First of all, the most important and exciting news! I am currently drinking a cup of tea that tastes (in Canada terms) AMAZING. It has been literally over three weeks but I am finally drinking a tea that vaguely resembles one from home. Success!
My last week or so at Panorama has been good, relatively uneventful as I have now started my first full time shifts at work.. Work is going really well, its a lot of fun and I am picknig everything up quite quickly - its a cool place to be to meet other guests and talk to people from around the world! The one downer with my job is that I am working with an incredibly frustrating girl who is driving me crazy after only the first shift with her! She is an Australian and her name is Kimberly, and she has the strongest Australian accent I have ever heard (you all hate her already huh?!) and she constantly bosses me around and tells me what to do. She will stand over my shoulder as I am working and tell me what to do, and butt in when I am serving a customer and take over. She is so incredibly condescending and is the biggest kiss arse to all the managers! Its not even like she has been there longer than me and knows what she is talking about, she started at the exact same time as me! Grr. very frustrating - I trust you will here a lot more about her in the coming months!
The other girls I work with are lovely though, Katy, a Canadian from Ontario, and Lauren, who is from Coventry in England (Rachel, Lauren and Katy!! hehe). Lauren lives in staff accommodation with me so I see her quite a lot and Katy and I are going to go to Ice Fishing and Snow shoeing at some stage this year which should be awesome!
Invermere is right on the edge of a huge lake and is known as Invermere on the lake (how original huh) but in winter the lake freezes over so much that you can drive huge trucks over it and they are going to try and make a world record for the biggest Ice skating arena in the World - so will have to make sure I try that out this year!! I am so freaked out about walking on a frozen lake though - seen too many movies where people have fallen through the ice and got stuck and then drowned!! Was talking to some customers today though who were saying that the ice is so thick that would never happen though so I may just have to harden up!!
My managers, Doreen and Talia are also very nice - really friendly and approachable which makes learning much much easier!
We had our work Christmas party on Wednesday night and the theme was Redneck so we all had to dress up - I ended up just wearing a checkered top with terrible makeup lol. The only eventful thing that happened at this was that one of my really good friends over here, Billie, got caught smoking Weed outside the function room and was fired - it was all very dramatic and she got kicked out of the party and called into a meeting the next day.. Really stupid to be doing that at a work Christmas party if you ask me but she knows that and is now working really hard to stay in Invermere and find a job etc. Luckily she wasn't in staff accommodation so she still has a flat etc sorted!
Friday was the first official opening day for Panorama, and although there had been a pre opening since Monday, only one of the lifts was open so we hadn't seen all that much of the mountain. We (Aimee, Mark (my flatmate) and Sammy (my next door neighbour)) got up early on Friday and headed up to jump on the lifts and when straight to the top - it takes 45 minutes to get to the top of the mountain on the lifts and the view up there is amazing! Its so crazy to be on a lift that is literally moving through trees! We were lucky in that we had an absolute blue bird day so could see everything really really clearly. We decided to have our first run at just a blue so that we could get our bearings a bit but after a while got a little bit bored as this was just a narrow track that I literally had to wedge the whole way down so we cut into a track called 'Roys Run'. It was at least knee deep in thick, light, fluffy powder and although it was really difficult to anything I have ever skied before, it was so much fun! It felt almost like I was skiing on clouds, and I slipped up the hill once (the kind that is almost a sit down but hurts like f*** on Ruapehu's ice) and it felt like i was sitting in a cloud, was so muchh fun! A lot slower that what I am used to though!!
Most of the main track runs are cleared from trees and are similar in width to Ruapehu, however at the bottom of our first run we had to cut back through a huge bunch of trees - they are the trees that are behind me in the blog profile pic! It was crazy - I was so scared that I was going to crash into something though!
After a couple of runs doing this, we headed up to the Summit Hutt to warm up (it was a balmy -10 which was actually warm compared to the -15 at the village!) and began talking to a guy who suggested that we did Taynton Bowl, which is back country monitered skiing, which means that the avalanche and ski patrol monitor the area but it is still considered back country and isn't ever groomed... We picked out a trail on our maps and then went for it. The first half of the run was the best snow I had all day - a light dusting of powder on the top with a hard packed base underneath - exactly the way I like it! But it quickly turned into lots of soft powder again which was fun! At some point as we were coming down my ski got caught under heaps of snow and I catapulted forward, leaving my ski behind me up the mountain and taking in a huge mouthful of snow! Im pretty sure it would have been quite spectacular for anyone who had been watching! Other than the fact that I had snow all over my face, I was fine though, thanks to the amazingly soft snow - part of the reason why I am loving it so much!
The run down Taynton took us at least 45 minutes to get to the bottom and so by then we were all pretty knackered and decided to call it a day. Overall impression of Panorama? BEAUTIFUL. Incredible snow but I will definitely need to take some time to figure out how to ski in it properly!
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to have a ski lesson through work, and teamed up with Lauren and Katy (different Katy to the one I work with) and we mucked around on the slopes for about two hours with an instructor. It was really helpful and now I have some things to work on and know the general idea as to how to ski in powder! Still keen to get some more lessons but seeing as they are free for me I don't think that that should be a problem :)
Wednesday night was also awesome as I managed to score some babysitting for one of the guests in the resort, the reccommended rate here is $13 per hour for one kid, and then an additional $2 per hour for every extra kid - I was babysitting four kids and so got $20 an hour cash. Pretty amazing money considering I am on $10.33 before tax in my job! And last time I have babysat I have only charge $5 an hour! The kids were ok for the first wee while but then one of them started to get really bossy and then the rest of the started to whine and cry like crazy and over everything! I was glad to get them into bed for sure! But is something that I will try to keep doing because it is just such good money!
So that brings us to today, which is my Friday finally! YAY!! I am looking forward to going skiing tomorrow - they are opening the final lift and I have heard that it is the best place to go so I think I will head out there. I have planned to go to Billie's with Aimee and have curry and then maybe a few drinks tomorrow night and then have a quiet day on Saturday just relaxing as on Sunday I AM GOING SNOWMOBILING! So so excited! It is going to be lots of fun - will make sure the photo is charged up so that I can take lots and lots of photos!
Hope that all the Christmas preparations are going well and that mum you aren't getting too insanely stressed out with how busy queensgate is! Talk soon, love you all! xx