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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Making the Most of the Polar Vortex & Birthday Plans | Lake Louise, AB

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

For the last 5 years or so we had talked about going somewhere to celebrate our 40th birthdays; however, COVID spoiled those plans. With Canada implementing additional testing upon arrival, as well as a mandatory 2-3 day hotel quarantine upon arrival while waiting for a negative COVID test (up to $2,000 out of pocket per person), a weekend or week away just wasn't possible at the current time. So I planned a little surprise get away for Alex's 40th Birthday in Canmore, Alberta to still give us a 'getaway Birthday' feel.


However, of course, the weekend we planned to go away the Polar Vortex decided to arrive. LOL. We were committed though and made the most of it, regardless of the -20 to -30's C weather.


It was snowing as we drove out to the mountains, but we had brought along some hot dogs to cook for lunch, so we pulled into the Castle Junction parking lot off the highway for some hot dogs. Let's be honest, the kids just stayed in the truck while Alex was mostly outside, but with the proper gear it wasn't as bad as expected.

However, you know when it is COLD when you do the boiling water trick and the water evaporates into the air.


We continued onto Lake Louise, as we are ashamed to say we have not been to Lake Louise in the winter in the last 10 years we have lived in the Calgary area. While they didn't have their annual ice festival this year due to COVID, they still had their ice castle. The kids enjoyed exploring it and we was amazing to see the details carved into it.

As with most things when traveling you are kind of at the mercy of the weather, and because it was snowy, we didn't get the picturesque views that Lake Louise offers. However, that's probably one of the most important lessons we have learned over the years, you just have to make the most of the situation while you're there. So we went ice skating in the 'brisk' air. However, full disclosure the kids were both crying at the end of it because they were cold....but you can't say we didn't try to make the most of it.

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