As you will be aware from my last blog I was working my way through a Whistler to do list. During this period there have been more things ticked off and things added. So here is the story of my last few weeks in the crazy ski resort of Whistler.
My accommodation was looking up. Ben from work had split up with his crazy girlfriend and was now looking for a place, so now I had the possibility of moving in with him if he found somewhere or the other way around and I was very confident Ben would what with his vast experience in Whistler already. I also noticed a friend from football - Conor post about a place, it was pretty far away in Bay Shore but it would be a place none the less. There was also news that Marcel would be leaving so there was an opportunity of taking his tiny box room in White Gold. I also noticed on Craig's List the exact same room I stayed in with Tom, Matt and the Chileans over Christmas, so I thought I was in with a shot with that as I knew the previous tenants, so whizzed over an email and felt hopeful and I got a reply later asking me to go for a viewing which I happily accepted. Samantha, the woman arranging the tenancy for the owners of the condo in Powder Horn requested names and references, with no reference on hand that night at work I began to forge to documents from template letters from the internet, I also put four names down who would be stopping there, myself, Ben who I was sure would jump at the chance, Tom who wouldn't be stopping but knew where he worked so his boss could confirm it and Courtney, a girl from Tinder who I've not spoke to since Christmas Eve night when we went back to hers, but I also knew she worked at a fancy restaurant Araxi and that her boss would confirmed she worked there. Marcel was pretty keen to get his room sorted and there was another member of the and - A Welsh lad called Dewi interested, but he would need to let his landlord know that day. Samantha informed me that there were many other viewings for the Powder Horn condo so I thought my chances were slim so told Marcel I'd take it. But just like buses from nothing I had two places as Samantha text me saying I could move in the next day. Unfortunately I had to let Marcel down as the place in Upper Village was much bigger, slightly cheaper, and had a great location with a free bus, next to the slope and if I missed the bus the walk to work wouldn't be minimal. Thankfully my German friend Marcel was very understanding. Moving into Powder Horn wasn't easy, I had to fill the place asap I was pretty sure I'd have Ben to take one of the spots, but unfortunately he found a place the very same day. I messaged Harry and Max who had gone back to Manchester, well Bury to be precise because they couldn't find a place but they were unable to come back out. So it left me no choice but to advertise for people on Craig's List. I typed up a quick advert, posted it and had a nap. I woke up to numerous emails, I filtered through picking my favourites, the ones who offered to help me ski, said they could coo and supported a decent football team and offered them a chance to view the place. I was looking for four people, two singles one for the sofa bed, one for Tom Ellis's old cave and a couple for the main bedroom downstairs. The search for a couple was strenuous, when I provided more information most scoffed at the idea that they would have to pay for the room per person. I did get one couple interested though, a young German couple I was emailing the girl but she was not in Canada yet, so I met her boyfriend Luis who was at the same hostel I was at. If I'm totally honest if there was any other couples interested they probably wouldn't have got the place but beggars can't be choosers so I offered them the room which they accepted gratefully. The cave went to my first viewing of the process a cute Australian girl called Jess. She was bubbly, friendly and hot and took an instant shine to the place and cave. Her hotness's was definitely a factor in offering her the place. It reminded me of the friend's episode where Rachel was hiring her assistant and she could choose the old lady good at her job or the hot young fella Tag. Like Rachel I went with the hot option. That left one space left, the sofa bed. To be honest I didn't have a great deal to choose from, after Jess's visits the rest of the people that day were pretty weird. I got to know someone's take on happiness as Liam told me he was never unhappy, and that the last time he was unhappy he was thinking about when the last time he was unhappy it was weird. The next day the folks got better, well apart from the first cello playing applicant who wasn't happy about it not being a room. I was also pretty hungover so left Tom who was there after a night out the previous night to make the small talk. Keith from Western Australia liked the place, but I was put off when he text me after saying I'll take it, sorry who made you the decision maker Keith Speed? He also spelt his name wrong on his email! Cara was nice, but I could tell she would be angry with a slight bit of mess and the fact it was the sofa bed. Would it have made a difference if she was slightly better looking? Maybe. It left two guys battling it out for the sofa bed, both super keen, a 19 year old Canadian called David working at a Pharmacy and an English chap called Chris, Crystal Palace fan, went to Uni in Southampton and working in a hotel. I opted for Chris, I got on with both but I felt that even though Chris was a border and wouldn't be able to teach me the ropes of skiing I got on with him just a tad better. Everyone I asked took the place. But there was still a final hurdle I had to jump, rent! I had been weaving a tangled web of lies to Samantha about funds taking days to be cleared from my English account to my Canadian one to buy me time to pick the room mates. My problem with Luis, Ann and Jess was that they didn't have Canadian bank accounts yet. So if they were to transfer it would take more days to clear, I couldn't fob Samantha on much longer. But thanks to a credit card transaction, Chris and Jess paying cash I managed to scrape over the line just before the last deadline Samantha had set me. They moved in in dribs and drabs, first Jess arrived to take her spot in the cave, then one half of the German couple Luis, Ana arrived straight from New Zealand a few days later, and Chris was the final arrival of the group. It was a good mix and we got on well, no one minded when Jess had her friends round for a hot tub, or when I had friends over. Most notably this occurred when I decided to host a BBQ on our pretty big balcony. Matt, Jordan, Marcel, Tommy, Jackob and Flo all made appearances and then after I managed to tick another thing off my list by going to the Cinnamon Bear for a drink for Jackob's last night in Whistler. The Cinnamon Bear was an impressive pub located in the Hilton hotel, it had a massive screen which would be awesome to watch football on if it wasn't always on so early and a couple of pool tables, it definitely wouldn't be the last time I frequented there for an alcoholic beverage.
Also ticked off the To Do List was visiting Avalanche. It happened after missing out on one of the busy nights of football one week, I headed back to Marcel's place in White Gold for a couple of pre work beverages and to watch the first half of Memento. It was on the walk back that Marcel said that Avalanche had 99c pizza's and it was where he went for food all the time before work. So on my way to work I passed Avalanche and decided to give it a try. It wasn't 99c a slice through but I did get two for $3.50 because in the server's words they had been out quite a while. I had quite the nightmare, realising I had picked two slices with a large amount of mushrooms scattered all over them. I use to hate mushrooms and I'm only just starting to be able to stand them. So what with this and the lack of freshness I didn't feel it right to judge and make a first impression so I decided to go again sometime, to see if it could rival my favourite Whistler joint - Fat Tony's. So I went back a couple of days later. I asked if they did any local deals and they pretty much shrugged me off charging me $7 for two slices - that's basically the cost of a seven eleven pizza. They still lacked freshness because in fairness I did go again late but that to me doesn't justify my second slice tasting like ass. I highly doubt they will be getting my business again.
There were several nights out occurring but unfortunately wasn't able to make it thanks to the old night shifts. The perhaps most disappointing was not being able to attend Gemma's birthday celebrations and the Friday of the Martin Luther King weekend (MLK). The Martin Luther King weekend is big as it's a long weekend in America and when American's come to Whistler to party. The hotel was mental that Friday night. Luckily had the Saturday night off and Tom and myself went out in search of a nice American lady. I met him in Crystal Lounge where I was sipping away at a beer waiting for him to finish work. Tommy then got us free entry to Longhorns where we stayed for a few beers and swigs of vodka from Tom's hip flask. With long horns being 80% Male, 20% Female we opted to try another club. We decided to go Garf's as our mate Sully could have been on the door to get us in free, he wasn't and we had to pay a ludicrous fee of $25 to get in. Still it ticked it off my list and I didn't find the club that bad, apart from again a shortage of available females so all we ended up taking home was a seven eleven pizza. It wasn't until the following Sunday I was out again, for the small matter of Australia Day. Bizarrely Australians take over Whistler during the winter season, it confuses me somewhat as Australia is not known for its snowy conditions and thriving snowboard / ski seasons. But what it did make for is a good party. Our night started with watching WWE's annual royal rumble, which was a long way short of what it could have been and a huge disappointment. We then made our way to go to one of the various pub's playing Triple J's top 100. Longhorn's ended up being too busy, Matt got in with a wristband stuck together with chewing gum but Jordan and myself headed to Moe Joe's. By the time we got in, we had sobered up so went hard on the Jaeger bombs and beers. Jordan loves Moe Joe's but I'm not the biggest fan of theirs due to the lack of room and with it being Australia Day it was packed to the rafters and spent most of my night trying to be shoved all over the place. It was just your average night, cut short thanks to the fire alarm going off and despite an offer of joining Ela - a polish girl from work at a house party I was shot and ended up braving the icy conditions and walking home to my bed.
Unfortunately I was unable to add any more El Fernie meals to the one's I had already divulged in the popular cheap restaurant. But I had started my one thing from home a week from the Great Glass Elevator Candy store, my first item was some Wispa Bites. I'd not had a Wispa since England, so I purchased some snack size bites of my father's favourite chocolate bar from the left over Christmas stock which I thought were reduced by 50%, it wasn't though as I paid $5.25 for the 4 snacked sized packets in the carton. The first three packets didn't last long as I wolfed them down at work. I could have easily had the last pack too but decided to save them for the next night at work so put them in the draw of my desk tidy. I hid them a little too well though as I forgot about them hidden there, but this did make for a tasty treat a few days later. The second week I treated myself to a litre of Ribena. It cost an extortionate $11.54, but when I worked it out it wasn't that bad. I'd usually drink a carton of juice a day or 2 litre soda which would cost between $2 and $4 and the Ribena lasted a good 7 days. So if you average the price out of my usual drink intake I'd saved myself about $10, got a taste of home and got a much needed sugar rush from the berry flavoured juice when I was skiing on the mountain. My third item was a galaxy chocolate bar. When I entered the candy store I was certain that I would be walking out with a tin of rice pudding. But my mind was swayed as I saw how many confectionary products I missed from home, there were chewits, twirls, terry chocolate orange bars and milky ways and of course the galaxy bar which I purchased for $2.75. My thought process was that if I have a chocolate bar / confectionary item every other week it would split them up a bit more rather than having them all in one go. The galaxy bar was a great choice, the milky chocolate melting in my mouth and tasting divine. It didn't last too long though as it was consumed well under a quarter of my walk through the village stroll.
During the past few weeks a few things got added to my Whistler to do list, this included: -
· Snowmobiling - Laura Baints, a cute girl from Perth and otherwise known as Laura Laura did this tour. I saw the photos appear on Facebook and it looked rather cool and after a brief chat with her about how good the tour was it went on the list.
· Creekbread Pizza - Because simply all I see on the Whistler 2014/15 page when people ask about good pizza is this place, so naturally I have to try it.
· Fitzsimmons - I was walking through Upper Village with Tom when he pointed out Whistler's local pub - Fitsimmons which do a range of local ales and only seating about twenty people. It was a little out there, authentic so it went on the list
· Wild Wing in the Upper Village - I saw this on an advert I'm not sure where, Facebook, pique news magazine or somewhere else but the food looked incredible so for a food lover myself it became a must do.
· Pure Bread - was recommended to me by my new house mate Jess who was that impressed with the bakery she took a photo of their selection. Now if a place impresses someone that much then it's definitely worth a try.
· Elements - After seeing that this was the best place to go for breakfast on numerous occasions on the Whistler Facebook page it was a no brainer to be put on the list.
· La Cantina was added to the list because I've walked by the place several times and it always looks like it has a good atmosphere and a good place to go
· Milestones - One of Tom Ellis's places of work. I met him after he finished work one day and just before I finished for a pint and some food. I had a Mayan Burger which was really good. I doubt I will go back though as it was quite pricey $25 plus tip for the cider and burger, so definitely a place more geared to tourists than locals.
· Zog's - One morning before skiing, I met Matt and he had a Zog's Bacon and cheese roll in his hand, it looked delicious, probably because I was starving myself so I made a note to sample the place for myself.
Adding and ticking things off my list were not the only things I have been occupied these past weeks. Arguably my to do list would have a lot less items to complete if it wasn't for the fact that I have to work, well if you can call it that. My time at work has mainly consisted of watching the third series of Spartacus, Blog writing, watching football matches such as Nottm Forest beating local sheep shagging rivals Derby County and watching a range of films including: - Guardians of the Galaxy, Into The Storm, The Purge: Anarchy, predestination, Russell Howard Live and the Superheroes of Stoke. My idea of reading The Game of Thrones at work has dwindled as I figured it would make me tired so I am still stuck on just over 100 pages, but I did read one book, and although I did read it during my last blog I forgot to give it a shameless plug so thought I would in this one as I read my Brother-in-Law Craig Tilstone's enthralling book Baby One More Time, maybe I'm a tad bias but the book is quality and I recommend everyone to read it!
Football or a lack of it also kept me occupied. After Christmas it was near on impossible to get a game due to the amount of people turning up, one week Tom and I got turned down, then Marcel, me and about thirteen others got turned away. Then I became pretty busy with viewings. Tom managed to get on one occasion and banged in the goals taking the bet to something lie 10-2. I needed to get back in action but every time I wasn't busy and turned up I had got there too late and just missed out.
And in another totally uninteresting item, I had my luscious locks cut off for only fifth time since travelling and the second time done by Mr Matthew Hyland who had a helping hand from my ex housemate and his Chilean roommate Seba. There was nothing fancy about the cut, just all off, grade 4 and I think most people agreed that I looked better. It didn't stop me dreaming that Matt had left random long straggly pieces of hair all over my bonce.
Of course during the past few weeks my time has been taken up by skiing too. I mean what's the point in coming here if you're not going to take advantage of the winter sports offered on the Mountains of Whistler. However, my skiing didn't get off to a great start, as I moved backed to the hostel I was pretty lazy making excuses for myself not to go, the walk up and down the hill being the main one. But once I was back in the Powder Horn complex I had no excuse and to be honest a little but more enthusiasm for going up. My first day back after around three weeks out was with Matt who was also a first time skier but who had picked it up with ease. He was doing black runs and was well within his first ten days ever skiing too. We did a few green runs on the Whistler Mountain Whiski Jack and Ego Bowl, I even surprised myself by negotiating myself down a blue run the enchanted forest, a fact that I was proud of and let everyone in my phone book know about. The following day I went up with Matt again and my progression semt to go backwards a little, I was skiing like a granddad my fastest pace of the day being 27 kmph. That's slower than an African Bush Elephant. I also negotiated another blue but this time not as successful as I toppled over. It was frustrating as the day before I felt I had made huge strides forward and then the next was huge strides behind again. Things didn't get better skiing wise on Australia day, which besides from my lack of speed and poor ability of skiing was a great day out, involving sat around on the snowy mountains, sipping ales with Aussies and people from all over the world watch amateur skiers doing jumps, having multiple snowball fights (not quite epic enough to be ticked off the list) and general drunken shenanigans and banter. It was a great day up there, the only let down being my ski's and legs not co-ordinating together, at least to everyone else it looked like I was just pissed and not just a terrible skier. The next few days I avoided the mountain trough a lack of confidence, snow and muchos ice making the terrain not ideal for a learner. Hopefully by the time my next Whistler blog comes around I will have made a massive improvement. Luis my housemate said he would take me up and maybe give me some of his old skis too, and there are all the other usual suspects who are willing to go up with me despite me feeling bad about being s***, slow and wasting their day on the mountain but as Anja told me on the day she took me up, it's only one day and they have a whole season to ski. More importantly he foreseeable future had a trip to Vancouver on sight to watch the Canucks!
So until next time stay safe and take care