Testimony of Lianne Barski,
The only word to describe our house in the last couple of months is chaos. I started a new job that required a lot of overtime from January until March. Whereas I am normally the primary caregiver to our kids, my husband had now taken charge of them and the household. It wasn’t an easy transition nor was the role change welcome with open arms by our three boys (6, 4 and 2). Needless to say my husband had a hard time which had a domino effect on the kids, the household and me. The house was upside down, there was a mess in every corner and the laundry was out of control. This week was no different but Spring Break was upon us. We weren’t planning on taking the entire week off but we did want to do a fun family weekend away and so we decided on Smuggler’s Notch.
The two hours leading up to hopping in the car and driving the two short hours were pandemonium. Perhaps it was the full moon overhead or just that everyone had finally had enough (likely both!) but everyone was at each other’s throats. The kids were fighting with one another and my husband and I were yelling at everyone including each other. Patience was not a concept that existed in those moments. Still, we managed to pile everyone in the car along with our bags, ski equipment and our very senior dog (who was being dropped off at the in-laws along the way). We left wondering if the door was locked and considering everything that may have been left behind. But we weren’t turning back, no matter what. We managed to drop off the dog, rearrange the car, pick up our friend who was bravely joining us for the weekend and finally said goodbye to Montreal.
Once we made it past the border (and fill the gas tank) we could finally breathe a sigh of relief. We were almost there. Just a half an hour longer and Smuggs would be upon us. And then we arrived and a calmness took over. We had made it to our haven, to our favourite place on earth. We had only been twice before but it was enough to know how special it was. It was late and everyone was tired but eager to get to sleep so they could go skiing the very next morning.
For me this trip was the first time I could do anything I wanted as our youngest was now old enough (and no longer nursing) to be left at Treasures daycare while the other two would be in ski camp. My husband and our friend would be skiing which meant that my days were free. Free to ski, to go for a long walk, to do nothing. Life was good. No, life was great… and peaceful for the first time in months. It was the kind of peaceful that is coupled with extreme pleasure. Knowing that my children were having the time of their lives and being well-taken care of and that my husband and our friend were doing what they loved most – skiing – was everything to me. So, while everyone was happily doing what they loved, I relaxed. I didn’t have to run or chase down the clock. Rather, I did things leisurely. I made breakfast and enjoyed every bite. I embarked on a breathtaking walk around the resort and enjoyed the Spring-like weather and the sounds of birds and melting icicles. I enjoyed the beauty of the mountains in the distance, of the sun above and the land beneath my feet.
This was bliss and could only happen at Smuggs where everything is made easy. No is a word that does not exist in their vocabulary. If they can do better, they will. If they can please more, they will. For many years I worked in the hotel industry and nothing came even close to the quality of service that is exemplified here. It is a large operation that feels grass-roots and family-run. You feel important no matter which corner of the resort you are at… on the shuttle, riding the chairlift, being a patron in one of the shops or merely going for a stroll on the grounds. For us Smuggs is better than Disney or any all-inclusive. In fact, it is all-inclusive because once here, you don’t have to think about anything. For this mom who is constantly in negotiations, warding off fights, managing schedules, juggling work and trying to stay balanced, Smuggs manages all this for me and lets me put my mind at ease while here. For that, this will always be my happy place and I will come back as often as I can.