And I’m back! Well, back on the Grid (after failing to keep New Years Resolution #2, stunting my laptop’s battery life and then draining it after 2 blog posts and 1 lengthy FB stalk. Thank you to the kind genie-like concierge who was finally able to procure a UK-Canadian adaptor for me) and in Vancouver after bidding a teary farewell to Whistler.
My mum and I had a slow potter-about day; we visited the Vancouver Lookout Tower (where I was thoroughly put out by Nelly Furtado topping their List of Notable British Columbians, Michael J Fox being pipped by Michael Bublé, and Nathan Fielder not even getting a mention. Travesty!), rambled through Gastown and lunched at a café that paired pizza with interesting reading material (while waiting for my crispy caper delight I learned all about How To Keep Tropical Aquarium Fish).
I had the best time in Whistler, some highlights being:
Spending time with my family (nawww). I loved every minute of Cheesman time, even my Dad (in classic Dad mode) innocently asking the lifties if the gondolas had ensuites, bantering with the burger boy to score extra peppers, flustering the hotel receptionist by poker-facedly asking if his upgrade to the presidential suite was forthcoming, and imitating the 3 Irish 20-somethings we were sharing a gondola with by punctuating his speech with ‘omg’ and ‘like’ after every 3rd word.
Finding my ski legs (these are like sea legs, but without the preliminary puking or need for saltines or magnetic equilibrium bangles). In the past, I’ve seen a marginal improvement in my skiing by the end of the week, only to lapse back to my former gingerness by the next season. It was great getting to ski again so soon after Varsity Trip and finally get beyond the skittering-down-the-mountain-and-hoping-for-a-cushioning-snow-stopper.
Super long runs. I now have the quads of a Hungarian cyclist.
The beautiful scenery and wildlife. Now when it comes to bird-wrangling I’m no Cara Delevingne (who else could bring such glamorous impassivity to falconry?) but I did get a snap of me making a feathered friend at the top of Whistler Blackcomb. My Dad baffled the other skiers in the lift queue by getting a flock of Whiskey Jacks to cluster on his helmet (any more and I swear he’d have taken off like the house in Up). The secret? Half his lunch roll squiggled under his goggle strap. Just before getting on the chairlift, we gave the bird-nibbled bread remnants to the little kids behind us so they could also have fun feeding the birds. They promptly stuffed it into their own mouths.
Alpine fashion. Snowflake has me convinced that I need a fur barrel muff. Though at CDN$900, this one is probably only appropriate if you’re a wealthy Russian opera-goer or an ice-skater in a 17th Century Dutch painting.
More affordably, there’s iconic Canadian outfitter Roots, famous for the 1998 Olympic poorboy cap (Prince William and P. Diddy approved!) and these sophomoric sweatpants (which, admit it, you know you want):
Canadian TV. From the first moment I flicked it on and heard the phrase, ‘…and then I put on the denim pantsuit, and was transformed into the sexy woman I was born to be’ I was hooked. Finally, a makeover show celebrating the Canadian tuxedo! The other channels were similarly excellent. By the end of the week my sister and I could recite word for word the ad for My Big Fat Fabulous Life (catchphrase: ‘I’m a fatass, but I’m also a badass!’).
The people: Canadians are known as reflexive apologisers; the stereotypic catchcry of ‘Oh sorry!’ is as much a part of their national identity as beer-swilling and larrikinism is Australian. I put this to the test and can confirm that it is 100% true; they will apologise effusively even if you barrel down the slopes into them. Or take 20 minutes before them at the water refill station. Or you’re the reason their kids ingest dirty bird-eaten bread.