This past weekend I escaped to a refreshing getaway at the The Fairmont Jasper Lodge celebrating Christmas in November. Yes for all you cynics - I did just say Christmas in November! And I have to confess it was a great weekend!
I was convinced by one of my closest friends to attend this event. At first, I was skeptical about all of this Christmas business! I think I may even said something along the lines as to “isn’t this something old women do?” And almost gawfed at her when she wanted to take the tour bus up to the lodge. Once again, I rolled my “Isn’t that something old people do?”
She laughed at me, “Yes there are lots of Q-Tips that attend and some young gals as well. Try it! It will be fun!”
I took her advice and booked the trip with skeptical fear.
Maggie, her mom, aunt, and I hopped on the Christmas in November bus and headed to Jasper for a weekend of Christmas fun! And Oh! The fun we had! I think we might of laughed, drank, and ate the whole trip. We didn’t have a care in the world. Except for making it to the seminars on time!
As soon as we arrived we were greeted with cookies and hot chocolate as the bell boys whisked our luggage off to our cabins. We enjoyed a beautiful view of the Rockies amongst Lac Beauvert and admired the elk sauntering through the resorts grounds. We enjoyed the warmth of a rustic cabin, several bottles of complimentary Cedar Creek wine, and sorted through our gift box of Rocky Mountain soaps. I knew at that very moment - it would be a wonderful weekend!
The first evening was a lovely welcome reception were we enjoyed an abundance of wine, martini’s, and food. If you can imagine it, it was there… My mouth is still watering from the lamb chops and my waistline has expanded by two inches. We mingled, ate, laughed, drank, and finally staggered back to our room. We knew we would need some rest before the mornings seminars.
The first on our agenda was Bikini Boot Camp with Lindsay Nealon and Dawn Kosloski. It was the perfect way to spend the early morning learning how to work our core with simple standing exercises. Needless, to say they are my new favorite fitness Guru’s and I now know how to do standing ab work while I do the dishes or type on the computer. They were energetic, friendly, and encouraging about making fitness a priority in your life.
Soon after, we headed to the next seminar with interior designer Karl Lohnes, on “Decorating the Christmas Tree.” I know the moment you read the title of the seminar you might begin to snore. But I have to tell you he was funny, engaging, and full of great ideas. He demonstrated three different themes for Christmas and everything came from Canadian Tire where you “spend like Santa and save like Scrooge.” He also gave great tips on painting 101 and wall hanging 102. I now wish he would come to my home and redesign every inch of it. If only I could find a genie in a bottle to make this wish come true!
Sadly, we had to break for lunch! Oh! And a feast it was! We filled our bellies and I was ready for a nap! But of course, this craft challenge had crafting! I wondered what hour of hell did Maggie sign us up for? Was this a cruel joke?
In the end, our crafting hostess with the mostess was Chris Stranding and I was pleasantly surprised to find I was enjoying the process of making my own garland. The materials she selected where simplistic and elegant. I followed her step by step instruction and with ease my garland actually turned out! Lookout Martha Stewart because Chris Stranding might be in running for your show! Mrs. Stranding might actually show you how to make a craft and have it turn-out! You can believe it if she ever said the words “Very fine” or “Very easy!”
We ended our day with a bang! We took mixology 101 with Micah Dew. The moment we walked in I knew we were in trouble we were each handed a glass of Candy Cane Martini which went down too fast. It was delish! and we got to sample a variety of drinks from a berry mojito to a horny wallbanger. Needless to say,by the end of the day, I was in full Christmas spirit and good cheer!
The night flew by fast with cocktails, a festive supper, dancing, and more cocktails. The end of the night was a blur, lots of laughing, and an interesting conversation with one of the bell boys (I will save for a later date). The next morning we awoke with a strong headache, we summoned the hangover gods, loaded up on Tylenol, and moved slowly to our last session of the weekend with Chef Michael Smith.
He was funny, entertaining, and made cooking look like fun. I ended up enjoying cup of mulled apple cider. learned I could put curry in my sugar cookies and it will taste great! Plus have a new favorite recipe “Roast Chicken with apple, Onion, Rosemary Pan Stew.” The only problem now is I have to try to make it!
The weekend ended with a massive brunch, we hopped on the bus, and headed home. Was this a weekend just for Q-Tips? Hell no! It was a fun engaging weekend and the best pat of the bus ride – I got to sleep my hangover off the whole way home! Will I do it again next year? Hell Yes! Sign-me up and I’ll be there with bells on!