I’m so excited to tell you all about our latest adventure. Whistler BC Canada, a family white Christmas!
We arrived in Vancouver, via a day stop over in Honolulu after a couple of mishaps, which really are all part of the story!
We have had a few small misadventures, the debit on our credit card from a hotel we cancelled 2 months ago, a minor detail of Steve and Ilana getting to Honolulu airport without having a Canadian ?? Visa. The French Air Canada attendant trying to help us, Steve (shock horror) keeping his frustrations and cool under control NOT, me then completing Steve’s on line and Tammy, our other new friend from Canadian Airlines helping us (Shut up Steve and go away), get Lana’s approved …. and after quite a stressful 40 minutes, we were loaded and ready to go!
We get on the plane that’s a little late due to strong snow storms just out of Vancouver……. I decide to take 2 osteo panadol, 2 voltaren, oh and 2 Valium, my hip is a little sore, but I’m also not that good in turbulent flights.
I’m pleased to say I slept solidly for the first 3 hours and woke up to the pilot asking the attendants to sit and buckle up, Steve is patting Jess’ arm saying it’s going to be ok, Lana is snoring her way through another flight and OMG! It’s really bad……. breathing through my nose and reciting my trauma session of it’s going to be ok, we arrive into a snowed in Vancouver…. they have snow ploughs on the run way a salt machine throwing blue salt all over the the Tarmac and I don’t care if we slide into the bay, we are down, alive and the knot in my stomach is easing.
And then there it is, the arctic blast as we exit the plane, to which Lana comments ~ ‘gee that’s a bit fresh ‘ . Followed by ‘F’ it’s cold ! Of course we had left Sydney where it had been 34 degrees, arrive in Hawaii where it’s winter and it’s a balmy 25 degrees and in Vancouver it’s -7 degrees!
Oh and by the way, it hasn’t snowed like this in Vancouver for 9 years! What a greeting~ Snow flurries swirling around us…….. thanks Vancouver for the snow and welcome to ?? Canada ??
Budget rental car ? have our booking and we decide to upgrade from a MedIum size people mover to a Ford Expedition the biggest mother of a car, with the recommended winter tyres. It has all the bells and whistles and when you open the door, the side rails fold down, as a step for easy entry to the car, perfect for me as I don’t need a step ladder to get in!
The Sea to Sky highway is amazing, the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, the fog and cloud cover is quite thick so we don’t get the massive view all the way up, however, it’s a great road and we stop half way up for a coffee as the car is a tank and Steve is feeling fatigued, it’s my turn to drive ….. wait nope, Steve won’t let me, he’s had a coffee and is now good to go again. Mind you the car is double the size of the one I currently drive, so I’m not too upset about not driving on the opposite side of the road in a tank ! The girls…… well they are snoozing in the back.
The further up the mountain we get, we see these snow ploughing trucks, yep one directly behind the other, flying along the highway, clearing snow and ice – get out of their way ! And the logging trucks they are flying too!
We are here with some of my family, ‘the Mennies’ and whilst we all arrived via different flights meeting up in the winter wonderland of Whistler was so surreal ……. the place is going off!
We meet in the foyer of the Hilton Hotel where they are offering guests hot chocolate and marshmallows – sure we are “guests” – and really we are just meeting our family and using your ‘washrooms’ ! But hey a cup of hot choclate sure!
So after our collection of skis, lift tickets, helmets etc, we arrive for our 4pm check in to the house, where Whistler cooks also arrive with our supplies of meals that Lisa has pre organised, (she’s a smart gal) and as we are so excited!
Mmm we forgo a grocery store run and get home and settle into our rooms, check out the ins and outs of the house ? including the spa! Which is currently covered in 10 centres of snow. Of course you don’t wear much in the spa! Needless to say we have all had a laugh, getting to and from the spa, it’s only a short trip, that Craig had to dig a walk way for us to the spa, we are only walking over a few centimetres of snow to get into the very warm water~ But it’s a tad cool on your toes…. ahhh sitting out under the little snow flurries is a fun experience for us all !
We awake the first morning to even more snow….. wow another 28cm of snow ! The cars ? are covered in the soft fluffy white stuff.
I check the time and realise it’s actually 7am ! It’s pitch black, and no one else is awake ! I know ski school for Darcy, Fletcher and Hunter is an 8-15am get there, it’s time to wake up the house…. while Lisa and Craig try to tempt the kids to left over dinner for breaki, Steve goes out and starts shovelling what we now call it the 7.00am cardio work out! Start the cars to warm them up, remove snow and ice from said vehicles, load the skis and stocks helmets and other bits and bobs into the car. I’m out taking photos thigh deep in snow. I can not believe this, it’s soft and fluffy and not icy at all.
The Mennies, get out and go to ski school, and we fluff around and then realise we have a lesson at 9-45am and we have to pack our car, get on the lifts, and head 3/4 of the way up the mountain and it’s 9-15am!
We park, walk with all our gear, get on the first of 2 lifts we need to ride to our lesson meeting point and as we exit the lift that’s at 1800 feet I realise that although Jess, Jared and Marcus have all skied in their adult teenage years, Lana hasn’t skied since she was 7 woops!
So as we arrive for our lesson half an hour late, we are so lucky that it’s been a pow pow day, which means that they have to detonate areas of the ski fields and therefore the lifts are congested and they don’t open the runs until the pea shooter avalanches have all gone off…… Suni our guide later tells us that people have died in snow falls of 6 cms, of fresh snow!
We all let Suni take control of Lana and we just all re group and remind ourselves of those skills we have all learnt before in our limited ski opportunities. We ski till lunch and have a break before we continue to ski till 3-30pm !
Suni had us on runs that all of us were amazed and possibly scared on but that’s what having a lesson is all about learning new comfort zone skills, of what to do if it’s a thick pea soup fog ? Which way would you go down this apart of the mountain?
I have to say I thought I’d booked half day brush up lesson for us rookie Whistler skiers, but it was the best money when I realise I had booked us into an all day lesson called a Max4~ just the 4 of us! Suni was awesome and so was Lana, what a trooper that gal is, gotta say if that was Jess or myself we would have lost our shizzle long before !!!
Our first day was a complete success and to have Lana saying how amazing Whistler is and how awesome is it that people like us can come to this amazing place as ski ! It’s so unreal! Lana said I’m so glad that Suni took us on the hardest runs because I know now i can do it !
Day 2 we were more organised, the night before we get organised with the morning jobs they have all been delegated, plus we set the alarm get up earlier eat breakfast and were out the door for 8 am it was a frosty cold morning again about 5cm of the white stuff, and it’s fair to say the girls in our group struggled with fatigue and sore muscles but we soldiered on. The wind was blowing at over 100km’s an hour on the top of the mountains, so we could only go to mid station. A couple of funny things happened today including my embarrassing ‘situation’ ~ 2nd run on the chair lift!!
This part is brought to you by Jess, Lana and my family who wet their pants laughing, you probably had to be there, but hey I’ve never been afraid to laugh at myself ~
Lynda and the chairlift…
Today as we waited for our second chair lift for the day.. We passed through the ticket gate and and moved into place in the line. We’ve been waiting for 20 minutes in a queue to go up and it’s 4 people wide, Lynda on the far right, Jess, Lana and Craig also waiting to go together … The people in front of us (2 dads and their kids) begin to move ahead for their chair.. and so does Lynda, “come on guys” she calls to us and she skiis in behind the people waiting, her bum is almost to the chair before they realise what is happening… Jess Lana and Craig watching in horror as the family scatters… the chair lift is still moving, Lynda sits comfortably between to Asian kids, she’s knocked their dad off one edge and the other dad snowboarder ends up on his ass in the bushes. He turns around and stands up and he realises what’s happened, by this time Lynda has taken off up the hill and she’s a metre and a half off the ground before the lift staff member finally gets to the button to stop the lift. He tells her to stay there and Lynda still looks comfortably seated between the two kids… well we laugh until we’re crying and everyone else behind us utters the words.. “oh my god, what is that lady doing!” Mum goes up the hill with the two kids, the dads on the next one and Jess, Craig and Lana behind them laughing uncontrollably trying not to swing the chair as we re tell the story – still crying and almost unable to tell the parts without bursting with laughter…. We make it to the top, watching Lynda and her adopted family! She is apologising again for her mistake, and then we arrive … and we are still laughing, almost wetting our pants because Steve and Lisa didn’t get to see it, wishing we had a go pro to record it for snow chair lift fails! Goes down as one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen!
Lana and Jess x
Moving on~ snigger snigger a lunch time stop and the 1.5 hour run down the mountain and I was done, I actually struggled all day with cramps and boot issues and I tapped out…. and the girls all joined me.
Craig and Steve then went back up the mountain for a couple of blue runs before meeting us for beers at the Longhorn Bar, whilst we waited for the 3-30pm kids ski school finish.
The evenings here are really dark by 4.30 pm and the last lifts take you up at 3pm and everyone is off the mountain by 4pm….
We decided to stay in the village and experience the Whistler Olympic Village activities, we play snow balls fights, toboggan rides, watched families do ice skating, seeing the Olympic Rings and all the trees in their beautiful lights. It’s magical and really feels festive and like a winter Christmas, it’s cold and we are all rugged up in our ski gear so it’s quite warm as we run around having fun……. the wash rooms are hilarious…. they are heated !
We have an early dinner and are home by 6-30pm and let me tell you it feels like it’s 9-30pm.
a bit more fun ( at my expense) in the spa and it’s bed time for us all.
Enjoy I’m still struggling with doing this on the iPad so please excuse the small gaps xx