Sunday, 27 January 2013

Winter Wanderings

On New Year's Day we decided to take our sleepy little selves (after a very late night in Whistler) up to Lynn Valley.  Whenever, we want to get out and about...and it's not raining, we default to this place! 

Plus one of By's classmates from Bangor Uni had just arrived for his semester abroad here and so we thought we'd give him the tour! 

The water was as clear as it always is! 

and the foresters busied themselves with talking about trees! 

The next day we woke up to find it still wasn't raining...and it was blue skies! These two things rarely happen at once in Vancouver! By had started back at Uni and so I defaulted back to my favourite place when the sun is out...Queen Elizabeth Park.

We had got a thick covering of frost that morning and so everything was looking pretty! 

I may have got a little carried away with my picture taking!

Frost covered pinecones...

Frost covered leaves...

Frost covered I don't know what - but I thought they looked cool! 

Check out that thick frost on the ground! it was so thick it looks like snow here! and I loved that sun streaming in behind the trees! 

I also loved this little peek of the city with the mountains looming behind!

A few days later, the sun was still shining and rain was still nowhere to be seen! I do believe we had about 11 days of rain free weather in a row (this was shout from the rooftops amazingness!) so of course we had to get out and enjoy it! 

We hopped on a bus and headed out to Spanish Banks beach, right by UBC.  We managed to catch this cool view of the skyline in the distance in one direction...

and in the other it was just pure mountains!

Snowy topped mountains!

The sun was out in full force and we were loving it!

We kept walking around the coast, it's just beach after beach.

I think this particular one was called Tower beach.

The sun was starting to set...and everything was looking more magical by the minute!

If we lived closer, I'm pretty sure we'd walk these beaches daily!

By climbed up on this rather precariously positioned branch...I took so many photos in a row because I was sure he was going to slip and fall any minute! Fortunately for him, he didn't!

This picture makes me smile...turquoise boots with the sea underneath, the last time I took shots with the sea and turquoise in the same shot...the turquoise was my painted toes and we were in much warmer climes! 


In fact standing on that beach watching that sunset really reminded me of our local beach, Leeward, in Turks and Caicos.  I could have been mistaken for thinking I was in Turks and Caicos with an amazing sunset like that...had it not been for the fact I was wearing thermals, 3 other layers, wellies and a scarf and hat (and I was still cold!).

So cold...that we took the shot above and started heading back to the road to go home, but as we got closer to the bus stop the sunset was getting more and more amazing so we had to stop and get out all our gear again to get this final final shot!

By declared it was the best sunset he had ever seen! Bold words! It was certainly one we won't forget in a while, and a lovely way to spend a rain free evening in Vancouver!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ringing in the New Year, Whistler style!

So New Year's Eve brought some very welcome blue skies and sunshine! 

We had an amazing drive up the Sea to Sky Highway checking out the awesome views all around us! 

When we arrived at Whistler, there wasn't quite as much snow as the last time we were there but still plenty to make it as beautiful as it always is!

Of course, I was on the hunt for icicles again and I was not disappointed!

We made the trip up with our friends, Nicole and Brandon and their little girl Cambree.  They hail from Arizona and so the -5 temperatures that day took them by surprise!

I like to think we're used to it by now since we've been trying to head up there so often!

When you're in Olympic Plaza, you can't pass up posing in a bobsleigh!

Some more serious looking icicles!

Isn't Whistler just picture perfect?

A quick hot chocolate stop warmed us up a little! 

Cambree was loving the snow!

and as the sun began to set, the mountains started to look even more amazing!

We have had a lot of recommendations to try the burgers at Splitz and so there was really only one option for dinner for us!

It even says it on the sign - home of Whistler's best burger!

We were able to see them hand rolling the patties...

and we also struck gold and found the best milkshakes in B.C! These were seriously amazing, so thick that it was hard to get the milkshake through the straw - just the way I love them! By opted for triple brownie flavour whilst I couldn't pass up on cookies and cream! 

All it took to keep Cambree happy was a jar of salt! no jokes, she loves that stuff!

and the burgers? well I'm going to say they're the best we've had since we've been in Vancouver! So Splitz got the thumbs up all round! It was also fun to be served by a fellow Brit and when we asked where he was from he told us St.Albans! (which is the town next to where I grew up).  He even knew some of the same people I know, what a small world it is!


We stumbled across this Maple Syrup Taffy stand! 

Here the little worker is busy smoothing out the pail of crushed ice.

The hot taffy liquid mixture gets poured on the ice and you roll it up...

until it's a maple treat on a stick! Brandon and Nicole were impressed! 

A short while later and Brandon was less than impressed with our ride in the gondola! since he's not too fond of heights! 

We had a little peek at the snow tubing going on! It looked pretty awesome, that is defo on our to do list for our next time there! 

At the time we were there, Nicole was pretty heavily pregnant...and this week this cute little family of 3 turned into a family of 4! 

We headed over to check out the ice skating...

complete with disco ball and everything! 

The last time we ice skated on NYE was at the Natural History Museum in London 3 years ago so we were happy to discover our skating skills were still in tact! 

We caught another Fire and Ice show too...

complete with front flipping snowboarders...

and backflipping skiers! 

and of course no NYE celebration is complete without some fireworks!

Some being the operative word! Whistler's firework display left a little to be desired, especially considering the amazing firework displays we've experienced in London in the past! 

but although they weren't able to let off more than one firework at once, it was certainly a magical experience ringing in the end of 2012 on snowy covered mountains!

It was definitely a night to remember!