Totally Pampered!

This post has also been published on Clapway.

I have been adventuring a lot lately, discovering dirt roads, camping new grounds, surfing new waves, hiking new peaks. But this time, for my friend Julie’s birthday, I decided it would be nice to get a little less dirty, and a little more sassy.

Starting off the day with a scenic flight to Vancouver from Whistler aboard one of Harbour Air‘s float planes, seemed like the ideal start to a day of indulgences. So on Saturday morning, after breakfasts of delicious omelettes and mimosas on the patio of Table Nineteen, at Nicklaus North Golf Course, we boarded our Beaver aircraft.

We took off from the calm glacier-fed waters of Green Lake and flew over the town of Whistler, hugging the mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb. As we ascended in a cloudless sky, we noticed below the familiars: the lakes we swim, the trails we hike, the roads we drive. I even spotted my house!

We were left in awe and wonder as we aviated over the Garibaldi Range of the Coast Mountains, flying up close to the mighty Black Tusk, a pinnacle of volcanic rock erecting 2,319m above sea level.

As we travelled south towards the big city, we looked upon the magnificent Stawamus Chief, a granite dome towering over 700m above water. Ahead laid a picturesque image of the majestic Howe Sound.

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We approached Vancouver, and admired the sailboats soaking in the sun in the Burrard Inlet, between the city and the North Shore Mountains. We commenced our descent in the downtown’s harbour, where we glimpsed at the spectacular Lions Gates Bridge on our right, and two massive cruise ships on our left, preparing to set sail to Alaska. Our eyes were pleased with splendors, and our hearts filled with joy and gratitude.

Once we landed in Vancouver’s downtown, we decided to rent bicycles and play tourists for the day. We pedaled around the famous Stanley Park‘s SeaWall, a 9km waterfront paved path, looping around the urban park. We paused for a quick refreshment where we made friends with geese grazing on grasses in the field.

After a couple hours of cycling and wandering, it felt right to head to a nail spa to rest, relax and simply get pampered. We went to Robson Nail & Spa where we had “manis & pedis” while sitting comfortably in a massage chair and sipping on green tea.

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After our beauty treatments, we walked up Robson Street. We chose Ebisu for dinner where we splurged on delicious cocktails and wine and regaled on very unique sushis.

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With our palates pleased and our bellies satisfied from a great meal, we headed to our hotel room at Executive Hotel Le Soleil, a 4-diamond luxurious boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown, a complimentary birthday gift from a friend of Julie’s. We popped champagne and cheered for a spectacular day of indulgences.

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We live in a world where we tend to spend more time working than living, and find ourselves guilty of forgetting to take care of our own heart, mind and body. Never forget to reward yourself occasionally. Whether they are daily little pleasures, or sporadic extravagant expenditures, pampering ourselves allows us to re-emerge into our daily routines with extra confidence, boosted self-esteem, and increased energy. Not only does pampering enhance our inner glow, but it also makes us feel special and worthy. Every boy deserves to be spoiled once in a while and every girl deserves to feel like a princess from time to time. So go ahead and pamper yourself, not only because you deserve it, but because you are worth it!

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Bringing Sunday Funday to a Whole New Level

When Julie called me and asked what were my plans for the following day, I answered: “Well, it’s Sunday, so something outdoors and fun!” She replied with a smirk in her voice: “Excellent, I’ve got the perfect adventure for us! Just pack a bag with a bathing suit, a towel, and a nice bottle of champagne.”

Julie is one of my closest friends. We met in the mountains of Whistler ten years ago, and shared many adventures since. From snowboarding magnificient terrain, breaking ice canoeing in the winter, backpacking Central America and road tripping Maui, Hawaii, Julie and I are together an adventurous team, always thirsty for new discoveries and experiences.

I was so excited and intrigued by what she could possibly have in mind. It was hard to fall asleep that night. When the next day came, I jumped out of bed overly enthusiastic, and ran over to Julie’s. Indeed, she had the best Sunday Funday plan: “We’re going to the hot springs!’’

-“The ones that are now inaccessible?’’ I questioned.

-“Yes, that’s why we’re gonna take a helicopter!”

OH MY! I’ve been in a couple heli rides before. One in Cayman Islands when I lived there, as part of advertising, and one above the Garibaldi Range to pick up my boyfriend that built a hiking trail there at the time. However, I’ve never flown over my town, and especially not to the hot springs. Last time I went to Meager Creek Hot Springs, it was by snowmobile, before the bridge wiped out in 2009 due to a destructive mudslide, the second largest landslide in Canadian history. The idea to fly above my home mountain range and access secluded hot natural pools exceeded my expectations of this Sunday adventure. It is a privilege to have friends with good connections.

Our two helicopters departed the grounds of Whistler, on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning of March. We elevated above the trees and flew amongst curious birds in a cloudless sky. We headed North-West towards the Meager Creek Hot Springs, flying over the impressive volcanic peaks and expansive ice fields of the Pemberton Ice Cap (no wonder why so many films and TV shows were filmed here). This enchanting and scenic flight above towering mountains made me feel so impossibly small, yet so alive.

As we approached the valley, I could see the heart shape of the main pool.

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We landed on a narrow patch of grass, beside the creek in a midst of a beautiful green forest. We walked the sand path towards the pools. The heat steamed through the grounds as we approached the springs.
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Meager Creek Hot Springs is located in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. The beautiful constructed pools are fed from the geothermal vents of the Mount Meager massif on its north side.
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The water was hot, but soothing and revitalizing. We popped the champagne, bottle after bottle. It’s Sunday Funday after all.
As the sun slowly arched down behind the mountains, we packed our belongings and hopped aboard the crafts. We flew over the Pemberton Icefields once more and contemplated the alpenglow, a stunning rosy light suffusing the snow-covered mountain peaks below.
There was one last surprise before returning home: a must stop on a beach to watch the sun set over the ocean.
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We flew South-West towards the water, following a setting sun. As we approached the Strait of Georgia near the head of Jervis Inlet, we flew over the granite walled gorge through the snow-capped mountains erecting sharply from the edge of the water. There we found the gem that is Princess Louisa Inlet. 
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 We landed on the deserted beach and put our toes in the cooling sand.
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We cracked the last bottle of champagne, and as we gazed at the sun shying away behind the Pacific Ocean, we reminisced about our day, our new friends, and our adventure, processing the impressive beauties we’ve seen and the glories of life we fully experienced.
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 We may be tiny grains of sand, but we live a life so significantly grand.