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Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Diary, Travel |

Christmas in Whistler

Christmas in Whistler

I usually prefer to stay home for Christmas. I like the quiet of the season, I like the easy socializing, seeing old friends, skiing on the golf course, watching movies, reading books, yoga, mostly it’s the time I get to do exactly as I please. And I’d just returned from a three-week adventure on distant dirt. So, when my daughter, Sonia, suggested that we visit our family in Whistler, at first I was reluctant. I attempted to cling to a tradition I am trying to create. I wanted to host my Christmas Eve orphans for seafood soup and all sorts of lovely snacks and drink. I wanted to be with my sisters and my nephews, like always. But the more I played the scenarios to myself, the more I realized that I had to let go and venture forth to Whistler or be a fool.DSC_3230

My niece and her partner had recently bought a place in Whistler and would be spending Christmas there. I’ve never been there, and apparently there was lots of room for everyone. Sonia could board, I could cross country ski and hang with my rellies from Vancouver. The snow in Whistler was exceptional, the temperatures moderate – unlike Alberta that was deep into a freeze funk. So, off we went.

My discovery is that I love Whistler. Next time I go I will go downhill skiing and I’ll let go of my prejudice and try snowshoeing. Other than that, I won’t change a thing. The cross country skiing is exceptional. My sister Kaethe and I spent the $20 to go on the Lost Lake trails that were fabulously groomed. We glided among the amazing coastal mountain scenery with only a handful of other skiers on most of the trails. The sun came out and we frolicked under the deep blue sky in wonderfully fresh snow.

 

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Sunny skies on the Lost Lake cross country ski trails.

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I was bewitched by the sweet streams we passed by. Each uniquely poetic in the way trees cast reflections on still water and in how the snow weighed down the branches of the trees.

Magically, great mounds of snow would fall from high pines, falling to the ground in a muffled plops. And the flurries of snow that then floated from above and betwixt the forest  offered even more enchantment.

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Snow mounds plopping from a-high creates enchanting slivers of snow infiltrated by sun.

We ate lunch in the Passiv Haus, on the trail. The Passiv Haus in an Olympic legacy. It’s a completely ecological building, hence called passive. It serves to rent equipment and also has a nice, simple lunch menu. And so comfy.

Brother Richard joined us on one day and discovered his long lost love of cross country skiing. He was pretty competent on the skate skis, but was easily distracted when we met a gaggle of family risking life and limb careening down a really icy toboggan hill. Unbelievable. People whipping down the hill, taking air on big bumps and winding up sprawled out on the ice at the bottom. Good business for chiropractors, methinks.

We ate, we ate, we ate. And we drank heartily too. Spent lots of time in the hot tub. Laughter, songs, et al.

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Rick shows off the traditional roll mops salad, while Sonia records the occasion.

DSC_3378And for our final day, Kaethe and I went to the Scandinave spa. What beauty – sauna, eucalyptus steam, hot and cold pools amongst the mountain scenery. No one under 19 is allowed in and silence is encouraged by a number of graphics that show a shushing gesture, so it is fabulously calm. Lovely silence in an elegant setting. People wafting about in fluffy white bath robes, indulging themselves. Just like you should at Christmas time.