Late December last year I received a voicemail message indicating I had won a three night trip to Whistler. A part-time hobby of mine is entering contests and it has paid off big-time in the last several years. Due to our recent move to B.C. the trip had to wait until this past weekend, booked to co-incide with my 43rd Birthday.
We had wonderful weather, clear blue skies and hot summer days. First, the ferry crossing from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay, then an ocean cliffside drive up into the mountains.
Our budget of $500 for expenses was as follows:
Parking $100 ($30 per night plus tax)
Ferries $160 ($80 each way for a car and two passengers)
Meals and drinks $220
$505 Total. This was my birthday weekend as well as our only real holiday this year so we budgeted for it. We packed our own alcohol, muffins, fruit and snacks for the room.
No trip is totally free even if won as a prize. This one did not include transportation to the resort and only included two meals. When researching the trip I quickly realized that Whistler has absolutely no free parking. An outdoor lot for the day costs a minimum $8 so our hotel charge of $30 per day for underground secure parking, while high, was not unexpected. We planned it into our trip budget as could find no cheaper way to get there than driving. If I had not researched this, it would have been a very bad shock. The trip did include unlimited passes on the chair lifts on both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and peak to peak tram so that was our main form of entertainment for the trip.
We stayed three nights at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, an old-world charm five star hotel which lived up to our high expectations. There was lush bedding, bathrobes, hot tubs and pools enjoyed every evening after a long day of hiking and sightseeing. The hotel is in a wonderfull location right at the bottom of Blackcomb mountain and we rode the lift down right to the hotel at days end.
Whistler hosted many of the skiing events from the 2010 Winter Olympics and is definitely a world class town. We ate great meals, did some hiking and conquered our fear of heights (not quite but we pushed ourselves) to go as high as you can go on the mountain.
I am breaking this post into two entries due to the number of photos I took. Part Two to come shortly.