July 25, 2010This is a photograph of a poster at “Legacy Square” in Whistler. The image was taken during the 2010 Winter Olympics
Today’s posting could be interpreted as a “Rah-rah-rah west coast Canada!” promotional blurb but hey – if the shoe fits, wear it!
My annual trips to western Canada are usually taken on my own and do not involve a lot of sightseeing. After all, I’ve “been there… done that” many times. I most often spend my days in company of my sisters and friends and we do what women do best… talk, talk, talk and shop, shop, shop. But on this particular sojourn, Jorge is with me and he isn’t really into the hours of sitting in the shade and maxing out the credit cards. No, no, no… my family understands that he wants to have a good look at all there is to offer and they have happily obliged. For me, this has been an unexpected bonus; revisiting all these attractions takes me back to my girlhood when I went everywhere for the first time… a real trip down Memory Lane. Yesterday we drove to Whistler… another “blast from the past.” My first memories of the spectacular coastal mountains are of biting cold and long treks… My dad John and his brother Lewis had been mountaineers in their youth and believed that their delicate tenderfoot city-bred offspring should also experience the wilds in winter. They were a little lenient in that we partook of the camping in the springtime but the lakes were still frozen solid and snow was deeper than we were tall. We had hiking and sleeping gear left-over from an Antarctic expedition my grandfather had been on in 1912! Can you imagine? The sleeping bags were made of shrunken wool and so itchy we could hardly stay in them… and the smell! I can still vividly recall the all-pervasive odor of wet canvas tarps – ugh!
Contrast these memories with the Whistler complex of 2010. The best way to describe this world famous resort is to think Cancun (which as you know consists of multiple shopping venues, hotels, restaurants, throngs of beautiful half-naked people, drinking, parachute gliding and wave running… all set smack dab on the beautiful Caribbean beaches) Whistler today is a similar over-the-top commercialized “village” set amidst year ‘round covered snow peaks. The British Columbia scenery is as breathtaking as our Quintano Roo seashore…We found ourselves overlooking the garishness and looking for the sublime.
We certainly found it and we had FUN! We watched buff young guys (and a few girls too) riding their dirt bikes along absolutely treacherous trails… thundering down and then sliding to a dust plumed finale.
We enjoyed a fabulous meal and a refreshing drink at a flower-enclosed bistro and we strolled through the shopping Mecca that offering everything from trendy Guess, Gap and Zara creations to Armani, Saks and Gucci.
Driving back to Vancouver we couldn’t stop exclaiming over the the towering mountains that rise literally out of the Safire-blue Pacific. It is with justifiable pride that B.C. car plates read: “Beautiful British Columbia.”
Back in our cozy little West Van nest, Jorge took us back to Mexico dreaming with his deadly delicious margaritas and yes, we accompanied them with guacamole and tostadas. After only ONE, we wove our way down to the beach (right in front of the house), sat down on a log and watched the Vancouver Fireworks Festival. Spain was the featured country and what a show! It was certainly up to the caliber of their World Cup performance… Los Gachupines are on a roll…
As I sit here this morning, the rest of the household is still snoring softly and I’m feeling mellow indeed. As I said a few posts ago, “Travel is good for the soul!”
***Images are mine except for the two of the fireworks that were taken from Google Images.