I learned real quick that British Columbia is bear country. Bears everywhere!
Giant bear stuffed animals, bear sculptures, bears on t-shirts, signs advising against trying to take a selfie with wild bears (no joke). I love bears, so it’s my kind of Canadian province! (Although, technically, aren’t all Canadian provinces in bear country?)
Our journey to the Red Bull 400 (before it was cancelled) began by flying into Vancouver. My friend Tavi and I rented a car, and drove two hours north to Whistler. We stopped along the way for lunch (more on restaurants later) and to swing through a grocery store. I bought protein shakes, apples, raw almonds, a couple fruit and nut bars, and coconut water: enough to cover breakfasts and snacks. Tavi bought stuff too, all so we weren’t completely reliant on restaurants for the weekend.
The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is one of the most beautiful drives I’ve done, and that’s saying something, because our views were largely obscured by the smoke being carried by the wind from over 100 forest fires in other parts of the province.
We began by crossing the Lions Gate Bridge to get out of town, which is the namesake for the movie studio behind the Twilight and Hunger Games movies (filmmakers also made it collapse in the horror movie Final Destination 5).
There were beautiful views of the sound, and the islands that dot it, and gorgeous mountains around every corner.
We drove by a giant lumberjack at a casino and bingo hall in Squamish, and had to stop for a photo op.
I mentioned in my post about our 3-hour Whistler hike that there was one more workout I haven’t mentioned yet, and that happened the morning after the hike. Tavi and I set out for a run, although it turned into a run/walk because we were both so sore and tired from the hike the day before.
Just beyond Whistler Village is a series of trails that led to, and encircle, Lost Lake. It’s not the biggest lake around, but it was the closest, so after a lengthy walking warm-up, we started running.
Our route included a covered bridge, which I haven’t seen in years and years.
Lost Lake is a pretty dumb name for a lake, because we found it pretty easily!
Altogether, we were out for 90 minutes, and covered 4 miles, and I’d say we ran about half of that. Between that and the hike, we did 4.5 hours of exercise in less than 24 hours. Whoa.
Whistler Village is a pretty bustling place: a long pedestrian-only street lined with stores, bars, and restaurants. It’s anchored by a huge outdoor bandshell at one end, where we watched part of a big public concert one night, and where the town’s Olympic heritage is clearly on display.
Despite the snacks we purchased, we also dined out a few times. For our final meal in town, Tavi’s sister recommended we visit Sushi Village, where Tavi and I split 3 rolls and got a few more pieces of fish. This platter was for both of us:
Everything was incredible – fresh and flavorful, like sushi should be. I’m a big wasabi fan (check out my recipe for wasabi pea salmon!), so when Tavi triple-dog-dared me to eat the whole wasabi ball on our platter… well, I did it.
It was SPICY! But I survived to tell the tale.
I’ve been sharing, over the past two days, the rest of my Canada restaurant meals on my Twitter page, so if you like food pictures, head there to check them out! (There’s Indian food, a salad I got at an Italian place, and even an ice cream splurge!)
That sushi lunch was the last thing we did in Whistler, after our run/walk, a stroll through a farmer’s market, and checking out of our hotel. From there we drove back to Vancouver, where we had about 12 hours to kill before heading to the airport. We walked all over town – what a beautiful city! – and ate a lengthy dinner. It was Vancouver Pride weekend, but we missed the parade by a couple hours.
All in all, I ate delicious food, balanced with smart choices and a lot of activity – just the way I like to travel!
And guess who greeted us at the airport, after a long, fun, and busy weekend?
Keep it up, David!
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