Seeing as it has been over a month since my last blog, I figure that I am much overdue to update this!
January has gone by incredibly quickly. Right at this very second I am quite homesick and so am hoping that the next few months will go by just as quickly! Dad and Diane have just left after spending ten days at Panorama with me, and I had the best time! It was really great to have a little bit of home in Pano, but has definitely been hard to say bye!
My New Years here was fairly uneventful, I worked a Wedding through the Catering department which was an awesome way to earn a bit of extra money, and I wasnt all that fussed about missing out on the New Years partying. We at least got to countdown the New Year and we had a shot of something (god knows what, but it was truly foul!!) with all the people who were working. The wedding was really gorgeous, but was a little sad to be away from all my family and friends and to be surrounded by someone elses! I managed to finish at 1230 though and headed back down to staff accom to check out how the party down there was. I met up with Gems and Aims etc, and had one drink, before heading to bed. At 3am that morning, the fire alarm went off in my entire building, and so we all had to evacuate in our Pj's which was freezing! It turned out that someone had set off the fire extinguisher and so security had to pump the entire building to get the oxygen levels back up and we were stuck outside for about thirty minutes! Was not impressed! Luckily there was a big bonfire outside the other staff accom building so we stood there for a while to keep warm!
The rest of January was pretty chilled, just worked lots. I have been finding that I get really bad cabin fever if I stay up the Village all the time and so I make an effort to make sure that I go down to Invermere and get out a little bit! We had a really really cold snap the other week which got down to -30! Thank god it didn't last long! Dad and Diane were really lucky to miss these temperatures, it was the perfect time to come, lots of fresh snow and mild temperatures, they even managed to miss the warmth that is hitting now and making it rain and therefore icy!
It was so awesome to have Dad and Diane here, we got so much done! I was drunk way more times in the time that they were here than I have in the entire two months I have been here!! On the very first night that they arrived, we went to the pub to get some dinner, and I had my very first Poutine! Poutine is a really Canadian meal, and is fries, gravy and cheese! Sound horrible and like a heart attack I know, but it was actually really nice! Not something I will have lots though thats for sure
The room that they had was awesome, and was totally ski in ski out, we could walk like two metres and we would be on the snow and ski straight down into the lifts, it was awesome!
On the second day, Saturday, we were up early and up the mountain skiing, and were even filmed to be in a Panorama promotional movie! Haven't seen any of the shots yet so will be interesting to see how any of it turns out.. So we skied all day and then skied back into our room, had a few drinks and then went out to take part in the Snowflake festival, which is one of four festivals that Panorama put on each winter season. They had a rail jam, which is just a rail competition so we watched that for a while, and then went out for tea to Wildfire which was so amazing! It was the best meal I had had in a long time! I had Lamb Gnocci, and there was enough for me to have left overs :) Yum Yum! We had finished dinner just in time to see the torchlight parade, which was where they turn all the lights off on night skiing and send a group of people down with red torches - it looks really cool! We then headed into watch the free movie 'Powder Highway' which was basically just extreme backcountry skiing. Really cool but got boring quick so we left and went to bed! I also made Dad and Diane walk the huge walk to staff acoom with me so that they understand my pain! I think that I have been a little bit spoilt staying in the upper village now, and I am not going to know what has hit me having to walk up the hill again!
Sunday was almost my favourite day, we had a bit of a sleep in, and then decided instead of using another days skiing on a day where there are lots of people up the mountain, we would head down to Invermere and have a look as I had heard that there was some Ice Hockey and Curling down at the lake and we thought it would also be a good opportunity to have a look around the shops and have breakfast. This was a fail, however, as the entire town shuts down on a Sunday and so literally NOTHING was open! We managaed to find a cafe called Blue Dog to eat breakfast, and it was really really nice there, a couple of slightly weird combinations, like chilli peanut chicken soup! Ended up being really nice but just had to get used to the flavour!
We ended up walking down to the lake to have a look at the Curling down there, and it was so cool! The entire Lake was frozen and you could just walk over it. We were standing on part of the lake without even realising it which is a pretty crazy thought! We watched the curling competition for a while and made friends with this absolute Canadian local who told us all about curling and how to play etc. Thats the cool thing about being over here, everyone is so friendly and willing to help you out.
After getting a little bit bored of watching the curling, we decided to walk out onto the lake a bit more and investigate. It was such a creepy feeling, I think I have watched wayy to many movies where people fall in and drown under the ice, I was sure that this was going to happen. There is a full on highway that runs through the lake from Invermere to Windermere which is like 10kms away.. It is the longest monitored frozen highway in the world apparently! There are groomed tracks that people walk all along with prams or iceskate, or we even saw one person biking! Its crazy how normal a frozen lake is over here, we must have looked like such tourists taking photos of EVERYTHING and being so amazed by it all!! We walked out to a bunch of cars that were parked on a lake and met some guys who had set up an ice fishing hut, they were telling us about how they just move the hut around as the please depending on ice thinckness and the amount of fish! This particular setup included a sauna that they dragged onto the lake every day, and then a huge hole in the ice so that you could sit in the sauna, get too hot and then go an jump in the lake! Not for me haha.
We eventually started heading back to the town, where we got some groceries and the caught the bus back up to the Village. We had Gemma and Aimee around for a BBQ and a few drinks, before heading to the Jack Pine Pub where a few quite ones turned into a bit of a mess. Dad spent the night plotting how to steal this huge big Canadian Molson (a type of beer) sign before I (thankfully) realised that there was a camera pointed right at us and so that plan was aborted haha
Monday was another skiing day, and was a pretty clear day so I took Dad and Diane to the summit to see the amazing views and we took a tramp along the ridge of Taynton Bowl (backcountry skiing) which was pretty stunning too. After skiing we relaxed in the hot tubs that were literally 2 minutes walk from our room (such a hard life huh) before having a group of people around for a Porch Climbers party. A porch climber is a Canadian drink which is so named becuase it apparently gets you so drunk you want to climb porches. The first time I had these I definitely got to that stage, and I figured that it was only appropriate that Dad and Diane try this while they were in Canada too. Porch Climbers have a mickey (375mls) of vodka, mickey of whiskey, six cans of beer and a can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate to share between four people. Sound like the most disgusting drink you will ever have in your life but trust me, it is surprisingly nice!! So as you can imagine, Mon night was a tad messy also!
Tuesday morning Cody (Cam's cousin) arrived and so I was up early to meet him at the Staff bus and then we made it up the mountain for a bit of skiing. We had also opted for it to be an AFN (Alcohol free night) and caught a bus to the Radium Hot Pools instead. The pools are about 45 minutes from Panorama, and were so stunning! Make sure to check out the photos when I put them up!
Wednesday was unfortunately my first day back at work, and so Dad and Diane slept in and then went Snowmobiling in the afternoon - so jealous! We also went for my first ever night ski in the evening which was honestly absolutely incredible!! there was literally noone on the mountain and we had the entire run to ourselves, was awesome! Was another quiet night and then early bed - the oldies were finding it a little tough ;)
On Thursday I had my weekly 'Chicks on sticks' lesson, so this was another chill out morning and then in the evening we headed back up the mountain for a chocolate and cheese fondue experience, watching the sunset on the surrounding hills. Loz, I can imagine you are going to be gagging at the following description and I must admit that I was a little bit dubious about it too but it is basically three cheeses all melted down and mixed together and then you dip breads, potatoes, fruit etc in the cheese - was soo yummy! But incredibly filling!! It was then followed by chocolate fondue which was so amazing!! And was beautiful to see the sun set on the mountains!!
Dad had decided that Thursday was another AFN, but after getting requests from people partying in in staff accom for Dad to come down, he changed his mind and we partied in the loft for the night and then walked up to the T-Bar. This became an incredibly eventful night as I ended up stuck in the toilet cubicle with a very very drunk girl who (as I found out later) had wet her pants and decided that it would be a good idea to take all of her clothes off and ended up standing stark naked in the toilet with me, refusing to put her clothes back on!! Thankfully her friend turned up eventually and helped me and she was taken home to bed to sober up! Not long after this Dad and Diane left the pub, and Cody got kicked out so I ran after them, and after a huge run around and intense drunken DnM's, I finally made it home to bed!
Friday I was supposed to work but went home early just as Dad and Diane were using their last day up the mountain - they decided to try out the advanced back country terrain that required at least a twenty minute hike to get to.. Not the best of ideas, as I am sure that Diane will tell you.. She ended up taking her skis off and walking the whole way down! So the entire run took them about 3 hours and ended up making them absolutely exhausted and so there was very little more done on Friday!!
Anyways, this blog has been so huge that it has travelled from a cafe in Calgary with me to now when I am at work on Waitangi day and it is still not finished! So I am going to publish it now and then finish the rest off later!! Missing home very much at the moment but getting really excited about Cam coming over now! (which is in seven weeks! Going to go by so quickly!) Love you all lots, Rach xxx