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Published: June 25th 2017
Geo: 50.1183, -122.954
This is the day! All roads are leading to Whistler via Vancouver.
I was up-and-at-em at 3.30 am in Vegas and on the airpot shuttle bus from the Flamingo at 4.00. This was at the recommendation of the concierge to ensure that the Mayweather fight crowd was missed. Think I dodged that one because the ride to airport was done in 7 minutes and I was the only one at the Air Canada checkin station - even beat the staff! No worries, plenty of time to get the bags in order.
The eventual checkin was smooth. Mind you, would have been handy if someone had warned me that in the U.S. you have to take your shoes off for the security check - before I tied the double knots in the Merrills. May have saved some embarrassment at the head of the queue.
A relaxing wait in the departure lounge and then I was heading north right on time at 7.35.
The air hostess was two sentences into her welcome-aboard speil and I was sound asleep and did not stir until a cup of tea was offered at 9.00 am. No TV. No food. No English for the man sitting next to
me so I filled the time with trips to the toilet, a few chapters of a book and glances out the window. We seemed to be flying very low...just scraping above the snow capped mountains.
The welcome to Vancouver airport terminal was incredible with an impressive cultural display complete with canoes, totems and forests. But NO DUTY FREE! Oops, missed my chance at a couple of bottles of something special.
There were about 400 "strangers" in the queue at immigration and only three booths open. After one hour and tens minutes I was finally at the head of the line! I did get to chat to a gentleman who works on a cruise ship organising shore excursions. So I got the inside oil - he recommended three particular tours so I have added them to the wish list.
Yeah, at last, through immigration, a dash to the luggage carousel and the big hugs and kisses from Mac. And then out of the crowd pops Mindy Moo, replete with obligatory beanie! More hugs, lots of kisses and reunited we begin our Canadian Adventure.
How did that happen.....well Mindy and Mac left Whistler at 8 am for a quick dash down the mountain....a two and a
half hour trip on the Whistler Express - another trip for Mac on the Sea to Sky route. It is truly an amazing natural corridor - so beautiful as the trip hugs the mountain and then the sea....taking you from the snow capped peaks, thick forests and sheer cliffs of "the sky" to the beauty of the bay and ocean dotted with barges and cruise ships.
Mac had told me he would meet me but Mindy was an unexpected bonus!
First order of business was a food stop followed by some whirlwind shopping stops. The Merrills have just lasted through the Vegas trip and have tragically had a blowout. No worries, found a replacement pair in a downtown outlet for $79 complete with zip! No USA airport hiccups for me in the future. So impressed I wore them straight away. Just lucky we had Mac because he had to drag the luggage through downtown Vancouver and sit outside babysitting the bags.
Mission complete and off to the Greyhound bus for Mac's third run - my first - and Mindy's umpteenth. And yes, it was beautiful.
Have to say that with the winding roads, steep cliffs, the way the driver took the corners and
the passengers were tossed around, it did have a little taint of the Mad Mountain Man driver from China about it. But the locals just swayed from side to side and Mindy fell fast asleep.
After two hours and thirty minutes we were in Whistler fossicking in the grocery store for the makings of dinner. A cab ride to The Aspens, a welcome by Ian and a tour of the apartment. This is home for nearly three weeks.
A stir fry, a rum and an almond magnum were the prelude to the beanie parade. Mindy and Ian have about 60 beanies and each one was more hilarious than the last. We rejected them all! Need to hit the shops AGAIN tomorrow. Not sure what all the fuss is about. It is toasty here and the sun was shining.
Good night Whistler at 10 pm - desperate for sleep.
Temperature: Las Vegas = 34 Whistler = 13 with a spot of rain
Steps: 10 024
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