Last weekend I went up to Whistler. The Chateau (awesome resort) had a 99$/night deal so I booked for Sat and Sunday nights. querrelle
doesn't do winter sports and elected to stay home. The Chateau has one of those warm inside/outside pools, plus 3 hot tubs of varying temperatures outside (and another inside). Wonderful to sit out in the fresh air being served mocktails while listening to all sorts of languages being spoken. And yeah a bit of talent on offer too...La bella luge
I arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday in time for my only volunteer shift at the Whistler Luge World Cup. I think it's a kew sport, but I was keener to see the Whistler Sliding Centre in action. The men and doubles were on Friday (*pout*) so it was the women and team events on Saturday. For the first 2 hours I guarded a set of steps that no one bothered to come up. Surrounded by athletes, coaches and tech crew. Some of the sled handlers were HAWT. If you like fit, tall, stubble-faced, men in their 30s. These folks see one another week after week so they're very friendly with one another.
For the second run of the women I was tasked with collecting their race bibs. "At least you'll get to speak to the pretty girls" buddy from the track said to me. I just smiled. Luge competitions are run, unsurprisingly in a sport where thousands of a second can determine the winner, like clockwork. Always on time. Exact intervals between sliders. Alex Gough is the top Canadian slider and she just missed the podium. The two German women were waaaay ahead of everyone else. I was struck, I must say, at how beautiful many of the women were: athletic, but lean and really if you've any curves the luge bodysuits will show them off.
The team event turned out to be the highlight. Each team has one woman, one solo man and one pair of men's doubles. The woman goes first. When she reaches the finish "line" there's a pad hanging over the track. She sits up and whacks the pad and then the solo man can start. Later rinse repeat for doubles. The team with the lowest cumulative time wins. Germany won, but Canada did very well: in addition to getting the silver medal, we were in a dead heat with the Germans until the doubles slid, where we lost .2 seconds. The week before though we beat the Germans. This will be a medal event in Sochi 2014, which bodes well for Canada.Ich fahre snowboarden
I had a low key morning on Sunday and got up the mountain around 1145AM. Beautiful sunny and cold (-14), and with no natural snowfall for about a week. So there were OK bits and icy bits. Had a lot of fun and did manage to head over to Whistler (Chateau is at the base of Blackcomb, a different mountain) and ride from Lower Whistler to the village. I'm looking forward to getting my new bindings next week (they're at my bro's) with toe caps. MUCH easier on the lead foot.
Went back to the hotel, had a nice soak in the hot tub, then headed into the village to find cheap and easy eats (pizza, as it turned out). The Christmas lights were marvellous though:
They've also done a great job on Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Plaza, including a soon-to-b-efinished outdoor skating rink. Then back to the hotel. I had a conference paper due on Monday so I finished it Sunday night (save a bit of tidying up on Monday arvo).
Complete set of Whistler photos--all taken with the surprisingly OK camera in the iPhone 4--can be found here
I had aspirations of riding Monday morning, but common sense (i.e. rubbery legs) convinced me to relax in the room. Check out was at 11h and I was on the road by 11h15. The Sea-to-Sky Highway (#99) is so phenomenally improved that the drive to Vancouver is an easy 90 minutes with decent traffic and no wee stop. I stopped in Squamish for a wee, a wee lunch and to check out the WhistlerBlackcomb clearance centre. Got a good pair of North Face boarding pants for $99--less than half price.
Was home by 14h, and had laundry and things sorted before Himself came home from work. Whom I missed lots while up in the winter wonderland. Gay ski week is the second week in February and I'm thinking of doing a 4 day weekend 9-12. There are deals to be had. But need to pay down some debt before I can commit to that.Forté, boulot, dos-dos
The car was fine on the ride up--every week Dad asks and I say "it's fine Dad, it's a car." It's nice to get to work in 20 minutes rather than an hour. AND on the way up to Whistler I discovered that my car's Bluetooth will allow me to stream my podcasts from my iPhone through the car's audio. How frickin' kewl izzat?
This week is scrubbing down all the things that didn't get done before December. This week was a 3 day week; next week is only 2. It's "use it or lose" time at UBC: since you can only carry over 2 weeks' vacation I had to take a bunch more this month. I'll still lose perhaps 4 days and still have 8 weeks for 2012. So I've already booked 4 weeks for next year: a conference in Montréal (not related to my "day" job) and 3 weeks in Québec City for (another) French immersion.
On Tuesday I had my German 100 final. I barely studied and aren't bovvered if I get a C or a B. I'm thinking B- for the course. I blasted through it in 75 minutes because we had our department Christmas lunch. And I had a new frock for the event:
And yes, those lights flashed betches--Canadian Tire has battery powered ones! A few more photos here