The Watering Hole Blog

Road Trip Warriors Rock Kingfisher Spa

Road Trip Warriors Rock Kingfisher Resort


MA and Sadie selfie with suspicious Sadie
Selfie of MA & Sadie (looking rather suspicious about this road trip business) in CRV, 2016

 “There’s no way around it, you need a car – ideally, one that runs faster than you do. But anything that moves forward will do.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

Ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Ball for ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Swimsuit for owner of ball-obsessed retriever? Check.

Old, dirty, smelly but super-reliable and recently serviced dog-mobile CRV? Check.

Laptop? Not on your life.

Good to go. Ahhhh…there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with a canine companion.

A few weeks ago, Sadie and I headed up-island to the lovely Kingfisher Resort & Spa in Courtenay, BC for a girl’s getaway. We had a blast!

Kingfisher Pool
Pool at Kingfisher, Courtenay, BC

“A road trip is about leaving it all behind – physically and mentally. You can’t escape the trappings of your life if you haul it all with you.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

But there were rules (for me)…yes, that’s right: road trip RULES. And these were they:




Seriously. Is this what we’ve come to? Sigh…it is what it is.

“After getting over the initial withdrawal of disconnecting from the internet, the calm and productivity you’ll experience will be unlike anything else.”

– Chris Bailey, The Productivity Project; Accomplishing More By Managing Your Time, Attention, And Energy

And I am pleased to report that, other than posting photos on social media, I did succeed at unplugging from technology for 3 whole days…and loved every second of it.

Mind you, the healing hydropath, delightful massage and soothing dips in the hot tub and pool didn’t hurt 🙂

“In reality, almost everything can wait.”

Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Here are a few more pics:

Morning walk at KF
Morning walk at the Kingfisher


Sadie with ball at Kitty Coleman
Sadie with ball, Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Courtenay, BC

Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken, Sadie LOST her beloved ball in the river – which is when I realized I did not have a suitable (as in Sadie-approved) back-up ball for my ball-obsessed retriever. So in essence, Sadie (through no choice of her own) unplugged from her addiction, too.

At first, she seemed fine, perhaps even relieved to be free from the shackles of her obsession:

sadie without ball at Kitty Coleman

Later on, not so much:

Sadie with tiger stuffie

Sadie survived – but I wouldn’t say she thrived. A tiger stuffie is no substitute for a chuck-it ball.

Sadie with bamboo in back of car

And then, to add insult to injury, Sadie had to take the backseat to a hitchhiking bamboo plant we picked up on the way home.

“Whatever you do, do not clean the inside of your car along the way. The crap that accumulates on the floor – lottery tickets, bottle caps, cigarette butts, receipts, stale onion rings, ketchup packets, tacky souvenirs, ticket stubs, matchbooks with phone numbers – will be little treasures when you get home. Just holding a winning bingo card or sniffing a fossilized French fry can give you a quick hit of freedom, enough to prevent a mental meltdown when you’re back in the grind.”

Cameron Tuttle, The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

Hah! Ya gotta love a road trip…even when some bossy-boots makes up rules 🙂

Do you have a road trip story (that you’re allowed to share)? If so, I’d love to hear it!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here. To subscribe to The Watering Hole e-zine (goes out about every 6 weeks), you can sign up here.

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6 thoughts on “Road Trip Warriors Rock Kingfisher Spa”

  1. Love it!
    I will always remember a specific moment, when taking Cocoa on a road trip. Having been abused when we got her, Cocoa was very timid and fearful when she arrived at our home. Cocoa soon started to blossom and became SO ridiculously happy. I became her magnet as she was everywhere by my side. The destination for our first road trip together was Kelowna. The first stop, was a rest stop for her! We stopped beside a lake on the way to Banff. The lake with the little island and picnic table, on the right side of the highway. I put her little collar on, which was slightly too big and attached it to the leash. It was a beautiful sunny, yet breezy day. Walking her along the lakeside, I glanced down to look at her. An image and moment, stays in my mind. While Cocoa was walking, her tail wagged. Looking up at me, the breeze blew her brown ears back. It was almost as if Cocoa at that specific moment knew, she had found a kindred spirit from me, safety at last, and true bliss. A walk with a gentle breeze through her fur, a gentle yet trusty companion for the rest of her days, nature and beauty and true serenity. Shrong 🙂

  2. I used to have a fetch crazy black lab that was so obsessed with fetching that he’d bring you a stick, weed, rock, whatever he could find. It didn’t matter. He just wanted to retrieve something. A frisbee was his favourite. In his younger days he’d do a little acrobatic jump to get it sooner. I miss that ole boy! He was the best dog in the world!

    Here’s a short, not so fun road trip I recall with Magnum. We were living in Okotoks at the time and we’re headed back to the farm in Lomond for the weekend but had to stop at the High River hospital for my ultrasound, as I was expecting my first baby, and so we took him with us.

    He was used to car rides so that wasn’t a big deal. Only we had ‘lost’ him for 2 days before we left. He had got out of the back yard and despite our desperate search for him were not successful. He did however show up on his own time. We were elated that he came back and so carried on with the original plan to go to the farm for the weekend.

    In our desperate search we had spoke to some town officials who had had a report of a black lab roaming around some dumpsters. Now Magnum had a very sensitive stomach due to having had parvo as a pup and never got scrap food and if you ever wanted to switch kinds of dog food you had to do it gradually over three days.

    Yep, you guessed it! He had diarrhea all over the back of the Jeep! So there I was, 3 months pregnant, going through slight morning sickness and we had no choice but to get in the vehicle with him and drive to the car wash! I remember rolling down the window and sticking my head out while we drove, probably looking much like the canine culprit.

    And we couldn’t even get mad at him! First off we were so happy he had come back and secondly we knew it was out of his control. That poor dog looked so sheepish when we opened that door and got hit with that wave of stench. He’d obviously tried to hold it in, but just couldn’t. Can you imagine having irritable bowel syndrome and having no where to go?!? Poor guy! Loved him to bits!

  3. Lovely! I can so vividly see Cocoa in my mind’s eye, too…her ears gently blowing in the wind, knowing she’d found her peeps 🙂

  4. Maryanne,

    Loved this article and photos about your road trip to Kingfisher and Kitty Coleman. Reminded me of our awesome trip there with dear old Soda <3


  5. Oh, I remember our wonderful road trip to the KF and Kitty Coleman, Trisha! We had such an amazing day at Kitty Coleman with Soda…it was so surreal with all the artists and musicians there that day. I still remember hearing the flute music drifting through the woods. It was magical! You are on the homestretch of a very special adventure right now…can’t wait to see all the pics of Paris & hear the stories 🙂

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