Thing to bring: GPS with MP3 player(put kids music in it),
Leaving SFO with WestJet airline. Luckily, it is the 2:00 PM flight, and we still have plenty of time to prepare for it and pack the luggage. Instead of making reservation online for parking in "Burlingame airport park", I can just go directly park in this parking lot for just $8 a day, or $47 for 1 week (with 4 hours grace period). The pre-paid for $13 online will get refund from the shuttle driver as long as the reservation paper was presented. I didn't know that until returned home. But, "Burlingame" is associated with Hilton hotel SFO airport. That's why the shuttle service is also associated with this hotel. Get a parking ticket when you first entering the park. There is an yellow booth onsite the parkint lot and that's the station to pay your parking fee. There is no staff on the parking lot except the Hilton/Crowne plaza shuttle bus driver and yellow parking booth. Next time, don't bother with the online registration, just go directly to the parking lot. There are many parking lot available near the parking lot like "ANA airport parking". Also remember, it might take shuttle about 20 minutes to take you back to the SFO international terminal.
The WestJet delay about 40 minutes before taking off due to security check. It did happen when we return from Banff. It only getting worse in Calgary airport, not to mention those U.S custom beauacratic staff. I really learn my lesson in oversea flight, even such a near desitnation in Canada like Calgary. Forget about traveling out of the country with small children like Samantha(6) and Jeffrey(3). It is really a big hassle. Another thing, I also need to bring two car seats and Jeff's stroller along the trip. Along with all these, there are another 4 suitcases and the carryon luggages. It is really hard to put on the luggage cart. So save yourself if I am going next trip to consider going out of U.S.
Arriving in Calgary airport around 4 PM, I have plenty of time to get car rental. Budget rental offer the best rate. However, the Canada government will charge extra 1/3 of that amount for taxing the tourism. And don't be bothering with those cleark to ask you to purchase full gasoline. It is just waste of money. The drive to Banff is not so bad. Also, the view is spectular. Notice that Calgary was the city to host the 1988 winter olympic. Our hotel Sunset Resort locates in Canmore which is about 5 minutes drive to the entrance of Banff National Park. The town is a very peaceful town for a lot of skii hotels. The temperature is 10 degree less compare to Bay Area even in the sunny day. However, I didn' t feel that cold. It must be the low humidity. For the next 5 days, Samantha was alway nose bleeding due to this low humidity.
After settling down in the hotel, we went to the grocery shopping. Luckily, there is a "SAFWAY". Very familar grocery store for an america tourist. But, the local "SOBEYS" is a better choice. But, we are not familar with this brand. Also, the fast food store name "A&W" instead of "McDonald". Fanny got a lot of organic food for Jeffrey in SOBEYS.
Here are some of the photos taken back in August 1996. How clear is the water lake. It just like a mirror. That's what I remember of Banff. I was also young and slender - less gray hair. 14 years past, thing surely have change a lot.