By Anchel Krishna
*This trip was sponsored by Chevrolet Canada.
Sometimes a getaway is about more than just a break from our daily activities. While that is certainly an important component, it is also about taking a moment to decompress, reflect on our lives, reconnect and inject some energy that we can bring back to our day-to-day.
The ChevyMom getaway for me was so much fun right from moment we got into our cars, it was the best weekend ever, said Jasjit Sangha, mother of 4. “What I loved the most was just bonding with other South Asian moms and getting to know other moms.
Our adventure started by picking up some amazing vehicles at Chevrolet Canada – everything from spacious Chevrolet Tahoes (2015) , Impala to Chevy Traverse – to fit our personal needs. The vehicles were pretty luxurious and the drive was smooth. Overall, OnStar was the feature our moms loved the most!
“I loved the OnStar service!” said Nina Chandarana, one of the three contest winners for this getaway and a mom of two who drove the Impala. “I felt like enjoying a coffee but didn’t know where I could find a coffee shop. So I just pressed the magic OnStar button, spoke to someone live, and Voila!, directions were sent directly to my car! Talk about feeling well take care of in my ride!”
We had some pretty funny moments, the conversation flowed about everything from our families to work, to how much we were looking forward to our getaway.
As we got closer to the spa (and further away from the city) I could feel myself getting more relaxed.
We were there before we knew it. Upon arrival we were greeted by attentive and friendly staff as they took us on a tour of the facilities.
While the treatment menu is extensive, there is so much more to do than what is offered at the facilities.
My personal favourite was the eucalyptus steam room, perfect to help me clear up my tail end of a cold.
We then moved on to a delicious three-course lunch: I chose a yummy, warm sweet potato soup (perfect for the fall), a quinoa burger and salad and finished with a nice cup of tea and carrot cake. It was just the first of many delicious meals we enjoyed at Ste. Anne’s.
Our next stop was a guided garden tour that explored a small portion of the 500 acres of Ste. Anne’s grounds. The air was crisp and fresh. The view was truly beautiful, with the fall colours lighting up the landscape like a sunset. A couple of the highlights for me:
- Mother Nature is amazing. Usually when there is a poisonous plant, like poison ivy, an antidote plant can be found within three feet.
- Fresh, off the vine, raspberries. Yum.
- A visit to the Ste. Anne’s labyrinth. Did you know that labyrinths are walking meditations?
- A taste of the next superfood: Sea Buckthorn. These berries are poised to be as popular and beneficial as kale.
Our next stop was back indoors at a skin seminar, where their team of experts took some time with each of us to determine our skin type: oily, sensitive or dry. As moms we are strapped for time so I asked what regime busy moms can follow:
- Your daily routine should be to Cleanse, Tone and Hydrate. Once a week, add in an exfoliating treatment and nourishing mask if you can.
- Your daily routine should ideally be done twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. Like me, I bet you don’t have time for that. So focus on doing that in the evening to remove all the makeup and dirt from the day.
- We were treated to some incredible Ste. Anne’s products. Many ingredients are sourced on site and they have three different lines to suit every skin type. My skin was definitely looking brighter after using these products once.
- The products don’t contain a lot of the chemical ingredients that many of us moms are trying to avoid, which is always reassuring.
- Anti-aging tip – when washing and moisturizing your face always use an upward motion and be sure to include your neck in your routine.
Following our skin seminar, we headed to our meditation workshop. I love meditation and do it daily. But this was special. We were in a beautiful high-ceilinged room, surrounded by windows with scenery that made you feel like you were right in a forest. The instructor reminded all of us that you should meditate in a way that works for you – and if you don’t have time to meditate, you probably really need it. I definitely walked away from the workshop feeling more centered.
It was time to head to our cottage. We stayed in the Vista Lago cottage, which came complete with a spacious family room, outdoor deck with hot tub, four huge bedrooms, a full kitchen and two very generous bathrooms with rain showers.
Our cottage was the utmost of country luxury. It was beautiful, comfortable and had every amenity a mom on a getaway could want. The other key thing about our cottage? It was where we were treated to a private chef’s dinner, with the chef cooking for us in our very own kitchen and our own personal server. Our evening started with delicious appetizers as us mom’s huddled around a fire chatting and trading stories.
After that, we headed to the table and enjoyed salad and soup, followed by our main dish (mine was a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast – yum!). I was so full, but of course said yes to dessert – a chocolate lava cake that was so delicious and rich – the perfect indulgence for a getaway.
The backdrop to all of this food was the incredible conversations I was able to have with all of these women I had just met. We all have our own stories. These stories contain triumphs, challenges, struggles and joys.
The more open we are with one another about these matters the more we can connect. There’s nothing quite as powerful as realizing you have so much in common with someone with a very different story.
“Some of the things I loved about this getaway was just getting to drive some really amazing cars that you wouldn’t get to try out especially if you’re not in the market to buy a new car,” said Anisa Tayab, mom of two. Just getting to connect with other moms with similar lives but we’re each very different from each other, was just very nice.”
After a restful night, we met for breakfast and headed out for our individual treatments.
Later in the morning, we had a yoga workshop. I’ve tried yoga before – I enjoy it and know how beneficial it is. But having a small group session with an instructor who shared her tips, guidance, wisdom, and basic yoga principles, was really a special experience. It gave me the confidence and the reminder that I need to get back into a practice, even if it is just at home. So as a busy mom how can you fit yoga into your life? Here are some easy ideas:
- Take a few minutes at the start of your day and do a few sun salutations
- If you (or your kids) are really upset, use this breathing technique to calm down: breathe in to a count of 4, then exhale to a count of 6, 8 or 12. Do this a few times.
- End any yoga practice with a short shavasana, a pose where you lie flat on your back and still. This is important to help your body learn what you just practiced. Focus on your breath and feel when your breath becomes air as you breath out and when air becomes your breath when you breathe in.
We ended our getaway with a delicious lunch and hugs all around as we said goodbye to our new friends. For me, this getaway was about so much more than all the great information, trips and spa treatments. As a group of 10, we were the perfect size to really get to spend some good time together. There are a lot of great things you learn travelling in a comfortable vehicle together, stretching yourself into different yoga positions and stuffing your face with delicious food! It was about connecting with some amazing moms and reminding me that we are so much stronger as a community when we come together.
Hear from some of moms on our getaway about their experience!
Anisa Tayab, mom of two
Rachel Nazareth, mom of one
Anchel Krishna, mom of one
Jasjit Sangha, mom of 4
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