At least I assume you've been waiting for this post. Maybe you haven't been. Maybe you're just content with the pics of lycra-clad warriors and snowing alpine vistas. But nevertheless, I feel as though I owe my readers a written account of things that have happened in the last few weeks, starting with our trip to the land of Canadia, America's Hat.
If someone were to say, "Chris, you have to move out of Kansas City right now. You have a choice of any city in North America, but it will be your home for the rest of your life." I'd think about warm locales momentarily (endless cycling and golf) but in the end, I'd pick Vancouver hands-down. That is the most gorgeous city I've ever seen. It's roughly the same size of Kansas City, but surrounded by water and beautiful mountains and gorgeous Pacific Northwest old growth rain forests. Driving through the city I thought the population was 8 million, because of all the elegant high-rise glass lofts that incorporate a vast majority of buildings downtown, and the fact that people are every where. You'd think they were hosting the Olympics or something. It's very multi-cultural in BC, with lots and lots of Aussies and Asians. And everyone seems very happy. I would be too, since it was roughly 50 degrees there and KC was a balmy negative 10. There are tons of bike trails and ped-friendly paths, beautiful parks, and tons of options for transportation. I do hate that KC is SO car dependent. Add that with all the good eating and it's no wonder I've been carrying around so much of a gut.
Anyway, I digress (as usual). Whistler-Blackcomb mountains are about 2 hours north of Vancouver. The base at Whistler is only about 2200', so there is no altitude acclimation, which is a bonus for flatlanders like us. Penny and I had a terrific time skiing/snowboarding, and had a great vow renewal in front of the Inukchuk statue (in the pics below) so we should be set for another 5 years. Despite the frigid mid-mountain temps, I didn't drop our rings in the snow, and the ceremony was lots of fun and memorable, especially with the unbelievable view.
Tuesday night we went to the Village and ate at Araxis, at my sister's and mother's behooval, and it was really quite good. The creme brulee wasn't as good as it is as Bristol, but everything else was great. I don't know about $18.50 for an organic salad, though. That's what you get for ordering a pre-dinner salad without asking how much it is. Oh well, fool me once I suppose.
On Wednesday, we took the day off and hung out at Starbucks reading magazines and books until late morning (which was terrific minus the crappy Charbucks coffee), and then went over to Whistler Village and did some shopping and just had a nice lazy day.
Thursday we got back after it, and Penny was having fun doing some jumps and I even hit a few jumps too. At the end of the day, we were sad to put an end on the trip, but ready to bring the Chaos known as "The Boys" back into our lives. Friday we traveled for about 12 1/2 hours before we finally had our heads hit the pillows on our own bed. That's a long time to travel, and I'm all for shorter trips next time. We talked about taking AB next year, and maybe doing a family trip with some of our friends to somewhere in Colorado. That would be quite a change of pace, but I think it'd be a lot of fun too. Certainly very different than what we're used to!
In true swiii style, I have to incorporate a gripe in this post. I just want to say UNITED AIRLINES SUCKS.
You're telling me that I have to pay $140 to take my bags on top of the $1000 I've already paid you for our seats. You guys can seriously suck it. That's complete bullshit charging for bags and I hope that your company dies a miserable, bankrupt death and consumers stop paying for your half-assed attempts at customer service. The cost of air line transportation is ridiculous, with 3 hour security clearances, fees for snacks on a 3 hour flight, fees for blankets, fees for pillows, fees for headphones, and this just in, fees for you paying your fees at the airport instead of pre-paying them. I'd like to take this opportunity to take the $140, change it into nickels, and ram it up your corporate ass.
I feel marginally better.