The women from my church planned a Westside Women's Retreat for this past weekend at Pinewood Lodge in the Whiteshell, just over 3 hours away by vehicle. This is something new for us. In the past, we've gone to a Bible Camp near Arnes, but let me tell you, never again. We have been truly spoiled by the Pinewood Lodge and will not be returning to a Bible Camp for our next retreat, of this I am sure.
We took the bus there, probably the only disappointment of the trip. It smelled pretty bad and the bus driver got lost (took a wrong turn? thought she knew a better way? I'm not sure) and it took us over 4.5 hours to arrive, and people started to feel car sick, with all the twisty, winding roads. But once we arrived, it was all good.
The Friday evening, we enjoyed a session together and then watched a movie before bed.
The next morning, after a wonderful hot breakfast and another great session together, I had the opportunity to lead a group on a photo walk. I showed some of the women how to change the settings on their cameras and shared some tips for taking good photos (the rule of thirds, try to take a portrait from slightly above your subject, some lighting tips, etc.) It's funny. What I thought as basic stuff, the women really seemed to appreciate learning. Which was good.
Some photos on our walk down the Trans Canada Trail.
Val, taking a photo of me, taking a photo of her.
For lunch, we played a game called Heaven's Kitchen, where we were assigned a group, an appetizer, entree or dessert and could only retrieve one item at a time. It involved a bit of stress and a lot of running and revamping our meal. But it turned out great (we made bar-b-q salmon, and a potato medley on the bar-b-q and a coleslaw.) It was a super idea and lots of fun!
After lunch, we enjoyed a DIY spa and some of us took an art class (which I totally enjoyed and spent a lot of time on).
On Saturday, we also went for a swim, sat in the hot tub, enjoyed some karaoke entertainment, played Cranium & watched another movie.
Even though we went to bed at 2am, I woke up before 7am and decided to take the yoga class that was being offered. I'd never done yoga before, so that was a very cool experience. I'd been questioning God on something in my life for the past little while and one of the verses that our instructor shared towards the end of our session was totally an answer to my question. I'd hoped I'd hear God speak to me this weekend, and here He did so during yoga, of all places!
After breakfast, another session, worship and packing up, Val, Kathy (my roomies for the weekend) and I went for another walk on the trail. Kathy took this picture with my camera:
And we set my camera on a little bench and got this one of the three of us:
After lunch, we had a wrap up time (where we all got a free amazing purse!)
Then, most of the women left on the bus home. But, Val & I were able to get two spaces in a van going home, so we were able to avoid that experience (hooray!) and enjoy the ride home with some friends.
However, the bus home didn't leave me completely unscathed.
When we arrived back at the church, I was told that they had taken my suitcase out of the bus (there hadn't been room for it in the van I was in) and the bus drived BACKED OVER IT. Seriously. Anther woman was way worse off than me-- it completely crushed her suitcase. On mine, the corner was crushed and some of my toiletries were destroyed. But otherwise, my stuff was fine.
But, still, kind of crazy, doncha think?