Internet Explorer users may need to widen their browser windows to span all three columns. Or download Firefox.
Welcome! My main blog is Notes to Self, where I write about my big, little life. This is a place in the margins to jot down reviews, finds, and ideas worth passing along. I only post about things that are of genuine interest and relevance to me, whether suggested or discovered. I disclose all gifts, sponsorships, favors owed, blood bonds, and other vested interests. Contact me at kyranp c/o gmail.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mont-Tremblant: Day 3, Part Deux

Sitting in Mont-Tremblant's tiny airport, an hour and a half after our flight was due to leave, and it just now occurred to me that they are not letting us go until I finish blogging about Day Three. I'm actually happy to stay here a while— it's a cozy building of hewn logs, where the staff are convivial and relaxed with us and each other, like a hybrid episode of Northern Exposure and Wings. Except the Canadian customs people, who are friendly, but anything but relaxed. America, if you are concerned about terrorists or drugs coming into your country through small, remote Canadian airports like this one, worry no more. I didn't mind ditching the toenail clippers, but for a terrible moment, I thought we were going to be asked to leave the Harry Potter wand from FAO Schwartz.

Anyway, every hour here is an hour shaved from our long layover in Newark, which suits us fine. I'm sitting near a large picture window overlooking a snow-covered parking lot at the edge of a wood, soaking up the last of it. I'm surprised at how much I've loved the snow this week. By the time I left Newfoundland for the U.S., I was a young adult, and the wonder of winter had given away to the hassle of it. I didn't think I missed it, even at Christmas. Given a choice, a snow holiday would have never made my top ten, or even top twenty, family vacation themes. This holiday has changed all that. I've been taken back to Wonderland.

After dogsledding yesterday morning, we returned to the resort to eat lunch at the Creperie Catherine. I've got to tell you, the food here can be pricey, like resort food anywhere. But it's been consistently delectable, and gorgeously presented. Also, the portions are extremely generous. Our suite had a kitchen, though, and if we were being more budget conscious, I think I'd have planned just one or two really special meals out and served up cereal and sandwiches from our room. All our evening meals were extravagant, four and five course affairs. Scrumptious, but time consuming and waist-expanding. It would be hard to choose which to cut ( (Hotel du Lac is a must), but if the itinerary were all mine, I'd trade in at least one of those feasts for a bowl of soup and an evening skate on the outdoor ice rink. Outdoor ice skating is the only thing I felt I missed.

But that's just being greedy, or so I told myself as I stood on the rink this morning before the skate rental opened, wistfully watching a woman skate with her own pair, trying to estimate the size of her feet, and thinking about offering her twenty dollars to let me borrow them for ten minutes. But it was time to go.

Don't feel bad for me. After our lunch yesterday, we wandered around the resort in search of dessert. I fulfilled a lifelong fantasy by having maple syrup taffy made on the snow. I have wanted to try that ever since I was a little girl and first read about maple sugar time. Aunt Jemima pancake syrup on the snow in our yard never quite worked out. The real thing didn't disappoint. My eight year old, a connoisseur of sweets and a man of few words and spare praise, exclaimed, "I never knew maple syrup could taste like this!" I always hoped it would.

Sugared up, we went to the tubing park, where you can spend the day flying down one of multiple slopes in an inner tube. I had time to try it once, before I was due to leave Patrick and the boys there and head to the spa for the afternoon. How thrilling is tubing? Thrilling enough that I almost cancelled my spa appointment then and there. But I'm so glad I didn't.

Spa Scandanavie is set in the woods by a river, with a series of outdoor hot and cold pools, showers, saunas and solariums. I sampled nearly all, including (extremely briefly) the 32 degree shower with water pumped from the frozen river, before having a massage that left me like a noodle. Meanwhile, Patrick was hurtling down an icy chute in a rubber donut. Which left him like a stiffened piece of rawhide. Guess which one of us needed a shooter of children's ibuprofen to get out of bed this morning?

Dinner was in front of a giant hearth in the Grande Lodge, with Dominic, our trip coordinator. Good wine, delicious food (outstanding vegetables), and great conversation. I hope we didn't bore our host by telling him over and over what he already knows: this is a special place.

And I hope he is happy to see the five of us on his doorstep tonight if our plane doesn't get here soon. I'll bring the wine.

Truly, our time here has been amazing. I have more photos and videos to post in the days to come, people I need to thank, and pointers and links that I hope will get some of you thinking about putting Mont-Tremblant on your own top ten list of places to go. Until then,

au revoir.

P.S. As soon as I typed that, our plane arrived. What did I tell you?




Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

Have a safe voyage home. I loved every word it was a vicarious vacation.

February 27, 2009 at 2:49 AM  
Blogger Carmi said...

I grew up in Montreal, just to the south of Mont Tremblant. I learned to ski there, and it's always been my favorite for a number of reasons: best trails, best apres ski, and best overall spirit.

Loved your What About Bob reference. So true! Every time I ski, I feel exactly the same way. Looks like it's time for a visit home.

February 27, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I just turned to my husband and told him we are so going to Mont Tremblant someday. What a wonderful trip.

February 28, 2009 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Heffernhyphen said...

The maple sugar smells so heavenly I don't know if I should eat it, or dab it behind my ears.


February 28, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home