Posted by: carterlakelife | July 24, 2010

Whistler Adventures

KevinAs the previous blog alludes to, we hit Nicklaus North Golf Club this past Monday. What a treat! A beautifully manicured course against the mountain scenery is truly spectacular. It  was difficult to keep from looking around from the tees and greens to all the sites. Pretty sweet – unlimited access to practice balls prior to the round; lemonade/water to get you started; have an apple if you need a little nourishment; complimentary ball mark tool; cart; yardage book; towel to keep your hand dry or to wipe your brow; tee off from the first hole with gorgeous homes lining the right side of the hole; smash it in the bush on the left — who cares. Never saw a member of the grounds crew, no sprinklers when we were out, no brown spots on the course. The staff were very friendly – “Have you played here before? First time to Nicklaus North? Welcome, and enjoy your round!” Awesome. The greens rolled true and the fairways were a perfect lie everytime.  A great round. Hoping to get out there again before we leave.

We also stayed for dinner out at the “Bear’s Den” restaurant on the patio overlooking Green Lake and the 16th tee box. Very comfortable and the food was very, very good with the most reasonable prices we have come across since we’ve been out here. A good cap to a good day.

On Tuesday, we had a slower morning which isn’t hard to do around here. Everything is pretty laid back, nothingKevin at the end of the rainbow opens until 10:00 a.m. and there aren’t many people out and about, especially during the week. We went for a stroll through the village, had lunch, hit a couple of the shops and stopped by the Whistler Golf Course to set up a tee time.  Back through the village to check out a few more activity possibilities and a bite to eat before golf. Sitting in our apartment at 4:30 watching the rain come down, we weren’t optimistic, but we venture to the course shortly after and were advised by a couple of people from around the village that it wouldn’t last long, which it didn’t.  Our tee time was for 5:40 p.m. (twilight time – a little cheaper round), but there was a clinic going on that was chewing up the first two holes, so we started on hole #3. In addition to that, we were paired up with a couple of locals from Whistler – nice couple, younger – they have lived in Whistler for 8 years. Matt works as a bellman at the Westin and Andrea works waiting tables at the Brewhouse (yep, local microbrewery) restaurant/bar. Not sure of their incomes, but it’s expensive to live, so they either have a pile of cash socked away or there is supplemental income of some sort. Regardless, they played with us for about 9 or 10 holes and then headed off. Being an unfamiliar course, playing with strangers (although very nice) are the excuses I’m using for beating it around the first few holes. I’m sure that had something to do with them taking off. We finished that last few holes on our own, made the turn at the clubhouse to finish off hole #1 and #2 and called it a night. According to Matt, only about 80 members at the local Whistler Golf Club. Outside of tourist season (July – September), it would pretty much be a walk up and play scenario at any time which is pretty good at an Arnold Palmer designed course.

Wednesday we slept in, tried to rest up a little bit and ate lunch in. The afternoon was reserved for Zip-lining. We signed up and started with a 10-15 minute bus ride to Cougar Mountain. Once we arrived, we were lucky enough to discover that we were the only two that showed up for the 1:00 p.m. time slot although there were 8 people previously scheduled to attend, so we got a private tour with the two ziplining experts, Lisa and Jimmy. After a quick tutorial and fitting of the harness we were ready to go and hopped into the back of an old army jeep driven by a guy who looked like he should have been in the movie Platoon. He got us to our destination safely where our two guides gave us a test run on a short line – about 100 yards. From there, straight into the longest, line with the biggest drop and fastest speed they had on the tour. 1700 feet, 200 foot drop, speed 50 – 60 mph, 400 feet above the valley floor. A great rush and a lot of fun once you got used to the landings which was having your “trolley” (which rode on the braided steel line) smash into springloaded brake system…at 50 mph. Whammo! The abrupt stops were almost as fun as the ride across. A great way to see the sights and do something we don’t get to do everyday and the fact we were lucky enough to go on our own made things pretty casual, but very enjoyable. This is another experience we would highly recommend for everyone to try at least once.  After a cold drink and a quick rest we were back in the van and back into Whistler by 4:00 p.m.  The Flying Wedgies

We had dinner at the Dubh Linh Gate (traditional Shepherd’s Pie and Salmon Salad and a couple of irish beers) headed back to the apartment for a change of clothes and then hit the local theatre to catch a movie. We watched the new Leonardo Di Caprio movie Inception complete with drinks and a big bag of popcorn. Great movie for anyone looking forward to seeing it.

Yesterday was a little cooler and we hung out at the apartment and started to get packed up for our move to the Hilton. Actually, we saved our energy and our experience for the day for the Araxi Restaurant which is in the heart of the village and only 50 steps from our accommodation. For those that are Hell’s Kitchen fans, the Araxi was the “prize” for last season’s winner on the reality TV show where aspiring chefs battle and are put to the test by world renowned chef Gordon Ramsay. The winners become a staff chef at his latest restaurant and this one was opend up prior to the Olympics with the winner starting in January 2010, just 6 weeks before the Olympic Games were set to open. Reading a little background on the Internet, the restaurant was a place where the winner would hit the ground running as the story posted of an interview with the Executive Chef at the Araxi oat the end of October 2009 revealed that there were already, at that time, 4500+ reservations for the restauarnt during the Olympic period. The atmosphere was great and the meal was an experience. Beef tenderloin and bison rib-eye were the mains that followed an oyster-in-the-shell appetizer. Dessert was a creme broulee and chocolate fondant. You can never go wrong with a chocolate dessert and that was the only one on the menu. An easy decision…and a good one.

Friday morning we finished packing up our studio apartment that we have spent the past 11 nights. Check out was at 11:00 and check in to the Hilton was not until 4:00 p.m. With our good packed into the vehicle, we headed back up to Nicklaus North for breakfast. Another good choice and we got there just before 11:00 a.m., so we were still able to get breakfast. Once breakfast was complete, we headed back into the village and walked about to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre for a quick look. From there we headed up the Blackcomb side of the area to the Whistler Sliding Centre, site of the Olympic luge, skeleton and bobsled events. We were able to tour the track area at least partway up the course and got to see how the track is put together and the twists and turns that are part of the structure. We were only able to venture up about a third of the way up due to the fact that there is no “bear control” further up in the area. Got some good pics  and got to see the site which was the main goal of the visit. The vertical drop of the course from top to the bottom point is 500 feet which provided and opporunity for speeds to hit nearly 150 km/h at the second to last turn. There is a memorial in the Village to the Georgian luge competitor, Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed during practice runs at the Olympics. There is a book where many people have left their comments and a place where many people have left tribute gifts to the athlete.

We were able to check into the Hilton a little early and by 3:30 p.m. we were comfortably in our new accommodations where we will spend the next 5 nights before departing on Wednesday the 28th. It is supposed to be hot this weekend (28 or 29) and we are looking forward to some time around the pool evening out our still prairie farmer tans and taking advantage of the amenities here (pool, proximity to golf, pool, workout room (ha)). We are expecting to have a vist with Uncle Glen and family from Surrey who are planning on coming up on Sunday for lunch and the afternoon before Kirsten starts here teacher conference on Sunday night.


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