Dare I admit this out loud? I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old and I have just had my first moms’ weekend away EVER. Four moms, months of planning, way too many outfits packed and a pleasant drive to glorious Whistler, BC (just 2 hours northwest of Vancouver) and I was well on my way to rectifying that situation!
I fondly remember girls’ weekends from my pre-parenthood years: road trips with loud music and late nights full of flirty fun. My post-parenthood weekend was vastly different and I wouldn’t change one iota of the experience. We drove up in the wonderful Buick Enclave and we embraced the chance to chat about raising our kids and the varied challenges we all face. The fact we didn’t have to keep saying “huh” or “pardon” but could chat easily, and at a quiet volume thanks to the Enclave isolating the road noise, was a real treat.
We arrived in Whistler on a ridiculously gorgeous weekend. I felt as though we were walking around in the pages of a travel magazine: blue skies, snow capped mountains, green leafy trees and a slight breeze. Nothing beats Mother Nature!
Our home for the weekend was the Delta Whistler Village Suites. What a fantastically family-friendly hotel. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. A big shout out to Stuart who was quick to assist four giddy moms, their ridiculous number of bags and endless queries. The one and two bedroom suites at the Delta are a great, and economical, option for families. I love a hotel room that comes with kitchen features. My two young boys will eat me out of house and home given the opportunity. While I love trying out restaurants when we travel, I really appreciate the option to bring along snacky food that I can dole out on a regular basis. And if a hotel gives me a dishwasher…well I could hand out kisses! I don’t like doing dishes at the best of time let alone on holidays!
There is so much to do, and so many restaurants to sample, in Whistler. We tried to cram as much as possible into our three days but I think a week would have been even better. When planning your meals in Whistler make sure The Mexican Corner is on your must-eat-at list. The family-owned restaurant is headed up by the charming, and exceedingly generous, Pepe Barajas. Be warned, The Mexican Corner will ruin you for all other Mexican food. I can feel myself drooling just thinking about the delicious tuna tostaditas. FYI – the margaritas are darn tasty too!
Another item to add to your bucket list is the Scandinave Spa. I’ll be honest I had a near panic attack when I discovered the spa was a silent spa. Silent as in no talking, whatsoever. I’m an external processor, or at least that is the excuse I’ve come up with to explain away my never-ending need to jabber on. The idea of not talking for 2-3 hours, while with a group of girlfriends, seemed like the Mount Everest of challenges to me. But, I did it…and it was easy. It was easy because of the serene oasis the Spa has created. Seeing so many adults relaxing, everyone managing to keep their thoughts to themselves and focus on absorbing the surrounding beauty was an experience I won’t soon forget. The Scandinave Spa experience is unlike any spa experience I’ve had before. It is an experience I’m eager to repeat soon.
Our Moms’ Weekend fell at the very end of ski-season. One member of our group strapped on her skis for a few final launches down the mountainside. While she exerted herself, the remaining three of us hopped on the Peak 2 Peak and floated from Whistler Mountain over to Blackcomb. If you have the patience, wait in line for the glass-bottomed gondola. We managed to catch one on the ride back and had great fun staring through the glass box in the floor. The Peak 2 Peak ride takes about 12 minutes. If you pre-purchase your tickets there are savings to be had. While your ticket gets you up and down the mountain once, you can go back and forth on the Peak 2 Peak as often as you like.
Everyone knows that Whistler is home to some rather fancy restaurants. But did you know that one of the most fancy, Sidecut at the Four Seasons, is family-friendly? I just about fell out of my fancy high-backed seat when I learned that kids 5 and under eat for FREE at Sidecut. Sidecut is a steak restaurant that must be experienced. I wish I could transport you to my dinner plate from that evening…I wish I could transport myself back there! When the wait-staff recommend the sushi roll, trust them and order it! In fact Sidecut is where you should hand your dining experience over to the people who know the food best. After dining at Sidecut there is no point in my trying to make a steak at home. For that matter I might as well give up on mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts as well…nothing will compare to the unforgettable meal we enjoyed at Sidecut. You know a meal is good when a month later you still think about it and wish for a food-re-play option. Just think, if your kids are young enough, you can enjoy a family dinner at an exquisite restaurant and only have to pay for the adults. That alone with worth the drive up from Vancouver!
After our weekend of eating and relaxing, we decided to shock our bodies by renting bikes from Arbutus Routes and exploring the Village. While you can’t ride your bike through the main Village streets, there are oodles of fun pathways surrounding the Village. We had a grand time exploring. I didn’t realize how relaxing biking can be once you are no longer dealing with a smaller version of yourself either pedalling at a ridiculously slow pace, or weaving around so much you worry they are about to launch into traffic. I need to go on more kid-free bike trips!
Whether you are planning a Moms Weekend Away or a family-filled adventure to Whistler be sure to spend some time digging around the Whistler Tourism site. Not only do they have an events calendar filled with great activities for every week of the year, they have a whole section of their site entitled Whistler for Families.
Now that I have experienced my first Moms’ Weekend away, I think I’m hooked. Topping our weekend in Whistler will be impossible but time away to chat with girlfriends, making memories to give me strength on the days I wish bedtime was at 2pm, and remembering who I was before I became someone’s mom is an incredibly invigorating experience. Thank you Whistler for a weekend none of us will soon forget.