Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ski Vacation 2015: Whistler

Our 2015 ski vacation lined up pretty early in the year this year.  Less than a week after coming home from Walt Disney World, we headed up to Whistler, BC for our (nearly) annual ski vacation.  This year was going to be huge... Logan was old enough to take full day ski lessons.  He was excited to ski...

We learned after the fact that MLk weekend is historically UWs greek weekend at whistler.  We avoided most of the chaos of college kids being insane, but for future reference....

The first day of ski lessons.  He insisted on carrying his own gear.  We chose to do a 3 day ski lesson package for him.  I really didn't want to put him in lessons 5 out of 6 days we would be there, since I definitely wanted to take some time to explore the village with him.  The only location where they do three day packages is Creekside.  It was a little bit of a bummer because we were staying in the vicinity of the village, so we needed to drive to creekside those morning and park.  Which, really, wasn't a big deal.  Creekside has developed a ton since we first stayed there circa 2002-ish, but parking is close to the lift and free.  The major downside, for me, is that the only blue run that ran from mid-mountain down to the creekside base was trashed because of the weather we've been having this year.  I did it once and it was miserable...so I rode the gondola down after that.

Logan had an absolute blast at ski lessons and his instructor did a great job.  Logan was stoked every day and he had no meltdowns during the day.  Which is impressive because he was in camp from 9-3pm with no nap.  

He spent most of his time in the magic carpet area.  They had some outings on the gondola to go feed the Whiski Jack birds, lots of snow play, small groups (4 kids to 1 instructor) and some actual skiing.  I think next time, I would try to do lessons that were out of the main village, simply because the kids area there is much more extensive.  But, no complaints at all.

What the lessons for Logan meant for Joe and I was that we had a chance to go skiing together.  The first day was a little "meh" for weather.  We stayed on Whistler mountain, which was so so for conditions.  Joe and I remembered after that first day that we really loved skiing blackomb, so we headed there on day 2.  


About to jump on the amazing peak 2 peak gondola.


Absolutely amazing engineering.  We didn't wait for the cars that had the glass bottom, but this was still pretty awesome.


The Inishuk at The Seventh Heaven lift.  What a beautiful day.


We had a couple of great days skiing together.  I tend to err on the side of conservative for runs, so I spent a lot of time on some nice blues,  it's suck a good feeling when you get into that groove and start cruising...legs feeling good...enjoying being outside.  On one of my runs, I ran across a bobcat on the trail.  I was the only one on that whole run all the way down...I had to stop and take him in for a bit.. Very cool.

After our ski days, I was excited to play in the village with logan in the Olympic Plaza.  The first day we got there, it was pouring.  We played outside for about 30 minutes, but we got soaked and it just wasn't good.  After that first day misery, I got out the rain pants we brought and playing in the park was awesome.



Kiddo loved the roller slide!  Good thing too...there is at least 1 really awesome one near where we will be in Japan...


Whistler does a really cool family après ski two nights a week.  Sledding competitions, dance parties and free goodies for the kiddos.  We got Logan a balloon sword and he got to play hockey...



Whistler village is just amazing now.  We loved all the neat little touches.  The rings, the decorations, all the stuff projected onto the walkways (Logan adored the snowflakes).


Logan really, really wanted to ski with Joe and I.  I used all my days up early in the week, which meant Joe and Logan had a chance to ski together.  We extended the kiddos rental and off they went.  Joe was exhausted after 2 hours with the kid.  They spent a ton of time on the magic carpet in the mid mountain kids area, did a real lift and the. I finally spied them coming down the mountain.  Logan apparently can snowplow, but not stop or turn.  But, Joe said he was amazing and didn't fuss at all, which exceeded our expectations.



The happy skiers.


And a well earned picnic lunch.


We decided that we should do one family day with all of us not skiing.  Of course, it poured that day.  So, what did we do but go to an indoor trampoline park.  It's a little bit tough finding indoor things to do in a place that focuses so much on outdoor fun, but after some searching on the intranet, I finally found this place.  The Whistler Bounce Academy offers free parent admission during toddler time, which is from opening (9am, I think) to 11am or noon (week end /week day).  Logan really had a great time.  I think  he had more fun in the foam pit than the actual trampolines.  And this place got INSANELY busy after the first hour.  Wow.  But, well worth the drive.  



We also checked out Whistler Brewing, just near the trampoline park.  Good beers, decent food...and it felt a little more local than the village.

The weather cleard enough that I wanted to get up tubing with logan.  After doing some research, I learned that we could have gone sledding at one of the Olympic areas about 15 to 20 minutes south of whistler and that they charged admission by the carload.  But, Joe and I needed to meet after he wrapped up skiing, so tubing on mountain was way easier.  Kiddo wasn't tall enough for the big kid tubes or runs, so we hung out on the kid runs.  He loved going by himself like a big boy. We went down together a few times, with me holding his tube.  But I think he loved the independence...and then he had quite the life.  I had him pull his own tube the first time and if I would have continued that, we only would have gotten two runs in (he didn't complain, but he was slow).  So, I pulled him up to the lift  with him riding in the tube.  I called it my workout of the day,m whew.



What's a wonderful trip to Canada without a little Poutine!  Yum...


All in all, a great trip.  Can't wait for another ski vacation...I know that this will be an awesome start to many wonderful memories.

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