I just spent a girls’ week (two moms, three tween daughters) at Fairmont Hot Springs: such awesomeness! I am one fortunate cookie, because the whole week was hosted by my friend Kathy, who owns a timeshare in Fairmont. She and her family were booked in for two weeks, but because her hubby and teenaged son were headed back to Calgary for the second of those weeks, she invited me and my girls to join her and her daughter: who also just happens to be best friends with my oldest. And coming right on the heels of a great, fun-packed week with Jen and her kids, it seemed like perfect timing: no chance for my kids to lament the loss of their cousins and all the exciting activities we did with them; just run headlong into the next adventure.
And so it was. We were fortunate to stay with friends who own two separate timeshares in close proximity to each other, because it meant (as visiting owners) that we were able to enjoy the ample facilities at two different resorts. There were pools, both indoors and out, waterslides, hot tubs, hot springs, splash parks and playgrounds. There were raquetball courts, shuffleboard tables, movie nights and billiards. And the girls also enjoyed an afternoon riding the mountain trails on horseback (while the moms relaxed on the patio with a drink and an appetizer).
But if there was a theme for the week, it would have to be this: WATER. Whether it was in pools, hot springs, hot tubs or Lake Windermere, water was where our girls wanted to be. In fact, I think that most days, our bathing suits never got the chance to fully dry out, simply because they were in use so much! And really, isn’t that what summer as a kid is really all about? Being on the water? Maybe it’s just me, but my childhood memories of summer are all infused with water; be it the backyard pools of friends and family or the lakes at camp and the cottage. Summer was for swimming.
As an adult, though, I found my own inclinations to be slightly different: I was quite content to sit on the sidelines and read, while the kiddies splashed away, especially when we were at the crowded resort pools. And even at the hot springs, I found that I’d have rather floated calmly in the hotter parts, but was forever being goaded to play with the girls; either taking turns on the diving boards (yes, I did take a plunge from the 3 metre board, just to show them I could!) or watching innumerable handstands, somersaults and other aquatic manoeuvres.
But when we headed out on the waters of Lake Windermere in a rented boat (dubbed Caesar – how perfect for this enthusiast of all things ancient Rome!) all that changed. Amazingly enough, we were able to walk into Pete’s Marina in Invermere BC on the Saturday morning of the August long weekend and rent a ski boat (complete with tube) without a reservation. From then on, it was two hours of pure fun as we toured the lake and enjoyed the crazy antics of tubing. But perhaps the best part was when I took off my lifejacket and surprised the girls by diving into the vast, clear waters of the lake. Pretty soon (and with a little bit of prodding) they joined me and we all swam together in the bracing fresh water, which is somehow so different from swimming in a pool. And that invigorating feeling of cold lake water on my skin – that more than anything – reminded of what it was to be a kid, in Canada, in the summer.