I hate winter. I hate everything about it. I never really saw the beauty in catching a cold or freezing your toes off. So how do you think I spent my MLK weekend? I went to a ski resort in Canada of course! I know what you’re all thinking, but I really wanted to surprise myself and branch out this year. So, I embarked on a trip to Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario, Canada in the dead of winter and much to my surprise, I enjoyed myself. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I along with a few of my colleagues took part in the 22nd Annual MLK Ski Weekend. This winter getaway has allowed me to celebrate one of the most notable figures of the black community in the most creative way. In just 4 days and 3 nights we managed to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy while also experiencing a true winter festival. From snowboarding to tubing to partying to networking, there was something for everyone. As someone who tried snowboarding for the very first time, I can guarantee that its worth the experience. But don’t forget to bundle up! Stay tuned for for my upcoming blog post on how to stay warm while hitting the slopes.
Stops: Direct flight from Laguardia
Entry point: Toronto, Canada
Exit point: Toronto, Canada
Estimated Budget: USD $500/pp
Blue Mountain Resort Ontario, Canada
Ontario is Canada’s second largest province. English is Ontario’s official language, though there are several French-speaking communities across the province. So language barriers weren’t an issue on this trip. Once we landed in Toronto, we took a charter bus (which also doubled as a party bus!) to the resort in Ontario which took approx. 1 1/2 hours. The resort is located in a village right underneath Blue Mountain and consisted of two-bedroom suites and an on-site spa. Once we checked in we were presented with a lively welcome reception with a DJ, food, free T-shirts and a ton of free samples from Curls.
Day 1: After a quick nap from all the traveling, my crew and I were off to a “Rep Your City” party from 11pm-2am. The only requirements were that all attendees had to sport gear representing their city. This was followed by a “While You Were Asleep” party as this was truly a no-sleep kinda weekend.
Day 2: After dancing the night away, I had to conjure up enough energy to attend “Fitness Boot Camp” which consisted of a lot of cardio. Once we hit the showers, it was time to hit the slopes and learn to ski and snowboard. After lunch we completed an Underground Railroad Black history Scavenger Hunt around the village. This was followed by an outdoor day party in 12 degree weather! Later that evening we attended a comedy show which was closely followed by a pajama party and that was followed by “Insomniac Party.”
Day 3: For those who felt confident enough to challenge themselves, we left the bunny slopes for the ski lift. Other options included ice skating and a tubing party. In the afternoon, I was taken for a tour of the village via a horse drawn wagon.
This was followed by a winter pool and hot tub party located within a nearby water park. Once we left the warmth of the pool, we went to a Caribbean Carnival party which consisted of live dancers in carnival costumes and drummers. We closed off the night with the very last party of the weekend better known as the “Last Call After Party.”
Looking back, I realized that this trip pushed me out of my comfort zone and also required a lot of stamina.
- I left the city and tried something new for the first time.
- Great networking opportunity!
- Made some new friends and travel buddies
- Relatively affordable
- The temperature never went above 12 degrees.
- Food options were very limited. We were only served chicken which proved to be difficult for a pescatarian such as myself.