Briars Resort

Mom Says:

I sit here watching the snow softly stream to the ground below. The retro notes of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita playing softly in the background  and a steaming cup of cappuccino on the table.

When my dear friend, Leigh suggested getting out of town for a day or two I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I love the bustle of Toronto, love the access to culture, sports, entertainment, the vibe and the energy. It’s fast. It’s dynamic.

Recently I have started recognizing that without the influence of nature in my world, I start to feel claustrophobic. The cottage affords us that reconnection piece throughout the summer and fall but as winter starts peaking through the clouds I crave that time away to just breathe.

My view  - Briars Resort
My view – Briars Resort

I was inspired by a post Erin had written on All the Little Lights earlier in the year about checking into a hotel to give her some space for writing and time for herself to regroup. I have to admit at first I looked at her post enviously, taking a day a month to regroup for yourself seemed…luxurious but then as I thought about it, I started thinking about how much more present I could be if I took the time to take care of myself.

Someone recently mentioned to me the fact that we budget money to pay for maintenance on our car and yet we tend to not provide ourselves the same budget for maintenance. Hmmmm?

The Briars Tower. Such a cool room
The Briars Tower. Such a cool room

We rely more heavily on our body, our mind and and our hearts than we do on our car & yet we don’t stop to think of what our maintenance schedule looks like.

Guys are great at Boys weekends and Fishing trips. Yes I am TOTALLY generalizing but I am talking from my personal experience. Our exchange in terms of him heading out for the weekend tends to go like so. Chris will simply say “Hey, thinking of a boys weekend” at which point I say “Hey. Cool” .

I am really great at being active in the building business, networking and charity events kind of space. When I start to think about time for myself, like actual downtime and relaxing, I think of how often I have been away and then promptly sabotage the idea.

Why do I do that?

What misdirected sense of responsibility drives me to replace healthy & well for crazy & overwhelmed?


Thing is, I have a pretty stellar husband who almost forces me to make the time for maintenance. When I mentioned the chance to head up to Briars Resort (which by the way is beautifully out of the way, full of nature and just on the edge of Lake Simcoe) to find a little peace spot for writing and focus on some strategy plans, he didn’t even question.

He just said GO.

Dad Says:

Illustrious husband weighs in: Yes, most of the accolades are true. and when it comes to mental self-preservation, I have an edge.  More often than not I get the cranial shutdown opportunity of tickle fights, cookie creation, pancake production. Hells ya I wanna build a snowman Elsa!  I think a forced attendance at the ‘simple thing’ class sets me up for a calmer mind.  That said, I have also heard the question ‘Do you take ANYTHING seriously?  Seriously?!’  Well, I try not to.  And when it comes to an opportunity to get away to front load a bit of boy time,  I am so in.

These events are seldom as ridiculous as they seem.  The get-togethers have make believe themes, like gentlemen’s book club or the laborious sounding ‘take the snow off the roof at the cottage’, but in reality its a bunch of lads chillin’.  We eat well, drink well, make up better endings to stories we have all told and heard before.  It’s an interesting dynamic; everybody finds their own way of letting go. A walk in the snow, staring at the fire, too many adult beverages, everyone finds their way.  Sorry ladies. Good to be a guy I guess. Oh, and we talk about how awesome our wives are. That’s a given. Regardless, in order for us to stay healthy and strong together, we got each others back in those moments when we look forward to being apart.

Skating rink


Briars Resort
A winter wonderland walk through the trails at Briars Resort



Tags : Creative retreatfamily mattersMindfulnessTaking a step away from realityTime out to reconnect
Jenn & Chris

The author Jenn & Chris

Jenn & Chris are #TeamPowell Two adventurous souls who love the off-the-beaten path part of life. Mom & Dad to two kooky kids, they focus on living life without regret, living in kindness and living in the now.


  1. I can so relate to what you’re both saying. This past year I’ve really noticed a longing in myself to be closer to nature more and more. I feel at peace there and rebooted. The desire is so strong that hubby and I find ourselves talking about relocating from the city to take some space for our family, even for a year or so. In the meantime, I need to check myself into somewhere like the Briars!

      1. Ohh…the MLS musing. Many an evening I have spent lately looking. Hanging out would be perfect:)

        Also, after reading your post, I messaged a biz pal of mine and we are planning a spa/biz getaway in January to make plans and start the New Year right. Thanks for the inspiration.

Leave a Response

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.