Like all families, mine is not always at our best. All it takes is for one of us to show up a little grumpy and we all suffer. It could be due to stress at work, lack of sleep or simply hunger. I’ve learned not to set myself up for disappointment by attaching expectations to big events – just in case. You know how that goes.
But, get us in the right setting, doing the right activity, at the right time and we are golden. A couple of weeks ago we experienced one of those times. Attitudes and conditions lined up for the making of a most memorable weekend.
It was a ski trip to Kimberley, B.C. that we’d planned months ago.
As the kids were growing up, the four of us took numerous family ski trips to Kimberley. We have the fondest memories of those days. This time it was all six of us – Buddy and Princess, with their significant others, The Consultant and me – who took off for a little blast from the past.
We packed up (mostly) healthy homemade food, only comfy clothes and hit the highway for our ski adventure.
Here’s why it was so fabulous.
- Kimberley (the town) –
For me, there is something magical about this little mountain town. Part of it’s the setting, in the east Kootenay area of British Columbia (B.C.). It’s near my homeland where my family set down roots a couple of generations ago so it’s in my bones. Any time I even get close to the Kootenays, these bones relax into a slower pace. The fresh scent of pine is balm for my soul.
The other part of it’s largely thanks to the good people of Kimberley. When I think back on the seven or eights times I’ve visited for skiing, there isn’t a single instance where I was met with anything but a smile, kindness and patience. I feel welcome there.
- The Condo at Timber Stone Lodge.
Back in the summer, I made our booking for a three-bedroom condo at the Sullivan Stone Lodge through Bookings.com. We arrived to discover the address we’d been given for check in had been converted to a gym. Hmmmm, Should we be worried?
I called the number on our confirmation email and was greeted by the most cheerful young lady. She let me know that we’d been moved to The Timber Stone Lodge. She gave me directions to the complex, the unit number and code to unlock the door all by phone. It was the simplest check-in experience I’ve ever had.
Once we figured out the code/lock system and opened the door, any worries were dispelled. Unit 15 was everything I’d hoped and more. It was a beautiful four-level split, open concept unit with a mountain view from the living room window and deck. The bottom level had a deck of its own where we could ski in and out right from its edge or hang out in our private hot tub just outside the back door.
I know it doesn’t get any better. By Saturday night, the Consultant and I were dreaming up plans to own a little piece of this heaven. (Keyword here is dream.)
- Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Everything we need is available right on the hill. Once we arrive, we park the vehicle and don’t go near it again until the weekend is over.
The terrain is varied and there a plenty of runs that are long enough for us. The snow conditions weren’t perfect this time, but it didn’t matter. We were getting exercise and plenty of fresh air.
We found the outdoor deck at Kelsey’s Restaurant, right at the bottom of the North Star Chair, the perfect meeting spot for après-ski brew.
- Good Company
The first thing the kids did when they arrived was to reconfigure the living room furniture to make the huge space more intimate. They pulled it in from the walls and edges of the room to form a cozy circle around the coffee table. We had lively conversation and game playing on Saturday night.
We sat around one of those big square tables for 8 to share good-natured chatter over a robust beef stew or spaghetti with Italian sausage and a glass of wine.
On the hill, my gang encouraged me as I struggled with the wet and heavy snow. Believe me, I needed it!
- The Skiing Itself.
It didn’t matter that it was raining at the bottom of the hill and snowing at the top. Nor did it matter that the snow was sticky in places and not in others, wet, heavy and challenging for this 50-something body.
I love, love, love skiing! If you’re a regular subscriber of my blog, you probably already know that. (See – Dad Skis With Me) So, that’s all I have to say about that.
This was one of those trips where you start to plan for the next one before this one ends. I see us skiing in Kimberley during the 2016/17 season whether our dream of owning a condo comes true or not. Maybe we’ll see you there?