12.20.2011

Snowy Winter Getaway Dreams

There's something about a Chicago-style winter that always leaves me in the lurch. It's either too cold, not cold enough, too windy, not snowy enough, or too snowy. Too many potholes...the list of rants goes on.

A true and proper winter, in my mind, is one of those where you have tons and tons of snow outside, lots of warmth and coziness inside, and plenty of nature-related activities to keep active: hiking, snow-shoeing, skiing, ice fishing, ice skating, sledding, horse sled rides, etc.

Mind you, I'm really only good at the hiking part, when we start talking practicalities about those outdoor wintery nature activities. I did try skiing back in ye olde times, but I'd well and truly need a refresher about now.

Being stuck in a remote resort such as the one featured in The Shining would be absolute heaven to me. No psychosis involved whatsoever. No, no. Only wood paneling, gorgeous views, large windows, and cozy beds.

Unabated by practicalities, my winter wonderland daydreams get me into a sort of restless cabin fever. Just imagine, me thinking of a proper winter getaway--with all the trimmings--in the middle of an honest to goodness Midwestern winter. Yes, amazing. Even with all the cold we get here, I would still like to get me a winter getaway. Go figure. Oh and don't get me started about my Scottish vacation fantasy...that's for another post.

Of course, I'm thrilled when I get one of these manic, obsessive episodes, because they come so rarely and they inspire me in such longing and emotion that it's actually quite charming. A high with no controlled substances involved can be sort of fun, on occasion ;o)

So today, suffering from one of these feverish, longing spells of mine, I began researching Canadian getaways and cottage resorts around the Great Lakes. Purely educational of course...This is all informative and for use at a later date, as I currently don't have the privilege of enjoying time off from work, at least not until the new year.

The good news is that during today's search I was finally able to rediscover that fantastic Canadian resort of my teenage dreams, the Fairmont at Lake Louise up in Alberta of all places.

I don't remember when I first saw the classic photo of a large, majestic squarish building with French-style pointed roofs and turrets. Nor do I recall where I saw the first image that would be forever seared in my mind. What I remember is the spectacular urge to go there some day and which still persists today.

Surely, there are plenty of similar grand resort buildings adjacent to a body of water in the world, and yet I somehow got obsessed with the idea of going to one such place in Canada. As a matter of fact, I'm sure there's a similar resort somewhere in the province of Quebec.

But my imaginary fantasy vacation would not just take place at any time of year, but must be in winter. The logistics alone of getting somewhere rather remote, in the midst of Canada's glacier-created park can be incredibly complex. Imagine having to drive a snow cat of the same dimensions as that in The Shining just to get to the corner store!

But let's forget about the practicalities for a moment. Back to day dreaming. Such an adventurous winter romp would entail plenty of healthy, outdoor time to enjoy the spectacular, surrounding nature. I'd procure guide-led walks and hikes, historical themed tours, museum visits, local culture immersions, delicious square meals to help build up stamina, lots of laughing and giggling at sporadic intervals, and hot restorative beverages, gorgeous stone wood fireplaces to sit in front of, and plenty of hot steamy showers and soaks to recover from the chilly weather outside. Just writing about this is making me leave my body in blissful visualization. Ahhhh. ;o)

Honestly, I've been thinking about these types of getaways since my early teens...I've had plenty of time and practice to think up all the details and activity lists ;o)

I'm sure that a physically-demanding and active vacation out in nature is actually something that would do a world of good to my psyche--especially this time of year and after the recent happenings in my life. I'm more than eager to take it upon myself to get into a trip like this, and yet it would be so much more fulfilling if I were able to share it with someone of similar inclinations. *sigh* One of my favorite sayings is that I would never get to do the things I'm passionate about, if I were to wait for someone to come along and do them with me.

Alas, since there is neither an open pocketbook nor a similar soul to share this planning with, all I am left with is the infinitely amusing and longing daydreams that I will hopefully one day make come true. That will truly be a blissful day.

Here's to happy and healthy winter dreams, be there sunshine or feet upon feet of snow. I raise my cup of imaginary gluhwein, cheers!