Whistler 2011

Well. It certainly was hard to drive home Sunday morning after a peaceful and serene getaway, snuggled in the mountains of Whistler. 

Visiting Whistler has been on both of our "must-do" lists for a long time, and we never could get around to it over the summer (which is probably a good thing, because we did so much traveling then). 

Whistler's "slump season" is October, because they don't receive snowfall, but most people are back to school and not vacationing. Thus = mad $$$ discounts on hotel rooms during that time. Fortunately for us, we're only a seven hour drive away from Whistler so it's not much of a hassle to take advantage of that opportunity. 

Timothy and I stayed at a gorgeously perfect hotel called "First Tracks Lodge." We found it on Tripadvisor (which is my go-to site for hotel research), and it was ranked #4 of all hotels in Whistler. This was a good find for us because it was also the most affordable of the hotels in Whistler... win-win for us.

Oh. my. relaxation. This was probably one of the best trips I've taken in my life, and it was only three days long. T and I Pricelined a hotel in Seattle for the night on Thursday (minus a little booking hiccup + some great friends who helped compensate that loss) and were able to break up the 7 hour drive a bit. We slept in, had coffee, overlooked Lake Union from the 35th floor of the Westin and enjoyed a non-rushed morning for a change. 

Then we headed up north, crossed the border, wound our way through {totally confusing} Vancouver, admired vibrant amber and ruby-colored trees, royal blue skies, crisp air and eventually made it to our destination: Whistler Creekside. 

Whistler is divided into two parts: Creekside and the Village. Whistler Village is where the heart of all shops, restaurants and hotels are, and Whistler Creekside is about a mile away and is the more quieter, reserved sister of the town. We were totally surprised by how much of an International melting pot Whistler was, with virtually all employees being from either Europe or Australia / New Zealand. {I think they all just hang around and work part-time jobs to wait for when the snow falls again...} At any rate, we totally felt like we were at home in Europe. 

Our hotel room came fully equipped with a kitchen, fireplace, dining room table, large king bed and washer / dryer, and we never really left except to grab take-out. We loved being there! We had amazing views and it was so relaxing to sleep in, walk across the street for coffee, read our books, swim, take naps, and order more take-out. 48 hours of pure bliss. 

I was expecting the food in Whistler to blow me out of the water, but honestly, the next time we go we're just going to stop at the Walmart in Squamish (about 30 miles away) and stock up to fill our pantries. The food in Whistler is incredibly expensive and really just didn't impress me that much to go out again. 

The places we ate were "good," (however, good is the enemy of great). If you're visiting Whistler and don't have a kitchen, I really think you'll like these places:

Pasta Lupino-- (fettuccine alfredo is sooooo good; plum tomato pasta wasn't so good). Honestly, I think the only reason why I wouldn't go out for food again in Whistler is just because our kitchen is so amazing and functional and we could save a lot of money that way. I just wasn't blown out of the water with Whistler food. 

Splitz Grill -- create your own burger joint. Again, I thought they were overpriced but the fries + custom burger we had were really good. Think 5 Guys x 10 (50 guys). The staff are super friendly and their service is really efficient (though I think they stole Baja Fresh's tagline of "We don't make fast food, we make food fast"... or something like that).

Crepe Montagne -- we didn't actually eat here because we slept in too late each day and just felt like throwing our sweats on and grabbing coffee, BUT, we heard really, really good reviews about this crepe place and will definitely be visiting it on our next trip up. It's located directly next door to Pasta Lupino and across the lane from Splitz Grill (all restaurants are located in Whistler Village).

If you visit Whistler, I highly recommend staying in Whistler Creekside because it's more private and quiet, but has just as much opportunities for amenities as the Village does, just with 1/2 as many people. (Plus, there are two huge ski lifts right in the back of First Tracks Lodge hotel! Can't beat that.) Whistler Creekside has a Starbucks, an organic grocery store, a Subway, two cafes, a BBQ restaurant and a pizza restaurant (along with a few other specialty shops and ski shops). 

I am SO looking forward to going back-- hopefully soon. We would love to get a group of friends together and head up over winter break! {hint hint}


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