Hawaii Mom Blog: Visiting British Columbia on the Cusp of Spring




December 29, 2016

Visiting British Columbia on the Cusp of Spring

Earlier this year, we traveled with friends to both Vancouver and Whistler for a ski vacation on the cusp of spring.

With suitcases stuffed with winter clothing and ski gear to prepare us for the frigid temps and snow play, we made our way to Vancouver via Air Canada Rouge. A late-night arrival at the lovely Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport and an early wake-up time left us less refreshed than we had hoped for, but luckily, we hired Perimeter Transportation for the two-hour drive to Whistler.

All we had to do was sit back and relax in the air-conditioned, comfortable van, while our driver navigated us safely to Whistler.  Some of us slept, while others snapped photos along the beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway.

People have told us that going to Whistler in Mid-March is a gamble - some years the mountains are already visible in March; other years the mountains are still packed with snow.

We lucked out. The past ski season at Whistler was a big one - extending into May, and even being dubbed "snowmageddon" by some.

The Crystal Lodge and Suites was our home-away-from-home for a few days. Its central location in the heart of Whistler Village provided easy access to restaurants, shops, and of course, all of the winter fun. My kids and I took ski lessons (which I highly recommend if you've never skied before), and although there were more falls than successful glides down the tiniest slope ever, it was still a lot of fun.

If you have no interest in skiing, you need not worry, as there is still plenty to do in Whistler -
tubing, sledding, and tree-trekking, to name a few.

Our time in Whistler flew by as quickly as the skiers on the black diamond runs, and we soon found ourselves back in Vancouver (thanks, once gain, to Perimeter Transportation).

We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Vancouver Airport, which allowed for easy access to the SkyTrain.

Using the SkyTrain means no need to rent a car, no driving in traffic, no searching for parking, no paying expensive parking fees. The last time we were in Vancouver we rented a car and had to deal with all of the traffic, the parking, and the fees.

Now we know better.

We took the SkyTrain to several vicinities to partake in my favorite vacation activities - dining and shopping!

We truly ate in vacation mode - donuts, ice cream, pannekoeken, and of course - French fries in gravy (my love for French fries + gravy originated in Victoria, B.C.!).

One of the things I love about dining in Canada is that servers bring the "machine" - portable credit card machines, to your table. This lessens the possibility of fraud or theft, as you swipe your credit card yourself instead of having the server walk away with your credit card.

As for shopping - I searched for popular Canada treats - Ketchup potato chips, Coffee Crisp, and Aero chocolate.

If you're a parent of a kid from the United States who watched those Kinder Surprise Egg reveal videos on YouTube, you'll be happy to know that you can buy them in Canada. We made sure the kids opened and ate the eggs while we were still in Canada, as the treats are illegal in the US (Google it if you don't know why).

Spring had eventually sprung, and the inevitable Vancouver rain dampened our last day in British Columbia, but that didn't stop me from dragging the family to catch the SkyTrain to the Olympic Village to make the 15-minute walk (in the rain!) to Earnest Ice Cream.

It was a sweet (and cold and wet) ending to our British Columbia vacation.

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