Shred the Gnar Your Heart Out

Baker

Mountain: Mt. Baker

Location: Bellingham, WA

After-Stay: 20+ friends in 2 cabins for the weekend? My kind of weekend!! I’d never been to Mt. Baker, so I was really excited to cruise the slopes with a bunch of my fave friends! First of all, the drive to Baker from Seattle is super easy – it was a fun 2-hour road trip with some crazies (complete with Disney song karaoke). Once we got to the ‘main’ cabin, our friends were about 6 drinks in, playing card games and board games, and everyone was amped up for the morning to get on the mountain. Half of us went to the other cabin which was…..interesting. It was a large and quaint house, but there were little touches that made it feel kind of like we were potentially in a horror movie. I’ll give you one example: you know those moniker signs that cabins have with last names or “Welcome to the Beach House”? This house had a wooden sign outside the front door, but all it said was, “AT GRAHAM’S YOU GET WHAT’S COMING TO YOU!” Ummmmm, it creeped us out a little bit, to say the least. Anyway, we got over it quickly with the help of a few beers and then we all passed out. Saturday morning we were up and at ’em so we could start our snowy day! The mountain was fantastic – a ton of lifts and the lines were never longer than a few minutes. I was boarding with a few friends that were all at the same skill level (level Awesome), so we had a super fun crew traversing the mountain. We ended up all the way over to the second peak. Did you know Baker had two peaks to ski on? I certainly didn’t. By the afternoon, we decided that it was time to head back to the lodge for a beer (we skipped lunch because we were having so much fun!). Looking at the map, we realized that we had to do about 4-5 runs to make it back. We were on a mission. Slight problem – one of the runs was a cross-country trail. Seeing as I was the only snowboarder in my group, I recommended we find a different way. Unfortunately, the skiers were determined and I began the trip on the cat-track. I was gliding for a solid 30 seconds until I came to a complete stop. Then began my 10 minute walk with board in hand. Womp wooooomp. I finally made it to the skiers and was definitely ready for the lodge. So to the lodge we went! We all posted up and had a couple beers – it was the perfect day.

That night everyone came to our cabin for a large potluck. We all brought some food and feasted on spaghetti and meatballs. The whole evening, some of us were cooking, some of us were playing drinking games, there were board games, and even a group of people doing riddles. At one point, I looked at my friend Pat and I commented on how we’re all playing games and having a great time with each other – and he replied, “This is what happens when we don’t have cell service!” It’s true – no one could be glued to their phone and it was AWESOME. At one point, the whole group of us worked on one riddle that took a good 30 minutes of questioning to figure out. But I just remember feeling so happy and like I was a kid again surrounded by my closest friends. Just pure fun. Hope this becomes an annual tradition!

Riddle: Four Prisoners with Hats

Link: Mt. Baker

Vacation Your Heart Out

Alderbrook

Resort: Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Location: Union, WA

After-Stay: I didn’t come to Alderbrook for a vacation, unfortunately, but it still felt like one given the serenity and comfort this resort provides. Our department took a two-day retreat here and I always love visiting this place. Check out the website below for better pictures because it really is the definition of R&R in a beautiful setting. The staff treats us like gold, they’re super easy to work with (I managed all the catering, my favorite thing!), and the rooms are little sanctuaries! The bar next to the water is a great place to unwind after seminars, and I couldn’t resist walking to the edge of the dock for a few minutes of peace. There’s an awesome fire pit that we all hovered around and met other business people. Did a barefoot race happen between me and a co-worker? Maaaaaaybe. (*cough* I won *cough*) The meals they served were all “Mo-Approved.” My favorite part of the retreat were the little glasses of goodness pictured above. They’re called Creamsicle Shooters. I mean, look at it. It’s a beautiful creamsicle in a glass. DELISH. Did I have three? Maaaaaybe. I’ve been to Alderbrook three times now, and I love it every time. It’s not too far of a drive, and it’s a great getaway. Cell service isn’t the best, but honestly, I like disconnecting for a bit! If you go, look for the ‘resort cat’ that has one green eye and one blue eye – beautiful!!

Link: Alderbrook Resort & Spa

Road-Trip Your Heart Out

Leavenworth

Location: Leavenworth, WA

After-Stay: If you want a fun weekend getaway, visit Leavenworth! It’s the most adorable bavarian town tucked in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. It is just as fun in the Summer as it is in the Winter. Not many places can pull that off. This weekend my friends and I took a trip and admired all of the Christmas lights, carolers, wine-tasting, and sledding! We actually didn’t even have a sled – with enough wine in your system, anything could happen. For instance, sledding down the hill with your grown adult friends amongst little children in your jeans. Anything is possible! For the night, we stayed at one of the best resorts I’ve ever been to. It’s called Sleeping Lady Resort and each room is like it’s only tiny, private cabin. The hot tub is not considered a hot tub. They call it a “Woodland Rock Pool.” And it literally feels like you’re in a hot springs – it’s wonderful to float in and gaze at the stars. Dinner was fabulous (unlimited trips to the buffet – my favorite!) and the breakfast was just as good (unlimited trips to the buffet again!). It’s a beautiful town with so much to offer; I highly recommend you pay it a visit.

Link: Sleeping Lady Resort