Summer Family Vacation & Fun at Blue Mountain Resort

It has been a long time since I had written a travel post as I was pregnant all of last year and taking care of a newborn really puts the idea of having a family vacation in the back of your mind.  However, now that Ethan is 6 months old I told my husband that I'm comfortable enough to go on a family vacation to just unwind and have some quality rest, relaxation and fun. The first place I immediately thought of was Blue Mountain Resort. For those of you who don't know, they are so much more than just a ski resort in the wintertime. In the summer, they have so many outdoor activities you can do with your friends and family, from golfing, mini-golfing, to riding on the gondola and canoe-ing, all the activities are listed here

For those of you who don't know, Blue Mountain Resorts holds a very special place in my heart as my husband proposed to me there. He got a suite for us after having picked me up from the airport from visiting my best friend in Calgary, drove me to Blue Mountain, checked in and cooked all of my favorite meals there. Afterwards, he proposed to me and ever since then, we have gone back a few times with our friends in the winter for skiing and me with my girlfriends a few years back ~ I had written about it here if you're interested in reading it.
What is great about Blue Mountain is that they have two lodging areas that are dog friendly - the Blue Mountain Inn and The Westin Trillium House. The Blue Mountain Inn offers great value in terms of accommodation. Call me sentimental, but I really wanted our first family vacation to be our entire family - that includes furbaby Bentley as well! 

The cost is lower at the Inn and the lodging accommodations are excellent. They recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation project and everything has been upgraded, especially the rooms. They have an excellent restaurant on-site called The Pottery, which you can read more about below, and even have individual hot tubs outdoors all year round where you can just sit back and relax in. The Inn is only a few minutes walk from the main village area and there is also a shuttle bus you could take for free (when you're a guest of the hotel/inn) that takes you right to the village if you wanted to. Parking is free in the main village area until 2am I believe? and parking at the Inn was free.

I chose to stay here with my family as I could leave Bentley in the room unattended (so long as you do have a crate) and also it was kinder to my wallet. The Westin Trillium is an upscale luxury resort and you cannot leave your pet in the room unattended, you would have to make arrangements with the hotel prior to arriving to have someone in their staff to come babysit your furbaby :) I do one day want to stay at the Westin as it would be such a great splurge, however right now on that EI maternity leave pay, it just wouldn't be too smart. 

After we checked in to our room, we decided to head over to the main village area and walk around and have dinner ~ I have never been able to take Bentley to a restaurant before, and it was so great that a majority of the restaurants there allow dogs, they just have to be outside. Most of them also provide waterbowls for the furbabies which is so thoughtful! 
For the first night, we went to Camino Taco for dinner, their guacamole was DELICIOUS as was the margarita, I could have drank two but I held back! For the tacos I would recommend the Barbacoa which is a braised beef that was very tender and flavorful. I was not a fan of the Korean Fried Chicken as it tasted nothing like the true Korean Fried Chicken, it seemed like they just put on the red pepper paste sauce as an afterthought to make it "korean". The fish taco was quite greasy and wasn't great, the batter was too thick. My husband had the Barbacoa burrito bowl which was well worth its money as the portion was huge for $13. The tacos I had were $6 each and they had a special which was 3 for $16 but you had to get THE SAME three tacos... which was a bit silly. 

For dessert, we HAD to go to BeaverTails, it's literally a tradition of going to Blue Mountain - the trip isn't complete until I have one and I always get the classic cinnamon sugar one...mmm...
The next day, we slept in and then went to the village for lunch at Firehall Pizza Restaurant. Again, I had to have a Margarita (yes they are my favorites!) and we had the Shrimp Pasta Scampi and Spanakopizza which were both very delicious. The pizza had basil pesto, spinach, feta, goat cheese, garlic and caramlized onions. 
Later that afternoon, I had the ultimate relaxation retreat at The Scandinave Spa. Again, this is tradition - I always love to go to this spa when I go to Blue Mountain. If you haven't experienced this spa before, you really do have to go. You can easily spend hours there just removing yourself from the distractions of life, being away from your cell phone, from the city and from any type of loud noises. All you hear is the sound of water and nature as you relax in the varied temperatured waters or sit by the fire pit or lie in the hammocks. My favorite is the Eucalyptus Steam room, it opens up your sinuses and just clears the mind. My husband took care of Ethan and Bentley for the afternoon as I took some time to work on myself... and I loved every minute of it. I highly recommend it, seriously! It's open all year round (except Christmas I believe) and I've been during the colder months before and it is still great.
That night for dinner, we were graciously treated to dinner at The Pottery Restaurant (located at the Inn) - this restaurant recently went through a complete renovation, just like the rest of the Inn. They work very closely with local suppliers in the Georgian Bay Region which means they consistently have fresh and in season foods with a changing menu.
For appetizers, we decided to try the Beet Variation ($11), Roasted Bone Marrow ($12) and Caeser Salad ($13). My favorite was the beet salad - it was so light and refreshing and had a perfect balance of beet to goat cheese, berries, oranges and nuts. It also has some pesto and taro root chips to finish the dish. I highly recommend this appetizer! The Bone Marrow was delicious, the garlic oil really complimented the marrow which you ate with the crostini, I just really wish that there was more of it ~ It was quite shallow so I think we only got one tablespoon worth, not enough to use up with the crostini. It was honestly still so tasty though! Just.. want....MORE..mmmm...! The Ceaser Salad was okay, the romaine lettuce you can definitely tell was farm fresh - I just hoped for more of a garlic kick to the dressing :) The egg was cooked to perfection as was the pancetta crisp. 
For the main, my hubby had the special that day which was the lamb and I had my usual go to - the prime rib ($30). Both of the mains were cooked as requested - medium rare ~ mine looks a bit darker as they put the merlot jus on the prime rib directly. The yorkshire pudding was light, airy - crisp on the outside and tender and fluffy on the inside. 

Lastly, the dessert which was unexpectedly the BEST part of the meal. Originally, I had only wanted the rose water creme brulee ($10), however our server had insisted that we try the Baked Phyllo Wrapped Cheesecake ($12) which has whisky caramel roasted apples, house-made granola and a caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake. This cheesecake handsdown was the BEST thing I had that day - think baklava and cheesecake making a baby - and you get this. I would literally drive all the way here to have this again and go to the scandinave spa... hhaha! 

Lastly, to cap off the end of my trip, the next day I had a facial at the Kalola Spa within the Inn, I was treated to the Ultimate Facial which lasted 75 minutes by the wonderful spa owner, Carol. It was SO relaxing, I received two personalized masks, had deep cleansing done which included extractions and exfoliation while also getting a relaxing massage. The facial is said to contain botanical products that brighten and firm your skin while boosting collagen. You can totally tell from the before and after facial pics of me below that my skin looks rejuvenated, plumped and hydrated. It has more life to it and just felt more youthful and glowing! I also got some items from the store, and will definitely be posting a review of them soon! I am currently still in the process of trying everything out!

I would like to thank Blue Mountain for the most amazing dinner, Carol for the facial and want to really emphasize how great Blue Mountain is for a getaway! It is only about a 1.5-2 hour drive from Toronto and being able to bring my furbaby along meant the world to me. I look forward to so many more vacations to come here and making it a tradition to come back every year! 

Until next time, XO - M.

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