Thursday 30 December 2010

Snow, xmas and the mountains at work

My home baking - White chocolate mud cake for xmas

xmas day presents, thanks Fanny for the bowtie that lights up ha ha

a home fire, some wine and presents xmas night

Santa came....

Sun setting at work

Sun rising view from our balcony spectacular

View at my other job Nita Lake lodge, normally
a lake now all frozen

Ginger bread competition in Vancouver

Dinner with Lauren, David, Lee and I in Whistler

View from Lees Xmas work cruise

Our working crew on xmas day Ravens nest

A snowy white xmas day at work

Merry xmas from Ravens Nest

Yes, I've been working far too much over these last few weeks, including Christmas day, but with views like the following I can't complain as it just takes my breath away. For all to see a few photos from my 2 jobs and how we spent xmas day at Ravens Nest. Got to catch up with my Physio friend Lauren and her fiance on boxing day and just some fun times we've had recently. Can't believe its New Years Eve tomorrow, how time is flying by.......

Saturday 25 December 2010

A little big of sledging, Christmas and some skiing.

Lisa with slopes almost to herself

The view from the glass bottom Peak2Peak gondola

Top of the Whistler peak chair

Sanka, you dead? Yeah Mon

This is what happens if you don't move your truck when there's a snow dump forecast in Whistler

Fire and ice display

So another few weeks have passed. I am fortunate enough to have 12 days off work over the holiday so hope to get loads of skiing in and if the snow is anything like it was today (Christmas day) then we are in for a treat.

We managed to watch the bobsled world championships a while back which was super impressive and seeing them rush past your face at 150kmph is incredible. It takes a lot of bottle to get in and go in one of those things thats for sure.

We have regular Sunday night fire and ice show here in the village which we went to see last weekend. The video clip of some of the mountain staff and instructors showing off and having fun. Lots of prizes given out every week so we will be fighting to get to the front this week to get the ZipTrek tickets.

Nothing super exciting to show for on the skiing front. Probably more of the same for most of you but with 10 days on the snow I'm sure some funny ones will be posted soon.

Merry Christmas everyone. Have fun and be merry.

Sunday 12 December 2010

A bit more skiing, a bit of shopping, a lot of snow and the christmas countdown

Not masses of news to report at the moment. I have my new routine of a couple of long commutes and a few weekday nights in Vancouver before a well deserved weekend on the slopes to get used to although only a couple more weeks before I get a nice 9 day Christmas break. It's a shame that the Christmas period will be one of Lisa's busiest but thats seasonal work for you. I'm looking into the possibility of completing my level 1 ski instructors later in the season so I might be doing some volunteering teaching the kids over the Christmas break if the ski school gets back to me and need a hand. Otherwise I'll be more than happy to work through my seasons target of skiing all of the runs here at Whistler Blackcomb.

For those who want to check out where we go and play in our spare time over winter then take a look at the webcams

So for now its some last minute Christmas shopping as I have barely done any and with only 5 evenings when I can get into downtown that's cutting it fine as usual.

Finally started working and starting 2 new jobs at once is going to be a juggling act of new things to learn and time schedules to try to make work but the cash flow will appreciate it. Here I was thinking at least now I'm not working in a hospital I won't have to work xmas day, wrong, of course food and service industries don't close on xmas day infact its the busiest period of the season.... So i'll play the waiting game to see if I actually get to ski and eat xmas day with Lee or not otherwise we'll have to make it up to each other in other ways.

Christmas is coming rapidly and so is the snow so I"m smiling :-)

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Skiing on Whistler Mountain

First time skiing together - Whistler

Our housemates Tim and Pepi

Having fun with the childrens balancing pole

21st Nov 2010
First day hitting the slopes together. It was so cold -20 that my feet froze and I was really close to tears as we warmed them back inside the round house food stop. Feels good to be on my own skis and wearing my own boots, no more hiring for me. Only 9 runs open for now but no bother as I'm still re learning how to ski again, beginner woes. Hope to get out there more before I start working, waiting for temps to warm up a bit. Yesterday it was -20 in the village and colder on the mountain, so I left it to the die hard skiers and snowboarders to head out, I figure I've got all season to get out there. Even managed to go ice skating, not Lee's favourite sport it seems ;-)
I'm still hunting for another part time job, but when your competing against 350 people for 20 jobs its not proving to be easy, still have to continue trying....... Lee is still living in Vancouver and up on the weekends to play in the snow.

Monday 8 November 2010

Snow is falling, all around me...

Whistler singing pass hike and the ski runs getting snow on them now

Vancouver city skyline by night

Big black bear on the Olympic downhill ski jump

Well, I lie, kind of. It's actually raining in Vancouver but it did snow on Lisa on Monday night.

Our current situation is that I am in Vancouver committed to the office for another 4 months and Lisa has just moved up to Whistler. The plan is for me to do some sort of semi live in the city, commute a few days a week from the mountain retreat style setup like all those high flying city slickers. Except for the fact that my city pad will most likely be a dirty hostel for a few nights a week, the mountain retreat, great as it is, is a room in a shared house and the commute may end up being a 2 hour bus trip each way. Still, the skis area ready to be set up, the boots need breaking in and the first few flakes of snow have been spotted in Whistler village so that will keep me going.

The ongoing work saga for us is still, well, ongoing. People being slow at keeping their promises, annoying and inefficient bosses who change their minds every 5 minutes, etc, etc. I still have no contract in place although I have been told that it will be with you in writing soon and Lisa's job description and hours are proving to be a nightmare to juggle with her other mountain job.

Fingers crossed that things will work out as it's almost time to start enjoying the snow for 5 months and then looking forward to some travelling again around Easter time if we can save our pennies and not blow them all on heli-ski trips and more winter gear. Ha ha yea right!

Thursday is remembrance day here as it is the UK but in Canada they give everyone a day off work and organise loads of parades in the city. My plan at the moment is head off and make the most of the 1 zone all day travel and do some exploring on the outskirts of the city and push the limits of the metro Vancouver transport system. Got a few ideas as to where to head off to for my picnic lunch but it is going be (as I am getting used to saying now) weather dependent. Hopefully there will be a few cool photos to put up and I won't end up hiding from the rain in museums and coffee shops all day. That's pretty much all the news for now from the Vancouver side. More from the mountain resort shortly no doubt...

Here in Whistler, there are black bears crossing the roads in daylight and more excitingly we had quite a snow dump here last night, snow remained on the garden and cars this morning and has given the groomers something to do high up on the slopes. It shouldn't be too long now until the ski season begins. Work issues as Lee mentioned are super tough at the moment, but through friends, family and the support we can give to each other, we really hope things will start to go a little more smoothly soon. So for now its a skype call from the Mountain to the city that will have to suffice...... Updates to continue

Monday 1 November 2010

Happy Halloween

Our carved Pumpkin :-)

We got dressed up and joined the lost souls parade around commercial drive then settled in for a few drinks. Cold night but great costumes and awesome atmosphere = fun Halloween in Vancouver

Wednesday 27 October 2010


So my extended birthday celebrations continued last weekend with a trip to Seattle.

We rented a car from Friday and headed down straight after work hoping to miss the worst of the rush hour and border rush but getting out of work late and then skytrain delays meant that we didn't leave Vancouver until nearly 5pm. Once on the road it was a simple enough drive down to the border. We had address's, passports, ESTA's completed etc to try to keep things smooth but we knew that a previous trip to the USA for Lisa resulted in some paperwork being left in her passport and she was warned that next time it could be tough getting in as it look's like she's never left. We got to the border and we sent over to the main building to complete I94 visa waiver forms. The queue was the best part of 30 minutes before we got to speak to someone and fill out the forms. We got the usual USA customs grilling and explaining a BC address, an Alberta rental car and a British and Australian passport caused less grief than we expected so it was straight forward. We had to leave the car keys with a guard outside and assumed that he was checking the car so when we heard people around is being asked if the had any fruit, veg , alcohol or tabacco with them we freaked a little as we had food the weekend and my secret birthday cake was lying on the back seat of the car. However when we got back to the car the keys were lying on the windscreen and it looked like no one had even glanced inside. The cake was safe!

We were staying with a friend of a friend and with the TomTom only showing the first 50km over the border we had to partly wing the last section and partly rely on the googlemaps print out which was pants. We made it to Brian's in good time though and had a chat before setting up on yet another couch but we were very grateful to be hosted by generous strangers yet again.

We set about a big day exploring on Saturday and got a decent start and worked out the bus routes. First stop was REI's flagship store (outdoor kit and clothes). An hour later we left with a few new goodies in the bag and headed down to the Chocolate festival that was on at the Seattle Centre. We stayed for a good hour or so sampling chocolates and listening to an ex NASA scientist turned choco-guru tell his tale of chocolate experiments in order to create the best chocolate and he seems to be pretty close with awards and big orders.

Later we cruised around the downtown area and also to the Pike Street Markets which are well known for the huge assortment of food stalls, crafts and bric-a-brack.

Seattle weather seemed to be pretty much like Vancouver so we didn't escape the rains but the BC brolley served us well until we got home. We headed out for dinner with Brian and Andrea and went for a crab feast up by Lake Union. They had a 5lbs of crab special so we got one of those and then 2 a la carte orders. The crab was amazing basically 2 fully dressed crabs and about 12 big legs full of meat. A real seafood feast. A few drinks later and a beer in a bar entertained lightly by some band with the same 3 songs going round and round saw us getting home at a decent hour after a good feed and fun night out.

Sunday we decided to get out to a few of the little suburbs and headed out to Fremont and Ballard Markets and a stroll up to Volunteer Park. We headed back mid afternoon and cruised through border control this time apart from the standard trip up questions.

Another fun weekend and definately worth going again for a summer time stroll and play on Mt Baker.