It was back to the reality of work, skiing and ticking things off my Whistler to do list after an epic day and night in Vancouver. Upon our return we were greeted with a return from Sam who was back in Whistler for a few weeks, before heading to America for some ore travelling. We knew he was heading back and I said he could stop at my place as I'm a big fan of travelling karma! There wouldn't be much room but he could have my bed while I was on nights and when I got back and other times we would figure something out. He was living with Tom when they put me up when I first arrived in Whistler so it was the least I could do. So after catching up on what Sam had been up to in Calgary, we filled him in on the last two months - Jordan's broken back, Tommy's collarbone, Tom drinking piss and making a girl cry in Vancouver amongst much more before settling back down into Whistler life.
Work was work. Though the first week back from Van was a struggle I just semt to be tired all the time and in need of sleep until the latter stages of the week. The number of films I had watched grew greater as I watched Adventureland, Swinging with the Finkels and completed two seasons of Peaky Blinders. Working Friday nights also helped me catch up with a lost love - No not one of my many ex's who got away but the fun loving Saturday morning TV Show Soccer Am, and although it is far from its glory days when Tim Lovejoy was hosting and there was the soccerette, shed man Robbie Knox, Fenners, Sheephead, the wrestlers, it's still the best football show around and a great watch at 2.00am in the morning when I can get Sky Go working.
Skiing got off to a slow start as it was a while since I was up the mountain again, the week after Vancouver was a write-off because of my tiredness and admittedly a lack of confidence from my last time out on Australia Day, but it turns out I didn't miss too much as every time it snowed it was quickly followed by a heavy dose of rain. One day I finished work and snow was everywhere, but a torrential downpour later and when I was off to work there was nothing left but a slushy mess. This wasn't ideal for the mountain as most people complained about the conditions; Phteven said it was like riding through wet cement, so I didn't mind missing out all that much. Two weeks had passed since Australia day and my last poor attempt skiing, but eventually it was time to go up again. I went up with my German flat mates Ann & Luis thanks to a drunken promise. Luis was a great skier, I had watched some videos of his doing tricks in the park, and Ann was also really good, especially to say she had not been doing it that long after snowboarding most of her life. We went up Blackcomb mountain and did the easy route I had already done a fair bit. They tried to teach me a sliding stop as they thought that would help me progress but I didn't quite pick it up, but the day did get me a little bit of confidence back and the conditions were much better than I anticipated. I was up again a couple of days later, meeting Marcel after we had both finished work, having a cheeky Ingrid's breakfast we were off up the mountain. We made our way up the chair lift on Blackcomb mountain, but the conditions didn't look especially great as we made our way across the peak to peak gondola, ticking that off my to do list in the process and headed to Whistler where we met up with two Korean friends of Marcel and Matt and Tom, we did a couple of green runs on the crunchy ice and then Tom and I headed down to Tapleys so we could watch our respective teams over a beverage. I was up again two days later, work had given me a free fresh tracks ticket for being awesome so I dragged my room mate Chris, Tom and Ste up for the all you can eat breakfast buffet. The buffet was class, with a varied choice ranging from fruits, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs to cereal and granola and a wide array of juices, the only thing which was lacking was some baked beans which would have added some much needed moisture to the plate. I stuffed myself that full, that I felt sick. I didn't even have that much only two plates but I must have ate the most sausages I've ever eaten in one sitting. After a night shift and filling my stomach to bursting, skiing along with wrestling a tiger was up on the list of things I didn't really want to know right now. But I had the best day of skiing I'd ever had, after a quick rundown Whiski Jack we explored more of the mountain going up to Harmony, despite it being a double black and saying it was 'for expert skiers only' due to the wind and visibility we did a green run there and even doing a blue run which ended going up through some trees. It was my best day of skiing yet and I even recorded my fastest time so far of 43km/h despite my left foot burning. I also managed to tick off getting a photo with the Olympic rings on top of the mountain. The next day despite I was supposed to go up with the Polish houseman from work - a girl called Ela, instead due to my legs being so achy I thought they would fall off, a half ripped off toe nail and tiredness I bailed. The next few days were non-events as well as I either lacked personnel to go up with, the conditions not that great (very icy) or tiredness had me trapped under my duvet.
The first weekend after Vancouver was a pretty hectic one as it was two people from the groups birthday. First on the Friday we had Laura, the cute girl I mentioned in the last blog. She organised a day of skiing, going up early for a fresh tracks breakfast, I avoided this because of the conditions and my inadequacy at skiing. She then went zip trekking in the arvo, another thing I carefully avoided because of my fear of heights and the cost, although I think I get a massive discount through work. I did make the evening activities though which included a bunch of us going to Thai in the village for food. Ste, Tom, Sam, Sully and I shared five dishes between us the Calamari, sweet and sour, pad Thai, roast duck red curry and a mussaman along with some rice the food was delicious but the problem was the amount, all five us were still pretty hungry afterwards and despite the deliciousness of the meals, paying the cost we paid and still being hungry was a bit disappointing. As the others made their way for pre drinks at Gemma/Tommy's/Marcel's in White Gold, my night was cut short because of the inconvenience of having to work. It was my last shift of the week though so I vowed to have a messy one for Sam's birthday the day after and I delivered. Sam's birthday was one of the best nights I've had in Whistler to date. The day started off with a gathering at mine for a BBQ. An early set back was a lack of charcoal, but we managed to source some from the hardware store and things weren't helped when I melted the handle off the BBQ. Granted I made a mistake, but really what kind of BBQ isn't fire proof? Anyway after a questionable sight things got pulled together and the BBQ was a success, things moved from the balcony to the living room, where many drinks were drank and a spontaneous sing-a-long of many songs such as Backstreet Boys, Take That, Oasis and many more erupted and threatened to get us a noise complaint. The singing carried on as we waited for the bus at the bus stop, the highlight being Matt doing his Irish song, and if you thought things calmed down on the bus it didn't as we blasted Hakuna Matata, Robbie Williams -Angels and many more out to the unsuspecting bus. The singing only stopped as we got into our final destination of the night Moe Joe's. The drunken shenanigans didn't stop though as Jordan pulled a giant, Tom Ellis and I collaborated in a mix up to spill rum and coke all down Laura and Tom, Sam and I tried our hand at Ultimate Wingman. The aftermath of the night was also funny Sam trudged the village stroll looking for a birthday lay but without success, and Jordan was looking for the Giant who had seemingly had a change of heart and bolted from him. I spotted Amanda who played football and made a fool of myself chatting to her before we headed home and woke everyone up. Chris got the brunt of it as he is on the sofa bed and we jumped on him and tortured him, even when I made my way upstairs to bed he wasn't safe as I threw all the towels at him and the entire contents of my sock draw. I guess my stories have done little to explain how great the night was and it's Just a case of you had to be there. Surprisingly I felt quite fresh as I cleared the heaps of beer cans / bottles scattered across the apartment and made the flat liveable again. After the cleaning spell my energy was sapped and Sam and I spent the entire day watching the remaining episode of Spartacus.
My next night out was the falling Saturday - Valentine's Day, Jordan and my theory was lots of women would be out sad because they weren't with a man on the romantic day of the year and we could swoop in like the knights in shining arming which we are. Much like most weeks pre drinks started at mine as we supped some beers, I was quite eager to avoid Moe Joe's after going there for the last few Saturday's, so we headed to Tommy Africa's, the club was at an occupancy of about 10% but we stayed for a drink and hoped the club would get busier, it din't. Jordan was all for Moe Joe's again so reluctantly I went there with him. To be fair we had a good night, we were joined by my room mate Chris, my friend from work Ela and her friend Patricia and also my other house mate Jess and her friend Brooke. Ales and shots were drank, pool games won, and dance moves thron about until the lights came on and we had to go home. Chris nearly started a brawl with some Asian guys before Jordan and myself stepped in and we eventually headed back to 303 where I again caused a ruckus waking everyone in the house and watched The Lion King - which could be the last movie I watch on my amazing hard drive unless a guy called Vince Emond can prove to be a genius and fix the faulty technology.
Since my last blog Pancake Day has also been and gone. I'm not a massive lover of pancakes which is often greeted with shock, but I make an exception for this day of the year and stuff my face. It's perhaps stuffing my face with them too much when I was younger which has seen my taste for the food decline over the years. Canada, nor Germans celebrate pancake day so it was up to Chris and myself to educate our German roommates. Unfortunately they had gone to El Furny's for Taco Tuesday, impatient Chris and I made a start with disastrous affect, our attempts were atrocious and decided to retreat to the living area with a bowl of ice cream and wait for Ann to save us. Despite being a mere twenty years old Ann was a wizard in the kitchen, often cooking up homemade bread, pizza and waffles. They eventually got back from El Furniture and she taught us how to make pancakes which we indulged in with a heap of toppings which included ham and cheese, ice cream, strawberries, raspberries, and relieved my younger days with an orange juice and sugar one.
Tom and I also finally got a game of football at long last, it took us arriving 45 minutes early and even then we nearly missed out as we were 17th and 18th on the list. I struggled for fitness with my last outing being before Christmas and my last few weeks consisting of drinking, sleeping and shoving bad food down my mouth, but I was happy with my reading of the game, tackling and especially my long balls. What let us down was our ability not to defend as a team and a guy playing only in his socks! Tom added two more goals to his tally where I missed an open goal to take the core to 12-3. But the biggest talking point of the night was at the end when Tom and nearly came to blows in a Graeme Le Saux / David Batty type incident. Tom was frustrated at our failure against the red team who were constantly beating us 2-0. So he stormed off thinking it was the end, when there was in fact ten minutes left and we could get another game, I took exception to this and called him, Tom lashed out with a boot which I didn't feel and went to confront him in the changing room, tempers flared as we engaged in a shouting match before Tom stormed off. The storm calmed off ten minutes later after we narrowly lost to the reds in the last game of the night 2-1 and I walked out about to message Tom, but fair play to him, he was already sat there waiting for me to apologise for his mardy behaviour and it was swept under the carpet and left for us to have banter over.
Not much else got ticked off the list what I haven't already covered, though I did make a venture to the Amsterdam Café It was after my first day back skiing I dragged my house mate Chris to the Dutch named establishment for après and to meet some fellow compadres for the bargain $3 beers they had on offer. I only planned a couple and then going home to get some sleep before my night shift but before I knew it I was on my fifth beer, feeling slightly tipsy having good banter with Ann, Luis, Chris, Jude, Gemma, Sam, Jordan, Ben and Derek. I also flirted with the idea of ticking off having a beverage in three below when Sam and I went to see the Kingsman - which is an awesome film by the way which I would rate at a very high 8.5/10. But back on track we never ended up there as we didn't have any time to pour any amber nectar don our necks.
Sam was a huge lover of El Furny's and with him back it boosted my chances of nailing through their menu. The first time he went there I missed out opting instead for some more sleep, but after some beers in Cinnamon Bear for the Swedish après a few days later we went and I crossed of the braised beef quesadilla and Nacho for one, which we actually shared due to the generous portion size, although I thought they were lacking a fair bit in the topping department. The next time I was able to accompany Sam to Whistler's cheapest restaurant was the day after my Valentine's Day booze up. With no bacon, or hangover food in the house I headed out with Sam, unfortunately though in the restaurant I made the bad choice of having fingers & fries - breaded, fried chicken tenders with potato fries and honey-dijon sauce to dip, now normally this meal would be ok, but as I was out the night before it lacked any moisture or grease I required. A burger perhaps would have been the better choice, but I had still marked one more of the El Furny's menu and watch a woman entertainingly fall over in her ski boots right beside me. I missed his last El Furny's venture with Ste though as I wanted to use up some of my food before we had to leave the flat for a wee, so I made Ann, Luis, Chris, Sam and myself a top notch Chilli Con Carne.
I was progressing well with an English item a week from the Great Glass Elevator store. It was the day of Sam's birthday when I first visited the store for my week's taste of home. I did make the mistake of going on a Saturday again when the shop is full of kids eager to twist their parents arm into giving them a sugar rush for the day. My item for the day was a good old manly Yorkie bar, which was awesome, but like most things didn't last long enough. My next item was a pre football match twirl which gave me a much needed sugar rush for my 5-a-side comeback.
Sam's return also meant the resurrection of a drunken promise to do a bungee jump with him, the same one that he won at Tapleys Bingo night. I had still not won one or heard how to get a sizeable discount or it for free so despite the protests of Matt, Sam, Tom and Laura I declined my participation on an epic fear of heights. Still Sam never got round to using his voucher and instead sold it, so I was safe for now!!
And that's that, it's now time to take another break from Whistler as Matt, Tom, Jordan, Sam and myself headed on a road trip to Seattle, and if it ends up anything like Vancouver its going to be one hell of a trip so stay tuned for that.
So until next time stay safe and take care