Saying Goodbye to Whistler Winter 13.14

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the official last day of the 13.14 Whistler Winter season. Whistler mountain will close, with Blackcomb remaining open for another month. Most people’s contracts are ending, friends are leaving, and the snow is melting. The past 6 months have flown by and soon it will be all just a beautiful memory.

The last week has been by far my favorite week however – a perfect finish to the season. It started off with something to tick off my Bucket List – Snowmobiling! We did a tour with TAG – The Adventure Group. They drove us out to Cougar Mountain, which is about 10 minutes north of Whistler Village. We went on the one hour tour- it was a lot harder to get the hang of than I imagined, but definitely a lot more exhilarating than I was expecting! We went through bumpy terrain and through a lot of tight gaps and sharp corners to get to the top of the mountain which had the most stunning views. Even on a cloudy day the view did not disappoint! We managed to do the whole tour without anyone falling off their snowmobile, and ended the outing with a delicious hot pear cider.

Made it to the top of Cougar Mountain!

Made it to the top of Cougar Mountain!

Then was the event of the season – the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. The week-long event started off with De La Soul playing in the sunshine in the village, and the Big Air Snowboarding Comp. It was so cool to see the village so packed, and there were so many stalls giving away stuff – free Monster energy drinks, Coca Cola, Fish Sticks, Cliff Bars – I could have got used to that everyday! There were artists playing on the stage every afternoon, and events on during the day mostly in the terrain parks – and all for FREE!! Each evening a different bar had a gig on as well – although with working most days (yes, unfortunately reality meant still had to work most of the festival!) I didn’t see as much as I would have liked. I did however get the most important day of the festival off- the day after Shapeshifter played their night-time gig, which also happened to be the day of their afternoon gig in the Skiers Plaza.

Big Air Snowboarding Competition

Her voice is beyond amazing!

Sneaky Sound System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t heard of Shapeshifter, they are the best band to come out of New Zealand. It’s a shame they aren’t up there with Lorde winning Grammys because they definitely deserve it! I made sure I was front row for both of the gigs. They Thursday night gig was a bit insane- it was in one of the biggest pubs in Whistler but there were so many people there to see them the “mosh pit” got a little crazy- I have the bruises all up my legs to prove it! Luckily it calmed down a bit after their first song and they played an amazing set.

This was my view of the stage (no zoom needed!)

The next day they played in the Skier Plaza in the village, and after a week of overcast and rainy days Whistler showed off for them with a beautiful sunny day. It felt like being back home in New Zealand- at a sunny outdoor concert with pretty much every Kiwi in Whistler around me in the front row singing along to every song.  And to top it off- I won a camera! The MC after the gig asked if there were any Kiwis in the crowd with their NZ Passport on them, which due to me losing my other I.D. I have had to carry around my passport as my I.D. So all that risk paid off!

I won an Olympus Tough Camera. It is waterproof and shockproof (aka Emily proof) and it takes AWESOME shots!

Although the World Ski and Snowboard Festival technically ended with The End party last night, I ended it on Friday night afterShapeshifter at theSkullcandy Party. The End party had so many good D.Js playing as well but I knew if I went I would be WAY too shattered for work the next morning ! Sometimes I hate playing the responsible Emily card but I suppose it has to be done!This week is my last week working for WhistlerBlackcomb in the reservations center, then I make a quick weekend getaway to Seattle before starting my new adventure withZiptrek next week! As much as the winter season has been amazing, I cannot wait to get started on my Part II of my Whistler adventure!

This felt like home :)

This felt like home 🙂

We were stoked to meet Shapeshifter- ignore my glowing eyes and terrible picture quality!

We were stoked to meet Shapeshifter- ignore my glowing eyes and terrible picture quality!

Weird Things I Won’t Miss About Canada

Even though moving from New Zealand to Canada is a 14 hour flight away, to a country that is a day behind in time, where they drive on the opposite side of the road, I wouldn’t really say it was a massive transition. There are of course the obvious things I had to get used to – not having my family a quick car ride away, making all new friends, living in -5 to -15 degree weather (and those torturous -20 degree days!). However from what I have seen of Canada so far, it is just like a huge New Zealand. Similar scenery, friendly people everywhere and you get used to the accent pretty quickly! There are some smaller things though that after 6 months here I just cannot get used to.

 

10 weird things I cannot get used to in Canada

 

1/ Stick Deodorant.

In New Zealand, I don’t think it is even possible to buy stick deodorant. So when I walked into the pharmacy (sorry, “drugstore”), to buy a new deodorant I was so confused with all these weird little sticks lining the shelves! I even had to ask my Canadian flatmate how it worked. I am slowly getting used to it but it’s just not the same as spray on. I managed to find a spray deodorant here with a lot of searching however it is a weird brand and smells like talcum powder….

 

stick

 

2/ Large gaps in bathroom stalls in bars and clubs.

I’m not sure if this is just Whistler, but EVERY bar/pub/club here has really large gaps in the bathroom stalls so you can see people doing their business! I was told it is so you can’t sneakily do lines of cocaine in the bathrooms which would make sense, but that probably doesn’t stop people taking drugs and I would really like to just pee in private!

3/ The shocking selection of fake tanners.

For a country that doesn’t get a huge amount of sun, you would think that they would have a much better selection of fake tan. However in both Whistler and Vancouver, I can only ever find about 3 different brands and none of them I really like. I miss my Le Tan and my Model Co.! Luckily I have had the excuse of being pasty all winter due to the fact I have been wearing a ton of layers, however summer is on its way and I’m not too keen on risking skin cancer!

 

4/ Tipping.

Ok, so this is a whole North America thing, not just a Canada thing. While I can understand maybe wanting to tip your waiter if they have done a great job, but if you have a rubbish server who acts like they would rather be anywhere but there serving you why should we be tipping you?!? In saying this, I have had some excellent servers and I have no issues whatsoever tipping them.

5/ Slooooow internet.

This may just be a Whistler thing. But if you guys back home in New Zealand think that internet is bad, try living here. I was trying to stream “Ja’mie, Private School Girl” (my new obsession) the other night and for a 25 minute show it took over an hour to stream. Sometimes it is so slow my Instagram can’t even load new pictures. The broadband here is actually as slow, maybe slower, than dial-up. No joke.

Internet Meme

6/ Expensive phone plans.

I am paying $55  a month for pretty much the exact same plan I was paying $19 a month for back home. Also, you have to pay to RECEIVE phone calls on your cellphone. Weird, right?

 

7/ Gross KFC fries.

This is probably a good thing so I am never tempted by them! But Kiwis – you have no idea just how good we have it when it comes to KFC fries. They are just nowhere near the same here. Please also notice I said fries, not chips – that one has taken a long time to get used to!

8/ Compulsory coat check in clubs.

Once again this may just be Whistler, but when you have to pay $5 + to get into a club to then be told you have to coat check your coat for an additional $3.00 this is NOT cool. Especially when it is so cold you have no choice but to wear a jacket into the village! Most of the coat check girls are SO rude as well, there are only a few bars around town that actually have nice coat check girls.

 

9/ The bread.

Bread in Canada is sweet. I know how weird that sounds. But there is no other way to describe the taste. I have tried about 6 different brands and still have not found bread I really like. I miss my Molenburg and my Vogals!

 

10/ MUCH channel’s REALLY lame humor.

MUCH is a TV channel over here that is kind of similar to MTV- a music channel which plays some music but mostly just lame shows. They have one show on it which is actually music related where the MUCH hosts play music videos and try SO hard to make jokes about it. There is no way I can emphasis just how really ridiculously lame  it is. If I listen to it for any longer than 5 minutes I am cringing so bad I just cannot handle it. Ain’t got nothing on New Zealand’s dry, witty humor whatsoever.

 

There are so many amazing things about Canada that definitely weigh these out though, don’t get me wrong! It just goes to show even moving from one first world country to another first world country still has it’s slight culture shock! But as they say, first world problems, right?!

 

 

 

Spring is here!

April

 

I am BEYOND happy the temperature is starting to rise in Whistler. After having a season here, as fun as it has been, it has confirmed for me that I am indeed a summer person. Snowboarding is fun – but I prefer canoeing on lakes, going on hikes, riding bikes and (attempting) to surf. I am more than ready for BBQ’s and wine, and sunbathing at the lakes!

Yesterday my friend and I went for a little walk to Lost Lake, which is still frozen over but after 10 degree days it won’t be too long before it melts! We even saw a beaver there – my first beaver sighting ever, which was pretty surreal. I couldn’t get a good picture of it as it was in the shadows, but it was still amazing to see.

I thought I would just do a quick blog update this time to show you some pictures of our stroll so you can see for yourself how beautiful Whistler is in the spring!

 

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