Canada, Destinations, Featured Places

Winding Down: Scandinave Spa and Whistler Wanderings

September 1, 2014

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is winding down. The final few hours of the Labor Day weekend are slipping away; August is yesterday, September is freshly here.

Lucie turns a year old in just a few weeks… The recollections of our summer travels are still dancing in my recent memory, but I know they’ll soon fade, too. So here are a few sweet favorites, highlights from windows and walks and wanderings in British Columbia.

(I hope you’ll enjoy the captured moments as much as I love cataloging our past adventures…)

Bridges of Vancouver to the Whistler Woods

We crossed into and out of the city of Vancouver on beautiful bridges: the medians splitting car lanes, the rails splitting sights, the urban skyline so perfectly juxtaposed with tall trees of Stanley Park.

Sea to Sky Highway took us up into the mountains, and all along the way, I told Ted that the forests were my favorite. Something about the understory appeals to me even a little more than the woods in Oregon. A slightly different balance of plant populations: familiar and exotic all at once.

Scandinave Spa Whistler

I could’ve camped for a month of Sundays at the tucked away paradise just down the road from our stay in Whistler. Eucalyptus steam room, flowering green roofs, Nordic plunge showers and cold baths, dry saunas, hot soaking pools, waterfalls and wildflowers and tended gardens…

The spa was so lovely, in fact, that after my morning there with Jodi and Lindsay and the rest of the girls celebrating Madeleine’s wedding, I swapped Lucie-tending-duty and sent Ted back the very next day.

I’ve mentioned before my absolute love of urban Loyly here in Portland; Scandinave Spa was everything I adore about Loyly taken to the next level. I’d brave that massive road trip with a baby to get to Whistler from Portland all over again if it meant another rejuvenating retreat in the mountains at Scandinave.

Walking Whistler Village with Lucie

I was nicknamed the “Official Baby of the Sarajevo Olympics” (by my family, not the newspapers – just to be clear). Born in 1984, I entered the world while my aunt’s cousin was busy winning a gold medal on the slopes, and my memories from four years later still live stamped in my mind to this day: those five rings, that NBC peacock: inextricable images and impressions. I still have a childlike giddiness about the Olympics.

So fun to wander the streets of Whistler Village and see remnants from the 2010 games, this time with my own little one. She won’t remember it…but it’ll be fun to show her photos later. Maybe four years later in 2018, when she gets her own first taste of watching the Winter Games?

Airbnb with Friends

Thanks to Jodi, Andrew, and Lindsay for sharing this great spot with us during our time in Whistler. Communal brunches and plungers of French press. World Cup games on the TV. Giggles with Lucie. Wine and cheese and catch-up conversations. All in a space that felt cozy and calm; a terrific alternative to typical hotels and Whistler Village condos.

[Heading to Whistler and want to book this same space? Check listing #2089680 and use this $25 off coupon for your first booking.]

Edgewater Lodge

Vistas of the mountains from the shores of Green Lake.

Wedding festivities.



Kiddos in canoes…

Peak 2 Peak

Hanging from the wires, watching the forests and the valleys drop away below the gondola.

[Here’s our full story of riding Peak 2 Peak with a Baby, if you didn’t catch it earlier.]

Sea to Sky Highway

From the first day’s ride up:

To the last day’s drive back:

From the mountains back to sea level…

From beginning, to (almost) end.

A beautiful summer adventure, indeed.

Whistler Village: A couple hours above Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway.
Edgewater Lodge: On the shore of Green Lake.
Scandinave Spa Whistler: Tucked in the trees and lupines just off Sea to Sky Highway just north of Whistler Village.
Our Lovely Airbnb Rental: Also just north of Whistler Village, and just across Sea to Sky from Edgewater Lodge…and down the road from Scandinave. Really, the perfect spot.

This post is part of our twoOregonians tour British Columbia series in which we use babyOregonian’s passport on her first international trip, attend the Canadian wedding of dear American and Lebanese friends, enjoy beautiful scenery and rejuvenating retreats in Whistler, and reconnect over delicious home cooking with our very first Airbnb host-turned-friend in Vancouver. Much gratitude to our friends for including us in the special celebrations, and thanks to Tourism Whistler and Scandinave Spa Whistler for sponsoring a portion of our adventures. As always, these stories, photos, and opinions are our own, and we love sharing them with you!



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  • Reply Melanie September 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    That very last picture is amazing! My favorite by far…and you’ve got a lot of beautiful shots.


    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much, friend. I’m still interested in a little collaboration project with your beautiful shots from Japan… Let’s chat about it on our next phone date? Hugs xx

  • Reply Becky L September 2, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Wonderful trip. Wonderful photos. It’s a task to travel with a baby but a good memory. We were in B.C. in 1986 for the Worlds Fair. Justin was two, Megan was almost six. We travelled from NM on the Amtrak. We couldn’t go to all the fun displays but found displays without lines. Stroller for Justin, thus the monorail wasn’t an option all the time. Canada is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      My parents took me to that same World’s Fair, too! Some of my first memories as a kid. I would’ve been about 2-1/2? Hopefully it won’t be too long before Lucie can start remembering some of her childhood trips… :) Thanks for reading!

  • Reply Suki F September 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    You have some really cool photos here. I really enjoyed them.

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad to be able to share them…

  • Reply (@mariafalvey) September 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Gorgeous getaway – started snowing here this AM… guess summer is over in the Arctic but when I miss that season, I’ll just return to this post. Ahhh!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Maria, how’s the weather now that it’s been a few weeks? If you can believe it, we’re still having weekends in the 90-degree range here in Oregon! I think I’m just about ready for the change, though. It started raining a bit last night, and it was so refreshing… Take care xx

  • Reply Carmel September 8, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    We get to go to Whistler and Vancouver BC in just a couple weeks. It’ll be my first time. I can’t wait!!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      I need to catch up on your guys’ current plans! Have so much fun in Whistler and Vancouver. Really, do try to get out to Scandinave if you have time. So, so, so relaxing. And Turks Coffee in Vancouver makes a Portlander feel right at home ;) I’ll look forward to hearing about your time up north!

    What say you?