"Never Gonna Sleep!" were the only words I could recall of the song they sang. Rene was laying beside me with his eyes closed, "I am on my motorbike right now riding through a twisty, quiet, mountain pass." He smiled contently as the chaos of the noise surrounded us.
"Whoo Hoo! We're never gonna sleep all night!" the girls sang the chorus again at top volume.
"Do you think they're excited to be here?" My husband slowly opened his eyes, sighed and looked at me as if to say, "we won't have any alone time, will we?" He knew this weekend wasn't about romance, it was about the kids and fulfilling a birthday wish for our youngest. It was also, all about hanging out with family... getting to know each other again... extended family and all.
"I just want to go on an adventure with my family," was Kalina's birthday wish, "just to have fun and maybe ski?" And then she chose Harrison Hot Springs. We tried to book a deal at Travelocity and Expidia, etc... they wouldn't allow more that two adults and two small kids in a room. So, we called around and we found a good deal at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. They allowed two adults and three teenagers in the room, with a cot, so we didn't have to get a 2nd room.
We've been to this Resort before, a few times, and have always had an amazing time. Once in 2010 for Kalina's birthday (do you see a trend?), and then in 2009 for Rene and my 19th wedding anniversary. There were a few more times, which I haven't forgotten but just haven't gotten around to writing yet.
"Whoo Hoo!" the three excited teens continued to sing and laugh.
"The noise level seems to be getting louder." Rene looked at the door to the adjoining room which we had no access to and said, "I wonder if that's the door to Narnia?"
After a bite to eat we all went for a swim. The kids brought goggles and swam off, leaving Rene and I alone. Unfortunately, the pool was the busiest that I had ever seen it before, and we couldn't find a quiet nook. The last few times we had been to this resort it was mid-week and a lot quieter, this time it was the weekend. Lots of kids, lots of noise, in the indoor and outdoor pools. At 10pm, the kids are asked to leave, but the adult pool is open till 1am. So, if you are a couple looking for a romantic quiet time... go midweek.
The resort has five pools, two indoors and three outdoors, one of which is an adult only pool (which was sometimes louder than the family pool... truthfully).
After our swim, my husband and I went down to the Island Bar for an evening drink. They gave us a bowl of nuts, which were quite flavourful, while they went to make our drinks. Rene had a Glenfiddich whiskey on the rocks, and I had a Harvest Moon Martini. We finally had our moment of quiet and good conversation. It was wonderful.
Lights out at 11pm that night and all electronic devices were put away (FYI girls - next vacation... they will be staying at home).
Miss Margaret's cafe and purchased a Starbucks coffee for Rene and I.
Breakfast was leftover buns and cold cuts, which we kept in the fridge, in the room. However, if you find yourself with no leftovers, The Lakeside Cafe has a great breakfast buffet which we have enjoyed in the past.
"Just hold on to my hand or something." I told Rene. He wanted to hold me up so I could float.
"You don't have to hold me up. I float, but I just don't want to float away." He had been leaning against me earlier, as I held him up to float. He was going to do the same for me, valiant man that he was, but I technically didn't need him to hold me up.
"I have built in floatation devices." I just needed him to hold on to me so I didn't float off across the pool. He was a little jealous of my talent and was quite vocal over it. That's when Alora decided to join us in our quiet corner.
"What are you guys talking about?" she questioned.
"Your father is jealous of the way I can float without help and he can not."
"I sink." he said irritated.
"That's because of all your muscles dad." She said nonchalantly and this made Rene smile.
"Hear that honey... I'm muscular."And he winked at me.
We had a wonderful conversation about Colleges and Universities with Alora in that quiet corner of the pool. It felt so good to connect and talk with her, without rushing around. The business of life is so disconnecting. You know, between school, extra curricular activities, and work there's no time to get to know each other. It was really good to connect with the kids and Rene this past weekend, and it was good to relax.
We walked to the end of the beach, where the pier and boat launch were. The two goofball long boarders decided to ride down the pier on their long boards. My motherly instincts took hold and I began to chastise them. Rene grabbed my hand and led me away.
"They need to have fun," he whispered, "and we can't be overprotective."
"It's hard, Rene." I answered, "It's hard to suppress the motherly survival instincts."
"I know, " he said, "I feel the fatherly ones." He gave me a hug then said, "Look, the worst thing that could happen is they fall into the water." We heard a scream at that moment and couldn't help but look back at the pier. "Besides, we are here to pull them out." then as a second thought, "They have dry clothes at the hotel. Let's let them have fun."
It went against every instinct I had to turn away, but I did, because I knew that sometimes kids need to get a little wet to learn, to grow and I suppose... to have fun.
We ate lunch at a family restaurant called the Lakeside Cafe. It had an old diner feel to it, and it was just a few doors down from the Resort. They serve a great club sandwich and the fries are big and crispy. The girls had an old fashioned strawberry shake with the whipped cream on top. The meals were simple, tasty and in huge portions. We had lots of leftovers.
Later that evening, the girls went out to get sushi for dinner as Rene and I got ready for a dinner date at the Black Forest Restaurant. It was delicious! Great conversation and amazing food. If you like authentic German food, this is the place to go. We started off with a garlic, buttery escargot as an appetizer. Rene had the special that night which was schnitzel and lobster, and I had the schnitzel charlotte (shrimps and scallops). To end the wonderful evening, we shared a slice of the black forest cake for dessert.
The kids and their bathing suits were missing when we got back. We figured they went down for a swim. We did get a little alone time after all...
I awoke early the next morning and just couldn't sleep in that hard bed anymore. Had I known earlier, the Resort will add padding on the mattress if you ask for it. I went down to the pools by myself around 7:45am. The indoor pools were open, but the outdoor ones open at 8am. For a few minutes I actually had the pool all to myself. It was a glorious moment. The sun rising, birds singing and just the quiet swish of the water as I slowly swam around the family outdoor pool. By 8:10am, the pool had 3 adults (including me) and10 kids playing Marco Polo in it. I briefly thought about moving to the adult pool, but I could hear loud laughter and smutty language coming from that direction and I felt the kids pool was much quieter.
Then at 8:20am, my hero strode in complete with a coffee, the sweet elixir of the morning, and his good humour.
We sadly checked out at 11:15am and packed the car, but our adventure wasn't just over just yet. With a picnic packed we headed towards Sasquatch Provincial Park for a campfire and wiener roast. Oh, yah... we had some cowboy steak that we picked up at a local butcher called Hopcotts. We cubed them and fire cooked them on our hotdog sticks. There is nothing tastier than steak cooked on an open fire.