Memorial Day Weekend at Whistler

Memorial Day weekend!  I’ve always thought of this weekend as the first weekend of summer, when the days are warm and long, and you have an extra day to get out and enjoy the weather before it gets hot.  Memorial Day is not quite so summery here in the Pacific Northwest (that won’t really come until July), but with all the natural beauty of the region, it’s hard to complain. 

Justin and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend to drive up to Whistler, the resort town about an hour and a half north of Vancouver, British Columbia, where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held.  Although Whistler is famous for its skiing, it’s summer season rocks:  the hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and scenic gondolas are all terrific, and in town there’s enough yoga, restaurants, bakeries, shops and a movie theater to keep the “down time” fun. 

Obviously a weekend (even a long weekend) is not enough time to do everything (especially when you stop in Vancouver along the way to meet up for lunch with other Seattle friends who are vacationing there), so we focused on the hiking, yoga, restaurants and movies.  We had a great time, and I’d love to go back and explore some more.

Here are some photos from the weekend:

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Border crossing! 
The lines to get through border patrol were infuriatingly long.  We waited 80 minutes.
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We stayed at the Cascade Lodge near the heart of Whistler Village.
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We may have brought more than we needed for a weekend…
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View from the condo
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Proof that the 2010 Winter Olympics happened here

Sunday was the best weather day, so we prioritized hiking.  Local guides recommended a 6-mile hike to Logger’s Lake.  The first part of the loop was steep up a mountainside with nice views and a wonderfully mossy forest.  Then we dropped down to a lake, where we had lunch and watched the fishermen.  The last part of the trail followed the snow-swollen river back down to the trailhead.

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When I posted to Facebook that I was in Canada, approximately everyone I know
recommended that I eat a Wunderbar.  I tried one but didn’t love it — give me a Twix any day.
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When in Canadia, eat maple things!
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Suspension bridge over the river
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Traffic rules on the bridge.  Probably a good idea.
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View from the bridge.  There were no bears.
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Mr Keyes thought it seemed like a good idea to freeze his feet off
when we were still a couple miles from the car…

Knowing that we’d be ready for dinner after our hike, Justin had the good sense to make a reservation at Araxi.  Everyone said Araxi was the best restaurant in Whistler, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was — we got a five-course dinner and everything was really excellent.

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Gaspacho
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Seared tuna tataki and spicy tuna tartare on sushi rice
with shiso leaf ponzu pearls and chopped egg crepe
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Sweet pea ravioli
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Rack of lamb with parmesan polenta, green beans and mushrooms
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Fresh raspberries with sour cream ice cream and macaroons

We drove home on Monday under cloudy skies.  It’s too bad, because the “Seat to Sky” highway is spectacularly scenic, and the clouds obscured the view. 

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Next time we’ll stop and take pictures while it’s sunny. 
The views from the highway are amazing.

 

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