Whistler/Blackcomb – arrival and day one

We had a short 3 hour flight from Denver to Vancouver. Oh wait, I should back up. Being the beer junkies that we are…we, of course, planned to grab a beer before the flight at Elways in Concourse B. I ordered the Titan IPA from Great Divide Brewing. I had tasted this one before but had never order a full pint. It was a delightful IPA and much better than I had originally thought. Hubby ordered an Amstel…what was he thinking?

Once we arrived at Vancouver International Airport we had a 2 hour wait until our bus (Pacific Coach) left for Whistler. Hmm, whatever did we do? Oh that’s right, we drank Canadian beer! We found a restaurant and ordered up some of Canada’s finest. Well, maybe not their finest but whatever they offered at the airport. I started off with Lions Winter Ale brewed by Granville Island in Vancouver. It tasted like that Hershey’s chocolate powder in the tin can that we made chocolate milk with when I was a kid. I remember it specifically because I would lick my finger and stick it in the can so that it would get coated with the powder and then into my mouth my finger went. Yum. Hubby started with the Cloak & Dagger Cascadian Dark Ale, also brewed by Granville Island. It was slightly hoppy and not too thick. We shared a Mad & Noisy Hops & Bolts lager brewed by Creemore Springs. I did not like this one at all. Bluck. Hubby had to drink most of it.

It was awesome to find out that the bus had a restroom on it. Yay! We wouldn’t have to hold it for the whole ride. And let me tell you, it was a 3.5 hour ride. Longer than the flight. Although peeing on a moving bus that’s driving on mountain roadways is not easy! The bus ride takes you along the coast and up into the mountains and was supposed to be a beautiful ride. It was so foggy that we couldn’t see too much of the sea or the peaks. The fog did make it kinda cool though.

When we arrived in Whistler it was already 7:30pm and mostly dark so we didn’t get to see much of the resort or village. We headed out to find the first restaurant that looked good. Milestones it was. It was located at the base of Blackcomb mountain, was crowded and had Canadian microbrews on tap. The food was only okay and the service was terrible. The beers also were not very good but that was not their fault. I ordered the Rickard’s Red and later found out that it was made by Molson Coors in Canada. That’s why I didn’t like it 🙂 Hubby had the Cypress Honey Lager by Granville Island and we shared the Powder Mountain Lager from Whistler Brewing. Both of those made me realize that I just don’t care for lagers much.

When the woke up the next morning, the mountains had received about 9 inches of fresh powder. We got up early and made our way down to the lobby where a shuttle bus would take us the very short drive to the base of Whistler Mountain. Hubby and I split up for the first runs since I suck at skiing and he snowboards black diamonds. Our plan was to meet back up at lunch. I started out on some green runs. They were crowded and too narrow for me to practice any turns. They were more like skinny paths for faster skiers to get from one part of the mountain to another. They would zoom by me almost taking me out. I would find a portion of a run that was just my style and I could try to carve some turns but then it would quickly turn back into an expressway. I wasn’t having the best ski experience but I knew I was just on the wrong runs.

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We met for lunch at the Mountain Market for a cafeteria style meal mid-mountain at the top of Whistler Village Gondola. It was quick and no fuss. Hubby and I skied together after lunch. Things got a little better but I could tell that I was getting tired and the crowds were too much. Someone told us that Blackcomb is not as crowded so that was our destination for tomorrow.

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I walked back to our resort, showered, changed clothes, and went to the Fifty Two 80 bar in our hotel for a drink and to wait for hubby. I sat in the leather chair in front of the huge fireplace and ordered the Valley Trail Chestnut Ale from Whistler Brewing. Oddly enough it tasted just like the Winter Ale with the Hershey’s chocolate powder flavor. I figured that it must be a desired taste in Canada. I had a great time relaxing in front of the fire in a leather chair drinking a beer, wait, that’s exactly what I do at home! Guess I like what I like. ha ha.

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Hubby and I walked towards the village and saw a place that someone had recommended to us, Merlins, so we stopped in for a beer. Merlins had a cute rustic charm that you expect to find at the base of a ski resort. It was perfectly what we had in mind. I had Alexander Keith’s Galaxy Hop Ale brewed by Oland Brewery. It was one of the best beers I had by that point. Hubby imbibed in the Whiskey Jack Ale from Whistler Brewing. It was good as well. The first day had been good but the next one was gonna be even better.

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It was raining. Normally I really do not mind the rain but when I’ve signed up for a ski vacation, rain just seems weird. Thank goodness my ski coat can double as a rain coat. I knew where the closest brewery was so we made a bee-line straight there. It was in Whistler Village and is called BrewHouse. It is part of the MJG Group of restaurants/brewpubs, kind of like Rock Bottom Restaurant/Brewery in the US. We had a couple of beers and no food. I had the 5 Rings IPA and hubby had the Grizzly Brown Ale. Both were decent and the ambiance was nice.

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We walked around the village looking for a fun place to eat. All of the good places that were not chain restaurants were very upscale. Hubby and I agreed that after skiing we feel more like burgers, nachos, and the sort not a fancy dinner. We had a hard time finding a fun place. Finally we back tracked to a cute little restaurant that we had seen earlier, La Brasserie. It was “Earth Hour” while we were there so they had tons of little candles lit and no electrical light on. I loved it. This is the way restaurants should always be. The food was good and the service was great! We were getting tired from our long day so we turned in early so we’d be fresh for the next day.

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~ by willtriforbeer on May 14, 2014.

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