Much like our wedding day, we tried to break from tradition. A beach trip, or somewhere warm, seemed too predictable and ordinary. In hindsight, heading north ended up fitting the theme of our wedding weekend – COLD! After a chat with a coworker-friend outlining the things Brad and I enjoy most – good food, being pampered, shopping, and new experiences – she suggested a location we would have never imagined. We spent an evening doing a little research and fell in love with the idea of honeymooning in British Columbia. One wedding and two-hundred pounds of luggage later, we were on our way to Part I of our Canadian tour.
First stop, Whistler…
We arrived at Four Seasons Resort and Residences immediately welcomed with the tiniest cup of hot apple cider. So far so good. It only got better once we checked into our suite – complete with separate living and bedroom areas, private balcony with a view, and a gas fire place. I have not one bad thing to say about our first home away from home.
We enjoyed daily breakfast pick-me-ups at the resort café, SIDECUP, where Brad found a new obsession in London Fog (recipe here). The proximity to Whistler Village was perfect – a quick ten-minute walk along a beautiful path through a covered bridge and scenic views (with prayers for no bear sightings). There was also the option to take the resort shuttle.
We took full advantage of the fitness and spa amenities relaxing with a Hatha Yoga class, “Melting Moments” massage using warm natural soy oil from a burning candle, and heated pool area.
Our evenings started with happy hours in the SIDECUT Bar where the mixologists made our handcrafted cocktail dreams come true. And let’s not forget about the daily make-your-own s’mores by the outdoor firepit.
Our first full day in Whistler started as an adventure. Two things – one, snowmobiling in sleet and freezing rain is not ideal, and two, Brad almost killed me three days after our wedding (explanation forthcoming). I took the seat of passenger and we made our way up the mountain trails. While the scenery was still breathtaking, we missed out on some of the best views due to limited visibility under the weather conditions. Brad also missed out on sending me and/or himself to the hospital when he took a fast spin down a hill on his own, avoiding clipping me and the tour guide by inches, and coming to an abrupt stop thanks to a (tree free, thank God!) snowbank. HOWEVER, our ride with Blackcomb Snowmobile was a blast!
We then used ‘we went snowmobiling’ as our candid answer to the ‘are you going skiing?’ question asked ten times daily.
While we may have been the only non-skiers in town (it was the World Ski and Snowboard Festival during our stay), we did not miss an opportunity to attempt to blend in on their playground.
PEAK 2 PEAK gondola took us between Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain tops with stunning 360-degree views. It is the Guinness Book of World Records-holder for longest and highest lift. At the tallest point, passenger cabins hang as high as 1427 feet (higher than four-and-a-half Statues of Liberty). For a little extra thrill, we opted for the glass bottom cabin for one leg of the ride. During our day atop the mountain we experienced fog, snow, and clear blue sunny skies. They say the weather changes every fifteen minutes – confirmed.
Now, let’s talk about what we really planned our trip around...FOOD!
Because we have the sweetest friends in the world, two of the restaurants where we made advanced reservations in Whistler (and more to come in Part II!) had gift cards waiting for us. It was one of the most thoughtful wedding gifts!
Our Part I foodie tour started at Araxi in the Village. This is where our love for sablefish emerged. It is a “west coast delicacy” and it melts in your mouth without any hint of fishiness.
After recommendations from every local we met, we squeezed in reservations at the popular Rimrock Café. This was on par to be our favorite spot thanks to the Seafood Antipasto featuring a little bit of everything – oysters, shrimp, tuna tartare and tataki, halibut seafood salad, smoked salmon, and ceviche.
But our second pre-planned Village dinner could not be beat. Maybe it was the fact that every bite got better from the black truffle mushroom soup to the roasted duck to the house-made truffles. Or maybe it was our trip to their Ketel One Vodka Ice Room that convinced us? We bundled up in some parkas and sampled four different vodkas from around the World during the negative 25-degree tasting experience. Whatever it was, Bearfoot Bistro left us drooling.
Our Part I foodie tour concluded back in the Four Seasons at their modern steakhouse, SIDECUT. It was a nice mid-trip break from the seafood frenzy that (continually) ensued. Their signature rubs and sauces made them different from any average steakhouse. We were congratulated with a champagne toast and their dessert took the cake in Whistler – carrotcake cheesecake that is…layered in a mason jar…with a candied carrot spoon!
We set out on Part I to relax and rejuvenate in the mountains after a nine-month wedding planning whirlwind and we succeeded. While Whistler ended up being our favorite half of the honeymoon, do not count out our next stop – just wait until you see Vancouver. Stay tuned for Part II!