Wednesday, August 21, 2013

That fantastic Whistler trip!

Whistler Olympics Plaza on a sunny day in August

Following Edmonton, I flew with Uncle Johnny, Aunt Elim, Aunt Connie, gugu and gucheung to Vancouver. (Thanks to gugu, gucheung, dad and mom for the generous sponsorship - I keep going on holidays on others' expense this year! My family took pity on me the temporarily jobless one.)

The plan was to spend 4 nights at Whistler's Mountainside Lodge, then a day in Vancouver before flying home in the evening. How cool is that!

Day 1

We arrived in Vancouver in the late afternoon, stopping by Aberdeen Centre to have our dinner. The last time I came here I had 鸡蛋仔 (bubble waffle) from the food court, so this time round I tried the noodles from the same stall. I love it because it's the closest taste I have of the 茶餐厅s from HK.

I want to eat everything!

We bought loads of groceries from a nearby Chinese supermarket and went on our way before it turns dark. Two hours later, we checked in at Mountainside Lodge. Everything's been perfectly arranged by Uncle Johnny so we had a room in no time. But we slept late because we had many Indian chiefs wanting to decide on the sleeping arrangement Poor gucheung carried the mattress 3-4 times up and down the stairs after each decision was overridden. It was too hilarious! ^ ^

The trolley could barely move under the combined weight of our luggage

From the vantage point of the loft

Day 2

We had very good weather on our second day. We spent the day strolling around the village, checking out the shops and taking in the sights. The heat was a tad unbearable towards the afternoon so we stopped by Cows, apparently the best ice-cream chain in Canada, for ice cold sweetness. They also sell the cutest merchandise!

Hordes of tourist around the village

Spot the ski trails on the distant mountain?

Whistler is a world renown ski resort but what's less known is that it's a great place for summer activities too. Mountain biking is a big thing and everywhere we go, we see people young and old clad in protective gear. The ski slopes are equally, if not more, exciting for mountain biking!

A group of older bikers... we saw some as young as 4 year-olds!

One of the bikers 'flying' in the sky

In the evening, we drove to the nearby Alta Lake where families were having picnics by the shore. Dipped our feet in the freezing water for the first time.

An unspoken sense of peace

Selfie by the lake

Day 3

We meant to take a 30-min trail to Lost Lake but I followed the wrong map and led the group on a long, long way along Fitzsimmons Creek to the Green Lake 2 hours later. Oops! Luckily, we discovered Nicklaus North Golf Course at Green Lake so we had a nice lunch overlooking the lake.

Whistler Air at Green Lake. Floatplanes!
(My photo doesn't do justice to the beauty of the lake)

Lunch at Nicklaus North Golf Course

Finally back on track on Valley Trail
We finally got back on track after lunch and arrived at Lost Lake 45 minutes (and many, many slopes) later. It was drizzling on and off and the sky was gloomy when we reached.
Lost Lake is much smaller than the other nearby lakes
Had to put on a jacket because of the cold breeze

Aunt Elim must have been looking for some adventure. The mischievous adults, led by Aunt Elim, balanced themselves on two narrow, floating tree trunks to get to the small platform in the middle of the lake. I followed suit after seeing how dangerously fun that is! It started raining heavily after the four of us were cramped on the platform and we started scrabbling back on the wobbly logs.

Gucheung looks like he's walking on water!

On our way back, we noticed these tiny toads supposedly migrating from the lake to the grassy areas. We had to really look out for them lest we step on them accidentally!

Look how small the toad is compared to my shoe!

Day 4

The last day at Whistler is the most exciting day because we took the PEAK2PEAK Gondola! On Whistler Mountain we met our lovely volunteer guide who took us on the gondola ride across the peak to Blackcomb Mountain. It's quite an experience, being dangled in a gondola crossing the two giant mountains!

It's fun moving through the fog though it sometimes blocks the view

The never ending stretch of Alpine trees is lovely!

We hiked around Blackcomb Mountain with our guide enthusiastically explaining the plants and wildlife along the way. The glacier bowls look bare at this time of the year but in winter they are covered in snow!

Our guide walks faster than a 18-year-old!

It will be completely different in Winter

The hike trail is quite rocky and even though walking sticks were provided we had to use every ounce of effort to keep our balance. It was foggy so there wasn't much view but we felt like we are walking above the clouds.

It's worth the climb!

A rocky road

The highlight of the day is the Peak Express! HIGHLY recommended because it takes you all the way to the summit of Whistler Mountain! It's included in the gondola ticket so you don't have to pay anything extra. It's SO awesome sitting on the chairlifts, being taken to the skies and beyond. The view is beautiful on top!

Going higher and higher... yay!
Gugu and gucheung having the ride of their lives

I want to touch the sky!

The Whistler Inukshuk!

Final words...

We left Whistler the next day and went back to Vancouver, stopping by Shannon Falls, the Twin Falls at Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, English Bay and the University of British Columbia before boarding our flights home.

Compared to Whistler, Vancouver's day trip is very toned-down. I had so much fun that I almost didn't want to go home. The only regret is not trying Ziptrek Ecotours at Whistler! We didn't have enough time.
Finally a group photo at Shannon Falls

The suspension bridge is not that high but it sways a lot when too many people try to cross!

Looking down at the Twin Falls

At English Bay

Vancouver School of Theology at UBC

I want to say thank you to everyone who has made this trip so memorable. I hadn't expect to have so much fun but I did! My aunts and uncles are so young-at-heart and fun loving... they made me realise it's OK to just be silly and fool around whatever age you are at! Thank you, for generating so much laughter in the trip!

Yay! We are flying (off the railing)!

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