Top ski resorts to visit in BC

It is my favourite time of the year, when the blue bird days are plenty, the snow is slushy, and you don’t need a million layers. It is time for Spring skiing. So to get you excited for the most slush-tastic time of the year I wanted to share some of my favourite ski resorts in what I consider the ski capital of Canada.

  1. Whistler Blackcomb

I may be a little biased here, because sure there could be long lift lines, and expensive lift tickets, but this is my hometown mountain, and why would I need to go anywhere else when I have this beautiful landscape just down the street. From the top of 7th Heaven you get the most incredible views of Black Tusk, and you can see some beautiful views as you ride across the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. There are 8,171 acres of accessible terrain, the largest in North America and has something for everyone (including my two year old son who absolutely loves the magic carpet).  I also love that there is unbelievable slack skiing right off piste. The best part is, the ski season extends well into May.

2. Revelstoke

It has always been a dream of mine to ski Revelstoke and this year I finally got the chance. I had always heard about the epi skiing here with the longest vertical in North America, over 1,700m, and trust me it did not disappoint. There is no shortage of snow or terrain here. One thing I really loved was that it isn’t just about the skiing, but also the culture and art. In fact, make sure you keep your eyes peeled as you ski around because ROAM( Revelstoke Outdoor Art Movement) has placed several art exhibits throughout the mountain, including my personal favourite, the MasterPISTE gallery.

3. Fernie

The highway that this ski resort sits on isn’t called Powder Highway for nothing. Fernie is known to get some of the most snow in the province, and even country. I also love that there were five different bowls to chose from, and one of the the most gorgeous views from the alpine that I could ever of imagined. Polar Peak is not for the faint of heart but maybe my favourite run ever. I also loved that 3 people ahead of us was considered a “long line.”

4. Big White

I absolutely loved this family friendly resort as well as the village around it, and there is a ton of ski in ski out options. Oh and here is the best part, the resort sees about 762cm of powder each year and it is the special champagne powder you dream of skiing. Oh and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful snow ghosts all around the resort.  I also loved that there was something for everyone, I had a chance to try ice skating on the highest rink in BC, as well as ice climbing.

5. Sun Peaks

Canada’s second largest ski resort that has over 1,728 ha of skiable terrain spread across three mountains. It is a family friendly ski resort with small crowds and lots of options, in fact the three mountains 130 different runs are all connected. But even on a crowded day you can still find pockets of fresh powder if you know where to look – and who better to help you find the hidden powder then Olympic champ Nancy Green who offers guests an opportunity to go skiing together. And if you don’t like to ski, well why not try your hand at a snow limo that can give you a tour of the mountain.

 

 

 

 

Why you need to book a ski lodge this winter

Since I started ski touring it has always been a dream of mine to stay at a ski lodge and experience a full weekend of backcountry adventures. This winter I finally took the plunge and booked a 2 night stay at the Journeyman Lodge in the Callaghan Valley.

Location

Journeyman Lodge is located within Callaghan Valley, which is just south of Whistler. Here you will find over 9,000 hectares of terrain, sandwiched on the Lee side of Powder Highway (so you know you are going to have incredible snow). What  I really loved about this particular ski lodge was that it was easily accessible. You could either ski tour, rent cross country skis, take a snow cat, or snowmobile the 13km to the ski lodge. Being 3 months pregnant I opted for the snow cat.

The experience

We went with a group of eight and what I loved is it was a chose your own adventure. Right outside the lodge is  breathtaking mountain views and  beautiful forests with groomed cross country trails so it is easy to explore close to home. For those that are more adventurous there is endless ski touring terrain. Also a short walk from the lodge is a beautiful  wood barrel sauna situated right above the river and so you can unwind with a circuit of hot and cold plunges. On site there are two hosts to help you organize your day as well as chef that prepares delicious family styled breakfast, lunch, apres snacks, and dinner that will literally serve any dietary restriction, and the food is delicious. When it was time to head to bed, I was surprised at just how cozy our room was. Our group had the entire second floor. Each room had a double bed, with its own bathroom.

Day 1

Our first day at the lodge we had some serious skiers luck – it has been an underwhelming snow season in BC this year, but we got lucky with 50cm of fresh powder and so I knew I had to get out for a ski tour. Due to conditions we decided to stay on relative mellow terrain and set out to the north face of the mountain and stick to the trees. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky making it the absolutely perfect day, blue bird + powder. After a lap my legs were feeling the burn of pushing through the deep snow, it was back to the lodge for some fresh soup, sandwich, and hot chocolate.

From extreme sports, to a calm unwinding spot – the lodge is perfect for whatever you are looking for. In the afternoon I sat by a cozy window with the sun beaming down and read my book before delicious apres snacks were brought in.

Day 2

Another sunny and beautiful day in the mountains, today I decided to explore some of the groomed trails just outside the doorstep on my snowshoes. There is about 6km of trails right outside the lodge to explore and the terrain is quite easy to navigate. It takes you through a scenic forest that then takes you down to the river. Being up here honestly made me feel so small because everywhere you looked were giant mountain peaks.

After a morning of some exercise it was time to head back to the lodge and this time we decided to enjoy some time in the games room, complete with a ping pong table, dart board, and other board games.

As someone who has wanted to get more into backcountry skiing and experiences, but also wants to be comfortable and cozy at night – this was the perfect combination and I cannot wait to explore more of BC’s backcountry lodges.

Happy exploring my friends,

xo

Mia

 

 

 

 

 

A two week itinerary in Portugal with a toddler

When my husband and I were trying to figure out our next big family vacation we wanted to try somewhere new. We also recently have fallen in love with surfing (not that either of us are any good at it) and so we wanted to go somewhere unique where we could hit the waves – and we all know the biggest waves in the world are in Portugal so that’s where we decided to go.

No, we weren’t planning to surf the 100 foot wave, but rather take in the beauty of the Algarve, drink wine in the Duoro Valley, and take in the culture of Lisbon. But there is one thing we had to keep in mind while planning, how will we also entertain our one and a half year old?

The more research we did, we realized Portugal is actually an incredible place to take a toddler. They let you skip the line at most museums and castles, they have a lot of toddler friendly beaches and parks, and lots of delicious food.

I wanted to share our two week itinerary with you – and honestly we fell so in love with this place, it is one of the few I hope I will get to travel back to someday.

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Why Harrison Hot Springs is the best shoulder season getaway

Southern B.C. can be quite grim in the Fall. They don’t call it Raincover for nothing. I usually plan a sunny getaway this time of year, but with a toddler my free time is a little limited nowadays, so I decided to mix it up and stay local this year. I discovered my new favourite shoulder season getaway  in B.C., Harrison Hot Springs.

The reason I decided to book a getaway here was after I heard about the healing powers of hot springs, (something that was much needed this time of year when the weather is just blah). Some of the benefits include boosting circulation, pain reduction, stress relief, improve skin conditions, and detoxify.

I wanted to share my weekend getaway to Harrison Hot Springs with you

Getting there

Harrison Hot Spring’s is part of Harrison River Valley in the heart of the Fraser Valley just a short 90 minutes from Vancouver. You can get here by car, bus, boat from Vancouver, or even a float plane.

Where to stay

There is no better place to stay in Harrison Hot Springs than Harrison Hot Springs Resort. It is located along the gardens and shoreline of Harrison Lake. Walking inside you notice the rustic charm right away. I had a pet-friendly room overlooking the beautiful lake. It is also home to famous hot mineral spring pools, that come straight from the mountain pools located just a short 15 minute walk away. There are 5 pools in total both indoors and outdoors each different temperatures. I spent 4 hours in the pools and felt like a whole new person afterwards.

There are also a few on site restaurants including the infamous Copper Room. The restaurant including delicious west coast favourites, amazing live music, and a dance floor so make sure you bring your dancing shoes.

Things to do

Soak in the hot springs 

The top reason to come here is to relax and rejuvenate and soaking in mineral waters is the best way to do that

Enjoy the lake

Sure, you may not be laying out in the sunshine in November – but you cans till enjoy the beautiful lake. There is a path all around with gorgeous views of the mountain and forests that surround the area.

Take a cultural tour 

I had a chance to join a tour with St’sailes First Nations to find out more about the healing powers of the hot springs and learn about the history of Qwolts (which means land of boiling water).

Visit Sasquatch Provincial Park 

There is everything you could want in this park, beautiful waterfalls, mountain ranges, and gorgeous second growth forest.

Visit the Sasquatch Museum 

If you didn’t know, Harrison Hot Springs is known for Sasquatch and there is even a must see museum with all the history and information of this spiritual animal.

Visit Bridal Falls 

On the way to Harrison Hot Springs make sure that you stop by Bridal Falls. It is just a short walk to see the gorgeous views of the waterfalls.

Get a coffee and treat at Muddy Waters Cafe 

With views of the lake and delicious farm to table treats it is a great little stop for a quick meal in the area.

Visit Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory 

You need to stop by here for a post meal treat, and make sure you try their Sasquatch feet.

I hope this inspires you to make Harrison Hot Spring your next B.C. getaway.

xo

Mia

 

 

 

Why you need to visit the Comox Valley

Whenever I think of making a trip to Vancouver Island, Victoria and Tofino are the first places that come to mind, but recently I discovered a lesser visited gem; Comox Valley. The region is made up of Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland, as well as some smaller communities like Fanny and Union Bay.The region really has it all, mountains, ocean, and beautiful old growth forest to explore, and the great thing is you really can explore the whole Valley, because it’s not too far of a drive to get from one spot to another. I wanted to share with you my perfect weekend in Comox Valley.

Getting to Comox Valley

There are a few different ways to get to Comox Valley. The easiest from Vancouver is probably a ferry ride. You can take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay in Nanaimo – from there it is about an hour and a half drive. You could also opt to fly into the Comox Valley Airport from Vancouver.

Day 1: Cumberland

 

Locals that I spoke to told me they pride themselves on being a “forest in a village”.

The entire community revolves around the beautiful old growth forest in their backyard – so much so that they actually have been fundraising for years to buy parts of the forest back from a logging company – and then giving it back to the community. The Cumberland Community forest is filled with tons of trails, some specifically for mountain biking, others for trail runs and walks and so  I started my day in Cumberland on a beautiful trail run.

After working up a sweat, and an apatite, it was time for lunch. A few locals recommended Biblio Taco and I am thankful they did. This could be home to the best burrito I have ever had – and their portions are huge and they had some really unique combinations – but they worked really well together.

What is the best thing to do on a very full stomach? Go on a hike. If you have followed my blog for a while, you probably know my passion for hiking – it is the first thing I google when I visit a new place. One of the hikes in the area that was highly recommended was the Perseverance Creek Potholes. The smoothness of the pools, which has been carved by erosion was incredible to see and the deep colours of the water was so inviting. A great place to cool off after a hot day.

After a day of hiking and running it was definitely time for a treat. My first stop was Love’s Ice Cream. The homemade ice cream uses real fruit and there were endless flavour options. I also loved their commitment to using biodegradable and reusable products. After ice cream it was time for a treat of a different kind and Cumberland Brewing. Their goal has always been to share a beer with company in an inviting environment, even though I entered alone I felt like I was in a room full of buddies – people that cared about their community and local businesses – and the drinks were refreshingly delicious.

 

Day 2: Comox

I absolutely fell in love with this quaint waterfront town. Everywhere you went you have a view of the ocean.

I started the day with a walk along Goose Spit. The Spit is a very unique landscape, offering sandy beaches and gorgeous views of Hornby and several other islands. After taking in the views I wandered along the quaint harbour front (enjoying a coffee from Komox Grind). Along the way there are some more stunning views, this time of Comox Glacier and Beaufort Mountain Range. I then made my way over to Filberg Park where there are gorgeous flowers, a petting zoo, and even a little tea house.

After exploring the area by land it was time to get out on the water and explore by sea. I had heard of this incredible beach the locals like to call ‘Little Mexico‘. I rented a SUP from Coast Surf Shop and they actually took me out on a tour to the beach. Along the way we were followed by a curious seal before making our way to a truly gorgeous white sand beach to watch the sunset.

Once back on dry land it was time for some food. I was told by the locals Church St. Taphouse was the place to be on a Saturday night. They had great food, delicious beers on tap, and some great live music.

 

Day 3 Courtenay

I started the day with a run along along the spit and past the airport. It was a really beautiful place to stretch the legs and taking in that morning ocean breeze. A morning run sure worked up my appetite and so I went for breakfast at the Hog and the Hen. Don’t let the location fool you – the food here is AMAZING. I love their smoked salmon benny.

My next stop took me to 5th street where there are some of the most adorable shops I have ever seen. Classic book shops, home decor, fun gift shops, and some cute clothing boutiques. After shopping I wanted to get back out to explore the beauty of this area. I made my way a little outside of Courtenay to explore Browns River Falls. It is a beautiful wide waterfall where at the bottom there are some more popular swim holes.

After all that walking, it was the perfect time to relax and the best place to do that is at Kingfisher Hydropath. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool and then relax in the steam cave. I am a big fan of any hydropath therapy – basically walking from through a circuit of hot and cold pools that helps blood circulation. And the icing on the cake, there is an indoor waterfall grotto.

I finished off my time here with the best greek food I have ever tasted, and that is saying a lot since I have been to Greece. Yimas Taverna is an absolute must visit.

Bonus: Fanny Bay

I didn’t have a full day to explore Fanny Bay, but I did get a chance to visit for lunch and some Oyster shucking. I first stopped at Fanny Bay Inn, located right on the water this has been the go to place for 80 years and it is the kind of pub where everyone knows your name – and the food was delicious. I ended my trip with a visit to the famous Mac’s Oyster LTD to get some lessons from the pros on how to shuck oysters.

It was an amazing trip to the Comox Valley, and I can see why more and more people are making the trip (and even move out here as it is one of the fastest growing populations in BC) but I promise you it is still a bit of a hidden gem, without the crowded tourist beaches and long waits for dining – you are going to want to make a trip here ASAP.

xo

Mia