Harrison Hot Springs in the Off Season

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In order to save my wife’s sanity, I took the kids away for a couple of nights.  Sustained effort on any aspect of life, from cleaning to accounting, is next to impossible with a 2-year-old around.

So on a truly autumnal late October we decided that Harrison Hot Springs was the ticket.  I convinced the kids that we were going to look for Sasquatches and to have some fun.  Harrison Hot Springs has the feel of being a long way from Vancouver, but if taking a risk like I was, a two hour drive has the kids back before any permanent trauma occurs.

Any resort town is a little different in the off season.  When standing on the cold beach with the mountains surrounding you, showing fall colours and evergreen you can enjoy a moment’s quiet and solitude without fear of a motorcycle zooming by or some buffoon on the beach yelling.

One advantage of the slow time is that you can chat with store operators and learn a little more.  The lady at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was charming and the hotel staff at the Harrison Beach Hotel were calm and relaxed because it was not busy.

Harrison Beach Hotel is right on the Esplanade near the lake and is a clean functional place which I noticed was pet friendly as some guests had some very well behaved dogs.  

For breakfast we ate a place that I didn’t jot down the name for, but it’s a little mall just off Hot Springs Road at Esplanade.  It was a reasonable traditional breakfast and the kids really enjoyed their waffles.

That night we had Sushi.  Oddly the diner style restaurant on the Esplanade was closed.  I suspect in the off season, they cater to the lunch crowd, which was comprised of bus tour folks who were touring the area.  So the couple running Yukiya Sushi seemed a bit shocked when I strolled in with my kids and wanted to stay for dinner.  My youngest is a professional at eating yam rolls; I suspect our server was doubtful of that initially.  It was good Sushi, but I can get a better deal at my favourite Kitsilano Sushi place.

Speaking of not being in Kitsilano anymore, if you drink soy milk, don’t expect any at the corner store.  The room we had at the Harrison Beach Hotel had a functional kitchenette and bar fridge.  When travelling with kids, this is crucial as the juice boxes and emergency snacks can be easily stashed.  

We did enjoy the Hot Springs Public Pool; and yes, it’s hot!  It was like a regular small pool, but felt like a hot tub without all the bubbles.  It had good hours in the off season (check www.harrison-hot-springs.com/springs.shtml).  You can rent a locker.  The whole set up does remind me of gym locker rooms from the 70s, but it was clean and functional.  My only complaint upon leaving the pool was the absence of a change table in the men’s locker room.  I had to get my son to lie very still on a narrow bench to get his diaper on.  When I mentioned it to the young man that he should suggest this to management, he said “there’s one in the ladies'”.  Somehow I doubt the women wanted a middle age guy wandering in saying “hey don’t worry I’m just changing my kid.”

Hopefully next time the City Fathers who own and operate the facility will learn how to change a diaper!

Regardless, we had a great time even without a change table or any observations of Sasquatch.

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