After a long work week for both Joe and I, we were excited to head on vacation on Friday afternoon. I stopped by Sprouts on the way home and picked up some prepared BBQ chicken and some vegetable sides to take with us for dinner on the flight. We had a 6:30 flight so we took an Uber to Marta and then took Marta to the airport. After about a 30 minute wait for the Marta, it finally arrived. Stressed every step of the way, we finally made it to the airport after a slow last couple of stops. We made it with about 50 minutes to drop off our luggage and get through security. We rushed to get our luggage checked in, then got to security. You never know what to expect when you get to the security line on a Friday. Luckily, it wasn’t super long and we got through in about 20 minutes or so. We hurried to the tram which took us to terminal D, then made it just as the last people were boarding! Perfect timing, but a bit too much stress for me.
The rest of the trip was uneventful. We flew Alaskan Air from ATL to Seattle and then on to Vancouver. We landed in Seattle and had just over an hour layover, so we didn’t have too much down time between landing and taking off again. The one thing I have to say is that we were unimpressed with the Seattle Airport! I guess we are spoiled with how clean Atlanta is kept. We boarded an incredibly small propeller plane and headed to Vancouver. It was such a short trip, and we landed before we knew it. Super tired since it was round midnight in Vancouver (3 PM in our mind), we made it through security super quick and grabbed a cab. The cab has a minimum charge of 20 Canadian dollars even though we were only going about 5 minutes to the Hilton next to the airport, but at this point we did not care. We got checked in and then immediately crashed.
We woke up around 7 AM after a short night sleep but managed to catch about another hour of sleep before we got moving. Joe got some work done in the morning and then we headed down to the hotel breakfast. After breakfast we ventured to the Winnners which is the TJ Maxx of Canada to find Joe some shorts to sleep in and a bathing suit. With everything we packed we missed some essentials, but were lucky to have stores within walking distance. After our shopping trip we headed to the hotel and picked up our luggage then walked about 6 or so blocks to the train station to go into downtown Vancouver. We purchased a day pass for the train which was very reasonable, $9.75 a person. We took the train to the Vancouver City Center which took about 30 minutes, and then walked another 6 or so blocks to our hotel. We were staying at the Sheraton so we were lucky our room was ready around 11 or so and we dropped our stuff off then headed out to explore Vancouver.
We were all awake pretty early in the morning due to the time change. After relaxing for a bit and allowing the sun to come up, we headed out to breakfast. In true Canadian fashion, we had to head to Tim Hortons. I must say the donut I had was super yummy, it was chocolate glazed with a carmel filling. We all got breakfast sandwiches and then headed to our first adventure. We headed to the Hyatt hotel to get picked up by the free shuttle to take us to the Capilano Hanging Bridges. We just missed the ride so we hung around for half an hour at the Hyatt before catching the next shuttle. At 9:30 we boarded the shuttle and were off! Our driver, Ross was a wonderful tour guide for the short 30 minute drive and explained some really neat facts about Vancouver. Once we arrived we quickly bought our tickets (35 Canadian Dollars) and then headed inside. We started with the hanging bridge section. The first bridge you cross is the highest and the longest one and it offers breathtaking views. We spent some time on the bridge before going on. After the bridge there are series of nature walks that showcase the old trees and different vegetation. You also get to do a treetop tour where there is a series of tree top hanging bridges that give you a wonderful birds eye view. We had so much fun exploring the hanging bridge section.
After the hanging bridges they have a cliff walk with is an incredibly narrow pathway with glass and wiring on both sides and you walk suspended over the cliff and hundreds of feet above the river. . I thought this was more intimidating than the hanging bridges, especially the lookout sections where you can see through the bottom! Luckily none of us are afraid of heights so we all had a good time looking around our surroundings and enjoying the scenery. After you do the cliff walk you wrap back around to to the main area via a nature trail. Once we got back we explored the gift shop and Duncan and Allie bought some mugs. Then we all enjoyed some fresh made fudge before heading back to Vancouver. The ride back wasn’t nearly as entertaining but we made it back safe and sound!
Once we got back we stopped by Forever 21 to get me a bathing suit before heading to lunch around 1. We hailed a cab and headed to The Flying Pig, which was highly reviewed. We learned that cab rides outside of the airport are super cheap and the 4 of us had a less than 10 dollar cab ride on all of our trips! We figure with all 4 of us this was a cheaper means of transportation than public transportation. At Flying Pig we sat down and enjoyed an amazing lunch. Joe and I got the salmon sampler to start which had 4 different prepared salmon servings and each one was amazing. For our meals, I had a blackened trout over a salad which was incredibly good and Joe enjoyed his Parmesan crusted chicken which was tasty as well. Allie had the salmon appetizer for lunch while Duncan had a braised pork pasta. We were all super stuffed so we headed out to explore more of Vancouver. We took a cab to Granville Island and walked in and out of some of Joe and I’s favorite shops from the day before it started raining. We had been lucky the rain had held off until 3 since only a few days before we headed to Vancouver it was supposed to rain all Saturday and Sunday! With the rain we headed into the Granville Island Brewing Company where everyone enjoyed a couple flights of beer, where you would get 4 servings for 7 dollars. Everyone was a big fan of the winter beer which was filled with chocolatey honey flavors. After the rain stopped and we finished up the beers we headed back to the hotel to relax. We all got into our bathing suits and headed to the hot tub for a while to relax our leg from two long days of walking and exploring.
We got an incredibly early wake up call at 5:45 AM hand had to get moving quick since we had a bus to catch at 6:20. Luckily the bus stop was right outside of our hotel so after getting packed we headed out just in time to catch the bus to Whistler. We watched the sun rise and the beautiful scenery on the drive, which took less than 2 hours. We pulled into the Community Center Stop where we were dropped off by our Epic Rides bus. We just missed our shuttle to the hotel so we waited about 25 minutes for the hotel shuttle to arrive before heading to the hotel. We were staying at Anita Lake Hotel and Spa for the next 5 nights. We arrived incredibly early so our room wasn’t ready but we checked in our luggage before heading out to breakfast. Breakfast was at Southside Diner which was a quick walk from our hotel. I had a California Sandwich while Joe had a breakfast sampler with eggs, bacon, ham, and potatoes. Allie had some stuffed French toast which was amazing while Duncan had breakfast poutine. After we were sufficiently stuffed we walked back to the hotel and put some warmer clothes on before heading to Whistler Village on the shuttle. Allie and Duncan were doing dog sleds at noon so we headed to Whistler Village and Joe and I explored the village for about an hour and a half, looked at some shops, and got the lay of the land. The last 30 minutes we headed into El Furniture Warehouse where everything is $4.99. The place was packed so we sat at the bar and ordered a French dip sandwich and poutine. It was crazy how cheap it was for a relatively good meal. We will definitely be back! After lunch we shuttled back to the hotel and then got picked up by Black Comb Snow Mobile and Dog Sledding and headed to our dog sledding adventure. After we arrived and were briefed we were off! We started by meeting all of the puppies and greeting them. After that Joe and I got settled into our cocoon and were off. We took in the scenery for a while then it was our turn to mush! I started and finished up the first half of the trip, taking a few stops along the way to let the dogs rest. We had a beautiful view at the top of the mountain before heading back. Joe got the pleasure of mushing back. We loved the whole experience and our musher was a wealth of knowledge. Once we arrived back at the base (about an hour of a ride) we got to play with 5 puppies that were only a couple weeks old! They were seriously the cutest. We then enjoyed cookies and apple cider before heading back to the hotel.
|Not a bad room view!|
Today we woke up and were ready to hit the slopes! After getting bundled up in several layers, we headed to breakfast at Southside Diner. I ate the big ass pancake with chocolate chips (it really was a big pancake!) and Joe got the breakfast sampler with various breakfast items. After breakfast it was finally time to hit the slopes! It was super convenient to have a locker right next to one of the gondolas. There are three bases in Whistler, Blackcomb, Whistler Village, and Creek Side. Our locker was in Creekside since it was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. We got our boots strapped in and were off to the slopes. We decided to ride all the way up to the top and then work our way down. After a Gondola ride and a couple more lifts we made it to the top and started the trek down. Nerves and lakc of ski skills got the best of us to start. The Greens were quite as easy as the NC slopes, and definitely a lot longer. A couple good tumbles and falls, we finally made it to the bottom a good 2 ½ hours later. We were all sufficiently tired and hungry so we headed to Wistler Village to grab some lunch. We grabbed lunch at La Brasserie where Vida got a chicken wrap and Joe, Allie, and Duncan go burs.
We were back on the slopes in no time, and after getting some advice on the trails, we decided to stick to Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain for the remainder of the day. These were much easier greens we we took a lot less tumbles, learned to ski a bit better, and had a much better time! Before we knew it we were all worn out so we headed down to Whistler Mountain to get picked up by the shuttle. This was probably the only negative experience of the trip. When we got to the pick up place the shuttle only had 3 spots. Although we were actually staying at the hotel and had arrived at the pick up spot first, the driver was incredibly rude and another lady that wanted to get to Creekside argued her way into getting on the shuttle. We said we would just take the public bus, and the driver failed to inform us that the bus does not actually take us to Creekside. After getting on the bus and riding the whole loop, the bus driver told us there was no free bus to Creekside, so we sat and waited to get back on the shuttle for our hotel. After the driver arrived there was no apologies or thank yous for waiting, just a very rude driver. We finally made it back to the hotel where we headed to the hot tub to relax for a bit. There were two hot tubs outside in the spa so everyone enjoyed watching the sun set, sipping on drinks, and relaxing our tired bodies. After the hot tub we were all so worn out so we decided on a relaxing dinner at Samurai Sushi.
This was our second day of skiing, and although we were all sore, we were a bit more confident hitting the slopes. We started with breakfast at Tim Hortons since we had gone to the diner so many times. I got a bagel with sausage and egg while Joe got a bacon egg and cheese biscuit and an everything bagel. We wrapped up breakfast and got all set to hit the slopes again. We immediately ventured over to Whislter Mountain where the greens were a bit easier to start off the day. It was much more pleasant starting off the day with a bit easier runs to build up our confidence. We got a couple more runs in and before we knew it it was time for lunch! We went to Blacks Restaurant right at the Whislter Village base and had a wonderful lunch. I had Goulash which was amazing while Joe had a black and blue burger. The weather at the base had been fairly warm (in the low 40s) and sunny so we were loving getting to eat our meals outside! After lunch we hit the slopes one more time.
We wrapped dinner right in time to get picked up by the shuttle and headed back to the hotel. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up a cake for desert the night and some more beers from the liquor store before heading back to the hotel. Once back, we relaxed in the hot tub for a bit before all calling it an early night. We were staying on east coast time pretty well since we were all waking up so early in the morning which will make coming back from vacation easier!
This was our off day from skiing so we headed to Soutside Diner to start the day. I enjoyed the chocolate chip pancake again while Joe had an assortment of breakfast foods. We got back from breakfast and got dressed before getting on the 10 AM shuttle to head to Whistler Village. Once in the village we shopped for about an hour or so, buying souvenirs and looking at all of the winter gear. After about an hour or so we hopped on the Whistler Gondola which would take us to the tube park. It opened at 11 so we were one of the first people to arrive. After getting to the park we bought our tickets then were off to tub! They had different levels of tube routs and let us race down. We went on the highest ones and were shocked at how fast the tubes went! (over 68 KM/hr!) After going down about 6 or 7 times in varying pairs, spinning and turning, we were sufficiently tubed out and ready for lunch. We headed ot Furniture Warehouse for lunch again to let Allie and Duncan experience the “Everything is $4.99” menu. I must say this was the only disappointing meal of the trip, and not as good as when Joe and I had gone the first time. We ordered honey garlic wings for an appetizer than Joe got a burger while I got a BBQ Chicken Sandwich. Although the food was a letdown, it worked for lunch. After lunch we ventured to the ice skating rink but they said they were closing down until 3 so we continued wondering around, eating ice cream, and shopping for another couple of hours. At 3:00 we all payed the $5 to rent skates and go ice skating! Although the rink in the sun was melting a bit, there were hockey courts that were covered. We skated around for about 45 minutes, played some hockey, and had a good time before our feed were sufficiently hurting. Let me tell you, ice skates are not comfortable, but since it was only $5 it was worth it! After skating we headed back to the hotel since we had another 6 PM reservation at Red Door Bistro!
This was a cute little restaurant right next to our hotel so we were excited to eat there. This was by far our favorite meal of the trip! We started off with some beef carpaccio and duck confit spring rolls as well as a bread basket. Both were absolutely amazing! After that, I ordered the duck breast that had an Asian sweet and sour sauce on it, and it came with roasted vegetables and polenta. Allie ordered a bison steak that came with mashed potatoes and veggies. Joe and Duncan split two meals, West Coast Bouillabaise (Dungeness crab, prawns, mussels scallops, and fresh fish in tomato, fennel and saffron broth) and Cassoulet (stew pot of duck confit, braised lamb, sausage, smoked pork, and baked beans). After our main meals we ordered the peanut butter bombe (lindt dark chocolate and caramel mousse, peanut butter whip, and pretzel crust) and Alllie and Duncan got bread pudding. We were all so full after eating such an amazing meal that we skipped on the hot tub and headed to bed by 8 PM. We wanted to get moving early the following day to make sure we made the most out of our last ski day!
This was our last ski day, so we got moving pretty early so we could get on the gondolas at 8:30 when they open. We also knew rain was in the forecast in the afternoon so we didn’t want to waste any time! We were out of the room by 7:30 and headed to Southside Diner for breakfast. Joe got the Brie Stuffed French Toast while I just got a large order of toast and some smoked meat. After breakfast we got strapped in and hit the slopes. The nice thing about Whistler is that they have some green routs in the bowls. We had done these routes yesterday and it was seriously one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. Everything is so white and the sky is so blue to contrast the snow. The best part is that you can ski anywhere! We started off the day in the bowls, feeling confident in our ski skills. We were moving much quicker than the first days and got about 5 beautiful runs in before it was lunch time. We even mastered the greens that we thought were impossible on the first day and some of the blue routes! We had lunch at the Irish Pub right next to the Whistler Gondolas. I enjoyed the Asian Lettuce Wraps and Joe had some bangers and mash for lunch. With full stomachs we headed back up to the top of Whistler Mountain. We got about 2 more runs in before it started snowing! We headed to the top but with the snow came the clouds and it became hard to see, especially in the bowls where everything was so white! We definitely didn’t want to make a wrong turn and head down a black that high up! We made it about halfway down when the snow turned into rain. We headed back up but the visibility go a lot worse so Duncan and Allie called it a day after that while Joe and I went for one more run. The last run, everything clicked and we had such a perfect run to end our vacation with, mixing both greens and blues as we made our way down.
Once we wrapped up, the rain had started to fall at the base so we turned in our gear before heading back to the hotel. After getting dressed and heading to the hot tubs we saw that the gondolas had all been shut down early as the fob set in and the visibility got too low, so it looked like we had timed our last run perfectly! We med a lovely couple from England in the hot tub and enjoyed the conversation even though there was a slight drizzle. After hot tub time it was time to head in and get packed before dinner. For dinner we just headed to Rolands Pub which was right next door to our hotel. We didn’t want to venture too far because of the rain. The environment was quite lively and the food was great! We had smoked salmon toast for our appetizer and then I got fish and chips while Joe got the game burger which was a mix of venison, bison, and beef. He said it was the best burger he had ever had! Everything was amazing, and we finished up the cake from the store once we got back to the hotel. After a long day of skiing and getting packed to go home, we all headed to bed.
We woke up around 7 and headed to Southside Diner one last time for breakfast. We had sufficiently achieved regulars’ status in a week! We all got the chocolate chip pancake and some toast for breakfast, which was way too much food! I took it to go for a good snack on our bus ride back to Vancouver. We got back to the hotel and got on the shuttle at 8:30 to go to Whistler Village to catch the Epic Ride back to Vancouver. The bus was already waiting when we got there so we got on board and enjoyed the 2 hour scenic ride from Whistler to Vancouver. The bus dropped us off a couple blocks from the train station so we walked to the train station that then took us to the airport. Joe and I didn’t have a flight until 3:30 but Allie and Duncan had a 1:30 flight. When we got to the airport, we were lucky enough to get on the earlier flight with no cost to us, which was nice because it gave us more time in Seattle! Before we knew it, we had made it through customs (which was a hot mess!) and we were headed on the short 30 minute plane ride to Seattle. Joe and I collected our luggage before hopping on the train that took us to downtown Seattle where we were staying for the night (we had a long layover to explore Seattle a bit!). We got to our hotel around 3 or so after walking from the train stop. I had been raining on the train ride but cleared during the ride and the blue skies opened up! We dropped off our luggage quickly and then headed to explore Seattle for the next couple of hours before the sun went down. We walked the park of the Space Needle, walked Sculpture Olympic Park, explored the water front, and wondered through Pike’s Market. Pike’s was such a wonderful experience, but unfortunately a lot of places close on Saturday fairly early. We grabbed some clam chowder at Jack’s Fish and Chips spot which was good, then ventured around more before heading to dinner. Since the places in the market were closing, we decided on dinner at Bacco Café, a Korean place that was highly rated. We got there during happy hour which was great because we could order a lot of smaller portions. We got a Soju flight which was quite an experience. We had a mint, orange, and vanilla soju which were all quite tasty. Then we had tuna tartare, bulgogi sliders, and rice cakes. For entrees Joe got Bulgogi and I ordered Mushroom japchae which were both amazing. We were so full after we finished eating that it was nice having about a mile walk back to the hotel. During the walk we explored some beautiful areas of Seattle and I really want to come back at some point and explore the city more! Once we got back to the hotel we headed to bed pretty early so that we could get a good night sleep.
This was a travel day for us. We woke up and headed to breakfast around 7 before heading back to the Seattle Airport. We got there in no time and before we knew it we were heading back to Atlanta. With the flight on time, we had a couple hours to get ready for a workweek and get unpacked form a memorable vacation!
Vancouver is so easy to get around and explore via the buses that I would highly recommend it
Epic Rides is a very inexpensive round trip bus from Vancouver To Whistler that makes for an easy, scenic trip
- Nita Lake provided a wonderful 2 bedroom suite for us to have more space to move around and not feel cramped all week!
- I think this is the start of an annual ski vacation for us!
- There is a huge tax on everything so don’t be shocked the first couple of times you get your bill.
- Timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the Canadian dollar value falling, it felt like we had a 25% discount everywhere we went!
- People in Canada are very friendly, sometimes overly friendly, but don’t be scared to ask for help, directions, or suggestions
- Go dog sledding, it is a once in a lifetime experience!
- There are hundreds of restaurants in Whislter, all of them were amazing!
- The mountains in Whislter are beautiful and we got lucky to have the perfect weather, but the best part about the slopes was that they mix in all different levels so that Duncan could venture off and meet back up with us and still get some harder skiing in