As an Australian living in Vancouver, a lot of people ask if you are/have been working in one of British Columbia’s numerous ski fields. For me though, that was never my intention when I got my holiday visa. I wanted to experience city life. I am also the most uncoordinated person on the planet. The one time I have been skiing, in New Zealand’s South Island, I was stuck in the beginner classes for the entire five days AND only mastered the chair lift after four days. When I finally got off the lift without falling flat on my butt was the best day ever.
My friends and I decided to pay Whistler a visit over Christmas. I had heard it was nicknamed Little Australia, I just didn’t realise just how many of my own countrymen were calling the snowy paradise home. At every restaurant, shop, hotel and ski hill you would hear the accent. For me it was nice to hear so many Australians again after being away from home for over six months.
How we Celebrated a White Christmas in Whistler
We got the Greyhound up, which is so convenient – just hop on and in two hours you are there. The highway we drove along was parallel to the coast, so it wasn’t too bad spending the drive getting lost in the sea. Christmas Eve included lunch at La Brasserie and a stroll around the village. The area is very walkable and easy to navigate.
We popped into the different shops to try on silly hats, look at beautiful unique jewellery and pick up a souvenir or two for our friends and family. I took a jumping photo in front of the Olympic rings and sat by an outside fire to Skype with my parents celebrating Christmas Day in Australia.
We defrosted with a scrumptious hot chocolate inside as the sun set, so we could take photos with the lights that lit up all areas of the village at night: from the top of gazebos to the trees lining the frozen creek.
We started our night off the Aussie way with a drink/cocktail or two. I do have to say I tried a cocktail called Sex in a Gondola (yeah yeah I know, bad name) but damn it was delicious. Dinner was a bit fancy at Ric’s Grill It was nice to be a little classy just once.
Christmas Day was everything I had ever hoped for as an Australian girl who has spent every Christmas singing carols on the beach — a white, winter wonderland. We opened presents from each other and the fam that were nestled under our makeshift Christmas tree. We ate Australian chocolate for breakfast as we made our way to Whistler Blackcomb Mountain in search for some nice snow to make a) an angel and b) a snowman.
It is truly a beautiful area to walk in, even when it is in the minuses outside. Snow covered pine trees lining the creeks carrying water down from the mountains. Everywhere I looked there was a photo to be taken and a postcard to be formed. After making snow angels at the mountain base, we ventured off the path to build a snow-woman. She was one stylish snow bunny.
Lunch was at The Brewhouse The staff were all so friendly to be spending their Christmas Day serving us. I felt like you could eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week and still not dine at every eatery in the village. Visitors and residents alike are definitely spoilt for choice.
We ate our lunch quickly so we could run outside as it had just begun to snow. For many people living in the Northern Hemisphere, to have snow on Christmas is nothing new, nor exciting. I know some even say it’s a nuisance (blasphemy!). But for us Australians, who are used to spending Christmas sweating, it was an actual dream come true.
We stood and skipped and twirled as the white flecks hurriedly fell from the sky and caught on our coats, beanies, scarves and tongues. We picked up an ice-cream from Cows and ate it as we were spinning around.
Then we had a little bit of time left before the bus, so what did we do? Checked out another bar of course! We headed to La Bocca, and had a seat at the heated bar. Best invention EVER! I may have placed my head on the bar to really enjoy the warmth. It’s Christmas, I can do what I want, right?
We decided to try a Caesar for the first time too, Canada’s national drink. I wish I had someone recording my reaction to my first, and only, sip. According to the bartender it was the best thing he’s seen in awhile. Canada, I love you, but that drink should be illegal. Seriously. Vodka, tabasco, clamato juice (yeah, clam and tomato juice), worchestershire sauce, celery salt around the rim and to garnish, green beans and celery.
Five minutes after we had ordered new drinks to try and wash the taste of that concoction out of our mouths a resident came in and ordered a super caesar: double the vodka and including some extra garnish: olive and salami anyone?
We bid our new friends farewell as we headed to the bus for the quick journey home. We finished off our night watching Christmas episodes of our favourite TV shows (who remembers Chrismukkah?) and, of course, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I would love to revisit Whistler in summer to see just how different the scenery would be once the white blanket is lifted.