BANFF NATIONAL PARK CANADIAN ROCKIES // TRAVELING WITH A BABY

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to blog, but this summer has been filled with some beautiful weddings and trying to manage all of it with having a new baby is still something I’m learning to do! We took our first international trip with Aria to Banff National Park in Canada (right outside of Calgary), since it had been on our bucket list and we thought she would love it too! We learned that traveling with a baby is quite exhausting, but so very worth it. Here are our top tips for air travel with a baby and for Banff!

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TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH A BABY (Aria was 3.5 months old on this trip!)

Packing/Prep:

  • We packed all of Aria’s clothes by category in ziploc bags since they were small. It was nice to be able to see what was in each, and we used packing cubes for our own things. We definitely over packed, as we were able to do laundry a few days in.

  • Pack enough diapers for the flight and first day, and then buy diapers/wipes on arrival.

  • Learn & practice how to fasten your carseat with the seatbelt without the base.

Airport:

  • Art wore Aria in our Beco carrier, and we brought our Uppababy carseat & stroller (pretty small) with us for around the airport to carry any additional bags. We bought the Uppababy travel bags which are great because they replace in case of damage. Gate checked both. I know some people rent them on site with their car rental, but this system worked for us this time since a lot of car rentals don’t have infant carseats.

  • About 5-10 minutes before boarding, we made sure both of us had gone to the bathroom and did a last minute diaper change for Aria. Double diaper tip: put a diaper one size up on top of regular diaper to avoid blowouts on the plane!

  • Nurse before takeoff/landing - make sure you’re on the actual runway when you start nursing because it can sometimes take a while before you actually take off and you don’t want them to be done with their feeding by then!

  • Have someone in charge of baby things, and someone in charge of passports/IDs, etc.

  • I brought my Boppy pillow and didn’t find it to be too huge to carry around. It went in the carseat around the airport and it was nice having a place for aria to sleep on my lap during the flight.

  • No need to bring toys at this age - we gave her a plastic cup and some paper trash and she loved it!

  • Make sure you board when they call families who need more time (yay for this!).

Other tips:

  • Be flexible! Every day will not go as planned. You or baby might be extra tired one day, or you may just want to sleep in! That’s ok!

  • Bring help if you can! My parents ended up coming for half of our trip, and it was SO helpful having an extra set of hands (so we could eat dinner!)…I think we will be inviting grandparents on all of our trips going forward!

  • Book one Airbnb and stay there the whole time or stay at each place at least 3-4 days. This is still hard for me to do because there are always multiple cute places I want to stay, but for convenience - find an airbnb that has laundry so you can pack less, and have to pack-up/checkout less frequently.

  • I heard that the best time to travel with babies is before they start crawling and walking!

  • You get really used to feeding, diaper changes, and naps on the go and basically feel like you are a rockstar and can do anything after that!

  • Give yourself GRACE. All you can do is your best, and if your baby ends up being fussy on the plane, it will probably bother you more than anyone else (and they will get over it!).

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BANFF TRAVEL TIPS

CANMORE

We started our trip with 3 nights in Canmore, which is a charming little mountain town about 40 minutes south of Banff (less crowded than Banff too). We stayed in a cute Airbnb here, and cooked breakfast every morning. From here, we did an easy hike to Grassi Lakes which was beautiful, and had a few lunches in town. We visited Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, and Johnson Lake. We also visited the Banff Gondola which was a great way to see gorgeous views from 2280ft without having to hike (we weren't ambitious enough to hike this much with a baby)!

EMERALD LAKE / PEYTO LAKE / ICEFIELD PARKWAY

The next stop for us was 3 nights at Emerald Lake Lodge, which is technically in Yoho National Park. This cute little lodge had a rustic feel, with a fireplace in each room and 4 rooms in a cabin. It was right on Emerald Lake, which was absolutely stunning. It was so neat being able to see the fog roll in during morning hours and see how the color of the water changes by the hour and weather. They also host weddings here (someone get married here and hire me please!). This was the perfect jump off spot to explore Peyto Lake (pro tip: make sure to take the quick and easy trail to the left of the lookout - we got our own private views without the crowds!) and also drive the Icefield Parkway to the Columbia Icefield!

LAKE LOUISE / MORAINE LAKE

We splurged and used all of our lifetime credit card points to stay our last 2 nights at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and it was worth all of it! It is literally right on Lake Louise and with a baby, we didn’t want the hassle of taking a parking & shuttle to see this famous lake. They also offer free yoga classes which I took advantage of! One of our favorite experiences this trip was waking up at 4am to see sunrise at Lake Moraine (sunrise isn't until 6:45am but parking lots fill at 5:30am and then after that your only option is to take a shuttle). Art said that Lake Moraine was his new favorite view in the world!

Overall, this was incredible trip for us as mountains & lakes are pretty much our favorite vistas to see, and the waters at all the lakes were just incredibly stunning colors of blues, turquoises, and emerald green! It was so neat to see the color of the water change by time of day and weather. And of course, I LOVED dressing Aria in all the cute bear hats and matching mommy & me hats :) Hope to be back here soon!




EMILY & AVERY // THE HYEHOLDE PITTSBURGH WEDDING

Wow, I just realized it’s been almost a year since I last blogged! I guess you could say a lot of things have happened - the biggest being that I became a mom to the sweetest little peanut Aria Lily! Life as a new parent has been amazing & hard, beautiful & challenging…all the opposites all at the same time. All in all though, my husband and I are SO lucky to be parents to this little girl.

A few weeks ago I had the honor of capturing Emily & Avery’s wedding - I had been looking forward to this one for a really long time! Emily’s family owns one of my FAVORITE bakeries, Bartram House Bakery, and when I met them last year I just knew they were SO special and SO dedicated in their love for one another. The Hyeholde Restaurant reminded me of the English countryside and the day could not have been filled with more love, tears, and faith. My favorite part of the day was when they invited all of their guests to stand and sing Amazing Grace together (chills!). Also, can we talk about Emily’s cape?! Some serious #capegoals right there. Thank you guys so much for letting me be part of your day, and I could not be happier for you both! xo

Venue: The Hyeholde Restaurant

Videography: Shofilms

Second Shooter: Jeannine Bonadio

Dress Boutique: Sorelle Bridal

Florist: Botanical Emporium Florist & Greenhouse

DJ: Matt Kovalsky

Cake: Bartram House Bakery

Hair & Makeup: Salon Lenae

Bridesmaids: Azazie

Groomsmen: Bella Sposa

Invitations: Invitations by Dawn