Friday, August 05, 2011

Whistler Happenings

 Kelly and I just came back from a free Jason Mraz concert in the park at Whistler. We got there well after it had started, and were standing way back.  The acoustics in the park were really rather good, so we didn't need to see to hear perfectly.  But then I thought I'd see how close we could get.

We snaked around the edge of the lawns, and in front of shops and across a gravel parking lot, and the next thing I knew we were right at the edge of the stage.  How did that happen?

I took a few photos.  I'll have to upload them when we get to our next destination.  We're leaving pretty early in the morning and driving across the middle of the province to end up in Kelowna shortly after noon.

But I do want to post the photo of Jason winking at me.  Actually, he was probably winking at Kelly.  Which makes him a dirty old man in my books.  Heh.

We took Ken's mom out for supper tonight.  We cooked in the room for the kids, and then put Skip in charge of all the cousins.  Then Ken and his brother Drew (visiting from the UAE) and mom and I went off to look for a sit-down supper where we didn't have to worry about finding a kids' menu.

We had a lovely supper, sitting out on the patio, looking out over the snow-capped mountains.  The food was very nice, but the portions were tiny, and the prices were steep for what you got.  But it was the experience.  And I'm not dwelling on the watered-down Long Island Iced Tea special that came in the moral equivalent of a shot glass.

I have found souvenir shirts for all the kids.  And i even snagged a nice fleece for myself.  Usually,  I am 3 or 4 hours away, driving in the opposite direction, when I finally say "You know, it WOULD have been nice if I'd bought thus-and-so", and by then the opportunity has passed.  But this time, I'll have the perfect winter jacket once I get back to California.  And it was half price.

The kids had a blast in the pool while we were here.  The waterslide was one of the big hits, although I think that the herd of them just enjoyed bouncing around in the water with the cousins whenever they were in the water.  And Skip, playing the role of benevolent Much Older Cousin, tossed anyone who wanted to.  He'd submerge himself, the little cousin would stand on his hands, and then he'd launch out of the water like Shamu, shooting the cousin in whichever direction they were pointing.  I'm pleased to report that no heads bonked (well, there was just that one time...) and no strangers were assaulted.  There are photos.  Oh yes.

We did this thing called the Adventure Zone.  You buy a multi-pass ticket, and get 15 rides on whichever of the places you want to spend your tickets.  The kids, then, got 3 shots each yesterday.   There was a bungy-jumping place, and a rock climbing wall, and a few things geared for the younger set, and then there was this mountain luge place.  That was maybe the biggest hit.

Yesterday, Cousin Greg (he who introduced Ken and I to each other, all those years ago) went down the luge with his daughter (Kelly's new BFF), and nearly fell off, getting a nasty set of skinned patches where the slick (and toasty hot) stainless steel luge run rubbed off his skin.  Today, I did exactly the same thing when I went down the run with Kelly.  Ken had the camera, and actually got part of it on film.

But I didn't want to talk about that.  I wanted to mention that Skip and Nate had been seeing if they could set the daily speed record.  Nate went down this morning, going for all he could, only to nearly collide with a woman who had decided to STOP HER LUGE in the middle of the run.  Everyone was shouting, and Nate managed to brake in time, but it gave him a top speed of exactly ZERO kmh.  Fortunately, the guy running the ride gave Nate another ride.  Even though it's the rear rider's responsibility if there's a collision, you are NOT supposed to stop mid-ride.  And then we discovered, after the lady had gotten off the ride, that she'd stopped BECAUSE THERE WAS A BEAR ON THE TRACK.

So we all ran around like maniacs, trying to see the bear.

Ken's brother and youngest son managed to see the bear (and her CUB!), before they ran off into the woods, but I was too late, as I'd been off photographing two of the kids going up the rock climbing wall.
So you'll just have to take my word for it that there was ANOTHER bear.

I must say that I am most impressed with the calibre of meals that I've been able to pull off by ONLY shopping at the little corner store that's in the basement of the Intrawest Time Share, here at Blackcomb.  Today, lunch was a few loaves of bread (both fresh and lovely), with a jar each of peanut butter and Nutella.  Then I cut up some fuji apples, and handed out baby carrots.  Everyone ate until they were stuffed, and there were 3 carrots left, and a slice of bread.  We all ate by the pool, too, which gave it a nice feel.   It was the last time we were together with Ken's cousin, as he and his family had to head back to Vancouver immediately after lunch.  There were some tears shed.   But I have huge confidence that we will see them again in 2 years.  His folks live in Vancouver (they were the first people that we went to, to show off my engagement ring, after we got engaged 22 years ago), and he and his family visit every other summer.  This makes THREE times in a row that we've managed to coincide with our vacations meshing (nearly completely by accident, I might add).  Next time, we've promised each other that we will coordinate, so we can get better hotel rooms, by booking earlier.  And I have also made them the offer that i make to all the cousins.  When girl cousins turn 16, they can come to stay with us in California for part of the summer.  Kelly thinks that having Kristen would be just the best thing ever.  And that's only 4 years away.

Tomorrow we head to the Okanagan.  Sunday, Kelly and Nate go off to summer camp.  Monday?  I'm sleeping in.

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