Old Man Winter

Old man winter gave us a gentle reminder that he is still in the area this week.  But Mother Nature is trying to sweep him out with the rest of the snow.

Giving Mother Nature a hand this week is our version of the Dream Team…our Maintenance Department.  Leo is our head of Maintenance and he has working for him Jim (aka Buck) and Jim (aka Cooter).  Reminders of the Newhart television series “Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl!”

Our dream team is usually here before us; clearing the walkways and parking lot, turning on the lights and getting the coffee on!  It seems like no task is too big or too small for them to tackle.  Smiles are free and a quick hello if you pass them on the run.

To help you celebrate your Mother….Watch for our Mother’s Day details coming out in next week’s news!  New items for this year include Caramelized  Onion and Smoked Salmon Tart and Mediterranean Style Chicken.  Sounds de-lish!

 

 

Another Week…

We have the flowers ordered and they will be ready in time for Mother’s Day, which really is just around the corner.  It always amazes me as to how quickly the days charge at us.  Chef Doug is putting the final touches on the menu and we will be announcing shortly the meal seatings and the menu.

Diane had an unexpected surprise on April Fool’s Day.  One of her donkeys decided that she was going to have a baby.  This was a very welcome surprise!  They are still trying to decide on a name.  Perhaps we could help her with some suggestions……

Matt attended the Gluten Free Show in Calgary last weekend, and is attending the GFS Show this week with Chef Doug.  I am sure they are going to come back with some tasty new ideas to try on us.

We have had several tours out here to see the facility and overall things are looking good for a wonderful  summer.  The river is flowing the ground is soft and I am searching for my first crocus.

Speaking of the Ghost River, if you do not have plans for this Friday, April the 5th and are looking for something to do, please try and attend the GWAS Annual Benefit Concert and Silent Auction.  Starts at 6:30 and goes to 10 at the Beaupre Community Hall.  For more information or tickets go to:  http://www.ghostwatershed.ca/GWAS/News-Events.html

Hope to see you there!

New Member of the Team

Matthew "Matt" Bird

This week at The Crossing has been a flurry of activity.  There is so much going on in preparation for Spring and Easter.  The deer are strolling through, the gophers are all chipper and happy and our resident squirrel is enjoying the warm sunshine.  Our neighbours cattle are calving which tells us it is definitely Spring.

This week I would like to introduce you to The Crossing’ new Sous Chef, Matthew Bird.

Matthew was raised in Pickering, Ontario and has been living and working in Guelph for the last 11 years.  He graduated from Niagara College with honours in 2010 as a Chef Apprentice.  He has worked many facets of the food industry from fast food to fine dining for the last 15 years.

Highlights so far include Chef at the Fat Duck Gastro Pub in Guelph and  a Sous Chef at the Prince of Wales; a five diamond hotel at the beautiful Niagara on the Lake.  He also had the privilege to cook for Prince Charles and Camilla.  After much ado in the kitchen to prepare a fantastic meal for them, Prince Charles advised that he just wanted a burger!

His hobbies include fishing, camping and hockey.  Well we think he has come to the right place to enjoy those hobbies.  He is fan of the original six of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Chef Doug and the rest of the staff at The Crossing, welcome Matt and look forward to many tasty treats.

SPRING IS COMING….

Hello, my name is Carol and I am the new face here at The Crossing.  I am so excited to be here and reach out to each of you and keep you updated as to the comings and goings here.

First things first!  Congratulations to Kelly and Mike!

Next, I am going to try to fill some hard to fill shoes!  Kelly is going to be a tough act to follow.  She did such an awesome job over the last year getting us here.

I will start with my initial reaction to The Crossing.  Maureen and Diane invited me out to see the facility and meet them – the dreaded interview!  I was so nervous and was driving out from Calgary to see them.  I was afraid I would get lost and be late…you know how it is when you know you need to be on your game.

Turning off of Highway 1A onto Highway 40 and less than a minute onto the property….the majority of my stress was gone.  This is an amazing piece of Alberta!  Lucky me….here I am, officially now.  I get this amazing feeling each and every day.

We have had some awesome groups come through in my short time here already.  I have met some amazing folks in the few days I have been here and all in the comfort of The Crossing.  Where you come to get back to the basics.

I also had the amazing opportunity to attend the MPI ONE Conference in Calgary this past week.  The room was filled with super planners.  I was honoured to be embraced by many of them.  Looking forward to doing more networking with this group for sure.

Thanks for reading me and please send us questions, articles and comments to make us better!

 

Baby on the way…

It is with great excitement…anxiey…happiness… fear, just to name a few, that I, Kelly, bittersweetly share that this will be my last blog post for the year as my husband and I are about to embark on the crazy adventure known as parenthood!  With our first little one on the way it is time to hand the blogging reigns over to the team as I prep for my next role for the upocming year as Mom!  As all of you who are parents know, there is no greater joy in the world and we can’t wait to ‘join the club’ so to speak.

I am elated to be able to turn things over to my very witty and intelligent colleagues at The Crossing who will continue with the weekly blog as well as our social media campagins on Facebook and Twitter.  We appreciate all of the tremendous support that we have received since launching these endeavours approximately one year ago.  Through the website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter we have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with all of you and building an online ‘community’ and will continue to do so into the future.  We have appreciated your feedback and ideas and would like to encourage you to continue to submit them to us either via one of our social media platforms, email at info@null0fe.697.mwp.accessdomain.com , or by phone at 403-932-3392.  Our goal is to continue to create spaces that cultivate a place of ‘connection’.

In a few weeks time I look forward to sitting down with a cup of coffee and pulling up The Crossing’s website to see what is new and exciting on the blog, Facebook, etc., and I hope that you will too!  Many thanks to all of you who have shown The Crossing your support in a variety of ways; it means the world to us and we constantly strive to provide you an exceptional connection experience at, what we feel, is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Wishing you all health and happiness,

 

Kelly

Spring Specialties from our Kitchen!

With Spring right around the corner, well at least only a few more Chinooks away, Chef Doug and his team have been hard at work preparing a sensational seasonal menu! With all that is vibrant and delicious, we hope that you enjoy perusing and selecting the dishes for your group’s next stay with us! Enjoy and happy eating!

 

A Bittersweet Farewell

It is a bittersweet day at The Crossing as we must bid farewell to part our heart and soul, Leonard, or “Len” as most of us call him.  After several years, just shy of four and half to be exact, of giving his all to The Crossing, adventure and the closeness of family are beckoning Len back to Ontario.

Since joining The Crossing on September 1st, 2008 as part-time help in the slower season and quickly morphing into our full-time Guest Services aficionado, Len has consistently been a favourite with our guests.  This is not only due to his professional and efficient manner, but perhaps more that his genuine care for those around him, guests or not, is hard to deny; a quality that we will surely miss!

An avid golfer and sports fan of all kinds, Len never passed up a chance to hit the links on one of the many beautiful courses in the area.  Perhaps we will be able to entice him back for a visit with some mountain views from the tee off boxes?  With his guitar always at the ready he was a good sport in entertaining guests around the campfire when his musical skills were requested, only one of his many talents.

Len, we wish you well as you take the next step in life’s journey.  It has been a pleasure working with you and know that you will always have a home at The Crossing.

All the best,

Your “Crossing” Family

Starting The Year With Something To Talk About!

First and foremost we hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday season, we know we sure did!  And what better way to kick off the New Year than with some great news!  The Crossing is very excited to share that our sister company, Reflections West Art, will be hosting its’ 3rd Annual Winter Show and Sale from February 21st – 24th, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Calgary!

This crowd pleasing show features 11 established landscape and lifestyle artists all hailing from Western Canada.  It is an excellent opportunity to come out and enjoy how their sheer talent captures the beautiful defining features of the West, and the best part is that admission is free!

In addition to the show and sale, there is a unique opportunity to partake in an event dubbed “An Evening with the Artists” which includes a multi-course dinner in Thomsons Restaurant in the Hyatt, wine pairings with all courses, a live musical feature, a opportunity to meet and dine wit the artists, as well as the highly anticipated and much in-demand “Paint by Numbers” original paintings draw!  The “Paint by Numbers” draw entails 11 tickets holders who are each guaranteed to walk away with one of 11 original paintings by the show’s artists.  Currently, both dinner and draw tickets are still available but going fast as this event and the show have been gaining popularity over the past few years.  If you would like more information or how to purchase dinner or draw tickets please visit the Reflections West Art event page.

Please mark your calendars and come out and join us and Reflections West Art for a lovely weekend of art, friends, and general fun!  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Deck the Halls – Part 6 Comfort and Joy

We have a novel idea for the holidays….as you count down, slow down!

With all the hustle and bustle of the season it isn’t hard to get caught up and wound up, when really we should be doing the opposite.  We are going to keep this week’s entry short and sweet; take time to enjoy the magic of the season!  Forget about what ‘typically’ stresses you out and try to focus on the true meaning of this special time of year.  Just watch a child and it will brighten you from the inside out. With many of us having more than enough, help out someone who isn’t as fortunate and see how that makes you feel; all of a sudden traffic, over-staying relatives and last minute mall runs are something we are thankful for because it means we have places to go, people to see and the good fortune to be able to give gifts to one another.  Share this joy with others!

So put on the Christmas sweaters, pour an eggnog and sit back and enjoy all sights, sounds, smells, emotions. laughter and love that creates this very special time of year!

A very Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 

Deck the Halls – Part 5 Last Minute Gift Giving Guide

Tis the season for giving but this doesn’t mean that you need to break into a sweat just thinking about finding a spot in the mall parking lot, or that your charge card has been used so much that the magnetic stripe is wearing off! We told you we would take special care of you this Christmas and we won’t disappoint! And so, seeing that there are approximately 10 days until Christmas, it is time to address any last minute gifts and we have you covered. You may not even have to leave the comfort of your own home, and you may not have to dread your impending credit card bill! I know what you are thinking, “it’s a Christmas miracle!”

Follow our step by step guide to great gift giving and a stress free, ‘more pennies in the piggy bank’ start to 2013…

Step 1 – Get organized!!!

There is nothing worse than what I like to call ‘present panic’! You see people in the mall who have it; they are running around buying everything in sight regardless of price, or worse, if the recipient of said gifts will even enjoy them, which is the entire point of giving, to bring joy! Do us a favour, before you frantically hop in the car and circle the parking lot for at least 30mins, which puts you in a Scrooge frame of mind and not ideal for gift shopping, take 10 mins and do this one simple thing…..MAKE A LIST!!!

Make a list of who you have gifts for, who you have partial gifts for, who you have no gifts for and set a budget!!! Also, before you start running around like a madman, come up with some ideas for said gifts! Next, have a method to your madness, don’t zigzag across the mall, start at one end and pop into places as you go along. Better yet, bring a spouse, friend, someone who owes you a big favour (this is good one to cash it in on, we promise) and divide and conquer! But before you jump in your car and contemplate parking illegally after said 30 min parking spot search try the following…..

Step 2 – Shop online!

The past few years this has truly been Christmas’ gift to me! Honestly, pretty much every store that you are going to frequent at the mall will have a website which you can order from. And, if you have followed from Step 1 and organized yourself before hopping online, it will be that much easier! The great thing is that many websites will provide free shipping if you spend a certain dollar amount, talk about doing you a favour! Now, this doesn’t mean spend an extra $30 to save $5 on shipping but it does mean to see if there are a number of gifts that you can purchase from one place. Another bonus is that some online stores will gift wrap and ship your item to whomever it is you need to send it to!
A few of my go-to sites in the online department are:
Chapters Indigo – Trust me they are way more than just books, you will find all sorts of neat things for everyone on your list! Check for coupons and use your rewards club card if you have it, even more savings!
Amazon – Again, a great site that has a pretty good array of gift giving goodies. Check to see if your items qualify for free shipping!
Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic – Do yourself a favour and sign up for their emails, they usually send out some sort of sale/coupon almost every day between the three of them! Plus the shipping and handling are great; I recently purchased a number of items that came in a nice box to my door with pre-paid shipping stickers and a return sheet if I needed to send anything back. Double bonus!

Step 3 – Mall Shopping Tips (these can save your sanity)

1. Go early, preferably on a weekday – The malls are packed on the weekend, this isn’t news to anyone. If you can spare it take a day off, or even a half day, through the week and get it all done at once. It is kind of like ripping off a Band-Aid, the thought is painful but you are always happy when it is quickly over.
2. Leave your jacket in the car – About 5 mins in you will be too hot and then it is just another massive thing to carry.
3. Wear comfortable shoes -This is a marathon, not a sprint. Santa doesn’t care if you bought Lego in 5 inch stilettos or flip flops. Do yourself a favour and keep the barking dogs at bay!
4. Eat, Drink and Be Merry – Christmas shopping is like a sport, a marathon so to speak as mentioned in tip #3. Be sure to go well fed, nothing good will come of plummeting glucose levels, trust me from personal experience. Also, if you have room, bring a bottle of water and keep yourself hydrated. This may not seem like a concern but it will definitely help you throughout the day. Lastly, be merry. Who do you think is likely to get the last Angry Birds game, the person treating the sales associate with kindness or disrespect? Think of how you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes dealing with hundreds of last minutes shoppers every day and, tis the season!
5. Bring your own bags – Give a gift to Mother Nature this Christmas, less bags, packaging, etc., to cart to the dump on Dec. 26th. Not only is bringing your own bag good for the environment, some stores will donate the price of what a bag would have cost to a local charity!

Step 4 – Think before you buy

The holidays are the perfect time to share gifts and enjoy each other’s company, but before you do all of your holiday shopping take a minute to think of who you are buying for and what they would like. Gift giving doesn’t necessarily mean spending lots of money, or perhaps in some cases none at all. Below are some alternative ideas to ponder over before you bust out the ribbons and wrap…

1. A charitable donation (time, money, or items) – Many of us more blessed than most in the world, even in our city. Perhaps donating time with a friend or family member is something that might resonate with them. Or, perhaps directing the money you would have spent on them towards a donation of some sort would make them feel good as well as allow others to benefit. Maybe you might even want someone to do this for you instead of a traditional gift, help them out and let them know.
2. An experience – Is there something that you know someone has always wanted to do, why not make that the gift? Go cross country skiiing for an afternoon, hike in the mountains and take a picnic, take a cooking class, etc. Creating a memory is a gift that continues to give.
3. A homemade gift – Do you have a special talent that you can share with those you love? Are you an excellent cook, baker, mixed CD maker, master crafter, dog whisperer, photographer, etc.? Create a gift or give a coupon for your expertise and encourage the receiver to make plans to use it!

Step 5 – Solid stand-byes

Even with the best of intentions sometimes we are just stumped and time starts to run out. Not to worry, below is a short list of good go-to items that you can pick up in a flash and won’t break the bank.
1. A classic board game – For about $30 you can pick up Monopoly, Scrabble, Pictionary, the list goes on. Not only is it a gift that someone can keep and use for years, but in the techy world we live in sometimes it is nice to turn off the TV and spend a little family time the old fashioned way.
2. A magazine subscription – This is one of my personal favourites, it is the gift that gives all year long! Many magazine have very reasonable rates (approximately $15-$25 per year), so think of what that special someone likes and find a magazine that corresponds. This falls into something you can do online as well!
3. A household item – With the chilly winters out this way, warm up your loved ones with a variety of cold weather friendly gifts such as an iconic Hudson Bay fleece throw (approx $40), a great pine scented candle to light while watching some of the Christmas movies featured in our last few posts, a nice picture frame with a recent photo of you and your family or pets in it, a great olive oil and balsamic vinegar duo, etc., the possibilities are endless!
4. Gift cards – Although some may think this is a bit of cheat, I disagree. If you know that someone loves a restaurant, music, books, etc., then this is a great gift to give as they will get exactly what they want and will appreciate that you know what sort of things that they like. Also, gift cards are great for items that you know people may want to buy but are out of your price range. For example, your brother needs a new computer but it is out of your price range; get him a gift card to the electronics store that you know he is wanting to buy it from and add a nice note in your Christmas card to say that you wanted to help him get one step closer to bringing it home.

So there you have it, our Christmas gift giving survival kit! We hope that it helps you though the last few weeks of the holidays and allows you to have that warm fuzzy feeling inside when you are giving your gifts knowing that others will genuinely enjoy them. Best of luck and we will see you next week!

Happy holidays and enjoy the weekend!