Snowboarding in Whistler: Conclusion

TRIP INDEX

After landing back at JFK and breezing through customs (thanks, Global Entry!), Joann waited for our bags while I took the Airtrain to Federal Circle to pick up our one-way rental car home.

I reserved the car with 1,200 Hertz points, certainly better than paying cash on a one-way rental.

We had an easy ride home from JFK to NJ since CX889 arrives around 7AM and it was Sunday.

A few thoughts from this trip:

  • Whistler must be the greatest place on earth for snowboarding/skiing.
  • If you love the snow, spend at least a week there. There’s so much terrain to cover (groomers, off-piste/backcountry, bowls, chutes, parks) and it never gets old.
  • There are several chain hotels where you can redeem points, but don’t overlook renting a house via VRBO or the like.
  • Highly recommend Scandinave Spa after several days of riding to wind down.
  • I don’t think the Avios premium (12.5K each way) from Cathay Pacific Business Class to First Class is worth it on the short route between JFK-YVR.
    • Business Class will more than suffice for the transcontinental flight. We only splurged for First because we were so flush with Avios.

And since these final posts are coming while the 2014 Winter Olympics are going on, this final photo is fitting!

Go, Team USA!

Go, Team USA!

Snowboarding in Whistler: Cathay Pacific First Class – Vancouver – New York

TRIP INDEX

After taking a private shuttle back to YVR from Whistler, we paid to leave our luggage with a baggage storage service in the airport so we could head to downtown Vancouver. There was plenty of time to kill before our late evening departure.

We celebrated a friend’s birthday with some great Japanese food for lunch.

IMG_1535

Beef tongue

Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu

Sushi

Sushi

Then, later in the afternoon, we went to Richmond Centre Mall to meet up with Joann’s cousins who live in Vancouver. If you want some amazing, authentic Chinese food, head to Richmond!

Finally, we were dropped off at YVR for our flight. We picked up our luggage and headed over to security. As it was Saturday evening, security was a breeze and we were into the First Class Lounge in no time.

The lounge is OK. There is a separation between First & Business Class, but no policing so teens were walking over from the Business Class section as they pleased.

The food & refreshments were basic, as far as Cathay goes, with food offerings of siumai and Veuve Clicquot as the champagne. After winding down a bit from our day in town and charging up devices, it was time to board.

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Snowboarding in Whistler: Whistler Blackcomb

TRIP INDEX

With the influx of near-zero degree days here in NJ, I figured I’d pick up a way overdue trip report about our trip to Whistler/Vancouver last February. Writing about it really makes me want to go back already!

Of all the places we’ve gone snowboarding (all in North America), Whistler is definitely our favorite.

This was our second trip to Whistler Blackcomb. We loved it so much we had to make a return trip. Our first trip here was in 2009, just before the 2010 Winter Olympics. We got to see so many of the preparations for the Olympics as they went up. It was a pretty cool experience.

With a total of 8,171 skiable shreddable acres, it is the largest resort in North America. It also has plenty of backcountry if you’re into the off-piste type of fun. There are groomers, bowls, cliff drops, parks, and more; it seems they have something for everyone at WB.

Whistler Blackcomb resort is actually two mountains – Whistler Mountain & Blackcomb Glacier. Both times we went, we rode for six days and it still wasn’t enough time. The whole resort is just massive and there won’t be a shortage of areas to explore.

I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

A bowl on Blackcomb Glacier

A bowl on Blackcomb Glacier

Traveling on the Peak2Peak Gondola in between both mountains

Traveling on the Peak2Peak Gondola in between both mountains

Many bluebird days at Whistler

Many bluebird days at Whistler

Blackcomb Glacier

Blackcomb Glacier

If you have a chance to ski or ride at Whistler, take the opportunity! It really is one of the best resorts in North America and, as many rate it, in the world.

For tips on how to get to Whistler (aka flying into Vancouver), specifically from NYC, check out an older post about redeeming points to YVR.

Snowboarding in Whistler: Introduction

Introduction
Cathay Pacific First Class New York – Vancouver
Whistler Blackcomb
Cathay Pacific First Class Vancouver – New York
Conclusion

This was a trip that was very familiar to us, but the first time we went predates this blog. In 2009, a group of 19 friends all hopped on a Cathay Pacific flight from NYC to Vancouver in search for some of the best snowboarding the West Coast (maybe the world?) had to offer. It was easily one of funnest trips that Joann and I have ever gone on.

On Top of the World - Whistler 2009

On Top of the World – Whistler 2009

Fast forward 4 years and we were out to do it again. Snowboarding in Whistler was the best snowboarding we’ve all ever done so we wanted a repeat performance. This time, only about 13 of us were able to make it to Whistler.

Even though it was a smaller group, we had just as many good times and it was a bit more special because Joann and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary there! Only a little different from where we got married…

Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii

Anyway, we end up renting the same beautiful slopeside house, originally discovered on VRBO (more on that in a later post).

Aside from the amazing time we had riding and hanging out in Whistler and Vancouver, there were also a few travel bits to mention.

  • Cathay Pacific First Class using British Airways Avios
  • Avis Whistler car rental
  • Finally redeeming Hertz points

It was a great week of (my kind of) relaxing and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Blackcomb Glacier 2013

Blackcomb Glacier 2013

Vancouver: Dinner at MARKET by Jean Georges

Trip Index

I feel that this restaurant deserves its own post. I was a bit hesitant to eat at a place that garnered 4 $’s on Yelp but MARKET by Jean-Georges has gotten much praise around the Internet and it was conveniently located in the same building as the hotel we were staying at, the Shangri-La Vancouver (review here).

Joann and I took the elevator from our room down to the 3rd floor where MARKET was located. A dimly lit corridor led us to the main lobby where the hostess was no where in sight. We stood around for 2 or 3 minutes waiting for someone to show up. I guess she was in the restroom or in the back, but she eventually showed up (w/o apologizing) and asked what time our reservation was. We had arrived 15 minutes early so we were invited to have a few drinks at the bar while our table was being prepped.

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