Calgary: Hugs, bugs, and puppy dogs

We managed to fit in a final trip to Calgary before heading overseas in September. It’s about a 12-hour drive each way between Vancouver and Calgary, but we couldn’t resist the opportunity for a few more grandson hugs.

Since son and daughter-in-law Kyle and Candice are heading into a major home renovation, we couldn’t stay with them this trip. So we booked a short camping trip with Alex mid-week, and bookended that with an AirBnB condo in Bridgeland over the first weekend, and a house sit with two big, fluffy golden retrievers over the final weekend. Kyle and Candice made themselves and grandson Alex very available through the week, so we enjoyed afternoons and dinners together, walks and play times with the dogs, as well as the camping trip with Alex.

We booked a site at Kinbrook Island Provincial Park on Lake Newell in Brooks, Alberta. We have camped there before, and found it to be very family friendly with a shallow lake and beach, playgrounds, and fields, and only a couple of hours away from Calgary. Our site was perfectly situated for field, beach, and playground access. But, oh, the bugs! As well as biting flies and mosquitos, there were swarms of small insects that didn’t bite, but loved yellow and bright green. Our tent is yellow, my water bottle is yellow, and Alex’s is green. Or at least we think they were yellow and green—it was hard to tell with the black bugs covering them. We used bug repellant, mosquito coils, and dollops of kid-friendly AfterBite cream to cope. Once we had the bug challenges dealt with, we had a lot of fun,


Our house sit was also a family affair. We booked it on a referral from Kyle after they had interviewed for and booked a sit for the same household for later in September. During their meeting, the couple mentioned a forgotten requirement for sitters for the Labour Day weekend. Kyle knew we had been looking and connected us with the homeowners. We arranged to come to their house with Alex, directly from our camping trip, in time for them to leave for their flight on the Thursday before the weekend. Since we would be driving away on Monday morning, Kyle, Candice, and Alex agreed to take on the Monday puppy care. So the homeowners got two house sitting families, the fluffy pups revelled in hugs and cuddles from 5 different people while their owners were away, and we had a place to stay and even more family time.


One last stop at Kyle and Candice’s home early on Monday morning for lattes to go and final Alex hugs and kisses, and we were on the road again, returning to Vancouver just long enough to get our selves and car sorted before we fly off once more.

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