Having a sister that lives the other side of the world can be a bit annoying. She’s never here for birthdays or Christmas. You can’t just pop round the corner for a chat and a cup of tea. Your kids don’t get to see their Aunty very much and she never replies to your texts. That’s all a bit rubbish really.
However, then you get the opportunity to stay with her in Pemberton. The place she has decided put down roots and chosen to spend her days, and then all of a sudden the fact that you’ve only seen her four times in the past five years doesn’t seem soooo bad, and who cares if I don’t get Christmas or birthday presents from her any more. Instead, we get to go to Canada for two weeks!!! Having close family abroad can be difficult as you never see them, however, it does have it’s perks. And it just so happens we are always keen to put those perks to good use!
I wanted this trip to be a chance for my sister and my children to really get to know one another. My eldest is three and I really wanted to give her some memories of her Aunty that she can hold on to when we get home and go back to relying on Facetime and Skype. I didn’t want her to be the Aunty who lives in Canada, and in turn, the lady on the computer screen we sometimes talk to. I wanted her to be the Aunty who took her trampolining, who has a cat that didn’t like my little one stroking it and the Aunty who tried to convince my three year old that sushi was yummy.
Our two and a bit week trip was all that and so much more. I find myself falling in love with Canada a little bit more every time I go there.
Pemberton isn’t a place you will necessarily visit unless you specifically plan to go there. It’s a small, homey town with a bit of a cowboy vibe just 25 minutes north of Whistler. If you have access to a car it would make a lovely day trip from Whistler and gives you the chance to enjoy an amazing scenic drive. It’s just so very lovely.
Things to do:
One Mile Lake
Lazy days by the lake was something I was really looking forward to when we went to Canada this time. It just isn’t something we get do in London and what a great opportunity for some quality family time and fun!
One Mile Lake is a beautiful 10 minute walk from town through some nature trials and a scenic boardwalk, all 100% buggy friendly. There is a car park with access directly on to the lake if you are taking paddle boards or canoes and there is also a long drop toilet. Has to be mentioned and a bonus when with children.
We went to the lake as much as the weather permitted armed with inflatables, picnics and footballs and enjoyed every moment! We splashed around in the shallows chasing the fish, swam out to the rocks in the middle to enjoy a quite five minutes, floated around in a rubber dingy and explored the quieter corners on a paddle board. Getting my kids out in the water and messing around with them was my favourite part of the holiday.
The Farmer’s Market in Pemberton is small, charming and traditional, where you will find local farmers and businesses selling their produce to the community. It is held in the impressive Downtown Pemberton Community Barn every Friday afternoon. We couldn’t help buying a strawberry and pink lemonade homemade ice lolly on this particularly hot day!
We didn’t visit the museum on this occasion but we really wanted to. Somehow we never quite managed to fit it in. The museum “collects, preserves and displays artefacts connected with the human history of Pemberton” and holds events for kids such as Tea and Tales through the summer months and also weddings! Here’s the website for more information: http://www.pembertonmuseum.org/
North Arm Farm
I absolutely love this place! I have been here a couple of times on different trips and it keeps getting better!
It is a working organic farm growing fruit and veg and is open to the public daily from May to October. Depending on what is in season at the time, you can literally take your bucket down, fill it up and then pay for what you pick back at the barn. This year we went strawberry picking and my eldest absolutely loved it! Although, i’m not sure how many of the strawberries she picked actually ended up in the bucket…. the red stains around the mouth were enough to arouse suspicion.
The barn has a small shop where you can buy pre-picked produce and a newly added cafe where you can buy sweet and savoury goodies and a good cup of coffee. Out the back there are some farm animals that you can go and say hello to and towards the picking fields there are swings, mini log cabins and tractors for the kids to wander around and explore. The whole place sits in the gaze of some stunning white capped mountains and if your lucky I have been told you can even spot a bear or two wandering around!
On top of all that you can actually get married here! If I wasn’t already married this is where I would have booked!
Pemberton Splash Park
Pemberton Splash Park is a new addition to the town and sits next to the Pemberton and District Community Centre. We arrived in Pemberton on an absolutely scorching day where the mercury was well over 35 degrees celsius and headed straight there. It’s absolutely free and amazing fun for everyone involved and provided some welcome relief from the searing heat. We ended up spending a good couple of hours here and if you are well prepared with a picnic, a blanket and a towel you could be there a lot longer – when it’s hot, of course.
Eats and Drinks
Mount Currie Coffee House
This coffee house isn’t far from the Greyhound bus stop and close to the 99. We popped in here on our way to the lake to wait for the cloud and drizzle to pass over and let the sun come back out.
It has a chilled, clean vibe and there were loads of cool, fashionable looking Canadian hipsters on their laptops and I suddenly felt in desperate need of a vintage snapback truckers cap.
Then I ordered a Canadiano, which according to Mount Currie Coffee House is a, “Canadian Delight! Latté with a shot of maple syrup” and my life changed forever! Well, this is perhaps sprinkled with a touch of hyperbole, but you must try a Canadiano if you find yourself here. Simply wonderful.
This is Pemberton’s only bakery and the store can be found in the old train station, sitting right on the railway tracks. It’s a really charming place to have a coffee, although there isn’t a lot of seating inside, which made it difficult for us with the buggy. However, this doesn’t seem to deter their customers! They have a good range of cakes and for the coffee and cake lovers that my mother and I are, we were spoilt for choice.
My most enjoyable memory of this place has nothing to do with the coffee or the cakes though! A Canadian couple we started talking to on the table next to us thought that my mum was the hired help and kept calling her THE nanny, and how lucky I was to have a nanny to help me out! The fact that she was my kids grandparent was totally lost in translation! Brilliant!
The Pony is quintessentially cowboy in design and good food by nature. There is lots of room for larger tables and for people with buggies and babies. The staff were friendly, the ambience was welcoming and chilled out, the service good, the food tasted great and portions sizes were substantial. I had poutine with truffle oil and it was huge!
Shopping is not extensive in Pemberton, however, there are some great little boutique stores such as One Earth Collection that are good to have a little browse around. The pharmacy is huge and stocks more than you think it would have and Small Potatoes Bazaar on Frontier street is a lot of fun to have a nosey wander around. You also have a couple of choices for food shopping including Pemberton Valley Supermarket in case you need to stock up for an impromptu picnic!
In conclusion, we loved living here for two weeks! If you ever manage to go to Pemberton or beyond let me know!