Day two of the Olympics Jo-Ann and I again had to rise extremely early because we had booked a coach to whisk us off to the glorious slopes of Whistler for the day. We had to be waiting at the corner of Seymour and Nelson by 6:45am which was rather arduous being honest, but we were there by 6:40am each with a piping hot cup of coffee (and bells on, obviously). We gathered on our arrival – from the general talk of the huddled snowboarders – that the 6:15am bus had yet to arrive so our bus was sure to be late. This caused a few of the lady snowboarders to lose their shit.
Gone is my notion of lady snowboarders as peaceful hippies, happily easing their way down a mountain to a bong-filled evening of chillaxing and heavy petting with the equally stoned boy snowboarders. AH HELL NO! These bitches were raging because their bus was a little late. One girl in particular was practically having a seizure in anger. Seriously! Calm that shit down girls. Jo-Ann and I had the rather enviable position of being – perhaps for the first time our lives – the most laid back people in a group.
To be very clear this is not a regular occurrence. As duo, I cannot imagine a pair of people less naturally at ease. AND WE CHILLED THE SHIT OUT OF THOSE BITCHES!
Anyway, we quickly arrived in Whistler – albeit after a rather unfortunate coach-sickness incident – and first things first we find a bathroom at the Fairmont. And who should Jo-Ann run into in the loo? Cindy Crawford, that’s who! Then she obviously came running out after Cindy to tell me as Cindy Crawford, Randy Gerber and the kids wandered past us through the lobby. A rather odd start to the day, especially because I think we were briefly tailed by hotel security. I’m still not entirely sure what they thought we were going to do short of yell “Oh my God it’s that woman who used to be famous and now is friends with George Clooney and looks a bit like Elisabetta Canalis!”
After this brief dalliance with the rich and famous it was off to the town centre where we discovered that Whistler is a rather lovely, if expensive, little town. I especially love that it is really geared towards pedestrians; the whole town is situated around walking areas which is lovely. Needless to say Jo-Ann and I managed to quickly find an Irish pub and quaff a few pints back over lunch. Fantastic.
After lunch we hopped a gondola up the mountain to hit the sliding centre for some luging. I feel compelled to point out here that the Sliding Centre was halfway up Whistler mountain but was not situated directly adjacent to the gondola. Rather you had to wander across the – somewhat melted and quite slushy – ski hill with turquoise be-jacketed volunteers yelling encouragement at you. Actually, there was a rather hot volunteer that neither Jo-Ann or myself really minded being yelled at by but that’s beside the point. Security was quite intense and almost identical to that at the airport except that the people operating it were friendly and not grumpy beyond all sense of human decency. It was a strange but enjoyable difference.
Despite seeming like it was just sort of dropped on the side of the mountain the Sliding Centre was actually kind of great. We quickly discovered little kiosks selling beer and subsequently discovered that you could drink ANYWHERE ON THE COURSE. No crappy beer gardens here friends. IT WAS AMAZING.
Also we found a huge amount of portoloos.
And there were these little warming tents because it was sleety and a bit cold so after exploring the luge track a little – it was all uphill and bloody hard work actually – we set up shop in a warming tent and proceeded to knock a few back. Lovely. As the time came for the event to begin we set ourselves up near the end of the track so we could watch both the big video screen and the sliders de-luging – we had discovered earlier on that watching any single point on the track was a bit of a no-hoper as you got more whiplash than anything trying to watch the luge go by. It was a really great afternoon and we ended up being in the background of the TV coverage as you may have seen on my Facebook. We were actually set up right next to one of the American sliders’ friends and family who managed to muscle their way onto the screen quite often.
Anyway, as it started to get a bit dark we headed back down the mountain as Trevor had made us rather extravagant dinner reservations at Araxi (of Hell’s Kitchen fame). The trip back across the mountain to the gondola actually managed to be funnier on the way back if that’s at all possible as it was now dark and there were more people, including families.
So Jo-Ann and I are gripping eachother for dear life as we’re sinking ankle deep into the slushy mountain. We are in fits just trying to stay vertical as hundreds of people around us are slipping and sliding when what do we see but a parent leading their poor toddler through the barely standing masses. This wouldn’t normally be that funny except said parent failed to notice that their child had in fact fallen over and was therefore just dragging said child across the wet snow. AMAZING. I literally could not stop laughing. As we loaded back into the gondola I mused to Jo-Ann that after almost a decade of planning this was the best they could come up with.
Once back on solid ground we hurried over to Araxi for a gourmet meal that did not disappoint. It really was delicious beyond all sense of necessity. I loved every bite. Jo-Ann had the Mushroom Risotto and I had the Pork Selection which included pork belly, smoked pork tenderloin, and pork cheek ravioli. AMAZING. We also split a beet salad to start and had a delicious poached pear desert. Most importantly though we were first served a celeriac foam based amuse bouche that was EPIC. We both loved it.
After our amazing dinner we realised we were running a little behind but also that we hadn’t visited Pride House so we did a run-through visit to the naked hockey player statue and grabbed a few condom and lube packets before racing to our bus (on full stomachs – rather ill-advised). Needless to say, we made our bus and spent the ride home with full on giggles after a such a long and event-filled day. It really was a properly amazing day and one which I will not soon forget.