Ohhhh Canada! Ohhhh Whistler! Oooohhmg, what a frigging cool ass place. The diversity of people, the insane views, the adventures, the shopping, the mountains, the FOOD! The happiness just never seemed to end on this trip. We traveled to our northern neighbor in hopes of some fresh snow and lots of snowboarding, but when we arrived there was less snow than desired. However, we learned very quickly that less than perfect snowboarding/skiing conditions doesn’t mean there isn’t anything else to do. We sat at Keg’s bar our first night and a California transplant and British bloke mapped out a TON of things for us to look into and do. Since Whistler Village appeared to be having an early Spring season we were actually lucky enough to snowboard and get a feel for what Springtime at the mountain is like and I am happy to report…Springtime in Whistler rules. It’s breathtaking.
Let’s start with the people. I honestly didn’t meet one asshole. Well, actually there was this one waitress, although I would say she was more of a smart ass than an asshole. More about her later. The people of Whistler are so helpful, considerate and friendly. Chatty too! Which if you know anything about me, I’m a chatterbox. That whole “don’t talk to strangers”? Yep, nope, my favorite past time is talking to strangers. This village is packed with people from all over the world and I mean that quite literally. Everyone has a different accent, I absolutely love it. Kids (and when I say kids, I’m referring to twenty-somethings) flock to the village, whether it’s to work on the mountain or in a bar, to live life adventurously. It’s really quite impressive and refreshing actually. It’s a mountain town full of people living in the moment. Like this guy.
This is Longhorn Saloon and Grill. Clearly, this is THE place to be apres-ski. Longhorn throws a good party and it’s excellent for people watching. What is a Bulldog you ask? It’s equivalent to the Iceberg in Mexico…a slushy margarita with a corona dumped upside down into it, grab a straw and slurp away. Welcome to getting hammered in Whistler! Personally, I enjoyed Ceasars. It’s Whistler’s version of a Bloody Mary except instead of tomato juice they use clamato juice. And if you’re lucky, it comes with a piece beef jerky at some places. I can’t forget to add that they salt the rim with what Anthony and I called “pizza salt”. You guessed it! It tastes just like a salty pizza. We tried to buy some to bring home, but, alas, it was not for sale, just for licking off the rim. Extra please!
Speaking of being in the moment, Anthony and I went to a yoga class at Yogacara, a beautiful and tranquil studio within the village. Emily, the studio owner, is delightful and of course, super friendly. I think it’s the Whistler way. Her space is warm in color, perfectly lit, prepared for students upon arrival and beyond welcoming. The class was an A+. Innovative, thorough, challenging yet patient and instructed wonderfully. Our savasana was fifteen minutes long and every moment of it was like a little slice of heaven. Calm, quite, perfectly still, with no where to rush to afterwards? How often does that scenario happen? Not very often. It’s a must in Whislter, any level of yogi would be in good hands at Yogacara.
After yoga we stopped downstairs at Naked Sprout Juice and Salad Bar. This place is all sorts of yummy organic freshness. Love their motto: Be Better. Go Organic. Get Naked. With Yogacara and this place, you’ll feel like a million bucks within a couple of hours. The kale salad, vegan chili and carrot juice…divine. Copy that?
Since the snowboarding conditions were not fabulous, especially for a beginner (me), the ride was a bit tough, but for a more experienced snowboarder (Anthony) it was much more enjoyable and tolerable, we were on the hunt for more excursions. Ultimately, we decided zip-lining was in our forecast so we hopped in Superfly’s van with some other thrill seekers. We basically put our lives in the hands of two twenty somethings; one Aussie and one Canadian. We trusted them with this:
And it was frigging awesome! Believe me, I was SO scared at first. Anthony jokingly calls me his “little adrenaline junkie” because I’m such a scaredy cat nerd. I took the death grip approach opposed flying free with no hands. No thank you, not there yet. But who cares, we soared over Whistler and it was incredible. I would do it again tomorrow. Travis and Jordan, our zip-lining dudes/guides were super safe, funny and quite informative. And for the single ladies, they were cute too, so go for it. Plus, this view? You can’t beat it.
Eager for more, we decided to hike from Whistler Village to the Scandinave Spa. We couldn’t take photos at the spa…but you need to check out the site, because to see it is to believe it. UNREAL. The spa is purely for relaxation purposes and talking is strictly prohibited. Seriously. There are folks walking the grounds just to enforce this rule and they’re not playing around, they totally had to quite one guy three times. Of course I laughed on the inside. How can you not? With that being said, it’s actually an amazing rule. Which, I surprisingly didn’t break. It was the most beautiful spa I have ever been to and I got the best deep tissue massage I have ever gotten. If you go, ask for Cindy or Susie. They kick ass. Oh and don’t forget to stop in the cafe after your stay for a Bliss Bomb; a little raw, delicious ball of energy. I digress…here are some photos from our incredible hike around Lost Lake.
The food and drinks in Whistler are spectacular. Before you head up to the mountain grab an espresso drink and bite to eat at Mogul’s Coffee House. They have healthy options and then they have Sausage Rolls. Yup. They’re even better with ketchup and they make they’re own sausage before they stuff it into the roll. They are so good. The Moutain Energy Bars are perfect before heading out to snowboard or ski, plus they’re easy to save in your pocket while on the mountain for the day.
Another favorite spot we ate was Creekbread. The pizza is cooked in their wood burning oven and holy F! It’s unbelievable! They’re entire menu is mainly organic and local, so it definitely makes you feel less guilty about eating something naughty, yet so good. When you go, you MUST order Mopsy’s Kalua Pork. It’s their version of a Hawaiian pizza. You will eat it and you will want another one. Trust me. Don’t forget to begin with their organic salad…add the blue cheese. Their staff is also super chill and friendly and of course, chatty. My favorite!
We went to Araxi, a popular spot in the village and I so badly wanted to like this place. All in all it was average at best. There was one tuna appetizer that was truly delicious but our entrees were really just ok and the service was mediocre; which brings me to our smart ass server. Now, it takes a lot for me to complain to a server or management, it’s something I rarely do and I would more or less call this an inquiry more so than a complaint. When we got our glasses of wine the pour was a joke. And for the price, it was a hilarious joke. Like a good 4.5 sips kind of joke. I kindly pointed out this observation to our girl and even threw in the old “it’s no worries, just curious” line. She told me that she’ll head over to the bar right away and “will stare” at other glasses of wine while the bartenders poured to be sure we got enough. Seriously? How do you respond to that? And she came back about five times after her staring contest with no report back and that’s because she was a smartass butthole. In any case, I wish all of the food was this pretty and tasted this good, unfortunately it was a lackluster.
Two more places that are an absolute must are The Green Mustache and Purebread. Whatever you do, make sure you go to The Green Mustache and get their Buddha Bowl, holy shitballs! It’s the freshest of fresh ingredients and is dressed with a nutritional yeast dressing. And per usual, the staff is extraordinarily friendly. Then, since you ate something so healthy, walk on over to Purebread bakery for a treat. Hands down, I ate the best piece of chocolate chip banana bread I have ever had in my entire life. Anthony’s salted caramel and chocolate bar was perfection as well. Then go hike it all off!:)
Now, in the same store front property as The Green Mustache is 3 Singing Birds, the cutest boutique in Whistler Village. They have all the elements of a perfect boutique. Great clothing, beautiful jewelry created by local designers, local fragrances that smell like the outdoors, body care, purses, children’s gifts, candles, you name it. You can get lost in this little store, there is so much to see and want as your own and so much of it is local.
Saving the best restaurant for last, Red Door Bistro. It was so damn good we couldn’t help ourselves and went twice during our trip. In doing so, we came up with the perfect order. For an appetizer, order the mussels, they are prepared in a broth of garlic, white wine, some lemon, herbs, shallots and chilies. This dish was so good we asked the chefs for more bread to soak in the broth. It was too delicious and savory to dare leave a drop behind. As for the main course; the Bavette Steak, the Beef Chuck Flats or B.C. Ling Cod are mind blowing. Get their creme brulee for dessert paired with the Moscato. The chefs are so incredibly talented and they work their asses off. I know this because we sat at the bar and watched them whip up some seriously serious dishes. The service, food and ambiance at Red Door Bistro is perfection. It’s a go.
It’s easy to say that after a week in Whistler we still weren’t ready to leave. We totally look forward to getting back there again, but for a bit longer of a stay next time!
The Listel Hotel Ice Bar