A Travellerspoint blog

The tour continues...

We headed to Whistler again, but just for one night this time around. It was much quieter than it was when we had been there a week earlier...no snowboarding competition, no loud music and school groups on camp instead of revved up young ones! We had a lovely night at the Westin and a delightful dinner and breakfast...the first of MANY, MANY more!!!!!!

The morning arrived early again...aptly named by friends... the 6 - 7 - 8...up at 6am, breakfast at 7am and on the bus at 8am ready to go! This has continued now for a couple of days and won't end until the cruise starts.

The bus is as comfortable as it can be...the group we are with are all Aussies and a nice bunch, but we are the youngest by about 5 years or so. We have had two very long days of travel from Whistler to Kelowna and then on to Banff.

Shannon Falls
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Snow Capped Mountains and Frozen Lakes
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The journey to Kelowna was amazing as we went from snow capped mountains to drier farming areas and back through snow and then mountains again and amazing lakes...finishing up in the beautiful Okanagan area of Kelowna. Our hotel was older but right on the river and the boardwalk that surrounds it. They were preparing everything for a major boat show and the upcoming warmer weather...that they assure us really does appear!!!

Winding Roads and Spectacular Scenery
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Seton Lake
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Fraser River
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Kelowna
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Off to Banff...

Today we travelled up into the Rockies through awesome scenery. We saw magnificent Glaciers, beautiful lakes and evidence of avalanches!!
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We travelled through Craigellachie, where the last spike was driven into the tracks of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which joins Toronto to Vancouver.
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We arrived in Banff and discovered why they don't have to mow their lawns!!!
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Just get an Elk for your garden!

We continued up to behold the Castle on the mountain...The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel...surrounded by mountains and still with lots of snow around everywhere. Breathtaking views from every corner!!
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We had a magnificent meal at the Banffshire Room at the hotel...an amazing fine dining experience...mmmmmm
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Tomorrow we take a tour of the area and explore the township...then it is off to Lake Louise...so excited!!!

Posted by thewoodsies 22:20 Comments (2)

Victoria...Day One of the Tour

Wednesday arrived with a thud!! A wake up call for 6.15am was a shock to the system...the bus was leaving for Butchart Gardens at 7.15am. We all arrived at the bus in time and drove for about 45 minutes thru grey skies and drizzle. We arrived at the garden for a beautiful breakfast in the house dining room and as we looked out the windows the sky cleared and the clouds and rain disappeared to leave blue sky and sunshine.

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I will never be able to smell a Hyacinth again and not think of Butchart Gardens!!
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The gardens were amazing...each corner we passed we were greeted with a more spectacular view to behold...absolutely a must see" for your bucket list!!

We spent two hours walking around and then headed back to Victoria for the afternoon's choice of activities. Unfortunately the weather closed in as we returned from the gardens and the skies opened to rain that seemed set in for the afternoon.

Rob headed out on a 25 foot cruiser for an afternoon of Salmon fishing...but it was not to be...they got an hour out of port and the water was too rough so they turned and headed back into shore...very disappointing indeed!

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I on the other hand had opted for a Historic Walking Tour that looked very unlikely...but we began with a drive to sight see in the heavy rain and then as it became a little better we started walking...first the Parliament Bulidings then the Empress Hotel then up through Government Street to see some of the magnificent local buildings...we managed to walk for two and a half hours through the drizzle to get what seemed to be the best activity of the afternoon. Our guide George was a knowledgable fellow who managed to entertain us even though we were wet and very cold!!

The guests who headed up in the seaplane also had a disappointing time as the visibility was not good and those who had flown direct to Canada from Australia found the warmth and lack of view conducive to a snooze in the sky!

Tomorrow we head back up to Whistler, but fortunately for us we had a few days up there last week as we only arrive there late afternoon in time for dinner and a bit of a walk around the village...there won't be enough time to do any activities at all.

Next stop after Whistler...Kelowna...Rockies here we come!

Posted by thewoodsies 22:43 Comments (1)

Easter weekend in Nanaimo!

Happy, happy Easter everyone...I hope your holiday weekend has been as much fun as ours.

Good Friday saw us sadly say goodbye to Emma and put her on the plane home...but she arrived home safe and sound...although I am sure very tired!! We caught the afternoon ferry back to Nanaimo to stay till Tuesday when the next part of our trip begins...

BUT FIRST...there is an Easter holiday weekend with friends to enjoy.

Saturday was a true spring day in downtown Nanaimo... summery clothes were donned by the locals...(not the aussies tho)...and we headed to the waterfront for lunch at the Dinghy Dock Pub. We had to catch a little ferry over to Protection Island to enjoy sitting in the sunshine drinking Gummy Bear Martinis, Beer and Coffee and shared a feast of Calamari, Nachos, Scallops, Halibut and Pizza.

The ferry waiting area...in the sunshine.
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Gummy Bear Martini...sounds terrible, but it was really good!
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Lunch in the sun.
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We spent a couple of hours there before we ferried back to walk and savour the sunshine, that is sadly predicted to be gone again tomorrow.

Easter Bunny made it to Nanaimo as well!

Audrey presented us with the most amazing Easter breakfast ever!!
The table was laid out beautifully with gifts, Lindt bunnies and Champagne and Orange, to toast the day. This was followed by frittata and home made hot cross buns...mmmmmmmmm yum!

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We are heading off this afternoon for a family get together at Audrey's sister's house and of course you can't go empty handed so we got together to decorate cupcakes to take with us...a morning filled with fun and laughter.

Easter cupcakes...
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Posted by thewoodsies 13:10 Comments (2)

More Whistler Fun...

What a fabulous time we have had in Whistler!

A perfect Whistler Day
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We spent the day up the mountain today after a night of light snow had covered everything. This morning we awoke to blue skies, sunshine and a perfect day in Whistler!! Emma was a little sore and stiff this morning so she decided to only do a half day of skiing today. We all headed up the mountain together...it was packed!!! Rob and I played in the soft powder and took in the spectacular scenery while Emma skied halfway down the mountain and then came back up to meet us for lunch. The sun was shining, but it was FREEZING!

A busy day on top of the mountain
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Emma ready to hit the Whistler runs
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The Woodsies on top of Whistler
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Inukshuk...this was one of the symbols for the 2010 Olympic Games.
It means "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path."
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Family fun...

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We all took the Peak to Peak Gondola from Whistler Mountain over to Blackcomb Mountain...what an absolutely awesome feat of engineering!!
Emma skied down part of Blackcomb, but found the runs much more challenging than Whistler Mountain...so we took the gondola back to Whistler for her to finish the day skiing under us down the mountain back to the village.

The view towards Blackcomb Mountain fron the Peak 2 Peak Gondola
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The Snow Monster!!!
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Blackcomb Mountain
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Emma on her final run down Whistler
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Our last afternoon was spent with yet more shopping and then a yummy dinner at The Mongolian Grill...you choose all your own ingredients for a stir fry and they cook it on a huge hotplate...delicious!

Home to watch another hockey game and pack for a day in Vancouver before our gorgeous girl flies home to Perth...how sad it will be to not have her company for the rest of the trip...we have some amazing memories to cherish!!

Posted by thewoodsies 21:44 Comments (3)

Whistler...OMG It is Snowing!!!

Tuesday morning was a sad affair as Emma had to say farewell to Audrey, Steve and especially Katie...we were leving to head to Whistler and then Friday she heads home. We caught the ferry to Vancouver and caught up on a little nap as it was an early morning for all to get the 8.30 ferry. We got a taxi into Vancouver and then had some breakfast and a bit of a wander around the downtown area.

We arranged a shuttle to Whistler at a great price as the season is almost finished for the winter...the weather has been much colder so the season has been extended a little...which is great for us!

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Spectacular scenery surrounded us throughout the trip up the mountain and we arrived early afternoon at Crystal Lodge. Our room was a traditional double whch upon reflection was soooo cramped we opted to the upgrade to a deluxe suite with significantly more room so we wouldn't be tripping over each other in the night...

Our first afternoon was spent getting Emma set up with hire of everything she needs to hit the slopes and Rob & I decided to be woosie sightsee-ers for the 3 days...if it had been at the end of our trip we may have been skiers but our ankles and knees were screaming at the thought!!!

We all slept soundly and awoke early for Emma to hit the slopes for the day...we decided to hit the shops and wander thru the extensive village to check out all that is available. We met up with Emma in the afternoon for some drinks slopeside and OMG...it began to snow...heavily...it snowed for a couple of hours...hopefully it will continue for the night and the ground may be covered in the morning!!!

Ready to hit the slopes!
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Getting colder...
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And colder...
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A little snow...
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And now it is really snowing!!!
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Time to go home where it is warm...it is FREEZING!!!
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Tomorrow...Peak to Peak Gondola and more skiing for Emma...

Posted by thewoodsies 19:15 Comments (2)

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