By: Rachel Jones
It’s undeniable — Alberta is one of the best places in the world to be a mom.
Today, my little family of three made a short drive north on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, a route we take very frequently to visit family.
We were returning home to Edmonton from a farming town just south of Red Deer. My toddler and I had spent two weeks enjoying the quiet life with my parents, strolling around and trying to keep ourselves busy. We’re used to a urban life with loud streets and lots of people. Yet, it didn’t take long before I started to enjoy the slower rhythm. I grew up in Southern Alberta and had so many memories of small-town adventures. Memories of my childhood came rushing back. I sat down and started to list them all.
Now that I’m a mom, I can truly appreciate Alberta.
Our entire province is unique — it’s spacious, magical and wild. People are drawn here.
Alberta is perfect for families that want to explore with their children. It has every geographic region imaginable: badlands, grass prairies, thick boreal forests, aspen parkland, ranging foothills, majestic rocky mountains and massive lakes. It’s settlement history is impressive. It’s got interactive museums and attractions that give a glimpse of the past. Those who live in bigger cities can wander out to experience so many things.
Growing up in Southern Alberta, I visited Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, met owls and eagles at the Birds of Prey Foundation, and watched Fort McLeod’s Mounties ride in unison while I chewed on a purple crystal candy stick. I loved when my Brownie Troop had sleepovers at Drumheller’s Royal Tyrell Museum. The dinosaur bones on display there were proudly recovered from the local area. I explored the Fairmont Banff Springs. I craved the mini-doughnuts from the Calgary Stampede and couldn’t wait to go through the haunted house every summer at Callaway Park, while still licking the cotton candy off my fingers.
I loved camping and being on the farm as a kid. We stayed at Buck Lake, Two-Jack Lake, Waterton, Kananaskis, Waiparous, Lundbreck Falls and Westward Ho. I would wade into freezing cold rivers and roast anything I could over a fire. We’d always stop in Cochrane for McKay’s ice cream. I loved hiking, making bannock and exploring trails on horseback. Visiting my relatives, I built tree forts, rode horses, sat in tractors and trucks, bottle-fed dairy calves, built tree forts and ran free. I even got to snowmobile on massive fields covered in a thick, fresh blanket of snow.
Fast-forward 20 + years, and here I am in quiet central Alberta with my own little boy, thinking about all of these amazing childhood experiences I enjoyed in this province.
And as he grows up, I get to do it all over again.
You’ll usually find me blogging about how great motherhood is in Edmonton — but really, I’m grateful to be a mom in Alberta.