I had been complaining for weeks how I wanted to go on vacation somewhere warm. I needed the sunshine, but mostly I needed a tan. And so when my girlfriend asked if I wanted to take a one-week vacation somewhere I said absolutely. And then she told me it was to Whistler. So much for getting a tan.
Off we were to Whistler by way of Seattle. We took the Amtrak train from Seattle to Vancouver and the trip itself was beautiful. You’ll want to make sure you sit on the left side of the train as you get better views of the scenery. The train has electrical outlets, Wi-Fi a café car and plenty of legroom – I couldn’t even reach the other seat when I stuck my legs all the way out.
From Vancouver to Whistler we left the comforts of our train to clear customs and took a bus the rest of the way. The bus was amenity-free but what it lacked in comfort it made up for in views. Gorgeous mountain tops, gleaming lakes and enough twists and turns to keep you on edge.
We were staying at the Lake Placid Lodge in the Creekside portion of town, but check-in was in Whistler Village and went smoothly. Two strapping young men, Thomas and Jacob, met us after our check-in and handled our bags, driving us to the lodge. We couldn’t figure out where they were from but they were very sweet and as they left they shouted out, “Good luck with your husbands!” – they may or may not have overheard us talking about finding a man while we were in town. Unbeknownst to us we had booked our trip during the 21st annual Winter PRIDE. Our timing was impeccable.
Regardless of the lack of prospects for the future Mr. Young is the New Black, Creekside was a perfect spot. While it’s a five-minute drive from the main village – or a $2.50 bus trip – it’s actually the original base of Whistler Mountain. The vibe is more laid back, than the village but it still has a Starbucks, various restaurants, liquor store and grocery all just steps away from the lodge. The grocery is small but has all the essentials for a small ski town – different flavors of hot cocoa, imported cheeses and salami with black truffle.
The lodge itself is not a typical hotel but instead a combination of condos, apartments and time-shares. We had a one-bedroom plus loft that had a fully-equipped kitchen, living room and two bathrooms. The place is a bit dated – muted earth tones with dragon fly pillows – but it was clean and everything in the unit was in good working order. There is no washer in the unit but there is a coin-operated community washer and dryer on the garage level.
The Creekside Gondola is unbelievably close at about a three-minute walk and should basically be considered ski-in/ski-out access. The property has a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and lobby fireplace. There’s also a storage room at the entrance for skis and bikes that keeps your room ski and board free.
As we settled in, I looked out the window and saw snow falling. There would be fresh powder to take on the next day…