I have been meaning to write this post for what seems like forever. And by forever I mean for the past two months which is basically an eternity in the land of instant social media. But December was beyond insanely busy and January threw us a bit of a curveball so here we are. At least it’s not 8 months late like my (still not posted) Paris travel guide. Lol. Always gotta look at the positive, right?
But anyhooo… back in early December I got to go on my very first solo trip since I became a mom! I’ve been away twice before (for more than a day), first on a sisters trip to Los Angeles and Joshua Tree back in 2016 and then last year Chris and I did our very first sans-kids week to the Dominican (so amazing and so needed!). And now I can add a kid-free solo trip to B.C. to the list! Thanks to Buick who flew a group of Toronto and Montreal bloggers out to the beautiful Okanagan Valley to give us a chance to test drive their new Buick Enclave and get spoiled at the absolutely stunning Sparkling Hill Resort.
I flew in Thursday morning and flew back out Friday afternoon. Talk about a whirlwind! I decided to stay on in Vancouver for a couple of extra days since I’d already travelled so far and, I figured, why not? (Go here to read about that half of the trip.)
Sparkling Hill is nestled into the hills above Vernon at the upper end of the Okanagan Valley. It’s a health and wellness spa built by Swarovski patriarch, Gernot Langes-Swarovski, who wanted to bring the European concept of whole body wellness to Canada. And in the process he added 3.5 million Swarovski crystals to the resort!
I spent the first afternoon getting pampered at the spa, which was so lovely after the super early start. I had the Glacial Clay wrap (my first ever wrap!) and spent the rest of time lounging in the hot tub (maybe not the best idea for my tiredness level but amazing all the same). The spa actually has Canada’s first and only Cryo Cold Chamber, which is basically a -110C chamber that you stay in for 3 minutes (what?!?) and apparently is a really great therapy treatment for arthritis, spinal issues, joint trauma, chronic pain, and several other conditions. I’m pretty intrigued but also pretty wimpy about cold so not sure if I’d ever try something like that.
At night the Buick team gave us a little presentation of the brand new 2018 Buick Enclave and organized a tour of the resort. Followed by a delicious farm-to-table dinner for our little group.
After a wine-filled evening, I somehow managed to get my tired self out of bed for a sunrise yoga session. There wasn’t much in the way of sun since it was so cloudy but it was still magical to experience the snow-covered hills of Vernon coming out of darkness whilst having the entire studio to myself.
After breakfast, we got the chance to test drive the Enclave. And let me tell you, it’s one impressive car! It really drives like a much smaller car which was quite unexpected and I definitely loved that about the Enclave. It’s also filled with so many incredible features including 4G LTE in-car wifi (definitely needed in remote B.C.!) and a rear-camera mirror. And of course because we are a group of bloggers, we had to pull over to the side of the road and take pics of ourselves posing awkwardly in front of this beauty. Haha.
On day two, the Buick team took us to Tantalas Vineyards for a wine tasting as well as a cooking lesson from Sandrine from Sandrine Pastries, who shows us how to make crème brûlée (yum!). It’s a recipe from the Okanagan cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, and Wine and Cheese Maker. Chef and author Jennifer Schell brought together a local team of chefs, farmers and winemakers (including Sandrine) to create this really wonderful local cookbook the celebrates the culinary culture of southern B.C.’s West Coast and Vancouver Island.
Ahh the mountains from above. Don’t think this view can ever possibly get old.