Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her Eat Pray Love which became a best seller and which was further popularized by Julia Roberts in the 2010 film of the same title. Sitting on my desk with sore limbs from five continuous albeit not full days of skiing, and with Su going out on solo, I thought that maybe we can do an Eat Sleep Ski and see how many readers we can attract; so here we go.
It is not that we are short of things to do. Su has a great collection of cook books which keeps on growing, and she has been experimenting with newly acquired book knowledge and the new equipment; all very interesting. On the skiing side, having loaded ourselves last year with the necessary hardware and the season passes, it would not make economic sense if we do not ski for a minimum number of days this season, which officially begins end of November and lasts till May and June.
Planning began soon after we returned from last year’s skiing trip. Su booked two flights so as to maximize skiing time on the one hand and allow us to experience different climatic and snow conditions which typically change with times. Indeed, we have not travelled at all, well almost, since our last ski trip, even though many friends have always got the idea that we have been busy travelling. I actually have been travelling between home and gym to wear off some built-up fat and to keep fit for the skiing. All my friends have warned me that this is a sport with inherent risks and not one for the elderly.
Before we boarded the coach for Whistler, we stocked up from Lobster Man in Vancouver five dozens oysters, including Kusshi, Village Bay, Fat Bastard and Kumamoto, one and a half kilo of giant crab legs and a live Dungeness crab. Once in Whistler, we went to our favourite Market Place and the Whistler Grocery Store to stock up food for our meals, comprising mainly fresh and organic vegetables, eggs and dairy products, meat, chicken, avocadoes, fruits, wine and ice-wine. The list went on, but we decided to take only the stock we needed urgently. At the checkout counter, the shop assistant dutifully keyed in all the items and had even got the sum total on the screen, except that she couldn’t have the receipt printed because apparently the computer acted up on her. The supervisor was called who couldn’t do much, and a technician came. He changed the printout roll and sprayed something on the inside hardware, but the machine won’t budge. Eventually he rebooted the computer and out came the receipt. All these had taken about 10 to 15 minutes, and for the waiting, the supervisor authorized a 10% discount, which made the waiting worth it. We should have stocked up more.
Eating is important, indeed vital on skiing trips. Typically, we would eat a wholesome breakfast with sufficient carbohydrates and proteins before we put on our gears and started the day. If we are taking lessons, we would start to upload before 10 am and the skiing day would finish around 3:30 pm with an hour for lunch in between. The food one gets at the restaurants on the slopes and at the top or anywhere is typically basic and expensive. The lunch is really meant to provide a break for the muscles and for catching up with one another. Then, there were the days when it was too rainy, foggy or snowy for safe skiing, so that it would be better to have a cinnamon bun with hot coffee at a rest place. Su has often said that when I am 75 and can move round the slopes for almost nothing, I can go up the top just for the scenery and the hot coffee.
Lest I have given the impression that food in Whistler is lousy, let me quickly correct that. There are fine restaurants in every hotel and lodges and many eateries in the village. They offer a full range of menu, mostly western though, and at quite reasonable prices. Drinks at the pub are most popular, and we use our favourite Irish Pub at the Pan Pacific Hotel very often.
Most importantly, we cook often and regularly in our hotel room. I have already mentioned the breakfast. We also do other meals when we don’t want to eat out; and I have, in stock, an 18-year old Glenlivet single malt and a 21-year old Ballantine’s blended whisky, all purchased duty free from Cathay Pacific. We discovered a brand of whole grains biscuit, Triscuit, indigenously Ontario Canada, which we like very much, which goes very well with cheese and wine and whisky. They come in original or low sodium, and both are good. The avocadoes we bought at Market Place are also very good and cheap too. They are potassium rich, good for cholesterol control and for breakfast before a skiing session. Of course, we shuck oysters and eat crab legs as often as necessary.
Let me turn to the sleep bit. We have never slept so well and for so long hours in the last few days. Last night, for example, we came back from the Irish Pub shortly after 6 pm, having finished a sirloin steak rare and a Caesar salad accompanied by three pints of Guinness for me and one pint of local sweet beer for Su. We went to bed immediately and it was 6:45 am when we got out of bed to think about what to have for breakfast. On another day, we came back from our skiing session and had some white wine and whisky, then decided to take a nap around 4 pm before going out for a meal. When we got up, it was past 10 pm. So we had some quick food and went back to bed and slept till the following morning.
Sleep is good and indeed essential for the body. We are glad we can sleep as much as we had, that we can sleep whenever we need to and for as long as we want. We have practiced such sleep routines and regimes back home, but often it is not practical because of other appointments and commitments. Here in Whistler, we simply listen to the body and sleep to our hearts’ content.
To be continued…..