Shuswap

Winter Recharge in the Shuswap: top 5 reasons to visit

The stunning view of snowed-over Little Shuswap Lake from our wrap-around patio at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

The stunning view of snowed-over Little Shuswap Lake from our wrap-around patio at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

This is the third in a series of 3 posts (read Part 1 and Part 2) sharing highlights from our amazing trip to B.C.’s Shuswap Region!

To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣


I’d never been to the Shuswap region of B.C. (which is east of Vancouver and north of the Okanagan) until this February and had always associated the area with houseboating.

I cannot recommend it enough as a winter destination!

From the stunning snowy scenery and myriad opportunities to snowshoe and cross-country ski, to the food (and wine!), it was exactly the little getaway our family needed.

Our sleep-deprived, stressed-out, new-parent nervous systems had the chance to get rested and revived.

We got recharged and reconnected, and are still running on that wonderful energy from our reboot!

There are so many reasons to visit the Shuswap during winter – here are my top 5 to recharge your battery >>>



1. Wide open spaces (road trip)

A family of 4 snowshoes on frozen Shuswap Lake in Salmon Arm. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

A family of 4 snowshoes on frozen Shuswap Lake in Salmon Arm. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

We love a good road trip! ! There’s something about sitting in close quarters, without the everyday distractions of life, experiencing something new and exciting together.

We flew the speedy 45-minutes from Vancouver to Kelowna, and rented a car to drive the 2-hours north through Salmon Arm to our accommodations at Quaaout Lodge, on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake.

If you’ve been to the Okanagan (Shuswap’s southern neighbour) in the summertime, you’re familiar with the spectacular mountainous backdrop against the expansive stretches of water. Now picture a similarly beautiful scene sprinkled with pure white snow! Gorgeous.

There are so many wide open places in this region. It felt like we could inhale more deeply and take up more space. Shuswap Lake is an enormous H (with a little dot under the left arm which is Little Shuswap Lake) pressed into sprawling mountains and hills. After getting settled at Quaaout Lodge, we continued our drive northeast to explore the bottom left of the H from Scotch Creek to Celista to Anglemont and back along the lakeshore.

2. Nourishment (food and drink)

The Shuswap Charcuterie Board at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

The Shuswap Charcuterie Board at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

My philosophy on mind-body-spirit nutrition includes dining and wining, and the Shuswap delivered!

We swooned over Shuswap Pie Co.’s perfectly flaky pastry in Salmon Arm, delighted at one of our favourite Vancouver chef’s taking the helm at our resort, and thoroughly enjoyed tasting an array of award-winning wines at Celista Estate Winery – one of the northernmost wineries in Canada, with all of their wine-making grapes grown onsite!

 

3. Outdoor exercise (double benefits)

#GreenExercise    at the Salmon Arm Wharf and Foreshore Nature Trail. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

#GreenExercise at the Salmon Arm Wharf and Foreshore Nature Trail. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

The cascade of feel-good brain chemistry produced when you exercise paired with the cascade of feel-good brain chemistry produced when you’re immersed in nature is a double-whammy of goodness! Nature walks, snowshoeing trails and cross-country ski areas abound in the Shuswap, so bring your winter gear to take full advantage of these healing, energizing opportunities!

4. Indigenous culture (wisdom and spirituality)

Bronwyn and I taking in the Kekuli Experience with Tanner Francois, one of Quaaout Lodge’s Cultural Interpreters. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

Bronwyn and I taking in the Kekuli Experience with Tanner Francois, one of Quaaout Lodge’s Cultural Interpreters. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

Quaaout Lodge has an incredible team of cultural interpreters who offer programs ranging from drum-making workshops and snowshoeing tours to the very special Kekuli experience where, gathered around a crackling fire, you can listen to hereditary stories, set to the beat of a drum, and participate in cooking traditional bannock bread (yum-o!) over the open flames.

 

5. Disconnect to connect (stars and snow over cell phones)

#NatureBathing    on the patio of our Lakeview Jacuzzi King room at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

#NatureBathing on the patio of our Lakeview Jacuzzi King room at Quaaout Lodge. (IMAGE: www.aaronjbarr.com)

We found so much peace and quiet during our long weekend in the Shuswap.

We turned off our cell phones and unplugged our room phone.

We stood on our patio under the great big night sky, nary an artificial light in sight, stargazing and admiring the moon.

We wove our way through Quaaout’s thoughtfully-designed network of snowshoe trails in the brilliant sunshine of day.

We bathed together in our enormous jacuzzi tub at bedtime.

We shared so many incredible, nourishing meals.

We enjoyed hours of time unplugged together.

We connected with ourselves, each other and nature like we hadn’t done in a long time.

 


To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣


5 Pillar Friday: Winter Recharge In The Shuswap (Part 2)

5 Pillar Friday is your weekly roundup of insights and tips from The Life Delicious’ 5 wellness pillars:

  1. Mindset

  2. Movement

  3. Nutrition

  4. Sleep

  5. Connection

This week and last week, we’re sharing wellness highlights from our amazing trip to B.C.’s Shuswap Region!

To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣


The Life Delicious helps you create feel-good brain chemistry and hardwire healthy habits – by shifting the way you think, move, eat, sleep and connect – so you can lead a pleasurable and productive life.⁣


MINDSET

MINDSET >>> “All my relations” is a beautiful, powerful mindset on interconnectedness central to Indigenous beliefs, we learned from Tanner Francois, one of @QuaaoutLodge’s Cultural Interpreters, during our Kekuli experience last week. ⁣

Seeing everything as connected – between generations, cultures, species and the environment – informs so many things, including the way we treat ourselves, each other and nature. ⁣

Bronwyn sat with rapt attention as we gathered around the crackling fire, threw an offering of tobacco and sage into the flames, and listened to Tanner’s storytelling and drumming. What an amazing experience!! ⁣

The Kekuli (winter pit house) is one of a number of traditional structures on site at @QuaaoutLodge, including the brand new sweat lodge (which I didn’t get to experience but so wanted to – next time!). ⁣

Check out @indigenoustourismbc’s video of Tanner sharing a traditional smudging ceremony in their ‘Living Legends’ series!⁣

To book an experience with Quaaout Lodge’s Cultural Interpreters, visit www.quaaoutlodge.com


MOVEMENT

MOVEMENT >>> We’ve been taking Bronwyn swimming a lot lately! Not only to instill our love of physical activity and the importance of an  #antisedentaryrevolution , but of hot tubs 😊 ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  @QuaaoutLodge ’s pool and hot tub were hot enough and cool enough, respectively, for little kiddos that we could play and relax in both all together – the best after exploring outside in the snow!⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ One of the most significant benefits I noticed from our winter wellness getaway to the Shuswap was how calm and present we were. All that exercise (snowshoeing, swimming, walking), fresh air, stunning nature and togetherness had a big impact on our nervous systems and mindset. Take me back!!⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To plan your winter wellness escape, visit  www.shuswaptourism.ca ⁣⠀⠀⠀

MOVEMENT >>> We’ve been taking Bronwyn swimming a lot lately! Not only to instill our love of physical activity and the importance of an #antisedentaryrevolution, but of hot tubs 😊 ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
@QuaaoutLodge’s pool and hot tub were hot enough and cool enough, respectively, for little kiddos that we could play and relax in both all together – the best after exploring outside in the snow!⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
One of the most significant benefits I noticed from our winter wellness getaway to the Shuswap was how calm and present we were. All that exercise (snowshoeing, swimming, walking), fresh air, stunning nature and togetherness had a big impact on our nervous systems and mindset. Take me back!!⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣⠀⠀⠀


NUTRITION

NUTRITION >>> The Shuswap has such a great culinary scene! @celistaestate, owned by Jake and Marg Ootes, is one of the northernmost wineries in Canada! These go-getters – both very accomplished professionals (a journalist/publisher/politician and social worker/art gallery owner, respectively) in their former hometown of Yellowknife – bought the totally undeveloped 160-acre property to relaxedly retire upon, but after planting some experimental vines over a decade ago decided to run with the idea of producing wine… and now they’re celebrating 10 years of award-winning winemaking! Celista’s wines are available online and at more than a dozen B.C. liquor stores. Winter winetasting hours by appointment only.⁣

We were really wishing we could’ve come back to @thescotchcreekhub for some live entertainment at night, what a cool venue! Alas, daytime (which was very tasty!) is the culinary realm of us parents travelling with a wee one. ⁣

And the last stop on our little roadtrip through the region, @shuswappieco: BEST. PIE. EVER. That crust!⁣


SLEEP

SLEEP >>> Sneak peek of  @QuaaoutLodge ’s renovation! The new rooms are not only gorgeous, they check a ton of  #sleephygiene  boxes: with dark, soothing hues and heavy curtains, relaxing light sources (fireplace and option for dim bathroom lights), comfy beds, and plenty of natural light and opportunities for physical activity (snowshoeing! cross-country skiing! swimming!) during the day (to help balance melatonin and cortisol). ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How to maintain sleep hygiene when you travel? Modify your AM/PM rituals and hope you find sanctuary! ⁣ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  #PMrituals : ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1️⃣ Disconnect⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2️⃣ Wind down⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3️⃣ Dark⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  #AMrituals : ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1️⃣ Light⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2️⃣ Connect⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3️⃣ Fuel⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sanctuary:⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1️⃣ Cool⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2️⃣ Calm⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3️⃣ Purposeful⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

SLEEP >>> Sneak peek of @QuaaoutLodge’s renovation! The new rooms are not only gorgeous, they check a ton of #sleephygiene boxes: with dark, soothing hues and heavy curtains, relaxing light sources (fireplace and option for dim bathroom lights), comfy beds, and plenty of natural light and opportunities for physical activity (snowshoeing! cross-country skiing! swimming!) during the day (to help balance melatonin and cortisol). ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
How to maintain sleep hygiene when you travel? Modify your AM/PM rituals and hope you find sanctuary! ⁣
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#PMrituals: ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1️⃣ Disconnect⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2️⃣ Wind down⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3️⃣ Dark⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#AMrituals: ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1️⃣ Light⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2️⃣ Connect⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3️⃣ Fuel⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sanctuary:⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1️⃣ Cool⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2️⃣ Calm⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3️⃣ Purposeful⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


CONNECTION

CONNECTION >>> Life is busy. And crazy. And stressful. We’ve been feeling the weight lately. Our winter wellness escape to the Shuswap allowed us to shed so many layers of heaviness. The vastness of nature, the quiet, the fresh air, the stunning beauty of the lakes and mountains. The countless opportunities to connect with ourselves, each other and nature. The wisdom and beauty of Indigenous culture. The delicious food. The opportunities to move our bodies. To rest. To slow down. To breathe. We’re so grateful.  To plan your winter wellness escape, visit  www.shuswaptourism.ca ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀

CONNECTION >>> Life is busy. And crazy. And stressful. We’ve been feeling the weight lately. Our winter wellness escape to the Shuswap allowed us to shed so many layers of heaviness. The vastness of nature, the quiet, the fresh air, the stunning beauty of the lakes and mountains. The countless opportunities to connect with ourselves, each other and nature. The wisdom and beauty of Indigenous culture. The delicious food. The opportunities to move our bodies. To rest. To slow down. To breathe. We’re so grateful.

To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀


5 Pillar Friday: Winter Recharge In The Shuswap (Part 1)

5 Pillar Friday is your weekly roundup of insights and tips from The Life Delicious’ 5 wellness pillars:

  1. Mindset

  2. Movement

  3. Nutrition

  4. Sleep

  5. Connection

This week and next, we’re sharing wellness highlights from our amazing trip to B.C.’s Shuswap Region!

To plan your winter wellness escape, visit www.shuswaptourism.ca⁣


The Life Delicious helps you create feel-good brain chemistry and hardwire healthy habits – by shifting the way you think, move, eat, sleep and connect – so you can lead a pleasurable and productive life.⁣


MINDSET

MINDSET >>> Home from an incredible winter wellness weekend in the Shuswap! Three days of exploring, snowshoeing, hotubbing, delicious dining, wine tasting, learning about indigenous culture, and being totally offline – from our amazing home base of @QuaaoutLodge – was the stress-relieving, mini-reset we needed!⁣

Just a 40-minute flight from Vancouver to Kelowna and a short, scenic drive north, the Shuswap Region is a winter wonderland! We had perfect bluebird days, very mild weather (-1C) and gorgeous snow to explore a few of the region’s 7 districts: Chase, South Shuswap, North Shuswap, Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Eagle Valley, Falkland and Enderby.⁣


MOVEMENT

MOVEMENT >>> Winter workouts require the right gear! Thanks to @skookumcyclesa’s snowshoe and x-country ski rentals, we were able to stick to our no-checked-bags-when-travelling policy (and, ahem, replace any forgotten mittens, hats, long underwear 😊). ⁣

And while we were passing through Salmon Arm to pick up our gear on our way to @QuaaoutLodge, we did some fabulous #naturebathing at the Salmon Arm Wharf and Foreshore Nature Trail! ⁣

The wharf is North America’s longest wooden inland wharf and offers incredible views of Shuswap Lake! It’s frozen over right now and we saw a dog frolicking in the snow with his cross-country-skiing human, and a family of 4 snowshoeing along the shoreline, while we explored the nature trails maintained by the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society (www.sabnes.org). ⁣

Visit www.shuswaptourism.ca for trail maps and more information on snowshoeing and skiing in and around Salmon Arm. ⁣


NUTRITION

NUTRITION >>> Imagine my delight when I discovered that one of my favourite Vancouver chefs – @chefwhittaker– has moved to the Shuswap and is the new executive chef at Jack Sam's Restaurant & Lounge at @QuaaoutLodge?! Oh, we ate WELL. So many great dishes with local ingredients, like the @turtlevalleybison striploin, and of course BANNOCK (!) in everything from the Crispy Brussel Sprouts Caesar and Shuswap Charcuterie Board, to the breakfast “Bannodict” with walnut pesto and grilled tomato – plus local wine and beer from @celistaestate@larchhillswineryandvineyard@montecreekranch and @crannogales!⁣

Check out www.quaaoutlodge.com for info on Chef Whittaker’s upcoming Taste! 2019 4-course, beverage-paired dinners on March 9 and April 13 (for $69, with rooms from $99), and check out www.shuswaptourism.ca for more info on the region’s food and drink scene.⁣


SLEEP

SLEEP >>>  #PMrituals : fireside picnic dinner & bedtime jacuzzi anyone?! We try to follow our usual bedtime routine when we travel, and we had so much fun at  @QuaaoutLodge  in our Lakeview Jacuzzi King room (from $169/night)! ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We got into our robes and pjs, ordered room service, had a fireside picnic (check out these gorgeous napkins with embroidery of Indigenous pictographs found in the region), and then all climbed into our huge jacuzzi tub for bathtime. What fun! (And yes, that’s poutine with maple and juniper gastrique…I promise we also ate vegetables 😜)⁣⠀

SLEEP >>> #PMrituals: fireside picnic dinner & bedtime jacuzzi anyone?! We try to follow our usual bedtime routine when we travel, and we had so much fun at @QuaaoutLodge in our Lakeview Jacuzzi King room (from $169/night)! ⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⁣⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We got into our robes and pjs, ordered room service, had a fireside picnic (check out these gorgeous napkins with embroidery of Indigenous pictographs found in the region), and then all climbed into our huge jacuzzi tub for bathtime. What fun! (And yes, that’s poutine with maple and juniper gastrique…I promise we also ate vegetables 😜)⁣⠀


CONNECTION

CONNECTION >>> @QuaaoutLodge’s team of Cultural Interpreters are amazing! We had an incredible 2.5hr snowshoe experience with Adrian Lewis, who’s created an awesome network of winter trails at adjacent Talking Rock Golf Course. ⁣

We had a great workout (I had a good sweat, which is important and rare to me these days, carrying 30+ pounds of napping Bronwyn in her @ospreypacks #childcarrier), learned about the local Indigenous culture and wisdom (healing plants), and took in some epic #forestbathing#naturebathing and all-around #naturetherapy. ⁣

This experience was #stressmanagement at its finest!⁣