“What are you going to write about that hasn’t already been written about Whistler?” said the concierge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to me! I could have taken that as a rude, discouraging and belittling comment, but I chose to take it as a challenge for me to write something that hasn’t been written about! And let me tell you, I can guarantee you that nobody has ever written about MY trip to Whistler with one of my best friends and her family! LOL! Let me share with you some of the fun adventures I have had the last couple of days on my family vacation! Hold on tight because today’s post is going to be a loooooooonnnnnng one . . .
Whistler is one of the most beautiful, fun-filled, exciting cities that absolutely has everything for the single person, the married couple, or the family of however many to enjoy something little to something grand! I love love love how there is simply something for everyone in this little gem of a city! It feels like you are in your “home away from home”! And it truly is what you make of it, and the one thing that makes me smile the most is all the stone-paved walkways throughout the village that take you from one amazing place to another to see all the different sights that Whistler has to offer!
Day One – Thursday August 10th
We started our adventure hitting the road early Thursday morning, with our Starbucks in hand, and loving the drive up! The drive to Whistler is breathtaking . . . the views of the ocean, mountains, sky . . . just gorgeous! It didn’t take long to get to our fantabulous destination of Whistler from our home . . . but we always stop at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola for some fun, and that is where half of Thursday takes us!
The Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish is a yearly tradition that I don’t think we could ever get sick of; being at the top of the mountain feels like you are on top of the world . . . looking out from the viewing deck makes me realize how big the world is, and how there is so much out there . . . and that is just looking out at a portion of this world!!! It is nothing compared to the grand scheme of things, however, it does something to your heart and soul while taking in everything that view has to offer!!!
We started up with the Gondola, and arrived at the top! During the ride up, one my best friends, Sarah, and I sang our hearts out! We do this every year . . . now I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t want to acknowledge how far up we are, or if it just is something we started doing, and continue to do . . . I am going to say it’s because of the first 😉 It was still a smokey filled sky, but that didn’t stop us from appreciating the views that nature had given us that day! We crossed the Sky Pilot bridge to get to the trails that eventually lead us to the “Chief and Squamish Valley” viewing platform! There is where the magic happens . . . the views, the heights, the nature . . . just the absolute picture perfect moments! After a short hike around the numerous trails, we had some lunch and beers at the Summit Restaurant! Then back down the mountain in the Gondola, and we were on our way toWhistler!
We arrived at our hotel, the grand Fairmont Chateau Whistler! What a beautiful picturesque hotel! It had all of the “wow” factors but it also had such a welcoming family-oriented feel to it! We checked in and quickly settled into our room, which was on the sixth floor, with what I like to call, a view not like ours at home 😉 It was charming and definitely Whistler style! We changed out of our sweaty and dirty hiking clothes, and nestled into the complimentary robes available for us to use during our stay at the Fairmont! We had a little down time before our next adventure, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it . . . let me put it this way, I have never eaten so much in my entire life!!!
The Four Seasons Whistler Resort & Residence offers a “Signature Backyard BBQ” series in their Sidecut Modern Steak & Bar Restaurant every Thursday from 5 to 9pm, from the end of June until the beginning of September! We had heard about this through Instagram, and of course were intrigued and wanted to try it out! Well, it proved to be amazing and didn’t disappoint us at all!!! It was truly a backyard feeling, with red and white checkered tablecloths, and family style seating! There was a live band performing, Big Mountain Rhythm; Matt King and Jeff Van Driel make up this incredible duo band that have been performing together since 2009! Their music coupled with the smell of the barbecued food and the energy of everyone around us was indescribable and so perfect!!! Needless to say, I am so glad I wore a dress because I was stuffed! The spread at this “all-you-can-eat” buffet included red cabbage slaw, summer squash pasta salad, spinach and watermelon salad with a balsamic blue cheese reduction, grilled vegetable salad bar, baked beans with chorizo and jalapeno, cornbread with kimchi, quinoa chilli, rigatoni with cheese, broccoli and chilli flakes, bbq spiced falafel with tea saison, hot sauce and tzatziki, flank steak with chimchurri, smoked pork belly, rescue ale pulled pork, marinated lamb leg, smoked porter bbq pork ribs, windrose spicy bbq beef ribs, dry rubbed bbq chicken, Italian sausage, fingerling potato with method pale ale braised cabbage, lemon gin bbq salmon, and bourbon blood orange mussels with orange fennel and leeks! Is your mouth watering yet? And for dessert, they had ginger lime cheesecake mousse, warm chocolate pudding and fruit salad! Oh my goodness it was quite the spread!!! I won’t say how many times I went up but let’s just say it was more than once 😉 Included in this amazing event for the first year ever were breweries with their craft beer . . . Steel & Oak Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing Company, Whistler Brewing Company and Yellow Dog Brewing Company all represented with some of the tastiest craft beers I have ever tried! My four top favourites were the Kaffee from Steel & Oak, the Quaywi Sour from Bridge, the Grapefruit Ale from Whistler and the Shake a Paw from Yellow Dog! Love love love these breweries! What a great way to end our first night!
Day Two – Friday August 11th
Ahhhhh pool day . . . we had been waiting for this day!!! The pool layout at the Fairmont is quite perfect . . . the big pool for everyone, which includes a shallow end inside the hotel for the littles to play, three hot tubs (one of which is solely for adults), and a lap pool! Something for everyone who wishes to be in the water! We all met down at the pool and claimed our seats . . . the hotel has a 30-minute rule where if you leave your chair unattended for more than 30 minutes, they will give your seat to others who are waiting; I actually love and respect that rule!!! We were always very conscious of our time 😉 The temperature of the water was always just right . . . not once did we ever hear the kids complain; that was our gauge LOL! One of my very favourite moments was when a group of cutie patootie older ladies were doing a water aerobics class, and Sarah and I joined them! Oh it was loads of fun! We were giggling as the instructor encouraged us with each step and each lunge! A sweet lady in the front turned around and said, “There is way too much laughing going on back there!” The instructor smiled, looked at us and said, “Translation, she loves it!” LOL! It was quite the treat to work out with these amazingly powerful women! We survived all of 15 minutes while these women kept going strong for an hour!!! We sat poolside watching our children play in the water for hours and it was splendid!
Another exciting adventure that we jumped into was at Whistler’s Original Escape Rooms! I was so excited to try to escape a room with my family; all I kept on thinking was that this would be a true test and trial of our “working together” and not fighting!!! Well, I was so surprised and happy to get through it with us truly working together!!! We chose the Rabbit Hole Escape Room; it is loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, and we envisioned the Rabbit running by and us following it . . . he dived into the tree hole, and we followed it! As we entered the room, it was like we walked into a page from Alice in Wonderland! It was so magical, and so vibrant, all I wanted to do was emerge myself into the story and find that stinking White Rabbit! LOL! We all helped one another with the clues, and contributed to each clue and hint! If you haven’t heard of an escape room, the premise behind them is that you are locked (not really, you can always ask to leave) in a room(s) and you follow clues and hints to get you through to the next room, and eventually if you get through all of them successfully, you escape!!! We asked for hints (you’re allowed 😉 ) and we were minutes away from escaping!!! Sadly, we didn’t succeed, but we had fun trying to! Our time was up and the amazing staff came in and let us know what the last of our moves should have been to escape . . . we were soooooo close! Next time we will escape 😉
Dinner time took us to a wonderful restaurant . . . Pizzeria Antico! Oh is this ever the most incredible pizza place!!! It truly defines the art of traditional pizza and pasta! It has such an Italian vibe to it, and the wood burning ovens give it its authenticity to creating the most savory and delicious pizzas! We ordered the Margherita pizza, which has tomato sauces, fior di latte, parmigiano and basil! Oh sweet angels singing above, it was divine!!! We also had a taste of the Diavola pizza, which has tomato sauce, Calabrese salami, fresh fior di latte, parmigiano, and red onion! Again, taste buds were singing their own version of “Hallelujah!” We also tried the Gnocchi di Antico, which were made from Pemberton potatoes with garlic tomato sauce and pecorino cheese! Definitely not disappointing, but I have to admit, these were not like my Mama’s; the gnocchi still disappeared off the plate 😉 Pizzeria Antico is definitely a place to venture to for a taste of Italy – you will not regret it!!!!
The day ended with us and the kids in the hot tub, just reflecting on what had seemed like 5 days of vacation already, in a good way, and getting excited for what was to come the next day! That is what I love love love about Whistler . . . anything and everything around you is always exciting! We had a little time to walk around the village before our Escape Room adventure, and that was tons of fun! Watching all walks of life passing us by, and each of them with smiles! It is amazing to see that! Sure, there were some little ones who were having tantrums because they didn’t get an ice cream when they wanted it! We felt a little bad when we scooped up our ice cream from the famous Cows! Oh this would be one reason I would just drive to Whistler and back home . . . the ice cream from Cows is like no other, absolute hands down truth!!! Cows started in 1983 and now has 11 stores across Canada, and one in China! Their old-fashioned recipe has carried on all of these years, and is a true testament to why everyone keeps going back to Cows; it is handmade with the finest of ingredients and is so creamy and fully of yumminess!!! The flavours are out of this world . . . Apple Crisp, Bubble Gum, Chocolate Cheesecake, Cownadian Maple, Messie Bessie, Royal Cownadian Mint, Sea Salted Toffee and Wowie Cowie are just a few of their delicious choices!!! Now if only I could have given a wee bit of ice cream to the little ones who were upset that their mommies and daddies wouldn’t get them some, everyone would have big smiles in Whistler 😉
Day Three – Saturday August 12th
Another beautiful morning, and another pool visit! Seeing my boys enjoying their time in Whistler being care-free is what fills my heart! Their giggles, their laughs, their smiles, their fun . . . just makes every fibre of my being fill with happiness! Sitting poolside and watching all of them play and splash was the perfect start to another wonderful day!!!
We headed out to El Furniture Warehouse for lunch after our pool time came to an end! Now I promise El Furniture Warehouse is a restaurant; I questioned it at first wondering, why would I go to a place to look at furniture?!?! LOL! This restaurant screams fabulous and extraordinary!!! The energy was fantastic, and once again, this restaurant catered to every single person . . . young adults, families, a newly married couple, women on a bachelorette weekend . . . the list goes on! And the best part . . . wait for it . . . every single item on their menu is $4.95!!! Yup, you read that correctly . . . $4.95! El Furniture offers delicious quality food from perogies, which we had and I promise you they were the best perogies I have ever had, to burgers, nachos and salads! It has one of the most versatile menus . . . it has an item for every single person, even the pickiest of eaters, and I can validate this because I have a little one that is quite picky, and he loved loved loved the fries!!! Definitely two thumbs up for this place, and a definite must for anyone visiting Whistler!
The afternoon took us all around the main village; we walked and strolled through many of the stores! My boys each wanted to buy a souvenir from this amazing city, and there were definitely tons of shops to peruse through! And the little things that you can find are absolutely fantabulous! My youngest son bought himself a silver necklace with a snow board charm that had “Whistler” engraved on it . . . beautiful piece of jewelry and not badly priced either 😉 My oldest son is heavily passionate about riding bikes, so he purchased himself a pair of bike gloves that he had been eyeing online for quite some time . . . Whistler has everything for everyone! After looking through many stores, we came upon a man’s voice from the middle of the village, saying “Everyone come join in . . . we are having a hula hoop competition!” Well, what do you think I did? Yes you guessed it, I joined in!!! My son, our family friend, and I joined in the hula hooping fun, and giggled and enjoyed every minute! Guess how long I lasted? 1 minute? 2 minutes? Maybe 5 minutes? I lasted all of 13 seconds! LOL! It was quite the show 😉 So many individuals lasted more than 15 minutes, and it all came down to two kids . . . a boy and a girl . . . and the little girl won! She hula hooped her heart out!!! The man behind this amazing contest was Ira Pettle! He had such an energy of an entertainer that I had not seen in forever! He gathered a crowd, and got everyone clapping and cheering in a matter of minutes! He was able to engage with the kids, and some of us adults 😉 and truly made it such a fun time! Check out Ira Pettle’s webpage – he is a pretty spectacular guy!
And now for the greatest thing we have ever seen in Whistler, well it’s at the very top of our list so far . . . . Crankworx!!! Crankworx started in the early 2000’s, and has been making headlines ever since! It is a mountain biking festival that is watched worldwide, and every person who watches can’t take their eyes off of these individuals on their bikes, seeing them gain heights off of these dirt slopes and land in what seems like the most effortless way! It truly is an incredible thing to witness! I didn’t have the opportunity to chat with an official Crankworx competitor, however, I did meet a huge fan named Dallas Lozoway from Victoria! He explained what Crankworx was, and how it all works, and how people get involved in it! It was so great to see his energy and passion for riding while talking to me about it! He rented a bike for two days, and took in all the trails that Whistler had to offer during this Crankworx event! We chatted about those involved, and just how talented these competitors actually are! He also told me that this festival is touring four different places in the world this year . . . New Zealand, France, Austria and Canada! What amazing countries for these athletes to visit, and hopefully try winning the top prize!!! This mountain biking festival is truly one that every person who has a like or love for riding should watch! It was such an inspiring moment for my boys; to watch their eyes light up and get bigger as each individual took the course and did tricks and jumps, and land them successfully! What great moments! Dallas encouraged me to get my boys involved if they loved it, and also told me I could do it one day! I giggled, and politely said, “Maybe!” LOL! You never know . . . anything is possible, especially after seeing some of the moves these individuals do!!! A must see for anyone in Whistler over the next week . . . get out there and watch Crankworx!
Tradition tradition tradition . . . we hold true to tradition, and for us, tradition means anytime we are in Whistler, we need a visit to Zogs! The poutine that they create at Zogs is incredible! It is so tasty, and the amount of gravy and cheese ratio is perfection!!! It is the best late night snack ever!!! Open until midnight or later, Zogs offers a taste of poutine from Whistler that I say is possibly the best poutine there!
To end the night perfectly, we stopped by the Mallard Lounge located in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and picked up a piece of their Rainbow cake! Since day one, we had been walking passed this lounge, and eyeing this piece of cake! It just called our name every time we walked by!!! LOL! So finally, on the final night of our visit, we decided to grab the very last piece . . . it was meant to be 😉 We decided to take it back to our room, and as a family, we shared this piece of cake . . . and boy did we have an eruption of laughter go along with it! Now I know it would have been great for me to take the most perfect picture of this cake sitting on the cake platter, or on a pristine white plate so all of the colours would just pop . . . but nope, I decided to have this piece of cake photographed in the “to go box” and grouped with my family! We shared this cake (plus a coconut raspberry slice which was okay, but definitely not even close to the rainbow one!) while in our pajamas and robes, on our bed, with two forks! I have never laughed so hard with my kids . . . that right there was worth every cent that cake cost, and more! The best way to end our time in Whistler!!! It was the “sweetest” moment for me to hold on to for a lifetime!
Day Four – Sunday August 13th
Morning came fast, and suitcases were quickly packed! We didn’t say our goodbyes to this gem of a city, but rather said our “see you later” because we knew we were coming back! There is no way Whistler had seen the last of us!!! And I still want more experiences to write about, especially since I am holding on the challenge of Mr. Fairmont Chateau Whistler Concierge . . . I will have many more adventures in Whistler to write about that nobody has written about before, I promise!!!
On our way out of Whistler, we made our way into Squamish, and met my incredibly talented friend Deanna Wampler, Digital Engager, at the Squamish Adventure Centre! What a beautiful building we entered, and the little coffee shop inside was so sweet and inviting! We sat and had the best conversation about life, and blogger life! She taught me so much in one hour that I don’t think I could ever truly tell her how grateful I am!!! I am so excited about growing my blog, and continuing to share with you all my adventures and journey through this amazing life! This trip may be over, but this journey is not over . . . it has just begun!
Love love love, LC