The first weekend of March, my sister Jackie invited me to a girls weekend in Collingwood with her and her pals. Jackie and her friends go skiing quite often… they are older and have full time jobs with vacation time so it’s easier for them. As for myself, I hadn’t been snowboarding since 2010 mostly because it’s expensive and none of my friends are really into it. I always enjoyed it when I did go though and it was a chance to test my memory so I said, “Why not!?” I borrowed snow pants from my mom, glued together my old broken ski goggles, dug through boxes to find suitable gloves and an almost suitable scarf, and borrowed a snowboard from my sister’s friend to make it happen.
Jackie and I met up and drove through the winding roads up to Blue Mountain, near Collingwood, in her massive new truck. To get an idea of how massive it is, I’m 5’9 and I had troubles getting in and out of it. She’s 5’2 and says she gets shocked looks from strangers everyday when she hops out. It was handy to have as we entered the snowier land of the north. But it was a nice drive there and we had time to catch up as sisters do.
Once we arrived, we parked the massive beast in the underground parking and made our way to our lovely apartment that we had rented. We stayed at the Weider Lodge and though it’s a little pricier, the apartment had a full kitchen, big beds, a patio and was nicely kept. Not to mention the fact that we literally walked out the door and were at the chair lift. We spent the first night making dinner, having drinks and catching up. I hadn’t seen a lot of my sisters friends since she got married in the summer of 2014 so it was nice to see them again. I will say that a few of them are police officers and, because of what they see in their day-to-day life, they have different outlooks on the world and are more conservative and hardened towards society than I am used to. I understand that they have to deal with a lot of annoying people and didn’t feel like anything I said would change how they felt so I would often take the “no comment” route. That being said, the ladies were super fun and it was interesting hearing their stories.
The next day, we woke up, had a hearty breakfast and put on our layers upon layers to face the -20 degree Celsius weather on the hill. It had been a pretty mild winter in Ontario until this point, as in 9 degrees the week before we went, but the ski gods colluded to make our weekend super cold. This resulted in two things. First, they were able to make lots of snow and, second, underneath the pellet snow they made, it was icy. Needless to say the hills were not in the best condition and, as I got on my first lift of the day, bundled in my mismatched and borrowed gear, I was nervous. Then, after shakily sliding off the lift (which I was never good at to begin with) I strapped on my board and started down the hill. Then… it all came back! I started carving slowly and, after one small fall on my butt, got back up and made my way down the hill in decent time and without breaking a leg! I couldn’t believe how my body remembered so easily what to do. It was like riding a bike. I think all the ladies were relieved as well as they realized they didn’t have to stick to the small hills or wait around for me to get to the bottom. And with that, we spent the day “shredding mad pow”. The views from the lifts and hills at Blue Mountain are fantastic as they look over Georgian Bay and sometimes I would stop and enjoy it before strapping on my board.
When we got too cold and wet, we went inside for some lunch and a drink, and then we went out for some more. There were a few hills that were icy and all the snowboarders had to slide down on their butts because we couldn’t carve but otherwise is was a very satisfying ski day that ended with a cold cider on a sunny patio at the bottom of the hill before heading back to the hotel.
Before going out for dinner, we decided to have a drink and go to the hot tub and sauna. In typical Canadian style, we threw on our bathing suits and tip-toed outside to the hot tub, drinks in hand. The tub, and then the sauna, were just what we needed after shredding and I think they are why I wasn’t too sore the next day.
That night, we headed out on the town in the Village at Blue Mountain which is full of shops, restaurants and bars. We started with dinner and wine at Tholos, an Italian restaurant with tasty pasta. Then, upon recommendations of our server, we went to Twist Martini Lounge where we had some more drinks and dancing. Twist was crowded with a strange a mix of young and old, but it worked for us as we dance to songs from the early 2000s. We ended the day with a night cap at the hotel before hitting the sheets.
The next day we had breakfast, packed up, and said goodbye to the hotel. I took a stroll through the village and found a Starbucks for a hot drink while I walked in the sun. It was a lovely way to end a short but sweet weekend away. I left with an urge to go snowboarding more often. Maybe next year!