Celebrating 34 Years of Friendship

Cathy and I met when we were six years old in Mme Wright’s first grade class and we have been friends ever since. As Cathy and I are both turning (ahem!) 40 this year, I suggested that she and I celebrate this with a short getaway sans families. Cathy and I haven’t lived in the same city since high school days, and although we have managed to see each other and maintain our friendship over the years, we haven’t had uninterrupted time together in a very long while. Time to reconnect! When I mentioned that I was looking for a good place to go, three separate people told me that Ste. Anne’s Spa was the place. Cathy and I checked out the website and we thought so too. Cathy called them and booked it all right away (she is the much more organized of the two of us…but I am the better speller).

When I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to Ste. Anne’s, my friend @KillerMoleMom told me that she had been there twice, and one time she had stayed in the “creepy” Doll’s House Cottage – creepy because of all the dolls in one of the rooms. She felt a bit bad when I told her that the Doll’s House was exactly where we were booked in. No need to feel bad, I reassured her. I am going away to a spa, overnight, with NO KIDS. It could be a zombie cottage and I would still be thrilled. When we arrived though, I have to admit I was disappointed not to be able to find all the creepy dolls. Perhaps other guests had complained and the dolls had been packed away? Maybe in that locked basement room. Oooooh.

The lone doll

Isn’t it sweet? Not creepy at all!

Cathy and I arrived from opposite directions just before noon. First order of business was hugs hello, and lunch. Then, off to put on our bathing suits and robes because next up was the steam room, cold plunging pool and the hot tub. And robes are perfectly acceptable attire here; people wear them everywhere, even in the dining room.



A little rest on the swing was so relaxing


Included in our stay was one treatment and one exercise class. I chose the hot stone massage, which was heavenly. Cathy chose the Thai massage which she enjoyed, but sounded a bit…embarrassing. I didn’t get to see it, but Cathy described it like an assisted yoga class, in that a gentleman helped her to stretch. This isn’t Cathy, but I found this picture which seems like a reasonable representation of how she described it.

Also included in our stay was a fitness class. We chose the “vigorous” hike.

Vigorous by spa standards, perhaps.

The food at St. Anne’s was amazing. Here is the “after” shot of our afternoon tea. I kept forgetting to take the before shots. The fresh air made me pretty hungry.

Oh, there’s a piece of cake that I haven’t yet inhaled.

Because we stayed overnight from Sunday to Monday, the cost of this package was really reasonable. It included an overnight stay in our own private cottage. One treatment and one fitness class, meals (Day 1: afternoon tea, dinner; Day 2: breakfast, lunch), plus unlimited access to pools, hot tubs, a tennis court, steam room, and beautiful gardens and sitting rooms. Ste. Anne’s rated about an 11 out of 10 for me. It is clear that customer service and making people feel good is very important to them. The only thing that I would recommend is to bring a few snacks of your own and whatever beverages you like to drink. This place is not licenced, and doesn’t have any soft drinks on the menu either. I missed my Diet Coke, and I was pretty devastated when I was on the highway and realized I had forgotten my bottle of red at home. Ah well, it was a healthier weekend for it.

Beds, Flintstones style
This is the cottage balcony. And it seems that neither of us can get away from it all. What’s a getaway without an iPhone?

There is a lot to be said for getting away without the family once in a while. Firstly, there is the joy in the little faces when you come home and run to greet you with a home made snowman crown.

And finding out that you missed out on your 9-year-old vomiting at the Superstore is pretty awesome too. Sorry no photo on this one. I guess Tony wasn’t documenting his weekend the way I was.

But here is a completely hypothetical question for you and I would be interested to hear your thoughts. If you were away for a night, would you prefer to come home to a) a hot gourmet dinner or b) a clean house? Assume that due to time constraits, both are not possible.

And now to sum up this very long post. I think that making it to 40 reasonably intact is pretty great, but celebrating this birthday with a friend of 34 years is something very special. Thanks Cath, for always being there and being such a loyal friend. I had a lovely time, and I hope that we can do this a little more often. Mmmm, cookies!

And now for a few pictures from the past 34 years.

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
This entry was posted in 40, spa getaway. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Celebrating 34 Years of Friendship

  1. Eileen says:

    A superb post, Finola. I'm so glad your getaway turned out to be everything you and Cathy hoped for. The Doll's House looked like something out of a fairy tale.

    I loved your photos from the past, one of them taken in our kitchen. You were both beautiful children, and now you are beautiful women.

    Lifetime friends are a gift to be treasured.

    As to your question: the gourmet dinner wins out every time. I can't imagine anything better than enjoying delicious food and good wine while you told Tony, N and B about your weekend.

  2. Laura says:

    Clean house ALL the way! All that relaxing would be ruined (for me)if I walked into a house that I had to clean.

    Beautiful post Finola. Love the photos taken over the years. So sweet. Friendships like that are rare, you're lucky to have each other. Happy 40th! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Most definitely a clean house. I would do almost anything for a clean house….

  4. Sid. says:

    Wow, that looks like such a good time! What a great idea.

    Clean house. Definitely a clean house.

  5. Lynn says:

    Oh I'm totally on the gourmet dinner side. I don't mind cleaning and I have a very, very high tolerance for clutter, but I HAAAAAAATE cooking. Blech.

    I'm really not a spa person at all but you've almost sold me. It sounds so relaxing. Happy birthday!

  6. D. Gillespie says:

    What an amazing place.

    Can't decide between the clean house and dinner.

  7. Bibliomama says:

    Wow. That's a friendship.

    I would like to ask you a question about BOLO – could you email me at alli.mccaskill@sympatico.ca? thanks

  8. I'm so impressed – and jealous! – that you have managed to nurture a friendship for 34 years. It sounds like you had a well-deserved wonderful weekend together. Nothing like those girls' trips to recharge the batteries (and nothing like missing some public puking – nicely done!). 🙂

  9. Pauline says:

    I'm also a tad envious about your long lived friendship, but I'm glad you had fun. 🙂

    To answer your question, if I was going away for a night, I would definitely pick clean house! It takes longer to clean a house than make a meal!

  10. DH says:

    It's somewhat of a false dichotomy. If you get home at dinner time, the question is do you want to sit down right away to a great meal, with a few freshly messy pots in the background, or watch the pots getting messy before enjoying dinner. Either way, there is dinner, with messy pots, that then get washed.

  11. Capital Mom says:

    Now that is a good time away!

    And a clean house every time. 🙂

  12. Those childhood photos are so special … love this post!

  13. Pingback: Guest Post From Cathy – Tired and Wired: my experience with the phantom disease, adrenal fatigue. | Finola's Blog

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