Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Vacation Recap: Whistler British Columbia Activities Part 1

(photo credit - My husband)

Ok! Let's get to this! My family had a mini family reunion at the end of June to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. The destination? Whistler British Columbia! How awesome is that? We were going to be in Canada, in the mountains where it's nice and cool right? Wrong! The temperatures were actually in the 90s while we were there. How weird is that? Anyway, it was a fabulous trip, and it got us out of 110 degree desert heat. I actually think of this vacation as possibly being the best family get together that we've ever had. Everyone was able to do whatever they wanted to do. No rush or pressure to be anywhere or do anything. Very relaxing in terms of mental stress.

Did we relax? Mentally yes. Physically, not so much. We were on the go every day. And I loved every second of it. A run down of who all was there. My parents (of course), my sister, her husband, their three kids, and my aunt and uncle. Everyone came from various parts of the country to celebrate my parents' big accomplishment. Everyone stuck together during the day for the most part, since everyone wanted to do the same things. We only split up one day when some people wanted to play golf, and others wanted to do different things. We all met up for dinner every night.

My husband and I were the last ones to arrive. We got in Friday in the late afternoon, and the drive through Vancouver was horrendous. It took us about an hour and a half just to get through the city. At one point, we only drove a block or two in 20 minutes. It was insane. We made it to the first dinner though which was our main goal. We had no time to check into the hotel (Fairmont Chateau) first to get cleaned up or dressed up. My husband and I had every intention of getting all dressed up in fancy clothes (and I was going to wear make up which is a rarity). No go on that plan. We hustled our butts over to the restaurant in the clothes we flew in (jeans for me, shorts for my husband). So we looked scraggly, but we were there.

Saturday was the first full day of activities. We did the Peak to Peak Gondola. This was one of the things I wanted to do when I was looking at things to do in Whistler. I've been on these types of gondolas before. The Palm Springs Aerial Tram is pretty much the same thing, only you stand the entire time, and the inside of the tram rotates. The peak to peak gondola was stationary on the inside and you got to sit down. Another difference between the two is the Palm Springs tram stops as you board and get off. The gondola in Whistler doesn't stop. That was my only concern with this activity.

I do what I do best when something has me worried. I looked up the peak to peak gondola on YouTube to see how slow the tram cars actually went. I watched and thought it would be slow enough. I'd have no problems. There were four trams in total that we took. One to get up to the Peak to Peak site and then the one Peak to Peak gondola itself. So two gondolas each way. The Peak to Peak gondola was the one I watched on YouTube. The first gondola actually surprised me. It was smaller than I was expecting.

(photo credit - My husband)
(ignore the time and date stamp on the picture, we forgot to reset it when we put in new batteries)

I did just fine though. My husband and I got in first, and I of course bobbled getting on. Balance got thrown off, but I stayed on my feet. For the first two gondolas my husband got in first and I followed. By the end we reversed that. Letting me go first and having my husband nudge me from behind actually made me a bit steadier. So now we know for future reference.

We saw some pretty remarkable views at the top of the mountain. We walked a little ways along some of the trails. Took a bunch of pictures and just enjoyed being outside. We saw a helicopter fly in and land, so that was pretty cool. There was snow along side one of the trails and it felt good to pick some of it up and cool off.

(photo credit - Me)

One thing that I did not do while on the mountain was take a ski lift. Several members of our group decided to go to the tippy top of the mountain, and you could only go by ski lift. Nope. Not me. I just figured that would be too much of a challenge. I don't feel bad about it though. I liked the view from where I was just fine.

On the way down we took one of the glass bottom gondolas. The floor had about a four foot by four foot (I'm guessing)

(photo credit - My husband)

On to Sunday's activities. Sunday everyone split up during the day. Some people played golf, others went to Lost Lake (which we never did get to, but that's OK). My husband and I decided to wander around Whistler Village. I enjoyed people watching, seeing all the dogs that were around, and did some window shopping. My only problem was I got very over heated. It was hot! And I was wearing jeans. Stupid me didn't bring any shorts, partly because of my self consciousness about me legs, and partly because I didn't really "think" it would be "that hot".

I was wrong. So what did I do? First we went to a coffee shop and I got a smoothie. That worked wonders. Mango and strawberry smoothie was a winner. Then we went on the hunt to buy me a pair of shorts. We found some at the Columbia store (the link is to the actual pair of shorts I got), and if I could have, I would have bought 10 pairs. They are super comfortable. So light weight it feels like I'm not wearing anything. Now I need more of those shorts and some shirts made of the same fabric and I'm good to go! The lady at the store let me wear them out. Much needed buy.

After our walk through the Village, we met everyone back at the hotel, and got to relax a bit before heading off again. Most of us were all signed up for a photo walk tour. We had a guide that gave up tips and tricks to improve our photography. I tend to use my phone or iPod as a camera most of the time. We do have a Samsung digital camera also, and my husband mainly uses it while we're on trips. In order for me to take decent pictures, I need to sit down, or at least be able to rest the camera on something. Otherwise I shake too much.

The guide gave really great tips as to how to frame things in the picture. We also saw several areas we never would have thought about if we were wandering around on our own. I didn't do too much picture taking on the tour mainly because I couldn't see the darn screen on my phone well enough. But I took mental notes for later.

This has been the first half of our trip. I'll write up a second post for the other half. There's a lot to talk about and share in the next post, and I don't want this to get super long. So, you'll just have to stick around for the next one. And it's a goodie!

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