Instead of spending an excessive amount of money on frivolous gifts for birthday's and anniversaries, Lesley and I have started the tradition of going on little weekend get-aways together for a few days to celebrate special occasions. These trips always take us somewhere new, either to a new ski resort, Oceanside community, or remote island nearby that we have not yet explored. The one thing all of our little mini trips all have in common is the goal of finding a tranquil place to get away from the daily stresses of two demanding careers, needy family members, and friends who don't always share the same values. In this way, we have always been searching for Hygge on these trips, even before our visit to Scandinavia a couple years ago when we first learned that Hygge was a thing. This has now become quite the tradition that we both look forward to, especially knowing that we will have the opportunity to recharge as well as the fact that it's always just the two of us on these trips. For my birthday this past year, Lesley surprised me with a mini trip to one of the neighboring Gulf islands, Pender Island, BC. Although we had been there before for our anniversary a few months prior, I had wanted to stay at this place we had seen along the way on our first trip. (This was the the ultimate glamping-ground: Woods on Pender)
Woods on Pender opened in 2015 as the ultimate modern luxury camping site along with its own signature farm-to-table restaurant and cafe, Coffee/Kitchen. In addition to their cute and cozy cabins, they have a fleet of permanently parked Airstream travel trailers that serve the resort as unique hotel suites as well as integrated 'safari' style, 'glamping' tents. There is also a motel. Each Airstream and most of the cabins feature a private hot tub (Softub) in addition to every other amenity you may require. Despite Lesley attempting to book about three months in advance, all of the Airstreams had already been reserved and the only reason we managed to get a cabin was due to a cancellation. Despite having always wanted to stay in an Airstream and the fact that some of them looked pretty luxurious online, I did not mind this one bit. I was actually probably more excited to stay in the mini cabin for this trip and it seemed to better suit what I wanted to accomplish while we were away- to spend as much quiet quality time with my wife as possible while getting as much reading and journaling done as possible.
In order to get to Pender Island from Vancouver, you must first take BC Ferries to Victoria, and then yet another ferry, albeit a little bit less costly, from Victoria to Pender Island. Luckily, our start point for this trip was Victoria, so our journey was short and sweet, about 40 minutes total with beautiful scenic views of our gorgeous BC coast's Gulf Islands.
Once on Pender Island, Woods on Pender is about a 20-minute drive from the ferry 'terminal' (ramp) down a very curvy road, past large, wide-open fields and farms surrounded by thick forest. So some of the properties we passed exerted an eerie creepiness. We were surprised to spot a team of vultures in an oak tree on one, particularly creepy farm. Another property entrance gate was adorned with weird, colorful stuffed animals of varying sizes (perhaps this was some sort of 'Furrie' never-land). After a few good long minutes of continuing to drive past the stuffed animal house, we approached the entrance to Woods on Pender.
After checking in and having a great talk with chatty developer, owner, and head chef Curtis Redel about the origins of Woods on Pender and how he came up with the concept after completing a long career in the Vancouver restaurant industry, we set off up to our cabin.
The cabin looked even better than the photos on the website, exerting a uniquely Canadian, Hudson's Bay Company feel. A little mini gas, mock fireplace sat in the corner with a queen size bed and kitchenette all in one shared space with no separate bedroom. There really only is enough space for two, but it's all you need. The private hot-tub right outside the window was a perfect way to compliment the resorts unique accommodations, and we quickly prepared ourselves for a dip. The cabins also come with a porch swing, a teeny tiny BBQ and lots of books and board games. The quote below kind of captured the feelings we had all weekend in our little cabin: “Hygge offers space for both reverie and relatedness. The heat of an open fire draws us close. Its shadow gives us a place to hide and softens our gaze.” ― Louisa Thomsen Brits,
THE CONCEPT GUY & CHEF - from WOODS on Pender
“When I think of wanderlust I automatically think Airstream. The iconic design, the history, the freedom of the open road with no specific destination in mind. That juxtapose of classic with modern.
For many of us that grew up in the 60’s and 70’s it was a part of our everyday culture. For Millennials there is a ‘back to nature’ trend and a desire for greater freedom, growing your own food, an awareness of your environmental impact, fresh air, and a sense of community and belonging.
The iconic symbols of that freedom and wanderlust bring us a deeper connection to those desires. That’s a big part of why we created the WOODS.
It’s like summer camp with the things we love in the City but never got when we were at camp as kids like a hot shower and great food.
At WOODS we can do all the things we loved but ignore the things we only put up with. We have a proper Whisky Sour, very few mosquitos, no bears or cougars and hot water.”
– Curtis Redel – Chief Concept Guy – now – WOODS Guy + WOODS Chef
Here are a few snaps from our weekend way - we definitely found "Hygge" during our island getaway:
Thanks for stopping by and reading. Hope you have a great day!