There's nothing quite like a weekend getaway at the Saville Hotel.
At least, that's the way members of the Cathy King rink are looking at it. About the only remaining question was about the victory meal.
King, the 1998 Scott Tournament of Hearts champion, is heading back to the provincials. Her rink will be in Lethbridge Jan. 26-30 after a hard-fought 8-7 win over Tiffany Odegard in the B qualifier of the women's northerns in Ellerslie.
Team sponsor Bruce Saville went beyond the call when he hosted the King team at his Westbrook-area home.
Other than the proximity to the rink, it gave the influential Oilers' part-owner a chance to pamper the team. And his efforts did not go unappreciated by King, third Lori Armitstead, second Raylene Rocque and lead Tracy Bush.
"We came home (Saturday), had some wine and sat in the hot tub," said King. "We're going, like, 'This is the life.' Sitting in the hot tub, having some drinks and a few laughs.
CAN'T GO HOME
"They're all saying, 'I don't think I can go back home after this weekend.'
"Bruce has been Suzy Homemaker, cooking us all suppers. Every time we come home, there's a big meal on the table for us. He's been treating us like kings - kings and queens. We're spoiled rotten there."
Rocque even had some fun when husband Marcel called. He's spieling in Perth, Scotland, where the Randy Ferbey rink are bringing home $14,000 after winning the Perth Masters yesterday.
SELL THE HOUSE
"Marcel calls and I said, 'Yeah, I don't know if I want to come home,' " Rocque said. "He said, 'OK, I'll sell the house and buy a smaller one and I'll come visit you once in awhile.'
"It's pretty hard to move out of there. I get disoriented in there (looking for the wine cellar), it's so flippin' big. Bruce treats us good."
The win takes King another step closer to a Scotts appearance, something that would increase King's chances for an appearance at the Olympic Trials later this year.
"It's good to get back at it and give it another shot," said King, whose slow start denied her a playoff spot in 2004. "It gives us some hope. That's all we needed. You've gotta believe."
This year, there's more incentive. And after a weekend of home cookin' at the Saville Hotel, perhaps a more relaxed outlook.
EXTRA ENDS: The northern Alberta field was completed when Cindy Serna won the C qualifier last night, beating Atina Johnston 8-5 ... Shannon Kleibrink qualified out of the B Event at the southern playdowns in Airdrie. The C Event is at 2 p.m. today ... Jody Busche of Ft. St. John and Renee Sonnenberg of Sexsmith will represent the Peace Curling Association.