The wind howled and howled last night – we woke this morning not well rested at all to find the weather hadn’t really improved. Within an hour of being awake, the rain had turned to snow (our first of the year) and I was thankful that we’d managed to organize our weekend to have an indoor activity on Saturday.
It has been a long time since I’ve been in Turner Valley (apparently the last time I was there was 2007) so it was fun to head back there for our Saturday adventures – lunch and a distillery visit.
The drive from Calgary to Turner Valley was beautiful. We took the scenic route along Hwy 22X and then Hwy 22 where the fall colours were fantastic, even with the dusting of snow. It is only about an hour drive to Turner Valley but that was long enough for us to feel hungry by the time we arrived. The Chuckwagon Cafe is located right next to the Eau Claire Distillery so was the perfect place for lunch before doing a distillery tour and tasting.
Portion sizes are huge at the cafe – Jon had the pancakes and they were each as large as a dinner plate (and you get three) – so we left feeling very full and ready for some gin! The Eau Claire Distillery is a new distillery that produces gin, vodka and speciality spirits. They recently put their first batch of whisky into casks so in a few years they should also have single malt.
Upon arrival we booked ourselves for a tour and tasting ($10, and you get a $5 store credit). The distillery is a little more complex than the gin distillery we visited in Edinburgh since Eau Claire Distillery produces their own spirits but are still fairly small so all their operations are housed in one space. We also checked out their aging room where we got to see some of the first casks.
Our tour concluded with a tasting in their tasting room/store. We tried their vodka, the parlour gin and their current special spirit “Gin Rummy”. I really enjoyed their gin so we took advantage of our store credit to buy a bottle.
We took a different route home back through Okotokes where we stopped at the Big Rock for one last touristy experience before heading back to the city. I think we visited the rock once when we first moved to Calgary so it has also been a while.
We were back in the city by mid-afternoon so we still had a few hours to do some work around the house. We ended up reorganizing the living room and office which feels so good. We’re trying to reduce the amount of stuff in our house so we’ve been spending lots of time getting rid of items that we’re not even sure why we have.
I had just been thinking that it had been a while since I’d been out of the city so this was the perfect mini-escape. Shoulder season is a great time to fit in these little adventures!