I headed for the mountains and stayed in Banff's iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. It's a magical place that is a giant castle with everything you could ever need and the best best best damn service I've ever experienced. There were dozens of great little hiding places to get some work done, huddle up with a good book, or just enjoy the view with a glass of wine. Here's how it went down.
Headed out from Calgary around 3:45pm on Friday. Stopped in Canmore to pick up my fave Pad Thai (no egg, no tofu, add chicken and extra veggies thankyouverymuch) from Communitea to-go (for consumption along with my Pinot Grigio upon arrival at the hotel). Also made a quick pit stop at the best candy store on earth (as far as I know) on Banff Ave. to indulge in some of my fave 5 centers over the weekend (hot lips and blue whales anyone?).
Arrived at the castle around 6pm to check in and head to my room for the big Pad Thai take down. Poured myself [a couple] glasses of wine and answered a few e-mails before heading to the pool for a soak in the hot tub and a float on a foam noodle in the outdoor pool to Spanish guitar music (heaven). A long luxurious hot shower with only the best complimentary soaps, lotions, and potions from Le Labo - one of my favourite scent/candle brands (très fancy). A couple [more] glasses of wine and a facial mask (cue laughter from my closest friends) before How to Get Away with Murder and bed. Day 1 complete.
Day 2 (the one I was most excited for). Slept in til a whopping 8:30am (thank you blackout curtains!), got dressed and headed for the epic buffet breakfast at the Bow Valley Grill. Even if you never stay at the hotel, the trip for the breakfast/brunch on a weekend is worth the trip, trust me. Crushed some bennies, fruit & granola and all the good breakfast things. Then out the door for a quick hike up Tunnel Mountain where mother nature treated me to a beautiful rainbow and ridiculously beautiful views of fall trees, rivers, and the surrounding mountains. It always astonishes me how getting outside in the fresh air and moving opens up perspective and widens the lens on things. Needless to say I basically floated the whole way back down the mountain, cheesing everyone I passed.
Back to the hotel to sit in a quiet lounge area by the fire and do some vision and goal setting for MAVEN (and myself), and plan for the next phases of programming and offerings (stay tuned!). As an introvert, this was the ideal setting for clearing space for new ideas, looking for some inspiration among peers online, and getting creative about how I can elevate what MAVEN can be for all the wonderful people it touches. After some trickle backs, scheduling, and to-do list writing, I was ready for my spa time. A little rub down followed by lunch in one of the stunning lounges had me saying "uhhhhh, na na na na."
Headed to my room to check in with bestie who was coming to meet me for dinner and sleepover shenanigans. I read Amy Schumer's new book (LOVE btw) by the fireplace while I waited for her to arrive. We ate sushi in between belly laughs and solved the worlds problems while soaking in the mineral pools at the spa. My bestie is also an ex-athlete like me, and soon-to-be naturopathic doctor so we will def be jamming on some collaborations in the future! We planted the seeds while drinking wine out of our Swell bottles in a spa at a fancy hotel if that gives you any indication of what kind of fun we will have in store for you.
We moved the party to the Rundle lounge for further wine and giggles, where we were abruptly approached by a gentleman I will call Trevor who thought we were with his party. Even though we weren't with him, when we called him over to chat again later in the evening, he full roundhoused (as in the gymnastic move) from one side of the room over to us without hesitation. Night made. To top it all off, I was inspired to attempt some roundhouses myself (in the middle of the fancy bar at the fancy hotel), and it turns out I can still do them and even gained some wedding-partygoers as fans. We eventually made our way back to the room, and en route found a room-service cart that we rode up and down the hallways like drunk college girls before finally retiring with our candy and popcorn in bed. Shout outs to Thomas the room-service delivery boy who we completely embarrassed, you held it together well.
Day 3. That's right, we didn't stop there. Semi-hungover buffet breakfast was the bomb.com on Sunday. Once we were human again via the magical powers of coffee and french toast, we walked around the hotel gardens and even visited the spot where my husband proposed :). Then we hit the road to Canmore for a lovely little hike around town with our chai lattes from Beamers and finished off the day with yet another Pad Thai to just bookend the whole weekend with noodley goodness. On the drive home we talked about our cheating college exes and how young and naive we once were and how we would never ever put up with that shit now (don't mess, we tough). Long drive conversations are one of my most cherished things in life. They often draw out larger perspective, big ideas and honesty in the most natural way. So if you want to know all my most embarrassing moments and life dreams, invite me on your next road trip.
So why the eff did I write this post? Like, it's not even about training or nutrition or health, and did she say candy AND wine?! I shared this weekend's adventures to inspire you to give yourself permission to do things for yourself every now and then. Carve out time for what you need, when you need it. Do your work your way. Get out of your same ol' routine and see what arises. The reality is, the laundry and groceries can [usually] wait, someone you know can step in to support you in taking some time off, and you will thank yourself for doing it. Period.
Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even this year, but is there something out there on the horizon that is calling to you? Is there something you know would feel just so damn good and help you reset and move forward more clearly? What is your version of my mountain getaway? Now go do it.