Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another year Whistler

I just realized that I've spent the last week of almost every year of my life, in Whistler. Hokey dinah I'm lucky! 

Someday, I'm told, when the cabin passes from my grandparents hands, we'll have to sell it on account of the property taxes. Its unthinkable to me that my kids won't grow up driving the sea-to-sky and sleeping in the loft every available school holiday! That "cabin" as we call it, has been my second home and probably holds half my heart. Ok maybe not quite half, but...

It squats contentedly on Drifter Way, dwarfed by the new huge chalets that have sprung up over the past 5 years. It used to be just one of many its size, but every year it looks smaller and more retro. A few of our neighbours have managed to hold out as well, and I feel a kind of comradarie with the other little slope-peaked cabins on the block.

My times at the cabin in the winter follow a particular pattern. We're usually not the only ones there - Christmas is family time, and rarely is it rented out - there are always at least a few Griffioen families filling up the living space. The unmarried folk (kids) and junior marrieds who lack seniority pack into the loft and make our beds out of stacked foam mattresses. The senior couples get the bedrooms or semi-private basement floor. We wake up every morning to grandma and grandpa shuffling about below until we hear grandpa practically hollar "Whats that mum?" as they make their breakfast. Still, we stay in bed until its really not possible to pretend to sleep any longer...that or we smell the bacon. 

Days are spent lounging and reading, playing passionate games of Settlers of Catan or scrabble, walking in the snow (with my camera of course!), visiting the village to pretend we have money to spend, and relaxing in the hot tub. In the past couple of years my uncle has brought up a TV and my grandparents ordered in the internet (both for hosting during the Olympics), but we still resist the draw of technology - for the most part. If the snow is good, we'll drag the (antique) cross-country skis out of the closet and ski around Lost Lake in the dark. Or go sledding. Neither of those things happened this year, even though we did get some fresh white stuff. Oh and of course, at least one family ski day up the mountain, which always begins with "so...Whistler or Blackcomb?" And then a debate about the merits of taking the peak-to-peak (since its been built anyway) half way through the day in order to ski BOTH mountains. 

The end of my trips follows a pattern too. I stuff my clothes in my bag (these days, I stuff while Dwayne folds and carefully packs) and pull out the vaccum cleaner. We Griffioen descendants are intimately familiar with the cabin cleaning routine. Dad asks "are both bathrooms done?"
"upstairs vaccumed?"
"fridge wiped out?"
"ok, everyone go to the bathroom one last time!"
and then we're off, back into the vehicles and down the road, waving goodbye to another fantastic year-end at the cabin. Ahh nastalgia. Whistler, Je t'aime. 

(walking through meadow park by the River of Golden Dreams, gazing up at both Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains).

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