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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR, FAMILY, AND A WEEKEND OF FOND MEMORIES AT SUN PEAKS RESORT

SUN PEAKS VILLAGE

I'm not a skier or a snow boarder but I love them mountains, and snow and other winter sports.  So when I was invited to spend several days at the Sun Peaks Resort with my daughter, her partner, and my grandson along with other guests, I was so thrilled and excited!

First of all, my daughter, Alex, got me a plane ticket from Vancouver to Kamloops which saves hours of bus riding.  It was the first time I've ever flown that short distance (just under an hour) from Vancouver to the Interior of BC town of Kamloops.  So that in itself was a worth-while adventure.  Next, was my good fortune to have landed an 'assignment' from the Planet Eye editor to write a feature for www.istopover.com about the Resort.  And, with the generous help of Sun Peaks Tourism their rep, Melanie, arranged my pickup by shuttle from the airport to the resort where I was dropped off right at the door of the chalet my family had rented for the week. 

The chalet was huge with various separate units which included kitchen facilities, fireplaces etc.  There was a large group already there when I arrived on the Saturday evening, including my grandson Mike who had flown in from California with his girlfriend Ali.  It was my daughter's partner Jim's birthday that weekend so the party had already begun setting a jolly, friendly mood.


Alex, Ali and Jim get ready for the slopes.

While the family members set off for their day of skiing or 'boarding, I went off on my own to explore the Village and later, thanks to the Sun Peaks Tourism, I took the bus to the road that led to the Mountain Man Adventures where it had been arranged for me to go dog-sled riding.  This in itself was one of my biggest adventure thrills and turned out to be one of my most memorable winter-time experiences. (See my next blog about Dog Sled Riding). 

Sun Peaks Resort is a real family affair.  You don't have to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy yourself there.  There's fun for everyone from the tiny tots to the elders.  There are 122 runs for skiers and 'boarders of all skills as well as cross-country ski trails, snow-shoeing and snowmobile areas.  There's a skating rink and toboggan runs closer to the Village too.  They even have a day-care where you can leave the little ones while you go off to the mountain and the children are provided ski lessons.


The Resort is located a 45 minute scenic drive from Kamloops, nestled at the foot of three mountains.  The most distinguished resident is former Canadian Olympic ski champion and member of the Canadian Senate, Nancy Green Raine.  She's actively invovled in the community and you can enjoy a complimentary ski with her or sit in on a fireside chat at the Hearthstone lodge on Sunday evenings.  Her husband, Al Raine, is the mayor of Sun Peaks.

I wasn't at a loss for things to do, from exploring the Village boutiques,  dining at the various bars and restaurants,  taking a long quiet walk out to the skating rink (would have gone skating but it was closed til evening!).  I opted on a sleigh ride but it turned out I was the only passenger.  I snuggled up on the big sleigh pulled by a team of sturdy Clydesdale's named Zeus and Thor who took me on a jingle-bell ride around the resort and out into the surrounding countryside.

There's something about spending a few days enjoying the crisp mountain air as you watch the sparkling snow fall over the tranquil village, sitting round the fire laughing over the antics of the birthday-boy while w sipped tall glasses of iced paralyzers, that made for an extra special family weekend.

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