Wednesday, 23 January 2008

howdy strangers


yeah I know this has taken me ages to update sorry. Below are write ups about xmas and boxing day, but first our little mattress pick up escapades last night. We bought a mattress off a girl at my work but the weather has been so bad we haven't been able to pick it up. But the weather was fine yesterday so we headed round to emily's mums place to pick it up. We strapped it to the roof and in doing so had to tie the doors shut so I got in through the back and scott climbed in the drivers window. About half way home the wind started to pick up so we both put an arm out the window and hung on to the handles on the sides of the mattress. Please note that we past a supermarket that had a sign out saying the temperature was -1 degrees!! Yes it was a cold drive home, we must have looked hilarious. When we parked out side the lobby I could hardly unfurl my fingers they were going in slow mo it was crazy. I got out through the window and got the camera (check the link) and then had to untie it so scott could get out. We put it on top of one of the airbeds tonight so i will give you the verdict next entry. And no you won't have to wait a month for the next one!! Well i'm off to bed now catch you guys later
Happy reading the order is a bit up the wop i know i thought chronilogical was best.

love Monique and Scott

boxing day

We had to meet for our snowboarding lessons at the ski lifts at 9.15am, Man was it a different sight to the day before there were people everywhere! All the ski instructors had bright blue jackets and all the snowboarding instructors had bluey grey ones, there must have been 100 instructors alone in the mass of people. There were 7 people in our group, our instructor was Croatian but had been living in the states for some time. We had to take a gondola (like in Rotovegas) up to the ski school (aka beginner slopes). First he got us to attach one foot to the board and just scoot around like you were on a skate board just to get the feel of it (this was on flat ground of course) this was absolutely exhausting and my leg that was attached got quite sore up the calf and ankle. Then we went up a little slope and we had to click in both feet and he showed us how to stand up, and how to kinda shimmy side way sort of zig zag down the hill. He took each of us down the slope by ourselves and kinda guided us and helped us up when we fell down. He then showed us a slightly easier way to get up you had to lay on your back and swing your legs around so you ended up laying on your stomach and from there you could push yourself up. I didn't use this method very much as it involved kneeling and I didn't like standing back on to the slope. Note at this point that neither of us really mastered this zigzag move at we found out the hard way later that unfortunately that is how you slow down. Snowboarding is all about where the weight is on your feet eg weight on your toes will turn you one way weight on the heels will turn you the other, if you have the board perpendicular to the slope keep the weight on the slope side of the board to not go anywhere or attempt to stop. We then moved to a slope that was longer with a slightly gentler gradient to practice turning and stopping. Again he took us down 1 by 1 to about half way down the slope then we just had to keep practicing.

There are so many things to think about keep your knees slightly bent, back straight (thats the tricky one) where are you focusing your weight so all this whilst trying to avoid other people who are also learning to ski or snowboard. Now when you are learning you fall down a lot, and then of course you have to get back up again which is so exhausting its amazing how much easier it is to get up off the ground when its flat and your feet aren't joined together! Scott tended to fall forwards and I tended to fall backwards. You would just start to get the hang of it and then you would pick up too much speed and freak out and crash, or someone would get in the way and you would freak out and crash. I had some quite spectacular crashes. It was the last run before lunch and I was going really well managed to make a few turns and then there was a bloody australian ski instructor with her whole class stopped in the middle of the slope, I didn't trust myself to curve around them so bailed fell forwards and felt my feet and board flail up behind me and hit me in the bum. I got up and tried again and again I went about half the length of the slope but then got a bit off to the side where it started going uphill a bit freaked out fell backwards and did a very impressive impression of a giant plow there was snow flying in all directions I was absolutely coated.

For lunch we jumped back on the gondola and went right up to the top of the mountain to the chateau. It was a shame we didn't have a camera there were so many ski's and snowboards stacked up on the racks out side it was incredible. The was sort of a food court inside it was so nice to be in the warm. I thought it was quite a dag in the cubicles in the toilets they had little metal baskets attached to the wall for your gloves etc. After half an hour we jumped back on the gondola back to the baby slopes. We had about an hour until the end of the lesson, I did one more run and wiped out about half way down it felt like i had pulled something in my thigh so I decided to walk the remainder of the slope and call it a day my knee was pretty sore by now and no longer had the energy to pick myself up off the ground or take the hard hits. Scott was waiting for me at the bottom so we both hopped back on the flat escalator thing that took us back to the top of the slope and I stood there talking to the instructor while scott kept going. The lesson ended at 3pm so we started heading back down the mountain I know it sounds early but of course it gets dark at 4pm.

So we had to lug our gear all the way back to the hotel to change our pants and boots then lug it all the way back to the base of the ski lifts to the rental place. I felt like I had been run over by several buses my right knee was covered in bruises and absolutely huge, my right arm was also swollen above where the wrist guard was (I think that might have been caused by eating with a knife and fork with the guards on cause i couldn't be bothered taking them off) and I had to bee extremely careful sitting down. Scott had a sore thumb! Actually his thumb is still sore, the swelling around my knee took 2 weeks to go down. We had a fabulous day but snowboarding is evil!

Catch you guys later.

love Monique and Scott

Quite a bit of catching up to do: xmas

Well hello everyone,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Well quite a lot has happened since the last entry, so i will start at the begining. I managed to get christmas eve off work it had been so quiet the week leading up to xmas they decided they didn't need me. We loaded up our little geo tracker and left our house bound for Whistler at about 1pm, however the lions gate bridge that joins downtown with north Vancouver only has 3 lanes! This was all banked up of course so we got stuck in traffic along west georgia street for an hour, the temperature needle was starting to come up a bit, then we were finally moving again so we thought we were alright. We finally made it into Stanley park (nearly at the bridge) when steam started pouring out of our bonnet, luckily we were right by an emergency stop bay. We rang the BCAA, luckily they accept foriegn AA memberships, we had to wait for another hour for the tow truck/road side assistance to arrive. The towie put some water in it and we left it running for a bit, then he followed us over the bridge to budget rental cars by the time we got there all the water was dripping out. Budget had 1 car left a Dodge caravan (its not a caravan by our sense of the word its a van/people carrier) it was huge but we thought hey this holiday is costing us an arm and a leg anyway lets just go for it. We then followed the tow truck with our little tracker on the back round to a mechanic around the corner, which was closed of course, so we loaded up the Dodge, left a note in the window of our car and pushed the keys through a flap in the door. By 3.45 we were finally on the Sea to Sky highway heading for Whistler. It was starting to get dark by the time we got to Squamish which is half way, we rang the hotel and said we were on our way and asked what the roads we like did we need chains, we had them for our car but not for the rental. The roads were absolutely fine they had obviously been plowed and salted and there was quite a bit of traffic which was great.

Our hotel was right in the heart of Whistler village, and our room had a kichen and a fire place and free high speed internet which was cool, we would definitely stay there again. We unpacked and went for a bit of a stroll in search of something for tea, and to pick up a few little things from the supermarket that we didn't think would travel well. There was snow everywhere, and all the trees and everything were covered in xmas lights and decorations it was absolutley gorgeous. Each section of the village seemed to have different coloured lights. We wanted to get back to the room and ring everyone at home as it was already christmas back in nz so we grabbed pizza for tea which was conveniently right next to the hotel.

Christmas morning we woke up and it was snowing! snow actually falling from the sky!! It was so perfect. We opened our parcels and then went out side to frolick and explore. It was so crazy half of Whistler was open the supermarket, starbucks of course and later on that night we found a liquor store in the upper village open at 9pm madness!!! yeah so after a little frolicking we went back to our hotel room and had our xmas lunch. I had got Scott a little ham that was slightly bigger than my fist (as i don't eat it of course) and we had chicken and salad, and pavlova and we had to eat all the cookie dough flavour ice cream as it didn't quite fit in the freezer compartment and was melting, stupid round tubs of ice cream!!! Rather full we went back out into the snow to burn a little of lunch off, we went and booked our snowboarding lesson and picked up our rental gear. For $175 each we got a 5 hour snowboarding lesson, a lift pass, and rental of a snowboard, boots, and pants and they threw in a free helmet and wrist guard rental. They don't hire goggles so we had to go and buy them but we got them for $40 and we saw the same goggles for $100 in a different shop. So we had to lug all this gear back to the hotel, the guy at the rental place attached our boots to the board to make it easier, but man that makes the board heavy and awkward. back at the room we had left over chicken, salad, buns and pot stickers (you get them from chinese takeaways they are like dumplings/dim sims) for tea.