Sunday, January 24, 2010

Toulouse and Nina Go To Whistler (and stay in our jammies)



When I was visiting family and friends in British Columbia over Christmas, we had the opportunity to go to Whistler, one of North America’s primo skiing resorts, where my son wanted to check out his brand new reverse-camber skis (unfortunately, they came too late and he had to use his old skis in the park). The drive with my friend Margaret and our two sons was pleasant – I promised not to sing. We met up with Heather, our good friend who’d graciously let us stay at her condo for the small fee of also me not singing… oh… and a dinner out with Toulouse, her new friend.

We chose the Mongolie Grill, where you can watch your custom-selected meal of meats, fish, vegetables and other cool mysterious foods with sauces of your choice get stir-fried by crazy guys who throw their knives in the air and toss broccoli into somersaults—all while you are sipping a wicked sangria and visiting with friends and strangers. Well, I had a sangria--Toulouse insisted on a Guinness...It was a very civilized way to dine, I thought, as I surveyed the clientele: a cosmopolitan mix of mostly young skiers, cell-phone afficianados, traveling dilatants and escapees from the business world.

The next day, the boys skied and boarded from the doorstep of the condo while the rest of us, including Toulouse, spent the day deciding where to go that day. There must have been too many of us because we never did reach any kind of consensus (we’re Canadian); instead, we stayed in our jammies ALL day, sipping coffee, eating bonbons, writing, reading and telling stories. Margaret, an Italian chef in another life, made her father’s signature spaghetti and meatball dinner (the secret, besides the sauce, is that you don’t pack the meatballs firmly) served with salad and an Italian red wine. And by then we were out of our jammies and looking quite civilized again.

Whistler Blackcomb is an international ski/boarding destination and the largest ski area in North America at 33 km2 (it’s 54% larger than Vail, the next largest). The site consists of two awesome mountains with a resort village nestled below between them. Whistler Blackbomb offers some of the largest lift-serviced vertical skiing in North America, with Blackcomb having the most at 1565 m (5133 ft). Whistler has slightly less vertical at 1530 m (5020 ft). The highest lift elevation is on Blackcomb at 2240 m (7349 ft).

Whistler Blackcomb will host the alpine skiing events for the 2010 Winter Olympics only three weeks away, this February 12-28, with Paralymmpic Games this March 12-21. Events on the mountain include the men's and women's Olympic and Paralympic alpine skiing disciplines of downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, super combined and slalom. The only thing they need now is more snow! Since I was there, very little has fallen and a significant melt has occurred. Last I heard, they were considering trucking and/or helicopering snow there from the local Cypress Mountain, which is having its own issues with snow (they closed it down for recreational use to preserve what they currently have). I wish them luck… and snow from the heavens.
For more on travel adventures with Toulouse, check out his veryown site, Toulouse LeTrek, the COOL Travel Cat!







Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.

6 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A very dignified way to pass the time, being in jammies and telling stories. The food looked tasty!

SF Girl said...

Thanks, Jean-Luc! Dignified is a nice way to describe it... LOL!

Baby Brie said...

Hey Nina! We can give you an updated Whistler snow report after our visit this coming weekend. Yes...many of us here are praying for a major cold snap and snow dump in time for the 2010 Olympics! The Olympic torch will be passing through New Westminster on February 9th!

SF Girl said...

Sounds good, Baby Brie! :) Let us know when you find out...

Footsteps said...

Nice background for the winter Olympics, Nina. I think you should do color commentary for the national media in your jammies. I know I'd watch!

SF Girl said...

LOL! Is that a dare?... haha.... I'm not good with dares, Heather... :-D