Liam, my middle kiddo, has played with the Lumby Stars hockey team for several years now. Life at the rink has become an amazing part of our winters. Lumby is just a small town outside Vernon but what it lacks in population it makes up in community spirit in a big way.
The Lumby Minor Hockey Association works hard, enters lots of contests an often wins in more ways than one. It is exciting for our kids and such a blessing for the families involved. A couple years ago we ate Delissio pizzas and cut UPC codes like nobodys business and our efforts won the association $50 000 which was put to good use.
This year a few parents entered to win a Canucks package and we were picked. The prize was a coach bus to Vancouver to see a game and the opportunity for the kids to play a small match of their own between periods. As well as watching a warm up and touring the dressing rooms and such. It was a big thrill for them and for us as parents to see our boys and girls play on the big ice of Rogers Arena.
Here is our BIG bus at one of the houses being loaded....our fantastic Team Manager Sherry is hopping out to make sure she didn't miss any of us.
Our departure was early and it was a quiet bus ride down...lots of excited but mellow chatter, snacking, movies and those darn tablets and such that brainwash our poor children but offer so much freedom for parents at times.
The drive down over the Coquahalla Highway was smooth sailing which was a relief as it had been closed for several days before to clear avalanches. We arrived in amazing time to our hotel which was a treat for all.
The Lumby Stars were very lucky to be guests at Four Seasons Vancouver for our night in the city. Check in was stress-free and we were warmly welcomed after our long drive. Hockey bags were tucked away and off we all went to our suites.
Scrumptious treats awaited each family that were specially picked for the ages of the kids with parents goodies included as well of course. Who doesn't enjoy a spot of tea and a handcrafted chocolate in the afternoon?
Each family got settled and did there own thing for a bit. Some shopped below at The Pacific Center and some hit the pool and some just enjoyed their rooms. The bus left well before game time to take the coaches and players to Rogers Arena for their tour and fun. The other parents and siblings enjoyed dinner at YEW in the hotel.
They have a wonderful area for large groups to tuck in around the most beautiful plank table. Ry and I got settled and waited for whoever joined us.
So fun to have the cocktail list and such on an ipad to view...nice touch. I always try one of the seasonal signiture cocktails as they are always out of this world. In November is was the Moose Nog when we came for Pearl Jam, this time I tried the Bella Dama.
TEQUILA, ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR, CILANTRO, GINGER, LEMON = YUM!
How simple and pretty is that? And it was loaded with flavour and one was enough for this lightweight in drinking.
A beet salad and calamari made for the perfect pre-game snack and Ry enjoyed his kids meal.
Keeping kids happy there is easy when they get a complimentary fruit snack, wikki sticks and colouring stuff to keep them occupied. Kids under 10 years old also eat for free when staying at the hotel and everything on the Childrens menu is delish.
Grabbing a cab and getting to the game was easy and quick from our central location. Finding our sections and seats was a bit of adventure but that's another story! I blame the Bella Dama.
We hoped to meet Fin and Ry and I were lucky to have a private pow wow with the big guy that involved lots of head biting and random orca sounds! So fun but I had to wonder about Fin having lice in his mouth after constantly chomping random heads!
Then of course the reason for the adventure...the NHL game and seeing our kids on the big ice.
So cool for all to see and the people beside me likey thought I was so strange being so excited between periods...probably more excited than when the Canucks and Wilds actually played!
The next day I squeezed in breakfast with city friends at YEW; and then as a team we went to Fly Over Canada which was beyond words amazing. A must see if in Vancouver. So grateful to Grandma Joanne for treating the kids and coaches to this attraction. I honestly liked it much better than the Soaring Over California ride at Disneyland and it was one of the ones I went on several times.
Ry and I lost the group afterwards but enjoyed a play and walk back along the Seawall. See some of our images on my Instagram feed.
Back at the hotel the kids went for a final swim and play in the indoor/outdoor pool and I headed back to YEW once again for one of their perfect lattes and some fresh baked mini donuts with a dear friend I rarely get to chat with in person. It was a quick visit but fantastic before hopping back on the bus for our journey home.
It was a snowy ride back, but Norm the bus driver did amazing. We watched movies and stopped for food in Merritt. I had the most delish Indian food from Queen India Food 2 Go, you must try it if passing through town. We arrived home late but not too late to get up bright and bushy tailed for our playoff game the next morning which we won. Likely as the kids were inspired by the adventure we just had.
A million thanks to the Vancouver Canucks, Four Seasons Vancouver and everyone else who made this NHL experience a reality for our Pee Wee hockey kiddos. Some pretty special memories were created for all.