For my last road trip before another academic semester starts, my boyfriend and I along with his siblings and friends went on a road trip to Alberta.
Alberta – is a province close to where I am from (Saskatchewan). Unlike my place, according to Wikipedia, “its landscape encompasses mountains, prairies, desert badlands and vast coniferous forests. It has more than 600 lakes and rich mineral deposits”. So far, given that both are prairies, I find Alberta’s cities and roads a lot like Regina/Saskatoon. The only difference is that Alberta is more industrialized and established when it comes to their economy as evidenced by different landscapes and trademarks present in the province due to their rich mineral deposits and worth visiting tourist spots.
How did it all happen?
My long time friend from Edmonton, Alberta has been planning to come to Regina for a quick visit, however due to the unfortunate planning of events and priorities we decided to cancel it.
A week after my trip from States and Canada’s East side, I asked my boyfriend to plan a journey meant for young adults in preparation for his birthday. Fortunately, everyone was available, and so we decided to pursue the trip.
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Although there were four licensed professional drivers present, the two boys in the car decided to take-turn in driving. Hence for 9 hours of long drive, each of them had 4.5 hours sleep and drive-time.
Purpose of the trip?
- Celebrate boyfriend’s birthday
- Long drive adrenaline
- (Mine) To meet my friend
What to bring?
Speaking for myself:
- It is a necessity to have a cooler with a bucketful of ice and bottled water.
- For GPS purposes, one will never go wrong in using their phone’s map application vs a regular GPS, since not all GPS are updated compared to phones.
- Pair of flip flops and casual footwear
- Pillow – catching up on sleep is priceless during long drive
Upon arriving in Edmonton, we went out for shopping, then had lunch at a Chinese restaurant close to South Commons.
My boyfriend and I went to West Edmonton Mall right after lunch to roam around and meet up with my long time friend.
What I like about West Edmonton Mall is that it’s able to give the best of all worlds to their customers from food courts, stores and boutiques, to swimming pool, amusement & ocean park and even movie house – all in one place.
We also had a double date with her and her boyfriend.
The morning after, we went straight to Banff to see the fantastic Lake Louise and other creations that could only be seen in Alberta.
Due to its popularity as a tourist destination in North America, provided that the ticket pass given to us is only valid until 4 pm, we weren’t able to get a parking slot to see Lake Louise. In spite that, we still managed to have a view of the province’s rocky mountains.
From Banff, we decided to head straight to Cross Iron Mills for another outlet shopping. While I didn’t get much stuff for myself, I was able to buy some souvenirs for my parents and siblings.
Upon arriving in Edmonton, I met up again with my friend to say goodbye as it will probably take another four years for us to meet again.
Three days and two nightS in Alberta are seriously not enough to explore an amazing province. Like their famous mall, Alberta is a mixture of prairie-meets-city feels that I’ve never seen when I was in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. It is peaceful yet busy, spacious but crowded, nature-y but also industrialized (compared to other Canadian prairies).
As I make this blog entry, my parents and I decided to go to Waterton, Alberta for its lake, and again mountains, but as a proof how wonderful Alberta is, we didn’t get a hotel spot. It was a struggle to find an available hotel room to stay at, from 15 km to 50 km away from Waterton — proof that Alberta is truly one of Canada’s Wonderland.