My younger sister wanted to celebrate a big December birthday with the family clan and we decided to meet up in Whistler, British Columbia. Some of the family drove from Seattle; my sons and I flew to Vancouver and rented a car (special snow tires are a must) to drive the famous Sea to Sky Highway, one of the world’s most scenic drives. Let’s go!
Hello, BC! On the dreamy, scene-y, Sea to Sky road (Rt. 99) from Vancouver to Whistler.
I know, I know. But when in Canada, ya just gotta. Tim Hortons.
Wintry wonderland: My two sons, on a micro-hike near Shannon Falls along the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler.
Peak experience: Whistler looked beautiful this morning. Skiing with my sisters and sticking to the bunnies and greens.
2016 Winter Games: The third generation coaches the first through a game of Jenga. Oh what fun it is to have Mom, Dad, the three sisters, and their families all together for five days in Whistler, British Columbia.
While the rest of the family sleeps, my nephew Eric, a high-school varsity wrestler, trudges to the gym (before a full day on the slopes) for a treadmill workout to stay in top shape. Whistler.
Snow dogs of Whistler.
Whistlerians live up to the Canadian reputation for niceness. Beyond being unfailingly accommodating, staff and the general populace were proactively helpful to clueless visitors, offering directions and tips. My sister and mother were guided to the stunning First Nations Cultural Arts Center and offered a coupon for free bannock at the museum café. My son found himself without cash at the bus stop and the driver waved him on. And we walked into a store looking for cheap goggles and the employee admitted theirs were on the pricey side and promptly pointed us to a nearby store that did.
Fifty-six dollars (Can) gets you on the highest and longest gondola in the world, a 2.7-mile span between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Skiers, puny against the massive mountain, take off on a sunny winter day. Whistler-Blackcomb.
Coolness at the top. Whistler Mountain.
First stewards: Before the European settlers and the ski bums, the Coast Salish First Nations people inhabited the land around Whistler for thousands of years. This totem pole towers over the Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Local legend Gord Harder’s fridge full of stickers documents Whistler’s evolution from the ’60s through the ’90s. Whistler Museum.
Mom and sis Vicky, flanked by strapping young men, son Michael and nephew Alex. Whistler Village gondola.
MasterChefs Junior: The youngest generation cooks dinner for the Quintos clan. Homemade chicken noodle soup, accompanied by salad and bread. Sons Ned and Michael, nephews Alex and Eric, and niece Aly.
The representation of a shaman on a totem pole from the 1950s found in this area. At the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Upper Village, Whistler.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a soaring space, incorporating nature and the environment. It’s an excellent introduction to two separate nations and cultures that both inhabit the Whistler area. Kids and play the drums and listen to stories about spirit bears and thunderbirds.
Using local ingredients and inspired by indigenous cuisine, Thunderbird Café at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre serves up a yummy lunch of sockeye salmon panini made out of bannock (fried bread). Whistler, British Columbia.
From our clan to yours, best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe journey through 2017. We’re all on this planet together.
The is the first post in a series of two; see the second post here.
Photos © Norie Quintos.