Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekend in Whistler

Last weekend, I had the privilege of spending a vacation in Whistler, British Columbia. It was absolutely incredible.

After a four hour flight from Chicago to Vancouver International Airport, I met my parents at the baggage claim and we picked up our car. The drive up to Whistler, while dreary due to bad weather, was gorgeous. The mountains peaked through low clouds, creating almost an eerie feel, and yet breathtaking. The ocean came right up to the foot of the peaks, and you really understood why they call it sea to sky country.


The drive was about 2 hours, only because construction along the highway for the Olympics was being done, so without that it would be a shorter commute. We entered the adorable ski town of Whistler, and I immediately felt at home. Being from Colorado, I miss the ski/mountain town atmosphere, so I welcomed this experience with open arms. My mom pulled up in front of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and I was immediately grateful that this trip was compliments of my parents. It's nice when you're a grad student who makes little to nothing to have a weekend away with the parents.

We checked into our rooms, the hotel being incredibly accommodating to our needs, and then immediately came back down to the lobby area for a drink and some dinner. Everything at the hotel was delicious, and my tuna nicoise hit the spot. Seriously, if you're in Vancouver, fish is the best thing to order because it is so fresh and they certainly know how to cook it. The first night was spent just catching up with my parents, chatting about life and my future, and before we knew it the bar was almost closing.

The next morning, my dad and I got up early and walked down to the lower village for ziplining. We signed up with ZipTrek and did the Eagle tour. Though it was a little pricey--$119--it was well worth the money. Five ziplines through the gorgeous mountains, and over a beautiful glacial river. We also got to experience a 2200 foot zipline. I don't know how fast I was going, but it was intense. Our last zipline, we got the chance to do whatever we wanted...so my dad and I went upside down. What an awesome experience.

As for Whistler village, there are plenty of shops, boutiques, and restaurants to keep you occupied for hours. We wandered around and found some gifts for people back at home, as well as some treats for ourselves. Since the weekend was pretty much open to whatever we wanted to do, we took the chance to relax a little bit. We went for hikes around the base of Blackcombe mountain, as well as took the chairlift to the top so we could ride the peak-to-peak gondola--the longest one in the world. And of course my mom and I had to get massages to destress us from out hectic lives at home. And to top off our trip, an outdoor market took place on the last day I was in Whistler. There were fruit and vegetable vendors, pastry chefs, artists, photographers, jewelry makers and more. I love wandering through the various stands looking at what each one has to offer. And, of course, I bought some things.

Even though I was only there for about four days, and it wasn't even ski season, I fell in love with the area and would definitely go back for another visit.

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