Words Kate Pettersen. Photos Clay Dolan
In May, my mom lost her 8-year battle with ovarian cancer. My sister Ali and I shared some wonderful moments with her during her final months and continue to feel overwhelmed by the love and support of our friends and family. It has been so hard to move forward and adjust to our new normal but we have incredible girlfriends who have offered wine, tissues and a shoulder to cry on throughout the toughest days. Even though life gets busy, we know now more than ever that life is short and our girlfriends are so important. With that in mind we decided to kidnap two of our closest gal pals for a midweek getaway at Blue Mountain Resort. With its spectacular fall scenery and short drive from the GTA, it is the perfect place to relax, unwind and maybe even let loose. The necessities for our epic girl’s getaway: food, more food, cocktails and a mix of de-stressing activities and adventures.
We started our day with a relaxing soak at Scandinave Spa—a wonderfully tranquil way to kick off a girls trip. We slipped into our plush robes and hopped from pool to pool like giddy little girls, excited to be free from work and stress. Each pool has a different view, temperature and feel. If you haven’t been, you have to try the eucalyptus steam room, an aromatherapy heaven we all fell in love with. Whether you’re there for a massage or just for a soak, it’s a unique spot that is a must see and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and reenergized.
Next stop: lunch and more importantly a chance for us girls to gossip! Two of us are recently single so we definitely had plenty to catch up on. Copper Blues in the Village at Blue is one of the hottest spots to stop—their patio is right in the heart of the action. We caught up over champagne and lavishly garnished Caesar’s while ordering literally everything on the menu, including the seafood platter, which was perfect for Kelsey who wears the ‘chef’s hat’ in our group.
Other great spots to check out in the village include MJ Byrne’s, an Irish pub with a spacious patio and great live music. Kaytoo offers a great view of the village pond, Escarpment and ski runs, with a more cozy, rustic feel. Or, if you feel like something a little fancier, C&A Steak Company is a traditional steakhouse with all the fixings and a wine cellar for perfect pairings.
What’s a getaway without shopping? The girls and I grabbed coffees, headed out for a stroll and indulged in a little retail therapy. Active wear, daytime or evening wear, sporting goods and unique souvenirs—we found it all. With more than 20 different stores, how could we not? Plus, Monica needed a new top for our girl’s night out.
Arguably the best part of the Village at Blue is the nightlife. With so many options available, you can choose to go upscale or casual, buck-wild or low key, all within walking distance of the village hotels. We mixed it up and started with a trip to Smash, a ping pong bar with a club like atmosphere, drinks and excitement. Needless to say, the competition at the “tables” was fierce and the laughs endless. Professional ping pong players in the making!
It was the perfect place to ‘warm up’ for a night of dancing at Rusty’s.
After a night of dancing, recovery became our number one objective. Iwa Spa is the perfect place to find that reset button and we started with a private yoga session in their gan•ban Volcanic Rock studio. The heated beds are known for helping with pain release, stress reduction and overall cleansing.
As for their facials, well now, prepare to be pampered in their brand new facial lounge. Its open-concept layout, features LazyBoy reclining chairs and a custom regimen for each person. A unique and fun group experience.
“Live it outside” is the Mountain’s tag line and it’s fitting. With a zip-line, putting course, open-air gondola, Segway tour, biking and hiking, we had a hard time deciding but chose to try the Timber Challenge High Ropes Course —one of the best options in terms of bang for your buck and excitement.
You can choose to stick to the “green” course or push yourself to pass each level until you’re testing your boundaries on the “black diamond” course. There was no shortage of laughter as some of us were more coordinated than others battling our fear of heights to get across. While we may not have been the most graceful group, we had a blast. *
With sweeping views of the Escarpment, Kalola Spa offers a simplistic feel with a twist of charm. This stop was definitely one of the highlights for us—we were pampered with relaxing services, a fabulous cheese board, champagne and a chance to unwind in Kalola’s beautiful garden. Do you see a bit of a trend forming? Spa, food and champagne. It worked! It has a real boutique feel which is a nice change from spas in the big city and the massages and pedicures were splendid. While at Kalola we got to test out some of their all-natural, Canadian made skin care products sold at the spa as well as at their ‘Body Bar’ in downtown Collingwood.
Tucked away at the back of the Blue Mountain Inn is my personal favourite place to eat, The Pottery. A short walk from the village, it is well worth the incredible value, as their service is fantastic and the food is out of this world.
If you’re keen to explore the area a little farther from the resort, there’s no shortage of other girlfriend-worthy adventures. Helicopter tours give you a bird’s eye view of the region and for the wine connoisseur, Georgian Hills, Coffin Ridge, and The Roost Wine Co., offer different packages which make for a perfect tasting afternoon or evening. So now that we’ve tested it out, it’s your turn. Grab your best gal pals and get up to Blue Mountain to make some memories! |E|