Revelstoke with high hopes of arriving unscathed in Canmore. There were some tense moments when our fickle car sounded on the brink of extinction, but praise the Lord the Golf made it to our destination without leaving us stranded in the middle of the Rockies. I’d love to tell you that we immediately swapped for functioning automobile, but it was lunchtime..