The week before school started, Mazzy and I went away on a one-on-one mother daughter trip to Tremblant Resort in Quebec. It was an outdoorsy adventure trip, so, no, we did not go shopping or get our nails done (I saved those things for Harlow when I got home)— we went zip lining, did a tree to tree course, climbed a big inflatable iceberg in the middle of a lake, and more.
Basically all of Mazzy’s favorite things. The gorgeous scenery and picturesque town was just a bonus.
Last time we were in Mont Tremblant, we went skiing and dog sledding, so this was quite a bit different. You can read our winter itinerary here.
We flew from New York to Montreal and then drove two hours up to Tremblant. Another option is flying straight to Tremblant with a connecting flight in Toronto. When we got there, we dropped our bags off at the Marriott Residence Inn, picked up our activity cards (more on those in a bit) and then went to explore the town.
All the shops and stores are situated along the bottom of the mountain, so if you don’t want to walk uphill, there is a Cabriolet that takes people easily from the bottom of town to the top of town. This is particularly useful in winter when people are carrying skis.
In the summer, it’s just fun to get a birdseye view. The cabriolet went right over our hotel, so we got to see our pool from above, plus a mini golf course, and all the colorful rooftops amidst the treetops.
We got off the cabriolet at the top and headed to La Forge Bistro and Grill for lunch. Most of the restaurants in town have kid-friendly options like nachos and chicken fingers. After, we decided to take advantage of some of the activities at the base of the mountain. The activity cards cover three activities per ticket. Mazzy used one card to go on the Eurobungy, the Akropark Jr., and the rock climbing wall.
Then we went back down to check in to our hotel. Our room at the Marriott Residence Inn was spacious with a full kitchen, living room and dining room. Mazzy’s favorite part of the room was that it was right next to the outdoor hot tub.
That night we had dinner at SoCal Kitchen (Mazzy ordered shrimp!) and then walked around town, which is beautifully lit up at night.
We stopped at Rocky Mountain Chocolate to ogle the fudge and get some ice cream.
On most nights, there is a family friendly show called Banzai on the main stage right in the middle of town, but it started raining and we got tired. We headed back to the room to get a good night sleep for tomorrow.
The next morning started with the breakfast buffet at the hotel. Muffins, toast and make-your-own waffles because nothing powers my children like unlimited carbs. Mazzy overcooked her waffle and was very excited that she invented “waffle chips,” otherwise known as the hard burnt pieces between her mini waffles. Send this photo to Daddy she said:
Then we got ready to walk up to the base of the mountain to try the Luge (tickets are sold separately from the activity cards). It looked like rain but I had promised Mazzy we would go first thing in the morning.
This was Mazzy’s first time riding on a track where she was allowed to drive herself, instead of sitting in a car with me, and she was really excited. You take a ski lift to the top of the track and then they give you a brief steering and stopping lesson. It started pouring when we got to the top, but we braved it anyway.
Mazzy LOVED the whole experience and we ended up going twice in a row.
You’d think Mazzy would be upset that the rain was going to ruin our day, but NOPE. Mazzy knew the activity card options (we had studied them at breakfast) and rain meant I had no excuse but to take her to the indoor waterpark located right in town. This a photo I took in front of the water park and might be one of my favorite photos ever:
Once inside, the water park had a kiddie pool with a slide, a big pool with a high jump, a swinging rope jump and a hot tub. We suited up in the locker room and swam for the next two hours.
Mazzy even made me try the rope jump and the high jump. These are the things you do for your kids on a one-on-one vacation.
After we dried off and got dressed, it was, unfortunately, still raining outside. Luckily, the activity cards include quite a few rainy day activities. We headed to “Mission Liberté” which is what they call Escape Rooms in Quebec. They put you in a room and you have to figure out how to get out based on a limited set of clues, within a time limit. Mazzy and I were by ourselves and we were TERRIBLE at it. They finally had to let us out and tell us what we were missing. I didn’t feel too bad because when they explained it to us, a lot relied on us knowing a French Canadian holiday that I had never heard of before. No matter. Mazzy thought the whole experience was fun and she asked if they had escape rooms to try back in New York.
Then we went to lunch at Le Shack, where I had a delicious sandwich (the Le Shack sandwich) which was the perfect distribution of turkey and bacon.
After lunch, the rain had calmed down a bit and we walked over to the Apprentice Falconer for a private Falconry class. An instructor takes you for a hike in the forest with a bird of prey (in our case, a hawk named Phoenix) and teaches you how to call him so that he sits on your arm.
Or doesn’t sit on your arm, depending on his mood.
It was awesome walking through the woods, knowing that Phoenix was following us, flying overhead. The instructor taught us how to hold out our arm (gloved with a little bit of meat in it) so that Phoenix would swoop down to greet us again and again. Mazzy was great at it and didn’t even flinch as those huge wings flew toward her and landed. Phoenix felt so comfortable that he rested on her arm long enough for me to get a portrait shot.
After the lesson, Mazzy told me, “I’m into birds now.” Mission accomplished.
The rain let up for entire hike and then picked back up right at the end, so Mazzy and I decided to head over to laser tag next. Our session ended up being the two of us and another family and we had a BLAST. Did you know Laser Tag is a crazy workout??? I was out of breath and sweating by the end. Mazzy managed to come in second beating all the boys in the other family, which gave her a little extra strut in her walk back to the hotel.
That night, we went for dinner at O Wok, which has a wonderful shrimp pad thai. My favorite. Then we headed straight back to the room to go to bed. It might have been a rainy day but we had found more than enough activities to fill it and we were both exhausted.
Day 3 was a big day because we had booked a Ziptrek Ecotour at 9am. The Ziptrek tour consists of five zip lines, one of which is the longest in Quebec— over a kilometer long. Best part? The rain had cleared and it was a gorgeous day!!!
We suited up and took the gondola to the top with a group of about twelve people. I would be riding on my own and Mazzy had to zip attached to one of the guides. You have to be 7 years old to go on the tour and 75 lbs. to zip by yourself.
Also, I’d just like to take a second to talk about Mazzy’s smile. There’s the Mazzy smile that you see in most of my photos— the “I’m posing for a photo” smile. And then there’s the smile below. The genuinely happy, I can’t help myself smile that’s filled with TEETH! That was Mazzy’s smile when we were on our way up the mountain to go zip lining.
At the top, we were greeted with a beautiful morning fog, a view of Lac Tremblant below and a giant red Adirondack chair. You know what that means… perfect photo op!
Mazzy climbed the chair first, as nimbly as a spider and then yelled, “Mom! Come up here!” Imagine me casually sauntering over and then midway into hoisting my body up, realizing the chair was way bigger than I gave it credit for, plus the metal harness attached to my waist was like lifting dead weight, and required every last bit of my upper body strength to get up and hurl my legs over the top.
I did it though. Phew. All the twenty-somethings were watching.
Then it was time to do the zip lines, which were AWESOME. Mazzy was a tiny bit scared at first but really more excited than anything else. Once you sit down in the first zip line and feel that it supports your weight, it gets much less scary.
They zip lines look fast and are intimidatingly long (on some, you can’t even see the end!), but once you get going, it’s just pure fun.
Here you can see Mazzy hanging with her guide right before one of the zip lines. They gave us go-pros to record our trip and Mazzy aimed it squarely on her face. If I ever figure out how to get the videos off the SD cards, I will post them.
The other great thing about the zip tour, besides the adrenaline rush, is the view. Doesn’t Tremblant look like a fairytale from above?
After the zip lines, we went for lunch at La Pizzateria, which serves a square thin crust cheese pizza that is New Yorker approved.
Next up, Mazzy had her heart set on walking down to the Beach and Tennis Club and doing some water activities on Lac Tremblant, which were included with our activity cards. Specifically, she wanted to climb up and slide down a giant blowup Iceberg which is located in the middle of the lake.
They drove us over in a motor boat and we climbed to the top. Unfortunately, Mazzy’s foot got wet on the way and she discovered that a scrape she had gotten at the water park the day before still stung. I thought she would get over it and went down the slide first into the freezing cold lake to motivate her to get in.
It didn’t work. Mazzy refused to slide and somehow, we left that activity with me fully drenched and Mazzy completely dry. Ah well. That’s parenting for you. It must have really hurt because I know she wanted to do it.
On the walk back, we discovered a shop selling Taffy on Snow. They pour boiling hot maple syrup on packed snow (don’t ask me where they get the snow from) and put a popsicle in it it. You wait a few moments for it to harden and then wrap the taffy on the stick.
It’s delicious, a Canadian staple (I’m told they call it “sugaring off”) and definitely something I am going to try on the next snowy day at home.
Then we got changed, I redried my hair (thanks, Mazzy) and went to dinner at Gypsy, where Mazzy had her 59th Shirley Temple on the trip. Again, this is what one-on-one mother daughter trips are for. That dinner was actually one of my favorite moments, because Mazzy and I had one of our best conversations ever.
It started with me telling her a story about when I was server at a restaurant and then, don’t ask me how, it evolved into a conversation where she could ask me anything. She asked about families separated at the border, she asked if God was real, she asked about the Holocaust, and then later, in the bathroom, she said, “I have one more question” and pointed to the tampon machine. I want to write about this in more depth another time, but I was so happy to get to a place where Mazzy felt safe to talk about advanced topics. I know some parents like to shield their kids from this stuff as long as possible (and I do the same), but there really is nothing more valuable than establishing yourself as someone who will tell your kids the truth, even if it’s an ugly one.
After dinner, we headed up to something called “Tonga Lumina”. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s described as “a night walk in search of the giant” and starts by going up the ski lift in the dark, while wearing a glowing amulet that changes colors. Once at the top, you go on a walk down the mountain, through a series of light and sound installations in the forest. It was incredible (way better than I expected and impossible to capture in pictures) and Mazzy was the perfect age for it. I think Harlow would have been a little scared.
Tonga Lumina ended up being a fantastic message too— ultimately about the spirits in the forest asking humans to protect trees, flowers, wild life and water so that we can all survive together.
The whole evening was really special and definitely something both Mazzy and I will remember for the rest of our lives. Also, because it ended with one epic dab.
On our fourth day, Mazzy made a toast glove. That’s when you scoop out the middle of a piece of toast and wear it as a glove. Then you ask your mom to take a picture and send it to Daddy.
After breakfast, we took the Cabriolet up to the top and Mazzy hadk a quick jump on the Eurobungy again. Then we wandered into the woods to find the Akropark, which is a much larger version of the Akropark Jr that is included in your activity card. The Akropark is a series of tree to tree courses for kids and adults, that involves tree climbing, rope cimbing and zip lining. Mazzy was too small for the adult course and I was too big for the kid course, so I just watched her do the kid course from below.
The netted tunnel in the trees was something I remember Mazzy spotting on our ski trip, and basically the reason Mazzy had wanted to go back in summer. It was fun to see her make that dream a reality.
The course also included a smaller zip line that she got to do over and over again and perfect her technique. She is already planning our next zip line tour for when she passes 75 lbs.
Afterward, we did a little shopping in town for souvenirs. I bought Mazzy a new Roots hoodie, since she wore her old Roots hoodie (one I bought her while on a business trip in Montreal), pretty much every single day last year. She picked out a Hatley dress for Harlow and moose socks for Mike.
Then we stopped at Queues de Castor for a Beaver Tail, something we missed on our last trip to Mont Tremblant. A Beaver Tail is fried dough in a flattened oval shape with powdered sugar on top. They also serve it with various toppings like bananas, Nutella and Reeses Peanut butter Cups, but we were told to try the original. Mazzy didn’t want to try it at first, but once she learned it wasn’t a real Beaver Tail (I guess I should have mentioned that earlier when I was trying to sell it), she was game.
Once she took a bite, she wanted it all for herself and I had to fight to get a bite.
After that, we decided to cross out all the Canadian food groups and have some Poutine at Casey’s Bistro. Poutine is soggy french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. The most important part of good poutine, is that the fries have to be hot enough for the cheese curds to melt. It’s pretty delicious but not something I would recommend eating regularly!
We were scheduled to go on a boat cruise on Lac Tremblant at 3pm, so we had a couple of hours to kill. Mazzy suggested we go on a bike ride, which was also included on our activity card options. That ended up being the biggest mistake ever, basically because I am an idiot and forgot how to use hand breaks. This is the first and last photo I have of the bike ride.
About twenty minutes into the ride, Mazzy decided she wanted to turn back. There were a lot of hills and as a new rider, Mazzy was struggling a bit. On the way back, I was trying not to pass Mazzy on a hill, squeezed the left break and then stopped short and flipped over the front of the handle bars, landing squarely on my chin. I think I’m going to skip this next part of the story and talk about it in a separate post, but let’s just say that instead of going on the lake cruise, we ended up going to the hospital. Fun time. I’m fine, and ultimately, because I like to put a positive spin on everything, it was a good bonding moment for Mazzy and me. I told her, “you better remember this trip for all the awesome stuff we did up until this point and not the time mommy fell on her face.” She agreed.
Dinner was pizza delivered to the hospital and we didn’t get home until around midnight.
On our last day, we slept in and took our time getting out of bed. I licked my wounds, redressed my chin, and we went for breakfast at La Maison de la Crepe. I went savory and she went sweet. Nothing fixes minor cuts and bruises like a breakfast crepe.
We had nothing planned that morning so I told Mazzy the world was her oyster. “We’ve got two activity cards left, luge tickets and a few hours before we have to leave for the airport. We can do whatever you want. It is your choice.”
She didn’t have to think twice. “LUGE!!!!!”
We road that luge three times in the rain, had a fantastic time and ended the trip on a high note.
Then it was time to head to the airport.
Despite the little hiccup at the end, our trip together was fantastic. Watching Mazzy climb, jump, drive and fly at Tremblant was such an awesome feeling as her mom. She was so brave with every adventure thrown her way and I was so happy to get to experience it all right alongside her.
After all, I think she gets her love of adventure from me.
By the way, I had a few extra activity cards and luge tickets. If you live in the area and are willing to pick them up at the resort, leave a comment here.