We had a great extended weekend last week up in Whistler. We were there as guests of our new friends as they got married on Saturday, and then on Sunday it was my wife’s 29th birthday (…again).
We made a long weekend of it by taking a couple of days off – Friday as a holiday, and Monday by declaring ourselves recently departed Albertans and taking Family Day. We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, which is a fabulous ski-in, ski-out property located at the foot of Blackcomb mountain in Whistler’s Upper Village. As a regular guest of their hotels, we were treated cordially, given upgrades is various areas, including a slope-side suite with a small living room.
The wedding was fabulous. Everyone always says weddings are beautiful, perfect, or other mixtures of overblown adjectives, however I was particularly taken by this event. It was both simple and perfect. Modest yet luxurious. And the bride and groom looked and behaved wonderfully: just the right amount of apprehension, excitement, emotion and ecstasy. They did a great job and delivered a truly memorable day – obviously to themselves but also for their guests.
The reception was held at the Chateau Whistler golf course club house and was again a beautiful venue and exquisitely prepared. The wine flowed and a nice dinner led to dancing long into the night. They are great friends and we are grateful to have received their invitation. (for a full set of pictures, please visit my online photo gallery, however note it is password protected on behalf of the hosts and guests’ privacy)
The following day, with an appropriate hangover, I rose at 7:00am and hit Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for a day of skiing. It was the first time I’d skied at Whistler under blue skies and sunshine. To say it was shockingly beautiful would be a massive understatement. And having received 200 cm of new snow in the previous week, the conditions were superb. I skied my heart out, joining some new acquaintances who are expert skiers and boarders for my last few runs which resulted in hikes and steep back-bowl moguls and glades and then, with lactic acid coursing through my legs, barely made it back to the hotel in the mid-afternoon.
In a bit of pain, though better for it, my wife and I visited Araxi for dinner that evening to celebrate her birthday. Araxi, as you might know, is Whistler’s top restaurant and was featured on Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” show a couple of seasons ago. It’s owned by the same outfit as Blue Water Cafe, Cin Cin and West – each amongst the best eats in Vancouver and therefore Canada. Araxi was itself amazing. Their raw bar features exquisite seafood delicately prepared, and their main courses focus on local cuisine. It was delightful and well worth the hefty pricetag. (pictures below courtesy of my wife, and for more on this dinner, visit Nest and Sparkle)
We were back to reality on Monday, and back to the grind. But we’re happy to have had the weekend that was, and very much look forward to our return.