In late 2006, we heard from Susan's cousin Doris, from New York, that she would be visiting Whistler/Blackcomb in early February with a bunch of friends. Doris would be arriving in Vancouver on Friday February 2, to spend a day with us, then would travel to Whistler on the third. With the knowledge that my last day on Glen's project in Calgary was to be February 2, what better way to celebrate "moving home" than to go to Whistler for the weekend. Using Hilton Hhonors points accumulated by staying at the Hampton Inn in Calgary, I had accumulated enough stays to be a diamond VIP in the program and enough points to spend a few nights expenses covered at the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa. We just booked in for the Saturday night.

Come January, I was pleasantly surprised when the need for me to travel to Calgary each week came to an end a few weeks early. So although the trip to Whistler wasn't right at the end of the working out of town, it was still an excellent getaway.

Susan picked up Doris on Friday, and Shirley came over for the evening.

On Saturday morning, Doris, Susan, and Glen all headed off to Whistler in Boy (our car). We also got to use Susan's Christmas gift to Glen, which was a car-top ski rack, meaning we could travel in comfort in the car while our skis and boards (Doris's board) was on top of the car. We checked in to the Whistler Hilton at a little after 2:00. Boy how nice that is! Being a diamond VIP in the Hilton HHonors program, they upgraded our room to a deluxe suite! A few minutes after being in the room, there was a knock on the door and the manager had sent a note welcoming us, and some wonderful biscotti. We enjoyed some tea and the biscuits. The room was great. Not only did it have a kitchen, but also a king size bed, and a fireplace! Later in the evening we burned the log and fell asleep by the cozy fire. After talking about it, and giving some serious thought to it, Susan and I arrived at the conclusion that this was the second nicest hotel room we have ever stayed in. The absolute nicest was the room we stayed in on our honeymoon at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.

Saturday night we met some of Doris's friends that were staying with her at her condo for the week, and we all had dinner at Monk's Grill restaurant. Susan and I also had fun in the heated outdoor pool, and enjoyed having a fire in our room before we called it a night.

Sunday morning was a dream for skiing. I awoke and had (complementary) breakfast at about 8:00. Susan was not skiing because she was going to show Shirley around, who was coming up to Whistler by bus for the day. Susan was very glad to hear that the restaurant would be serving breakfast until 1:00 in the afternoon, and so was in no rush to get up. When I got back to the room at a little after 8:00, Susan said that Doris had called and was not going to be skiing, since she wasn't feeling that great... her travelling had caught up with her and she needed some more rest. Doris explained that her friends would be willing to meet me in the village at 8:30 for a day of skiing. I sauntered down and collected my skis from the hotel ski check, and walked right out into the village base by 8:30 to meet Doris's friends. If only getting to the hill was always this easy :-)

I had a good morning of skiing with Doris's friends. While having lunch in The Rendezvous, the lunch spot near the top of Blackcomb, I overheard someone else saying that there had been a slide on highway 99 between Vancouver and Whistler, and that the road was closed, and might not open this day. I called Susan, who was now with her sister and Doris, and asked her to look into it. I enjoyed the rest of the day skiing.

On coming down from the mountain at about 4:00, Susan had just checked out of the hotel. Again being a diamond VIP has great advantages--checkout time being 4:00. Susan said that the highway was still not open, and the hotel had offered to rent us the room for another night at half price if we needed to stay. Susan had decided we would try to get back to Vancouver as rumour was that the highway was going to be opened sometime between 6:00 and 8:00pm. With skis still in tow, we said farewell to Doris

After changing out of my ski clothes, it was probably close to 5:00 by the time we were on the road. By the time we reached Squamish, the road, which was closed right around Lions Bay, was still not open. Thinking it best to wait it out in Squamish, we went into a wonderful little restaurant called Parkside. I believe all the other guests in the restaurant were other travellers waiting for the road to open and get back to Vancouver as well. After dinner, we returned to the car and were pleased to find that the road had been opened. Our drive back to Vancouver was in heavy traffic, undoubtedly due to the day's traffic piling up, but it was uneventful and we finally dropped off Shirley, and arrive home at a little bit after 8:00. A fine way to spend the weekend!


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