Whistler Trip

We all went for a nice weekend trip away from Vancouver and out to Whistler last weekend.
Nope, the slopes aren’t open for ski/snowboard season yet, which is unfortunate because we’re really looking forward to spending a lot of time on the slopes this season. The season opens up at the end of November, so it’s still over a month away. We are super pumped about it though. The slopes in Calgary are alright and we enjoy them just fine, but they just can’t compete with Whistler/Blackcomb; at least that’s the way it sounds from what we’ve been hearing. We’ll just have to wait and find out I guess. Can’t wait!

Our next trip out to Whistler will definitely be to get onto the mountain and do some skiing/snowboarding. This trip we just decided to go check things out so we’d be all ready to rock the next time we’re in Whistler, and because we needed something to do last weekend.

The ride out to Whistler
We loved the limo ride from the last post when Elliot delivered his wonderful surprise. After that day we were hooked. What better time to get another limo than for our trip to Whistler?

We got Elliott to call up the same limousine company but they were all booked up and don’t normally do trips out to Whistler. So, we did a bit of searching, got some quotes and we ended up going with a company called KJ Limousine. They’ve got a pretty good Vancouver to Whistler deal where they give you $75 off if you book a limo round trip. In total, a round trip is about 5 hours driving time (2.5 hours each way) so depending on the vehicle you take, $75 is between a half hour to an hour for free. Not bad considering it’s 5 hours round trip!

Nice promo vid too:

 

We were originally going to take a full sized stretch limo but Hing, the owner at KJ Limousine, said that most people tend to take the big (non-stretch) SUV up to Whistler instead of a full sized stretch limo. He knows best and we weren’t going to argue with him. Besides, going with the SUV was actually much cheaper than going with the stretch SUV. Maybe a little less cool, but that’s ok. We didn’t mind saving “too cool for school” time for the slopes.

One of Owen’s funny friends Stan (from his stand-up comedy days) came to join us for the trip.

So we took the limo/suv from Vancouver to Whistler—a beautiful scenic drive up the Sea to Sky Highway, which is much more enjoyable and easier to appreciate when you have a chauffeur driving you. It really is like they say in most cheesy limo ads… “just sit back, kick your feet up, relax, and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the ride”.

On the way there, we saw this pretty wicked looking mining museum with one of those gigantic mining trucks outside. Britannia Mine Museum—gotta check that out next time.
britannia-mining-museum-vancouver-whistler

Stan and Owen cracked us up pretty well the whole way there and back. Owen’s usually pretty funny by himself, but when you combine the two of them together, it’s really something else.
I would try to re-enact or describe some funny stuff that they said but I would really not do it justice because I’m really not a funny guy and I would just butcher it—so I’m not even going to try… sorry. =)

At Whistler
Let me just say that Whistler is SWEEEETTT…! Continue reading

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Lavish Limousines and Living Large in Vancouver

Elliot, Elliot, Elliot… boy did you pull one on us…

Seems you’ve been keeping secrets from us, but boy are we glad you did.  Man, what a surprise…

So, 3 months ago, back when we were still in Calgary, Elliot comes up to us and says, “Hey dudes… I got a little something in store for you guys once we get into Vancouver—not gonna tell you what it is, but you’re gonna love it.  That’s all I’m gonna say”.

The time comes for us to fly over, we land, we step out of YVR (Vancouver International Airport), we arrive at our new home, we start unpacking, we finish unpacking, we go to bed, a day goes by, weeks go by, months go by… nothing.

Elliot…!!!  I confronted him the other a little while ago and reminded him about what he said.  First, he told me to RELAX and that there was a change in plans, but that he hasn’t forgotten about it.  Then he told me not to get my panties in a bunch—thanks dude.  He told me to hang tight.  And so I did…

A little more time went by, and yesterday it happened.

Elliot had arranged for an awesome day to hang out all over Vancouver with a fancy shmancy limo and chauffeur to drive us around.  It was awesome!

The one we got looked a lot like the white one in the picture below:

suv-limo-vancouver

The original plan was to have us picked up at the airport and make our arrival into Vancouver super stylish—but some hiccups happened with another company and he had to find another company to book with.  We had such a blast yesterday.  It was probably good that he had to find another company because the last company’s service was apparently atrocious.  The company he ended up with was VanCity Limos who were simply fantastic!  We were all so impressed by their service, and professionalism.  If I remember, I’m going to write a yelp or google review after writing this post.  Yes, they were that good.  I mean, who takes the time to write a good review for a limo company?

They’ve got a pretty sweet video too:

 

Anyway, we got up early and the second we stepped out, our limousine guy was outside waiting for us.  Greg, our super classy chauffeur was definitely dressed to impress and looked super spiffy next to the limo, which was a stretch SUV.  He opened the door for us and we all hopped in.  First stop?—the seawall.  Elliot had made a lunch reservation at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, but scheduled us for a good start to our day with some exercise—a few rounds around the seawall.

The limo interior was awesome.  It was funny that we were in our exercise gear too.  We popped open some champagne and did a couple toasts on our way to the sea wall.  There was even a big flatscreen TV inside.  When we got down to Georgia, Lucas had to stand up out of the sunroof.  Logan got up right behind him and had a little “Titanic” moment.

Once we arrived at the seawall, our chauffeur Greg hopped out to open the limousine doors for us.  We rented some bikes for all of us (even our driver Greg) and did a couple rounds around the seawall.  Amazing weather and a breath-taking view.  Greg didn’t want to join us at first, but we hit it off pretty well during the limo ride and we were able to convince him to come with us.  Greg totally loved it. Continue reading

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How To Be A Vancouverite in Vancouver

Coming to Vancouver from Calgary, it was a bit of a culture shock, despite being in the same country. Calgary and Vancouver are actually quite different. Over the past while, I’ve consciously noticed a bunch of ways people in Vancouver do things differently than in Calgary and for this post, I’ve compiled a bit of a list on how I have learned to adapt as a new Vancouverite. This post is partly for my own record-keeping or journalling, but I think some of you back home and new friends here will get a kick out of this list. I hope you find it entertaining.

Here goes a shortlist of 5 things:

1. How to say “Vancouver” like a Vancouverite

Before coming here, I pronounced Vancouver just like how it’s spelled… Van… Couver… NOW, I’ve learned the real way to say it, which is to add a G in the middle so that it is pronounced Vang… Couver. I find adding the G makes it a lot more comfortable to say. Saying Vancouver like a Vancouverite lets it roll right of the tongue. I wish I had figured that one out much sooner.

2. How to dress like Vancouverite

The culture here leans towards favoring an active healthy lifestyle with a mix of urban artistic attitude.  The result is the Vancouver fashion sense which includes a lot of yoga pants, skinny jeans and hipster gear.

3. Love sports (hockey) like a Vancouverite

Sure, Calgarians love their sports… but, at least where I live, keeping up with all things hockey and the Canucks is serious business. It’s almost a crime punishable by law to not be super up to date with all the Canucks players and all the highlights of the previous games.

 4. Get around like a Vancouverite

The two socially acceptable extremes to transportation are either riding a single geared bike (fixie) everywhere you go, or drive a really expensive car. Everything else in between is just sort of frowned upon. This sounds like an exaggeration, but my Vancouver friends will back me up.

5. Be super proud of your city

If there was a term for patriotism for one’s city, Vancouverites would probably fit the bill perfectly. Everyone that lives here seems to be really proud of their city, claiming that it’s the most beautiful place in the world—even people who have never been any where else. I agree that Vancouver is a nicer place than Calgary. Vancouver’s got the mountains, the ocean, the pretty downtown area and tons of activities to do. Is it the most beautiful place in the world? It tends to rank as one of the most livable cities in the world. It’s a little odd to me that people that have never gone anywhere else would claim it to be.

So that’s it. Let me know what you think. ;)

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Krazy Kayaking

Hey guys, it’s hunter here.

We were in Vancouver doing a bit of shopping at MEC awhile ago. (MEC stands for Mountain Equipment Co-op and they are an outdoor gear and clothing store.) We were doing a bit of shopping preparing for a hike that we had coming up and we met these really cool dudes there. They said that they’re into kayaking. They were at MEC picking up some gear for a crazy kayaking trip they had planned out that Lions Bay. Apparently, drainage ditch kayaking has become pretty big lately. It’s when people hike up these long drainage ditches with their kayaks and ride all the way down at incredible speeds.

We had heard about it before and thought it was really interesting but we’ve never seen anybody actually do it or any videos of people doing it. We exchanged emails and they said that they would send us a video later on.

I just saw the video today. They said drainage ditch kayaking was super sick and man, he was not joking. Check out the video below.

Was that not just completely mind blowing?

I love how you can see a couple bushes getting tossed up into the air from the paddles.

It looks super terrifying but also super fun—the perfect ingredients for on awesome sport.

This particular drainage ditch is a 800 meter descent and they reached speeds over 70 kilometres per hour!

The Grouse Grind is a 1000m descent. We hiked up Grouse a while ago and I can tell you that 800m is no short descent.

70km/h may not be that fast, but when you’re in a kayak and are basically sitting a few inches off the ground, 70km/h feels really fast. I’d be scared at the thought of rolling the kayak while careening down that ditch at that speed.

And when they finally hit the water at the bottom, that looks like a case for some potentially serious whiplash, if it’s not hit right.

Respect.

These guys have balls.

I’m going to go talk to the other guys and see if I can convince them to give this a try. Not sure what my chances are, but wish me luck. =)

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Grouse Grind, Golly Gee…!

Last week we all went to hike up the Chief in Squamish
This weekend we hiked up Grouse mountain.

The hike is known locally as the “Grouse Grind”.
The hike up the Chief hike and Grouse Grind are very different.

Let’s just say they call it the Grouse Grind for a reason.

Where the Chief was a nice leisurely hike with a lot of variety, the Grouse Grind is like a solid hard hour of nothing but stone or wooden stairs steps.

Where the Chief was a little over 400m in elevation from the ground, Grouse is more than double that at an increase of 1000m from the ground.

We got to go over the Lionsgate Bridge again on the way there.  I’ll never get tired of that view…  Speaking of bridge views, I really love the view going northbound over Granville St. bridge, heading into downtown.  You see water on either side and a ton of majestic looking highrises in front of you.

The funny thing about starting the Grouse Grind is that you hike about 15 minutes up some rather treacherous terrain and you pass by a sign that says “Grouse Grind starts here”. haha, hilarious… It wasn’t a big deal to us because we do a good amount of hiking, but we saw some other people doing it for the first time and the look on their faces was just pure horror.

I don’t think there’s much else to say about the hike going up.   Its a long monotonous staircase up the mountain.

Unlike the chief, however, there’s a ton of stuff up at the top. grouse is a popular place to ski in the winter time so there are buildings and things up there.  There’s a bird sanctuary, a store, small theater and some restaurants. Continue reading

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The Chief at Squamish

Hey guys, Hunter here…
Last weekend we went over to squamish, which is on the way to Whistler from Vancouver, to check out the hike up the Chief.

About the Chief

ChiefThe Chief (officially known as the “Stawamus Chief”) is a huge chunk of granite that sticks out of the earth and overlooks the town of Squamish.  It stick up a little more than 400m above the ground surrounding it.  Continue reading

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We’re Back!

Hey guys, we are BACK and better than ever!

The five of us (Hunter, Elliot, Lucas, Logan, Owen) have spent the past year planning for the big move… leaving our hometown Calgary and heading out west to Vancouver.

heading-west-vancouver

It’s been a lot of packing, job interviewing and having goodbye parties with our families.

We’re going to miss you Calgary, but we’re sure looking forward to all the adventures we’ll be up to here in Vancouver.

Stay tuned for more good stuff from the five guys from Calgary (now in Vancouver).

Sneak peek for next week:  Elliot’s got us set up with a sweet surprise…  hint: has to do with a limo.

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