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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Oh Yes It’s Ladies Night! (And We Have a Home)

I’m still coming to grips with the fact that this is home:

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The past couple of weeks have been such a whirlwind of activities, finding bearings and house hunting. It’s as though now I’ve found my feet here I can truly appreciate this town. Whistler is a cool little spot. No-one wears heels or fancy dresses. It’s perfectly acceptable to walk into a bar in riding gear. I have never seen so many mountain bikes in one spot, and it’s not even peak season yet. There are mountains in every direction, not just Whistler and Blackcomb. Every path you wander down in absolutely covered in greenery, I can’t get my head around it. It’s very nice getting to know it, even if it is on my own for the most part.

We’ve been quite busy since I last spoke to you all; adventures in the bike park, starting ladies’ nights (me), finding a home and smashing the course (Punk).

Here’s a snapshot of the last week and a half, hope this give you a better picture:

Taking the bike on an adventure around a few lakes and small trails; getting my first full face; a christmas tree on one of the lost lake trails.

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Scrabble with Blake and Tash, a.k.a Mum and Dad. This day was 4 degrees and snowing on the mountain (where Andrew was riding), so mulled wine was a necessity;

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One of my new favourites places, Lost Lake. On this sunny, gorgeous day it was absolutely breathtaking to see the mountains reflecting on the water;

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Whistler runs ladies’ nights in the bike park, where you sign up for a coach and go out in a group – girls only. I’ve done two now, and they are super fun! They’re also helping my confidence and skill set so much. Anyway, the highlight of Monday’s lesson was spotting four bears along the trails!!

And finally, home sweet home! Our place is so sweet. A cozy loft-style room, that’s a decent size, 5 minute walk from the village and more importantly… all ours!

As I mentioned above, Andrew is doing an awesome job on his course. He smashed out the assessments for Level 1 and 2 (which means he can teach beginners to intermediates now), Canadian senior first aid and is now working on rider progression. He’s bought himself a downhill bike and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face that day. He’ll finish up Tuesday and move into the place with me, and I begin working on Monday. It’s all happening round here!

Much love to you all, missing everyone back home. Send me stories please!
Hanbel.
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Home Sweet Home

Well, this is home. I’m not mad about it at all.

Whistler is a pretty speculator place. Yes, it’s touristy, and yes, Australians flock here, but it’s for good reason. No matter where you turn, you are greeted by mountains, creeks and astonishing views.

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We’ve hit the ground running here, Andrew went straight into his course from the moment we arrived (he’s training to be a mountain bike coach, for those who don’t know). I’ve been lucky enough to crash with Tash and Blake (friends from home), which has made life so much easier.

I have also been lucky enough to score a job in Whistler already, working for a company who organise holiday rentals, activities, restaurant bookings etc. for higher-end travellers. I start in a couple of weeks and am actually pumped to get back into full time work.

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In the meantime, I’m taking myself on small hikes and rides, checking out the village and just hanging out with my new besties!

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Being a tourist town, life is a little more pricey up here. Groceries in particular, are really making me a sad panda. Though, we have found one perk. 1.5L of red wine for $15. So we might just live off potatoes and wine from now on…

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Why do I always pull this face?

The mountain bike park opened up this weekend, and the village has been flooded with riders in all shapes and sizes. We’ve enjoyed a couple of afternoons in the sunshine watching them all come down the hill. The kids who ride with no fear, flying down the trail, are so incredible to watch!

On Andrew’s day off we took the bikes out to a smaller, cross country style area. Even though my lungs got a huge shock, it felt sooooo good to be back on the bike!

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Just this morning I took myself off to Lululemon’s free yoga session, and later today we’re going to hit up a Farmer’s Market down the hill. There’s always something happening or something new to discover, which is helping us all stay positive while performing the arduous task of finding somewhere to live. Whistler housing is insane, there are not enough houses to go round, and we’re struggling a little at the moment. Finger’s crossed something pops up soon!

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Just gotta keep that zen 😉

Happy yoga vibes,
Hanbel.
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One Second of a Road Trip

I’m so proud of us! We managed to keep going with our one second every day videos the whole time we were on the road (Andrew found a reminder service, SO HANDY).

As much as the photos are cool, and re-reading our blog posts is similar to having a diary, this is just another way to see the absolute highlights of every day.

So, here we have it: LA to Vancouver, our holiday before we begin living at a holiday destination 😉 #sorrynotsorry

Observations of the USA

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After 16 days through the states, I’m pretty much an expert now. Ha! No, I don’t think I could ever be, but the experience of driving the coast has opened my eyes to some ridiculous, funny, stupid and different observations of this country.

  • McDonald’s is legitimately everywhere. We’d be driving through a small town (comparable to Yallingup for example) and there will be a McDonalds, Taco Bell and Starbucks on offer. If not more!
  • Car pool lanes. These are bloody genius! If you have two or more passengers, you can drive in the furtherest left hand lane, which is always quieter.
  • All the food and beverages are sweeter or are cinnamon flavoured. Soy milk is sweeter, tonic water is sweeter, chewing gum tastes like cinnamon. It’s ridiculous.
  • Most people we met were super friendly, but always think they’re right. They want you to have the best trip, so you need to cancel that hotel you have in Pismo beach immediately and book in at Morro Bay.
  • The catch phrase is “SO good”.
    – That donut was SO good
    – Her hair looks SO good
    – That bar is SO good
  • Speaking of bars, every single one has at least one TV showing any game of sport. Even the classy bars will have it on, and then you hit Buffalo Wild Wings where they show at least 10 different types of games on 50 screens around the restaurant.
  • Pick up trucks are no joke. To me they resemble monster trucks, and scare the life out of me on the road.
  • Customer service is insane! As the staff work off tips they always go above and beyond to make sure you have the best experience. So, even though at times you know they’re faking it, it’s a nice change to the grumpy hipsters back home.
  • Having said that, tipping SUCKS. American companies need to sort their shiz out, pay their staff the correct wage so that the customer doesn’t have to.
  • On top of that, please just include the taxes in the price tag of any item. I don’t want to have my $5 note ready, to have someone tell me “Oh, that’ll be $6.20 thank you”.

Rant over. This country, like all others has positives and negatives. I loved the trip, and wouldn’t have done it any differently at all. I just find these little differences fascinating, and thought you might too!

Big American love,
Hanbel.
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I’m Headed Downtown, Cruising Through the Alley

Seattle; home of the Space Needle, Pike Place Markets and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s also the home of Andrew’s mate Ozzie, who hooked us up with an Air B’n’b in his apartment complex.

Checking out a city on your own, versus having some show you their city is such a different experience. I love both versions, but having Ozzie show off Seattle was pretty special.

He’s a gem, not the kind of guy you would picture either of us being friends with, but has an absolute heart of gold and generous nature. He drove us around to a couple of bars when we got into the city, and played the most intense game of Jenga with us. 27 stories high, the leaning tower of pisa did so well! and I don’t want to talk about how it’s existence came to an end…

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We snuck in another run, this time around Lake Union. Such a beauty!
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Ozzie is half Puerto-rican, half Colombian. He drives a Mercedes, with R’n’B tunes blasting from the speakers. He works as a consultant, making deals and schmoozing clients all day long. He’s also a massive foodie and picked out the BEST food for us all day. You see why I like him?

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Mac and cheese, BBQ pork skewers, steamed buns, lemon cheesecake greek yoghurt and oyster shooters were all delectable. Ozzie also wanted to sample some ghost pepper syrup (literally the oils drained from the hottest chillies in the world). We spent the next half an hour watching him sipping milk and looking very sorry for himself.

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We hit up some touristy sights, rode the monorail, checked out the city a little more before Ozzie and his girlfriend Lily took us to meet up with their mate, Ahmed.

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Ahmed is exactly the kind of friend you want to have. Not only was he pretty cool and a super nice guy, he also had a boat rental.

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So, in Seattle you can sign up for a boat share programme which lets you pick from 10 boats to take out up to three times a week. You only have to pay during summer, and they get new boats in every year, plus do all the maintenance and storage.

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He took us all around the lake for some pretty sweet views of Mt Rainier. I’m usually not the biggest fan of boats, but this was a spectacular sight!

The night ended with Ozzie’s home cooked pulled pork tacos, glasses of wine and laughing about the state of the American politics.

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The next day we had to ourselves, so we set off to check out more of downtown and Pioneer Place, before heading to the baseball!

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This was SO much fun! I thought I’d enjoy the atmosphere and the energy around the field, but I found myself loving the game too. It was such a close game, going into 11 innings with the Mariners winning off a walk-off home run.

Surprisingly, this has been one of the best days on the trip, I had the best time on another glorious day in paradise. Also, red wine spritzers are not the worst thing in the world 😉

Let’s just say I’m pretty happy that Seattle is so close to the border, because I’d love to come back here again. Perhaps when the football is on… maybe this live sport thing ain’t so bad.

Hanbel.
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I Think I’ll Have Myself a Beer

Except by me, I obviously mean Andrew. #glutenintolerance

Although for all the places we’ve travelled so far, Portland is definitely the most food intolerance/ preference friendly. This town is basically a giant hipster suburb.

There’s a brewery on every corner, a fixie flying past at any moment and the most perth-like coffee we’ve come across so far. Safe to say, I like this town.

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We hit the ground running, heading to a “Big Lebowski” themed bar, a rooftop hangout, meeting locals, and playing ping pong against them for most of the night. I feel like I need to mention that among all the Americans we’ve met, these guys were the friendliest, most easy going and easy to talk to. It was such a pleasant surprise getting to hang out with them for a night.

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With more sunshine heading our way, we got up early to sneak in a run, before heading out for some of the weird and wonderful things Portland has to offer.

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Ugh, this coffeeeeeeee! I need another in my life ASAP.

Also, notice the glittery wall behind it? That bad boy is part of Voodoo Doughnuts, an institution among Portlandians. You queue up amongst tourists and locals alike, with the scent of sugary baked goods wafting through the door. You walk past the bright pink sign on the door, to be greeted by cashiers looking way to cool for school, and two giant rotating glass cabinets of doughnuts.

This is when the panic sets in; do you want a regular, cake or vegan doughnut? Maple or glazed? Covered in oreos? Topped with fruit loops? THERE ARE TOO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM.

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Get the maple, it was THE BEST. Enjoy the hell out of it and try not to feel too guilty, because there’s always another form of exercise you can try. It’s called BrewCycle and it’s super fun.

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Eight people hop onto this contraption for pedal power, three get to chill on the back seat, and one “tour guide” sits in the middle to steer. You get to a maximum speed of around 7km/hour and sing along to whoever’s manning the iPod.

This vehicle took us to one brewery and two dive bars, where we sampled Portland’s finest and ended up with a hasty shot (we’ve got 10 minutes left, let’s do a shot!). Which seemed like a good idea at the time, until we rolled back into headquarters for another beverage and the rest of our tour got white-girl wasted.

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Ahhhh Portland. You have amazing gluten free burgers for maximum alcohol soak-up-age, the best coffee in the states (I’m calling it!), beautiful weather and our kind of people. I will be back to visit you in a heartbeat.

Hanbel.
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