10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy About Summer

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  1. THE BIKE PARK, I can’t even begin to tell you how good this season has been. (But I will, stay tuned)
  2. Samurai sushi take out, eaten by the lake, talking until the mosquitos eat us alive.
  3. Pinafores!
  4. Sitting on balconies, listening to Henri’s tunes and drinking wine with the best roommates.
  5. Swimming in lakes of varying temperatures (glacier water is damn cold people!)
  6. Warm evenings sitting at Tapleys patio, before hectic nights out.
  7. Dancing. So much dancing! (In clubs, at work, at home, walking down the street)
  8. Riding into work as the sun rises over the mountains.
  9. Giggling with Sybil and we slowly die of heatstroke in the Penthouse Sweatbox
  10. The people. My summer people made it so much better than I ever thought it could be.

Hanbel.
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All the Things

Alrighty-roo, it’s catch up time!

The last month has been busy, full of activities, events and work shenanigans.

So here’s what my March and April have looked like:

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WEDDING TIME
Celebrating our boss’ wedding at Nita Lake Lodge, with photo booths, plenty of dancing and all the wine. It was a fun time…

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BLUEBIRD DAYS
These have been far and few between, so when one falls on your weekend, you take as many photos as possible. Oh, glorious Whistler!

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THESE GIRLS!
Having awesome gals to ride with makes life so much better, it’s been the best couple of months sharing the hill with these babes.

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KONGA
Classes have started up again, and I still have to advertise like crazy and build a following, but I’m having fun in the process. Plus, when the view from the room is this good and the tunes are loud, life is good!

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BAKERY LIFE
I still love this job, even on the difficult days. Easter weekend hit us hard, but with such a good team it was super fun! This week we have four favourites leaving us, and it’s making my heart very sad. This town sucks sometimes, no one sticks around for too long. On the plus side, this means I have people around the world to visit!

Not pictured: lots of wine-based after work activities, getting my bike back out and riding to work most days, learning to read bus timetables again, walking to work when the sun is shining and all of the spring/summer anticipation.

The snow is melting, the sun has been making more frequent appearances and we can now stay outside for longer than 10 minutes at a time. There’s a lot to look forward to in Whistler, and I’m so happy to be here 🙂

Have a lovely week kiddos,
Hanbel
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We Wish You A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

HOLY MOTHER THIS IS SO LATE

How are we already 11 days into 2017? This is madness.

Anywho…

Throwin’ it back to Christmas!

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Some of my favourite humans came to town, and made me smile so hard when they all crammed into my tiny bakery to say hi! I tried my hardest to see them as much as possible for their first couple of days, but we made do with quick hello’s and several squishy hugs.

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Come the big day though, I forced them all to wake up early so we could hit the slopes!!

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I just loved seeing everyone bundled up, ready for some snow!

 

 

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This bunch of gals are just the best, and being able to spend the morning on the mountain with them all on Christmas Day was a dream come true.

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The boys were there too, I promise, they just spent a little longer actually using their snowboards 😉

We rode most of the morning and then hustled back to our place to thaw out over turkey rolls and pecan pie. Andrew, the poor bugger, had to work at 2pm but we made sure he got a chance to celebrate the big day. He also roasted the turkey to absolute perfection and made me a very happy Christmas gal!

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Later that night, I took myself and two big caramel apple pies over to the house the crew were staying at. Chefs Matt, Lucy and Anh cooked up a storm, we were forced into awkward family photos, exchanged secret santa presents and all sat down to an incredible meal together.

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God I love you crazy people. Although it was the most hectic week trying to juggle work, snowboarding and quality time with these guys, I wouldn’t have changed anything for a minute. It was perfect!

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By New Year’s Eve, most of the crew had moved on to New York, and with Andrew and I on early starts for New Year’s Day we had a low key celebration.

We layered up and headed down to Whistler base to watch the Fire and Ice show and fireworks. Lucky for us, Andrew’s friend Rohan was still in town, as well as Andrew’s cousin, her husband and his parents.

10 years ago, at a party Rohan threw on New Year’s Eve Andrew and I met. And 10 years later, we all celebrated again.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very happy and healthy new year. I have a goooooood feeling about 2017.

Hanbel.
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P.s. Thank you to my schnooky for most of these photos, I am hopeless!

 

Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part Two)

Rightio… where were we?

Ahh, that’s right. So, the day after the Beauvine evening with my lovely ladies, we were preparing for the real reason we decided to fly 38 hours back home… The nuptials of one Joseph Rossi and one Jemma Koios!

A must say a huge thank you to Vicki for inviting us all over to get ready and eat at her house beforehand, and also doing full make up for the four of us girls. Such a gem! Lynn also receives a special mention for organising the food and doing the lion’s share of the cooking. I truly believe that getting ready for any big event is just as exciting as the event itself and I had so much fun doing that with these stunners:

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The wedding day was perfect. Perth weather finally turned it on and the sun did not stop shining all day long. Everything ran smoothly as far as we could tell, the bride looked breathtaking and the groom couldn’t stop crying. It was absolute bliss to spectate.

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The reception was held at Sandalford, in their barrel room. The rows of fairy lights strung across wine barrels piled over polished concrete gave the room such an impressive glow that we couldn’t help ourselves by being astonished as we all walked in.

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The delicious food, heartwarming speeches and entertaining Italian and Macedonian dancing topped off an already spectacular day. We got a special mention in the groom’s thank you speech, but all I needed was to see the newlyweds looking as happy as I’ve ever seen them. Congratulations Jem and Jo, you two are a dream!

Now, if only Andrew and I could take a decent photo together…

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For the rest of the week, after moving to Mum’s place, we continued the varied catch-ups. We saw old faces, met some brand new ones, celebrated an 83rd birthday, and had quite a surprise…

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Andrew learnt how to hold a baby, his gorgeous cousin’s boy James. James had a plethora of toys in front of him and all he wanted to do was munch on the plastic cups on the table. Such a big boy, but so happy!

I took Mum’s ratbag Darcy to the beach where I received further proof that he is not like other dogs. I think the whole sand/water concept really confused him as he continued to look for me for guidance as to what he should be doing. When I sat down to appreciate the view he sat right behind me, hidden from the elements. Weirdo..

Andrew got out his cruiser bike and after seeing this grin the whole afternoon I’m so glad he didn’t end up selling it before we left. This was one happy chappy (though I think that was more to do with the amount of Pokemon he’s managed to catch since being back).

The last few nights were a whirlwind, but I have to thank all of our parents for the amazing dinners! Dad and Melissa, thank you for the incredible experience of dining at Wildflower – it was something else!
Mum, you’re amazing for putting on a full Indian feast and serving it all on Royal Doulton. I’m still dreaming of that butter chicken..
Glenn and Louise, BBQs are your house are always loud, delicious and entertaining. I love every minute 🙂 I wish we’d grabbed some photos, but I always get too caught up in the moment.

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On one of our final days we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Maggie Matilda, who was born a few months after we left. She is delightfully delicious, barely made a peep the whole three hours we were there and is such a welcome addition to our Perth family. Jared and Carls, you made one cute baby. Wishing you three all the best!

To finish off our time at home, we were surprised by the arrival of our darling friends Brooke and Sean. They had received some awful news while being away and travelled for two days to come home and be with family. I won’t go into details, but I will say that even under those circumstances it was so good to see them!

Brooke, my sweet girl, decided that they should use the time they have at home to work on their wedding planning, before heading back to continue their European adventure. Little did I know that that would asking four of us ladies to be her bridesmaids!

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I accepted immediately with a beaming smile on my face. The thought of standing alongside one of my best friends while she marries another of my best friends is already bringing tears to my eyes. I’m so honoured to have this opportunity and will try my very best to help as much as I can from the other side of the world. I love you schnooky and I can’t wait for all the happiness that next year will bring us all!

Oh my heart, be still. We have been showered with love and joy since landing in Perth, and from the huge meal Andrew’s mum prepared for our first night to the miniature Christmas dinner my Mum planned for my last night it’s been a wonderful visit home.

Much love to all, you really do mean the world to us. But… Whistler Winter is calling and we’re going to answer her loud and clear.
Bring on the snowboarding, the white Christmas, the mulled wine, the snow angels, the crockpot meals, the rosy cheeks and allllllllll the layers!

Hanbel.
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P.s. Forgot to mention that we’re ducking past Hawaii on our way back, keep checking in for updates on our mini island getaway!

Beaches, Babies, Beers and Brides (Part One)

It’s Monday the 31st of October… Halloween. It’s a perfect 20 degree day with the sun shining brightly over the backyard. Alistair’s cactus has bloomed, and Darcy has consequently bitten the flower since then (Darcy is Mum’s dog, not a human – that would be weird). Baker’s Delight have started stocking their fruit mince pies and we’ve snagged a couple to eat while watching Love Actually. My backpack is packed, my final catch ups completed, my stomach content and my heart is so, so full.

Our two and a half week trip home is nearing an end, and a little part of me is relieved. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement. However, it has been so worth the long journey home.

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We hit the ground running seeing family, friends and the familiar sights of our home town. I think on day two I was already back at Jacob’s ladder, simultaneously checking out the city and struggling to breath.

We visited our beloved beach and fought against the sea breeze to ride down to Yelo for a coffee and breakfast. I never realised how much I love our seaside until we were away from it for an extended period of time.

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The first week we stayed with Andrew’s parents, his sister Chelsea and their cat named Tess. I must admit it was lovely to wake up and have the house full of people running off for bike rides, or making coffee, chit-chatting the whole time.

One quiet day in the middle of the week we thought we’d play tourists in our own city and headed out to hike a little at Lesmurdie Falls.

This hike was quite the opposite of those we’ve done in Canada, but it was just as serene. Nothing makes me feel more at home or more relaxed than hearing the birds chirping, insects buzzing and kookaburras laughing in the middle of the bush. This day was such a nice reminder of why we will eventually return to this beautiful part of the world.

I was also lucky enough to spend a decent chunk of time catching up with my favourite gals. My beautiful Brianna was back in town for a weekend (she’s moved to Melbourne since I’ve been gone) and we all celebrated over wine and pizza at the Beaufort Street event Beauvine.

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The wine tasting was warmly welcomed, the food was tasty but the company was what made my night worth it. There’s something to be said about a friendship that can pick up right where it left off no matter how much time has passed. I’m fortunate enough to have eight of these, and seeing all of these faces makes me one happy gal indeed.

More to come on our time in Perth, if you can believe it our second week was busier than the first!
For now, Mum and I are celebrating Christmas instead of Halloween and making up for lost time.

Hanbel.
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I Think I’m Fallin’ For You

Well, well, well. Here we are. Two weeks shy of our six month anniversary of our Australian hiatus and we’re packing our backpacks to head back home (only for two and a half weeks!).

Yesterday was Canadian thanksgiving, but also the last official day the bike park was open and therefore the last day of the summer season! It was quite fitting for those two things to fall on the same day (ha, Fall – geddit?). It was quite a day of reflection and to feel thankful for this incredible place. I’m feeling so full of joy looking back on our first Canadian summer.

The last few weeks in particular have been a dream, from conquering my goals in the bike park;

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to walking into work everyday with a huge smile on my face;

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to having Alistair’s girlfriend Ellen visit, having a ball with her and hitting up the train wreck hike again (it doesn’t get old!);

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to watching Fall officially hit Whistler, with trees changing into the most vibrant of colours;

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and seeing the first snowfall of the season!!!

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We’ve also spent a small fortune on winter gear, snowboards and ALL THE LAYERS. I’m getting so pumped for winter and what this new season will bring for us.
But first, to head home and celebrate the wedding of two very dear friends! Can’t wait to see some familiar faces, eat some fresh food and soak up the last of the sunshine. See you all very soon!!!

Hanbel.
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P.s. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to wish my love a very, very happy 29th birthday!
I feel like I’ve said a variation of these words a million times since we left, but my goodness I am one lucky duck. To get to explore so many new places, a new way of life and new experiences everyday with your best friend by your side is a dream come true.

We both thought this move might be a bit of a test for us, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve never been happier – individually and together. Bring on the next year and more incredible moments like these! I love you, you crazy kid. x

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The Great Outdoors

This past weekend has probably been the best ever. So, so, so much fun. So much sunshine, so many outdoor activities, so many goals ticked off the list.

And the weather has been absolutely glorious! After the first two week of September washing us out and freezing us to the core, we were convinced we’d be in for a rough Autumn. Mother nature had other ideas though, and blessed us with non-stop sunshine and mid-twenty degree days.

This weekend we had planned for our mate Reuben to come up for a visit. He and Jill (this beautiful married couple) have been living in their van, travelling around BC, climbing rocks like crazy folk. Jill is down in Vancouver at the moment, learning how to become a yoga instructor, so Reuben thought he’d pop by to give mountain biking a red hot go.

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One lap of Easy Does It (the basic green run on the mountain) and he was bored, which made Andrew and I SO HAPPY. Reubs rode bmx as a kid and picked up mountain biking so quickly. We managed to tick off a tonne of blue runs, snuck in a black and made it to the garbo zone for a full hour long run. Safe to say he was one happy chappy, and I ticked off so many personal goals that day too. It was by far the best day I’ve had on the bike and I have Andrew to thank for being the perfect balance between coach and riding buddy.

I’d also been out with a work mate a couple of days ago (who snapped the below picture you may have seen on my instagram), and the combination of those two days out means that I’ve now ridden every blue and green run on the mountain – happy days!

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The next morning, my legs had seen better days but with a day off together we pushed ourselves to head back up the mountain – without a bike this time. Andrew and I hopped in the gondie as soon as it opened, rode it as far as it would take us and set out on an alpine hike.

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We took the Harmony Meadows to High Note to Half Note Trail, which would have been around 10km and took us 2 hours, 40 minutes. We had to cut it short due to Andrew’s riding plans, but I was secretly ecstatic about that.

The hike was stunning, alpine hiking is insane and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The thinner air and constant uphills made it challenging, but we made it through and still smiled by the end!

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We actually started in the opposite direction to what is recommended (the chairlift to take us to the the proper trail head didn’t run until 11am), so we begun in rough, open conditions, full of loose rocks and mediocre scenery.

I’m glad we got that out of the way though, because as we turned the corner an hour in, we were dumbfounded by the sights.

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Photos absolutely do not do it justice, because the views of Cheakamus Lake and surrounding mountains were breathtaking.

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A couple of tips for long hikes:

  • Clif bars are the greatest thing in the world
  • As is water
  • Don’t buy that last wine at the bar the night before
  • Wear sunscreen. FML
  • Have a good hiking buddy and make fun conversation about all the amazing adventures you’ve already been on
  • When you start climbing steep hills, stop that conversation immediately
  • Apologise to your knees for the downhill slopes
  • High-five at the end because you didn’t die!

With all the riding we’d been smashing out, I’d forgotten how great hikes can be. This weekend definitely showed me how incredible Whister is in the summer, and how many activities there are to fill your spare time.

We finished up the weekend with healthy nachos, plenty of guacamole and beginning season four of Scandal. It was grand!

Very tired, but super content.
Hanbel
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