Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hard to decide what pictures to post

It was our intention to go to Vancouver British Columbia for the day and see the sights there. But when we got into Vancouver and were discussing the tourist sights available to us we decided to forgo Vancouver and head to Whistler, where the Olympics took place this past winter (2010). So with great high anticipation we took off on the Sea to the Sky Highway Oh my…I think this road was the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. We stopped at least 20 times snapping millions of pictures. One of the stop had 360 degree panoramic view of mountains encircling us with snow covered peaks outlining the crystal blue skyline. Once we reached Whistler we were surprised to find the delightful ski village of Whistler. It looked a lot like the ski village in Lake Tahoe. Ski shops, restaurants, sculptures, ponds, waterfalls and ski lifts, gondolas and mountain bike trails everywhere. You could see the ski slopes/paths. Of course the mountains were covered with grass in July, but you could see the green/blue/black diamond coded slopes of each trail. I saw some green trails and I really believe that I could ski. There were green trails even at the very top of the mountains. There were three tiers/levels of skiing. Each tier had a rest stop where you could purchase hot chocolate, cookies, soup, sandwiches, (and of course ski hats, scarves, gloves, hand/feet warmers, etc). We took the gondola trip from peak to peak. Peak to Peak was the term used to travel between the Whistler Mountain and Blackstone Mountain. Whistler is nestled in between the two mountains. The first level we needed to take the ski lift. You could see the mountain bikers mastering the mountain trails (which were actually the ski trails). You would see them “jump” their bikes over the mogles. As we climbed the second tier there were a few bikers, but not many. The terrain had more snow and the trails seemed more difficult. By the time we reached the second level rest stop, snow covered the ground. But, it was about 60 degrees, but as the wind blew, you knew it was cold cold cold up there. Picture snapping everywhere. People were talking in every language imaginable.
We then headed up the mountain further as we got in the “peak to peak” gondola that took us from Mt Whistler to the Blackstone Mountain. The view was incredible. From thousands of feet in the air you could see the little village of Whistler nestled between the two mountains. There was an icey blue lake and rushing mountain streams. At the very tip of the Blackstone Mountain there were actually 5-6 ski slopes that were open and people were skiing down the inclines.
We found all kinds of good things to eat – blueberry crepes, ice cream, spaghetti (at the Old Spaghetti factory). Our hotels have had very good breakfast displays – a kind of all you can eat buffet. We typically fill up at breakfast and then don’t eat until 4:00 or so…(with a snack here and there)!

The way back to Vancouver was equally gorgeous as the same mountains on the sea to sky highway in the evening, going the opposite direction looked like something we had never seen before. We stopped at the Shannon Falls and snapped many pictures. Naturally Stephen had to get his feet in the mountain stream and play on the rocks. There were a lot of people around snapping pictures of the falls, so he didn’t get his head in the water, just yet anyway.
Once again, by the time we got to our hotel, we dropped into bed exhausted.

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