Fire & Ice

1 01 2013

There’s just something about twinkly lights at night that changes the whole atmosphere.   Whistler Village during the day, covered in a layer of fresh powder with buildings rimmed with icicles, beautiful in a pristine and untouchable way.

Whistler Village at night, complete with moonlight reflecting off the snow, colourful lights twinkling between the branches and a combination of fire and ice that just seems to work?

Magical.

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Olympic Plaza at Night

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Whistler’s Fire & Ice show at Whistler Village’s Skier’s Plaza.  Every Sunday night (Dec. – Mar.) the fire dancers congregate, the Ring of Fire is erected and a few crazy skiers and snowboarders barrel down the mountain to jump through that Ring of Fire, to everyone’s delight.

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Whistler!

31 12 2012

Sometimes I forget about the magical atmosphere of a Winter Wonderland.  The past few years we’ve done a pretty good job at avoiding snow.  Last year we spent the majority of December in California beach hopping and for a brief moment, looking for snow at Big Bear (which never appeared), and settled into a wet winter in Seattle.  

This year we took a trek out to Whistler.  Despite growing up in Vancouver Island and spending years in Vancouver, I have never gone to Whistler in the Winter.  And there’s just something about being in a mountain/ski village that says “Welcome to Winter”, “Merry Christmas” and also, “Why not have a drink, or two, or three…..you’re on holiday right?”

Whistler

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Since Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, there have been a couple additions.  Both in Whistler Village and at the top of Whistler Mountain.

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Olympic Rings at Whistler Olympic Plaza

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Olympic Rings at Whistler Mountain Peak

Cold noses, cute hats, and good ol’ Canadian Ceasars, fun times were had in Whistler.  Despite the fact that we were neither skiers nor snowboarders, we put in a good effort with a few good snowball fights.  I believe the lesson here was, don’t challenge a Canadian to a snowball fight….especially if you’re from Texas and don’t know what to do with snow (Jonathan!).   We took the gondola to the Tube Park and spent a couple hours night tubing with christmas carols blaring and perfect snowflakes falling around us.  And completed our winter weekend with a Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride, making the 30 minute ride up to the Whistler Mountain Peak, and trying to stay out of everyone’s way as we took the next gondola ride to the Blackcomb Peak and then back to Whistler and down to the village.

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Peak 2 Peak Gondola Ride

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Blackcomb

We experienced a ton of fresh snow, but the snow clouds cleared for our drive down the mountain and we were treated to some amazing views.

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Loved experiencing a true snowy Winter Weekend, although my coordination may be better suited for a summer climate, but overall, it just felt good to be back in Canada!

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True Canadian Spirit!





Olympic Memories

7 03 2010

After 16 days of checking the CTV Olympic Iphone App every hour, spending every evening falling asleep to speed skating, figure skating, bobsledding and other winter sporting events and pointing out to Nathan that although the US may have more medals in total, Canada has more GOLD medals….the Olympics are over.

Even though I only had a chance to take in the Olympic frenzy for the opening weekend, the memories are definitely going to be lasting.   Where else other than Disneyland do you chase people down the street yelling, “can we take a picture with you?” AND when are they standing around (like Disney characters) waiting to have their picture taken?

When else would I drag myself out of bed (after only 4 hours of sleep) to get on a bus while it’s still dark outside to go to an arena where there “may or may not be athletes present”? Lucky for me, there were athletes present during the pairs figure skating training session, and also lucky for me, I was not the only one that got sucked into paying for tickets to a non-event, with no promise of athletes showing up except for the zamboni man (who, I have to say, lived up to my expectations!).

When else will I ever LOVE the fact that I look exactly like everyone else in Vancouver and exasperate my friends more when I wander off and blend into the crowd – EVERYONE is dressed in a Canada toque, scarf, and red mittens – and the majority of people – Asian!

When else would I be at a Sweden vs Switzerland hockey game yelling my head off and annoying my neighbours while clanging a commemorative cow bell?  Maybe the bigger question is, when else will I ever have another  commemorative cow bell?  And, is there ever going to be another time when I’m running down the streets of Vancouver thinking that I’m running towards Wayne Gretzky only to realize that we’re running in the wrong direction, and then get stopped by the police to make way for Vice President Joe Biden’s motorcade?

All I can say with certainty is that I have never had more Canadian pride than seeing people dressed in red, with Canadian sweatshirts, scarves, toques, red Olympic mittens and Canada Flags draped around their shoulders hosting the world in my favourite Canadian city – Vancouver.

The only true way to experience the Olympic Games is when its in your hometown and you’re in the heart of it.





OH CANADA!

11 02 2010

The rain didn’t dampen the excitement of the crowd as the Olympic Flame was marched through the streets and we came out in our Red & White with the best of them!





Shot Gun!

11 02 2010

Considering at Christmas people referred to me as a “Kamikaze Pilot”, you may be concerned of my “Copilot” status.  But, COPILOT I am!  

So, maybe it was a seaplane, and I didn’t actually touch anything, but I did sit in the copilot seat and take photos and video of the trip from Vancouver Island to Vancouver.

This is the best way to see the Vancouver skyline!





Welcome to Vancouver

11 02 2010

I made it to Vancouver and the Olympic buzz is buzzing!

On my flight from Newark to Vancouver we had Olympians onboard and the pilot made a big deal about welcoming them and wishing them good luck, which meant that I spent the majority of the flight looking people up and down as they passed me to go to the bathroom to see if they had “Olympian” potential.  

It was so exciting when we arrived at the Vancouver airport because all of the airport staff were wearing Olympic clothing, there was a special Olympian customs area, and so many people had the Olympic lanyards.  When I walked into the main terminal greeting area where there were welcome groups, signs, people in matching Olympic outfits, etc, it made me realize that when you don’t have anyone waiting for you there, it’s kind of lonely.   And, it reminded me of the time when I traveled with friends, and to prevent the lonely “we’re not greeted by anyone” feeling, we took turns running ahead of each other so there was someone (ourselves) to greet us.  Lame I know, but it worked.

So after leaving the east coast where there were constant blizzard warnings and below freezing temperatures and the fact that I had been taking photos of snow-capped mountains during the flight, you can imagine my surprise when I looked out the window as we were descending into Vancouver and saw nothing but lush green landscape.  There’s no snow here, and I actually saw people walking around in flip flops.  Whoops, I’m definitely overdressed and apparently I have forgotten myVancouver roots – we don’t get snow here and the appropriate attire is a waterproof jacket and a scarf for decoration only!

Welcome to Vancouver!





Olympic Frenzy

17 11 2009

The olympic Frenzy has begun! 

After a cumulative 10 hours of waiting in the digital waiting room to buy Vancouver 2010 Olympic tickets, FINALLY, I got randomly chosen by the computer to make my Olympic dreams come true!!  Yes!  Opening Ceremony here I come! 

Only to find out that by the time I made it through the system, there was actually nothing to buy.  I shouldn’t say that really, there was ONE (1) Opening Ceremony ticket available for $1,100.  Just a little bit out of my price range.

I’m only going to be in town for 2 days during the games, so, just to say that I did it, I bought 2 tickets to a Preliminary Women’s Hockey Game.  Sweden vs Switzerland.  Erin Tramble and I have decided that we shall root for Sweden in loyalty to our beloved Ikea. 

See you at the games.