With this (hopefully) last gust of winter I know most of us are losing our will to push through to spring. Know what will make you feel better? Reading about a fun winter weekend getaway I took in January, when there was still much longer to go until spring!
A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I loaded up a trusty rental to head out to the “mountains” of Southern Ontario, I refer of course to the Blue Mountains in Collingwood. This tourist trap is a must for any cold blooded Torontonian who yearns to escape the concrete jungle or just find some new scenery to get drunk in. And what a scenery! If you’re a pro skier or snowboarder you’ve got beautiful forest trails and quite a nice view from the top of Georgian Bay, if you’re more about that relaxation life there’s a stunning Nordic spa and plenty of picturesque (overpriced) shops and cafes. Really the town is just a great weekend off for whatever you’re into. We had a unique group of three restless auditors heading into busy season and desperate for one last glimpse of daylight before April, and one Australian who had just gotten used to snow in the past few months and was ready to attempt skiing. Armed with our cans of wine and our best intentions we headed up the hill. Things got off to a decent start with one well-meaning friend teaching the aforementioned Aussie the basics while the rest of us observed/snapchatted the whole effort. We quickly learned though that an adult attempting to learn skiing is best off with a professional instructor and not three semi-drunk amateurs whose only qualifications are having sporadically spent ski days with our families or friends. I consider myself an expert because I was fortunate enough to have joined ski club in high school. Nevertheless we made the most of the day and collapsed into an exhausted heap in the chalet bar feeling we had earned a few pints.
I’m new to the whole Air BnB game and am still figuring out the best way to go about selecting a place, our option was in a town called Meaford advertised as a drive outside of Collingwood, we soon learned that a drive translated into a 40 minute odyssey that well not a problem coming home from the hills, turned into quite an expensive affair going out and coming back with a little more wine in our systems. Nevertheless the place was beautiful! Overlooking a stable and horse training arena (not that we figured that out until the daylight of Sunday) and large fields leading into forests, we settled in to our cozy rental. I really need to emphasize that this was a horrible location choice, the only time we were in this place was to sleep and we spent well over $100 on cabs getting from point A to B to C back to A. If going to Blue Mountain just fork over the extra cash to stay in the village, you’ll make it back in cab fare I promise.
Hounded by one of our posse to go to the Dam Pub in Thornbury we headed out for dinner. And what a dinner! This was possibly the best pasta I’ve ever had, and everyone really enjoyed their meals. Not to mention that there was some ridiculous quantity of whiskey on display and lots of choice — I kid you not I wanted everything on the menu (not that it’s rare for me to feel that way). The one thorn on the rose? The cab from Meaford. After dinner we took another cab into the village for a chalet party, which I will skip the details of to preserve the dignity of our entire group, however I will mention that surprisingly no one will deliver pizza to Meaford at 3 am — who knew!? The chalet I will also note was beautiful, and if you happen to have a really large friend group looking for a weekend getaway this would definitely be a great place to do it.
The next morning we headed into Collingwood for some breakfast, saddened to find the seemingly only breakfast place in the town completely packed on a Sunday morning, we settled for a Chinese buffet before hitting the road. So maybe make reservations or do some more in-depth research if that doesn’t tickle your fancy.
All in all a great weekend out of the city and perfect excuse to use up some of that fitness benefit (where my accountants at?!). Stay strong folks — winter is almost over, and in the meantime let’s just appreciate that sometimes it can be fun!