Whistler weekend and gearing up for upcoming seasons

Last weekend, a handful of friends and I headed up to Whistler to enjoy the snow and beautifully laid out runs on the mountains. I’ve only ever been to Whistler one other time (back in 2012) and was so excited to revisit the beautifully laid out the runs and gorgeous scenery.

Back in 2012, my visit was right after a night of snowfall, so there were nothing but amazing pillows of snow to catch my falls. This would have been amazing if I had stayed on green runs, but a friend accidentally led us down a black diamond with moguls… let’s just say I ate a lot of snow that first time and hoped to not repeat history on the second trip.

Snowboarding gear for women going to Whistler - Helly Hansen
outfit details:
Powderqueen jacket: c/o Helly Hansen (exact)
neck cowl: Helly Hansen (similar)
snow pants: Burton (old)
snowboarding boots: Salomon (old)
snowboard: K2 (old)

Fast forward to 2017 and the mountains are still as beautiful as ever! With the sun shining and only doing green runs (for real this time… haha), I thought we were set up for a pain-free day. Sadly, with no fresh snowfall the night before, the ice pellets were not as forgiving. Despite practicing my S-turns after making it a goal to learn how to carve instead of always leafing down the hills (don’t judge!), I still left with a bruised bottom. Snowboarding is something that I really want to learn to excel at, especially since it’s one of the few sports that all my friends and I can enjoy together during the winter.

Whistler green runs
Helly Hansen W Powder Queen jacket review
With just over a month left in the snowboarding/skiing season this year, this is one of the best times to gear up for the future snow seasons to come! I first bought all of my gear in 2012. The jacket, snow pants, boots, board, and helmet were all purchased during a mid-season sale. Sadly, I also managed to outgrow some of it in the last 5 years. In the last couple weeks, I’ve scored some great deals at the Helly Hansen outlet store in Burlington, WA. I bought myself a new neck cowl for $10 (regularly $20), a new pair of baselayer pants for $20 (regularly $40), after being really impressed by the quality and performance of the HH base layers I got to try earlier this season.

Helly Hansen skiing and snowboarding gear
With a jacket being one of the most important pieces of equipment, I’ve rounded up a handful of Helly Hansen jackets that are going to keep you warm on the slopes (linked below). If you’re local to Washington, you’ll be able to find these HH beauties locally here:

REI – Crystal Jacket is currently 51% off! (here)- 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Burlington Outlets – 314 Fashion Way, Burlington, WA 98233

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Getting to Know You: 230ft above the ground

A couple weeks ago, I ended up in Vancouver for an impromptu day trip. The point of the trip itself had nothing to do with tourist attractions, but considering that it took almost three hours each way to drive, we tried to make the most of our day. The theme for the trip: Conquering fears.

I’m terrified of heights. I can’t stand near railings or balconies, let alone the railings on the second floor of a mall. Even the stair cases with the “holes” between the steps freak me out (you know, the ones at Urban Outfitters that make me not even want to venture up to the sales racks on the second floor). When I found out that one of the stops on the trip was going to be the Capilano Bridge, I curled up into a ball (aka fetal position) and didn’t want to move.

Capilano Bridge

The Capilano Bridge is a suspension bridge that hangs 230ft above a super rocky-looking river surrounded by gorgeous cliffs and forestry. Sadly, I was too busy trying not to cry while shuffling my way across the bridge to enjoy the view the first time across… (oh yeah, they don’t tell you that you have to cross the bridge TWICE!!)

Capilano Bridge

Capilano Bridge

Once I got over to the other end, my nerves had calmed down a bit and I ventured over to the Treetops Adventure. It’s a compilation of 7 suspension bridges strung across a series of trees about 100ft above a Vancouver rain forest. The scariest part is that none of these viewing platforms connecting the bridges to the trees are secured with nails or bolts. There’s some fancy engineering behind the compression system used to keep all of these in place.

Capilano Bridge

Capilano Bridge

The last part of the visit was the Cliffwalk. The trail here was overlooking the Capilano River, bolted to a granite cliff. The walkway was suuuuuper narrow and freaked me out so bad!!

Capilano Bridge

By the end of the day, I was definitely shaken up. I’m pretty proud of myself for not crying or hyperventilating in public… haha! Two things that usually happen when I freak out really badly. At least I can say I conquered one of my fears! (But I don’t know if I would pay $20 to do it again…)

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Richmond Night Market

Living in Seattle has taught me a lot. The most prominent thing being that I love Chinese food a lot more than I knew. I’ve been pining for some authentic Chinese cuisine for a few weeks and finally indulged while in Vancouver. Not to say that there aren’t great Chinese food places in Seattle; I’m sure they exist, but they’re hard to come by (or maybe I’m just not looking hard enough?).

Every summer, there’s a night market held in Richmond, BC where there are rows and rows of food vendors selling delicious eats that are extremely wallet friendly. Along with food, there are a bunch of local businesses who sell everything from imported lingerie to bubble guns to LED license plate covers. You name it, there’s probably a booth selling it!

Being the type of person who constantly has the munchies, I started off with the food stalls. First off, I was intrigued by these mini fruit rolls that were crafted outside the booth. I had a sample of the apple pie roll, which was basically diced apple slices wrapped in spring roll paper and deep fried. Holy wow, I could probably eat these all day!

fruit rolls

Of course, being a little deprived of bubble tea, I had to hit up a bubble tea stand. There were probably three or four stands next to one another competing for customers. Every stand sold their drinks for $4 so it was a matter of flavor varieties that sealed the deal. I ended up with a plain Jasmine green tea with tapioca. Go figure, I have a love for quite the bland food palette so Jasmine tea seemed fitting.

jasmine bubble team

After an hour of shopping around food stalls, I was quite spent. Not only was it extremely hot on the night that I visited the night market, but there were huge crowds of people in every aisle that made it almost impossible to leave without wearing someone else’s sweat. Gross, I know.

busy food booths

crowded streets

After my case of the munchies were satiated, we check out all the stalls selling imported goods. I ended up finding the perfect winter accessory: a polar bear hat with attached paw mittens! Sadly, this hat was clearly made for children and my arms were too long to wear the mittens correctly. : ( If there was an adult-sized hat in the form of a panda or a moose, I’d be all over it!

polar bear hat

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Nostalgia Strikes

Do you get the feeling that after a few years of not seeing someone you can effortlessly pick up exactly where you left off? It’s almost as if things have never changed!

I experienced this over the weekend when I reconnected with a couple of friends that I met in Vancouver a few years ago. We kept in touch intermittently throughout the years (usually quick “happy birthday” emails or notifications of change in addresses) but no essay-long messages. I’m not going to lie; the whole “trip” – if you can even call it one – was planned within less than a day. The only concrete plan was that I was going to drive up from Washington. All the weekend activities would be decided on the fly.

Normally, something like this would bother me. Not the fact that the trip was hacked together in less than 24 hours, but the fact that the itinerary for the weekend was unknown. I like knowing ahead of schedule, usually at least three days in advance, what I’m going to be doing. I’ve been a planner and schedule-maker since as long as I can remember and I know this trait can be a bit annoying to others who like to live more spontaneous lives. Let it be known that I tried to be spontaneous this weekend! haha or as spontaneous as I think I will ever really allow myself to be.

Caffe Artigiano - cappuccino

It was such a nice getaway from the usual sights, smells, and sounds of Seattle. Not to mention, I shared some of the most  incredible laughs, cries, and smiles with the same people who taught me so much about myself as a person years ago. The most refreshing part of the weekend was being able to get a new perspective on my life while exchanging stories with old friends.

Sometimes I forget to appreciate the simple things in life. This weekend taught me to smile more, laugh until my stomach hurts, and that it’s okay revisit the feelings in the past that helped ¬†to shape who I am today. Oh, and also to read a good book every now and then (I’m starting with The Alchemist)!

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