a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Feb, 2015

Weekend epiphany number two: life is for living

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The first part of this post was published yesterday. You can read that right here. Do note, I was not paid – or required – to write this post, and my thoughts are my own. However, I did attend a weekend long event as a guest of Ford Canada. This post is a bit about that weekend, and then some. Read on!

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the cars we drove over the weekend, because it was a big part of the overall experience. Julie and I, along with Melissa Wood of National Public Relations, drove up to Tremblant in the 2015 Escape SE. Three of us – and all of our cargo – comfortably fit in this small utility vehicle. I couldn’t believe we got it all in there. The Escape is like a mini SUV, which makes it easier on fuel and emissions. Our return trip was in a 2015 Ford Fusion Energi, which was a completely new vehicle to me.

As I write this I realize the driving part of this adventure was, for me, less about the exact kind of car we drove, and more about the driving experience. Every time I drive a Ford I am impressed by their commitment to a great – and safe – driving experience. Whether it’s the lane-keeping system in the Fusion (it alerts drivers if they’re starting to veer) or the blind-spot information system that provides a visual cue every time there’s a vehicle in your blind spot (which is frankly, amazing), or 911 Assist, it’s all about keeping me on the road safely!

Our group stayed at Hotel Quintessence, a gorgeous location right on Lac Tremblant and an easy walk to Tremblant village. It’s considered a boutique hotel; it’s smaller with an intimate and comfortable feel. It’s funny, that short distance away serves it very well. You feel secluded, but you’re really not.

Our itinerary was full but I had some time before dinner to go on a solo walkabout around Tremblant. It was cold, but beautiful, and even lively in the village. I found a pretty little skating rink in behind a church too.

Tremblant village at night

Skating near the chapel, Tremblant

I was tempted to hunker down in the room afterwards, but I convinced Julie to come check out the outdoor Jacuzzi. FYI, we had to step barefoot on ice and snow to get to it, but it was heaven. And then I surprised myself and took a dip in the COLD pool, which seems to be held at temperatures just above freezing. (Crazy, I know. But I had to try it out!)

Our group a phenomenal dinner on Saturday night. I can’t say enough about my meal and the thoughtful service. I’d post a photo but the lighting was dim and I hate bad food shots. I ordered the Dore, a white fish. It was very tender and moist and was artfully arranged on a cake of mixed rice. I am not making it out to sound very exciting, but it was delicious and beautiful. After dessert – TWO decadent creme brûlées – we went outside to make s’mores.

Enjoying the fire, Hotel Quintessence

S'mores! At Hotel Quintessence

The next day, after an incredible breakfast and a very insightful tea tasting with a tea master (!), we got changed and head for the hills. Or should I say, the summit, of Mt. Tremblant. We weren’t skiing though, we were snowshoeing. I had no idea one can do such a thing here. We took the gondola to the top and hiked alongside the ski run for a bit before entering the trail.

A wee hike to the start of the snowshoe trail, Mt. Tremblant

I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was. We were practically the only ones on the trail. A thick layer of snow covered every nook of every tree and every branch in sight. It was silent and still, the only sound was our chatter and laughter, and our snowshoes scraping the path. It was, in a word, phenomenal.

Along the snowshoe trail, Mt. Tremblant

Along the snowshoe trail, Mt. Tremblant

Along the snowshoe trail, Mt. Tremblant

Sadly, we ran out of time and didn’t reach the summit, but this is a good excuse to return.

Along the snowshoe trail, Mt. Tremblant

The idea behind the Ford weekend was “back to basics.” I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the theme at first, but for me, it became a weekend of being mindful of the things around us and finding the joy and beauty within those things. Whether it’s a great glass of wine, or a cup of tea, a scenic drive, or a walk in the woods. It was a timely reminder.

And this brings me to epiphany number two: Life is for living.

Edited to add: if you’d like to see more photos, check out the entire set on Flickr!

5 Responses to "Weekend epiphany number two: life is for living"

1 | coffee with julie

February 6th, 2015 at 10:18 am


“Back to Basics” = mindfulness to me too. You might remember that after you convinced me to go into the outdoor Jacuzzi, that I went quiet and paused and said, “Wow. This is the life.” I meant, wow, live is for living. Thanks for helping me live it. xo

2 | Sarah McCormack

February 10th, 2015 at 6:34 pm


sounds like a wonderful weekend Andrea… and shared with the wonderful Julie too!

I have really enjoyed reading all your 2015 blog posts!

3 | Candace

February 11th, 2015 at 9:06 am


So funny! I had a very similar epiphany. I was amazed how much living we fit in to 24 hours. Definitely an eye-opener.

4 | andrea tomkins

February 11th, 2015 at 10:56 am


Thanks all!
And I think you hit upon something interesting Candace. Part of this was definitely the fact that we accomplished SO MUCH in such a relatively short time frame. It makes me think I could be doing so much more…

5 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive A family visit to Tremblant, part one (accommodations, snowshoeing, a bear) - a peek inside the fishbowl

January 1st, 2017 at 1:10 pm


[…] have done the summit snowshoe adventure before, on a trip with Ford Canada, and loved it so much I had to come back with my family. This previous visit is what saved our […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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