Wow, my time at Pano is officially over. I am currently sitting on the staff bus to Calgary. The last few days have been very bittersweet, I am so relieved to be finished work but very sad to be saying goodbye to Pano and all my awesome friends. It's hard to know when and if I will ever see these people again..
The day after my last blog I went to Kicking Horse, which was amazing. The hill basically comprises of four bowls right next to each other, which makes for some awesome skiing. The only way up to the top of the mountain is a gondola which takes you from the bottom village, right up to the top. You have to take your skis off and walk on, and then get into a fully enclosed compartment. One of the more comfortable rides up a mountain that's for sure!! I was chaperoning about ten American's who were all at least 60+, and my God they were demanding and stressful! It was like looking after children. We all went our different ways once we starting skiing though so all was good :). I found it incredibly refreshing to get out of Pano and see something new, and even found that skiing on a new hill gave me a bit more motivation to get out on Panorama.
Cam arrived not long after this, and I had a much needed three day break off work. We stayed at a really flash hotel in Invermere, which was right next door to Tim Hortons (Canada's version of Starbucks - its one million times better!! When Dad and Diane were here we got three hot drinks and three bagels for ten dollars, INSANE!) so I made sure that I introduced Cam to this wonder early on. After his ridiculous flight, Cam was exhausted and so it was all I could do to keep him awake until a reasonable time. The following morning we decided that it would be nice to get out of the hotel and go for a wander into town. We walked right out to the lake, and despite it starting to melt quite dramatically, we found an area strong enough for Cam to get a photo of himself standing on a frozen lake. One thing to cross off the list. After this we went to Ray Ray's where Cam had his first Poutine experience, and then started the long walk home (about 6kms). When we were about two thirds of the way there, the skies opened up and absolutely bucketed down on us, we were soaked right through. I haven't seen any rain in the four months that I have been here, and so this was a new experience! It was really warm though so very different to rain from back home.
We checked out of the hotel fairly early the next morning, and then headed up to Panorama so that I could show Cam my Canada home! That evening we headed to the Jack Pine for a couple of quiet beers, but were home early as the next morning we had decided to go Cross country skiing. The walk out to the Nordic Centre took forever, however it was totally worth it. Cross Country skiing is the most bizarre bizarre feeling in the world. I felt so unco the entire time, there is very little that you can transfer from downhill skiing. It almost acts as more of a hindrance than anything, I kept trying to wedge to slow down but the skis are so light that it does nothing at all, you just end up getting yourself tangled! I managed to get through the entire trail without falling.. Cam on the other hand, fell a number of times (much to my pleasure :D).
We managed to get up the mountain quite a few times which was awesome. It was a little difficult to try and fit in around my work shifts as night skiing has finished and so the only hours the mountain was open were from 9-4, which I was pretty much always working. Cam is amazing on skis, he has picked it up insanely quickly. I think he found it a little frustrating at first to fall over, but after I left him on his own for a bit he improved lots. Only problem is he doesn't really know how to control his speed or stop! I'm hoping this skill will evolve soon haha
The only other thing worthy of mention is that I FINALLY MADE IT TO BANFF AND LAKE LOUISE! On my last Friday in Pano Matty hired a car and me, Cam and Gems roadied with him to Banff for the day. I had such an amazing day and I am so glad that we managed to get out there. Wins for the day:
· I got to see Lake Louise
· I got to see the heart of the Rockies (see facebook photos)
· I had McDonalds for the first time in four months
· I brought a cool pair of sunglasses
· I took photos of the most photographed peak in the world
· I spent a day shopping
The only thing that was mildly disappointing was that Lake Louise was still entirely frozen and covered in snow.. Still gorgeous but not quite as stunning as it is during summer! There is this amazing Chateau on the edge of Lake Louise which we wandered through for a bit, before driving through to Banff.
Bils is working in Banff atm so after having so McDonalds for lunch and having a quick look at the shops, we found her work and then did some more touristy stuff; the waterfalls and hot springs, and then the Banff Chateau. Both were gorgeous!
We decided to head back to Billies work for a beer and some free popcorn, and ended up getting roped into some insanely cheap deals: $2.75 spirits, $2 wings, $3.75 beers.. Needless to say we got a little tipsy a little quickly!! After this we went to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner, where the drink special for the night was a Bellini, which was one of the best drinks I have ever tasted, and it definitely did not help my already tipsy state! We decided that it was time to call it a night and head home.
My final two days of work were a blur, the last shift was both relieving and sad at the same time. Everyone was in celebrate mood and so I managed to score a couple of free drinks (one Jaeger shot as the manager had offered to 'show me how his Jaeger machine works' - it worked well btw) which made for a relaxed final few hours. My last customer of the season was a woman who wanted to pick up a seasons pass though (the absolute worst part of my job and the thing that we all HATE doing!) which of course was exactly my luck.
Sunday night we had a Porch Climber Party and Doreen and Talia's with the only remaining desk staff (Katy and I), Cam, and the Validators. It was an awesome night, but I was really really messy.. I managed to get through the entire season without throwing up, and then on my final night drinking in Pano, I threw up… I am a little disappointed! I did see the season out with a bang however.
Monday was the staff party on the Great Hall Deck, and it was a gorgeous day, really warm and summery. There was also a huge sale on at Final Gate, and I had some vouchers to spend so I brought myself a Pano hoodie as a souvenir. It was of course just my luck that I also won a spot prize - the first spot prize of my life - and got a second Pano hoodie. My bags are so jam packed with stuff atm! I think we are going to have to repack when we get to Calgary and I am going to have to throw some stuff out :s…
Anyways, this brings you all up to date with my life, but I just have one more thing to say:
IM NEARLY IN MIAMI b****!
Love you all xxxxx