And May All Your Christmases Be White

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how quickly time is just flyyyyyy-ing by. One blink of the eye and it seems that Christmas is upon us. Just 9 little sleeps and we will be waking up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, welcoming the most wonderful day!

Until then, however, I am working 10 days straight, heading up the mountain whenever possible and greeting my dear friends from home. Nine of my absolute favourites are visiting for Christmas and although it’s going to be absolutely hectic trying to squeeze everything in, I am so excited!

Now for a little catch up on the past few weeks, which basically have consisted of snow, snow and more of that glorious white snow!

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My walk to work has become a movie moment, every damn day

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Blackcomb Base

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Whistler Base

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Day Four on the mountain, putting my linked turns into practice

Snowboarding has got to be the most frustrating sport to learn, it hurts so damn much when you’ve fallen for the 27th time onto your coccyx. It sure is addictive though, and I’m not giving up anytime soon!

The weather is getting a little warmer too, after 10 days of an average of -14, they have actually forecast 2 degrees next week!! AND MORE SNOW

Winter is agreeing with us nicely, and even though it requires a lot more effort (with all the layers and walking over icy roads and what not) I think we’re falling more in love with this section of the world.

Here’s to a very white Christmas!
Hanbel.
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Easy Like Sunday Morning

My apologies dear friends and readers, for I have been off the grid this week. I started my new job (!!!) and it’s been keeping me pretty damn busy. This week has been mostly working a 11am – 7pm shift, taking home goodies, plonking down on the couch and falling asleep. This ole body ain’t used to active working!

It’s good though, I’m really enjoying the work so far. The days go quick, the staff are awesome and I go home smelling like butter and sugar… I’m going to get so fat working here!

To counteract my freebies, I’ve been trying to maintain an exercise regime. My days off are dedicated to getting out on the bike and trying some new walking/hiking trails. Before work though, I’ve been getting up before the rest of Whistler and hitting the pavement.

I love Whistler in the early morning. For a town where nothing opens until 10am and everyone my age leads a rather party kind of lifestyle, if I get out for a run at 8am I’ll only see a handful of people out and about. It’s such a nice way to start the day and clear the mind before a full day of work.

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Happy Sunday my lovelies (my Friday, hooray!),

Hanbel
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I Choo Choo Choose You

Hellooooo friends and family! Still alive over here, kicking life goals and generally enjoying every moment. #sorrynotsorry

I’ve been working for a couple of weeks now, and absolutely loving it. There’s tonnes to learn and so many different processes that I’m not used to (not to mention that Whistler is still unfamiliar to me), but it feels so good to get the brain working again. It’s a great team to work with, our boss is one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve met and I’ve also had the pleasure of training with two other girls around my age.

On on of our days off, one of my co-worker gals, Crina, and I decided to make use of the beautiful weather and head off on a little hike.

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We made our way down to Function Junction in search of the train wreck. Following the trails through intense greenery and beautiful trees, we found our way to the train line.

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Where we played around, because why not?

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Nailed it.

The trail was super easy, and only around 5km long – a nice introduction for us both.

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Time for a little back story about the wreck… In 1956 a train came off it’s tracks trying to make up time and speeding along an area in repair. The nearby families and community decided to leave the boxcars there and subsequently set it up as an authorised graffiti zone.

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Every boxcar is covered inside and out with artwork, with many incredible faces staring back at you.

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You’re also in the middle of a forrest, clamouring over roots and around trees to take it all in. It was pretty spectacular and such a unique set up.

Forgoing the train tracks, we took the trail back to discover Cheakamus River and it’s gorgeous waterfall. Seriously, this place does not get any better!

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This is life for me these days; working with some cool cats, finally making money instead of spending it all, and getting out biking or hiking in my spare time.

Andrew updates:
He has started coaching in the park, and can’t wipe the smile off his face. He has started to discover the fun side to tipping, and even got tipped in beer yesterday. I’m super proud of the effort he’s been putting in over the last couple of weeks.

Whistler is the kind of town that doesn’t open until 10am, doesn’t get going until the afternoon and parties late into the night. It’s also the kind of place where nothing happens unless you make it happen. Andrew has been down at the base of the mountain most mornings, organising lessons for other coaches, shadowing their classes and now getting his own gigs. He’s consistent and reliable and I think the senior staff are starting to notice and reward him for it.

Happy happy days over here! Much love,
Hanbel.
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One Second in Whistler

I have loved this app, re-watching the little clips always puts a smile on my dial. I just mashed our first four weeks of Whistler life and it’s a nice reminder how nervous I was in the beginning and how life is steadily improving here, day by day.

However, I seemed to have forgotten my camera and miss having actual photos to look over. I started work last week also, which makes it a little more difficult to pick up my phone all the time. So, please enjoy my last One Second Everyday video … for now.

 

Ahhh Whistler, I’m so glad we picked you.

Hanbel.
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Canada Eh

You have reached your final destination.

Cannot begin to tell you how incredible that sentence is. Not that we were travelling for that long, but it does make a big difference when you finally arrive in the country you plan on living in.

We hit Van City on Thursday, and headed to Kitslano to crash at our friend Carla’s spot. Kits is a suuuuuper cute area to stay in, right on the “beach” (I use this term loosely), nice little strip of shops and cafes, and only a 5km walk into Downtown.

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The main purpose for hitting up Vancouver was to get the admin side of life sorted, which we smashed out in half a day! We got our Social Insurance Number plus great deals on a sim card and bank account (Virgin Mobile and CIBC if you’re wondering). The banking system is so backwards here, they still use cheques, have only just begun using internet banking and most of the bank will charge you for internet transactions.

Once we finished the boring things, we took advantage of the sunshine and hit up Stanley Park. After the longest wait for an average burger (there are always downsides to travel), we grabbed some bikes and road the seawall.

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The ride was so flat and the bikes were amazing to ride, 14km went by so quickly.
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This cool kid.

The sunshine continued through Saturday, and with Carla not working we had a buddy! With a car!
After an amazing brunch (following from Perth traditions) at The Oakwood, Carla drove us all out to Lynn Canyon to walk around the falls and NATURE.

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Doing this little walk has gotten me so excited for living in Whistler, hiking and riding every day!

IMG_0575Rewarding ourselves with ice cream, naturally…

Our little group headed into Gastown in the evening, for drinks and dinner. I managed the dinner portion before taking myself home with a mother flippin’ cold. NOT HAPPY.
Gastown is very cute though, old school-style gaslamps on the streets, cool little restaurants and bars down alley-ways. I hope the others enjoyed it to it’s fullest!

We took Sunday a little easier (easy like a Sunday morning, some would say) due to my stupid sickness. Not wanting to waste the whole day though, we did a quick visit to Granville Island for chicken noodle soup and pot pies.

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The markets are gorgeous, full of fresh fruit and vegetables. We, however, were drawn to a different kind of dessert;

We had to try a maple donut in Canada 😉

After this I basically retreated to the couch for the rest of the day, but we did manage to watch Eurovision and laugh uncontrollably at the outrageousness. This made me feel a little better 🙂

Hi Canada! I like you, I think we’ll stay.

Hanbel.
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The Pedal to the Metal, The Pedal to Whatever

Do you ever get in a funk? Like this little cloud is just chilling above your head, giving you all kinds of stormy moods and cloudy thoughts.

This has been happening to me lately, particularly with riding. No matter what I was trying, I hadn’t had a good run for so long. Even when we went road tripping down south and got to check out some beautiful new tracks, I just couldn’t get in the right head space. To be honest, with the impending Canada move at the back of my mind, I was getting a little stressed out.

I can’t handle being bad at something. If I’m not nailing it, I usually give up and move onto something within my reach… Until Andrew and mountain biking came along. His persistant encouragement and gentle coaching have pushed me out of my comfort zone and into this crazy, adrenalin fuelled sport.

IMG_0104Margaret River, such a beauty

I learn at my own pace, and will never move onto the next step unless I am confident and have learned every aspect. It must be so frustrating to watch, and even worse to ride after me, but Andrew does it all without complaining. Actually, I lie, he complains when I don’t have a good time and am too hard on myself. What a guy, right?

Even with this support behind me, I’d just not enjoyed it lately. I’ve been getting scared and frustrated with my thoughts taking over. It’s been super dry in Perth lately, which definitely doesn’t help. So I decided to take a week off and get back to me.

IMG_0109My handsome coach

Today, I woke up itching to ride. I wanted to get back out there and give it another go. My head was in the right place and I was feeling pretty relaxed. Which was a godsend, my ride was so much fun! The uphills weren’t killing me, the downhills didn’t shake me too much and I managed to get some PBs knocked out. More importantly though, I was smiling.

IMG_0118Riding in Pemberton, probably before a hill because I’m still smiling!

I don’t know if every ride will be like this, or if I’ll ever make it past this stage of riding. But, I think I’m okay with that. As long as I get some really good days in, I’m prepared to try and overcome the bad ones.

Life’s a little better today, endorphins do not suck at all. Little victories make me pretty happy too, so I’ll keep at it.

IMG_0003Kalamunda, on this glorious Perth day

Happy Thursday,
Hanbel.
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P.S. If anyone was interested, this is where we ride:8818cbe921b37d0d76d089a0aa03cc9d

Mercury Street is my comfort zone, but lately I’m trying Goldilocks, Judderbars and Alchemy.