The Search for Powder

For the past three and a half years, I have been hanging onto a very specific Mom fantasy. Since Henry was born, all I have ever dreamt about was being completely alone, in a hotel room, eating room service, drinking wine and watching Netflix totally uninterrupted in my pyjamas. 

For three and a half years, I have fantasized about this scenario and tonight, I am finally living the dream.

Stretched out on a giant, clean bed, I am half a bottle of wine deep and am gorging on a slice of chocolate cheesecake at the Hume Hotel in Nelson, BC. It is quiet. So, so quiet. After an afternoon at the spa, this night to myself is truly a dream come true and a perfect way to end our three-week long family vacation in Nelson.

When I checked in, they upgraded me to the ‘Rapunzel suite’, a corner room with two balconies overlooking Nelson!

When I married Blake, I knew that my life journey would inevitably end up in the mountains. The calling for fresh powder is ever-present for Blake and skiing is truly his passion and raison d’etre. Of course we love our home in Sioux Lookout, but our life in Ontario is very much a compromise. While I get to live out my dream career working with Indigenous communities providing primary maternity care, as the weeks of minus -30deg weather drag along with Blake looking out over the flat landscape, I know that his heart yearns for the mountains. Our annual trips to BC have become a necessity for Blake and a much needed reprieve from work for me. 

When I married Blake, I also knew that our lives would not be completely conventional. At our wedding, we vowed to “always put our friendship first as we lead a life full of adventures”. This promise has reminded ourselves to push each other outside of our comfort zones – physically, emotionally and intellectually. I am thankful to have a partner who challenges me in many ways, and skiing with Blake in the Kootenays over the past few weeks has been no exception. 

The view from the lodge at Whitewater Ski Resort

Trying to keep up with Blake

Traversing across the mountain, I try to keep Blake in sight as I gasp for breath. My legs scream out in agony. I hear nothing aside from my heart pounding as the wind roughly sweeps across the jagged landscape. Below us lies a bowl of wide-open fresh powder – pristine and untouched. Blake awaits patiently as I flail towards him. He pauses for a moment before pushing off of the traverse, gesturing for me to follow him. He skis effortlessly with graceful power through knee-deep fluff down the fall-line and without hesitation, smoothly enters a glade of spruce trees. There is nothing more attractive than watching your partner excel at something that they love and I am grateful to be able to witness this moment. At the bottom of the run, he is barely out of breath. Icicles and snow cling to his heavily bearded face but they cannot mask the joy that he exudes. With barely a moment’s rest, he pushes off to the chairlift to do it it all over again. He is completely in his element. 

Thanks to a local babysitter here in Nelson, over the past few weeks, Blake and I have been so fortunate to have had a number of ski dates together at the local hill, Whitewater. I cannot recall the last time we had uninterrupted time together on the slopes. We have also had many family ski days too. Our routine in Nelson has been getting up slowly together as a family, heading to the mountain for a morning of skiing before nap time. While the kids slumber with the babysitter, the afternoons for Blake and I have been free to explore the unique and eclectic community of Nelson or to take time to ourselves to skate ski (me) or simply put in more time on the slopes (Blake). 

Like most things, skiing with toddlers requires an infinite amount of patience. It also requires a colossal amount of time, energy and effort to get the kids, their gear, snacks, etc. up to the mountain. By the time we have them both geared up and onto the first run, I am usually completely out of breath, sweating and spent. With her snowsuit, boots and skiis, Alice I’m sure weighs 30-40lbs and lugging her around the mountain has been a workout in of itself! Once on the hill, each run must be rewarded with ‘power-pellets’ (aka gummy bears) and Raffi’s ‘Baby Beluga’ must be belted out on repeat to keep their interest on the slow ride up the handle-tow,  but despite the effort, the reward of being outside, every day with your kids and witnessing moments of joy makes it all worthwhile. 

My super-cute superheroes!

Of course we had days where the kids were just not into it and would whine, cry and lay in the snow despite our encouragement. On those days, our ski run to hot chocolate ratio was heavily in favour of the latter. but for the most part, we were able to get a few runs in each day before they melted down. 

Henry, as usual, picked up exactly where he left off from last season and shredded with his Batman cape flying. He is now at the point where he can ski pretty much any terrain with Blake without many breaks. Alice and I, on the other hand, stuck mostly to the rope-tow with frequent breaks in the lodge where Alice would hangout with other kids in the play area while I drank my coffee. I wasn’t sure how Alice would do on this ski vacation, as at home, she had zero interest in skiing with Henry. Thankfully, she took to it right away and within a few days was skiing on her own with a leash and today, on our last day at Whitewater, Alice skied two laps of the Silverking chairlift independently with very few requests to ‘carry me!’. Success!

As we wrap up our time in Nelson, I am disappointed to be leaving this little slice of heaven tucked away in the Kootenays. It’s truly a magical place full of eclectic people that make this community live up to it’s reputation. Bursting with restaurants and shops, Nelson’s downtown is impossibly vibrant for it’s population size and remote location. Blake and I have been blown away by what this community has to offer – multiple independent schools, a museum and art gallery, a beautiful rec centre, innumerable coffee shops and eateries – the list seems endless. Health and wellness are very much a focus for the people here and during our time in Nelson, I’m am sure that I have only seen a handful of overweight individuals. Built on a mountain, the streets and homes seem impossibly perched on the steep slope and are connected by flights of concrete steps that force you to be in the best shape of your life!  Purchasing ‘positive life-force energy’ in the shape of ‘a beam of vibration aimed at your home’ to ‘enhance the flow’ is something that you can legitimately buy in Nelson. I think that says it all!

So, farewell Nelson! I know that we will be back, the call of the mountains and the search for powder won’t keep Blake away for long 🙂 

5am. Game face. Ready to start my solo trip across the country with two toddlers.
At the Sioux Lookout airport bright and early. Shout-out to Auntie Meghan for the ride!
Flight #1: Sioux Lookout – Red Lake – Winnipeg on Bearskin Airlines
Twinsie smiles!
We made it to Winnipeg! Now for breakfast.
Unfortuantely, shortly thereafter, I found out that our flight onto Kelowna had been cancelled due to weather.
Just like our journey to BC the year previous, we were stuck in Winnipeg at the airport 😦 
Thankfully, we made the most of our overnight in Winnipeg and played all morning in this giant indoor playground called Kid City in Winnipeg. 

Like last year, when we were weathered in Winnipeg at the airport on our way to Terrace, BC, we spent a LOT of time at this indoor playground and Tim Hortons in the Arrivals lounge!
Bath time in the hotel
Survival made possible by room service wine for Mom!
Sometimes, I just need a few minutes to myself to shower…!
Room service breakfast while watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics
Finally on our way again! At the Winnipeg Airport getting ready to board.

On flights #2 & #3: Winnipeg – Calgary – Kelowna

Of course they didn’t sleep a wink on our flights with me, but as soon as we loaded them up in Kelowna to start our 5 hour drive to Nelson, they passed out hard!
Our new digs in Nelson
Sibling love.
Breakfast with a view.
Loving life!
Ready to go!
Taking a rest on the hill, while eating gummy bears 🙂 
Snacks, snacks, snacks. 
Alice having a blast in the play area at the lodge

Taking a break from the slopes

Cozying up with a book.
Ada and I out for a skate ski!

Self care.
My evenings – wine, chocolate and the Olympics 🙂 
Pushing these two around Nelson has whipped me into shape pretty quickly!
I think the whole community is built on a 10% grade!
At the local pool – there was a kids’ leisure pool, a hot tub, a sauna, a steam room, a lap pool, a regular pool and a SLIDE!
Coming from Sioux Lookout, we were so blown away!
Walking around Nelson with our sunnies!

 A morning at the local library while Blake was in Revelstoke skiing with his buddies.

At an outdoor playdate with a local doctor Mom and her kids!

Popcorn, snuggles and the Olympics.

A quiet solo skate ski.
These two cuties. 
On the chairlift with Henry. He’s so big now!

Ski fam!
Many, many breaks…
Henry got to spend the day skiing with Kasper Treadway,  he was so stoked!
Kasper’s parents are both pro skiiers. They live in a trailer and ski all over BC. Henry has been watching Kasper’s YouTube videos forever and was so happy to finally meet him.

Skiing with Kasper. 

Instant buddies. 
A snowy walk with Ada in Nelson.

Solo ski time!

Thanks Whitewater for a great season!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: