This morning we woke up in our hotel in Whistler and headed downstairs to have breakfast in the hotel. Once again Natalie and I ordered the incredible gluten-free French Toasts but this time our parents were the one who got the smoothie shots.

After breakfast we headed out to the mountain right outside the hotel and decided to go for a bit of a hike. The first 200 feet up was in direct view of the sun making it feel like walking across a desert. Eventually we reached some forest trails and made it up to around 450 feet before deciding to head back down. On the way back down we heard a rustling in the bushes…bear? moose? No. It was the elusive marmot that gives Whistler its name! My dad was able to snap a picture before it began to scurry away. Heading out of the forest we noticed we were missing a family member who had stayed behind to capture her own photo. In the end the marmot wouldn’t come back out for mom. I think it was probably afraid of the woman with the “dead-marmot” key chain hanging off her bag.

On the way back down the mountain we spotted the alpine slides…rather, Natalie and dad spotted the alpine slides. Mom and I waited while they went on their rides and took some pictures and video. Back in the square there were some horses that we took the time to say hello too before walking to Milestones (our new favorite lunch destination in Whistler). I got a salad and a half portion of pasta and Natalie got the half portion of pasta and a delicious gluten free chocolate pie slice. At the restaurant there was some interesting Canadian music we had never heard before…plus the predictable Canadian songs by Michael Buble and Avril Lavigne.

At that point in the day we hadn’t hiked enough for our adventurous vacationing lifestyle so we headed to another trail. We walked along another forest trail and around a very large golf-course to look for another geocache. By the time we got there we had digested all the sodas we drank at lunch so the walk back looked a little bit more like the potty dance and less like adept hikers returning home after a satisfying morning.

When we got back we boarded the bus to take us to the Rocky Mountaineer back to Vancouver. It was a beautiful ride back the other way as well and no one spilled wine this time! Since the train left at 3:30 we were just in time for tea which consisted of little sandwiches, scones and desserts. Natalie and I got gluten-free sandwiches and fruit as substitutes and we were able to eat some of our gluten-free bread from yesterday with the clotted cream that came on the trays.

Perhaps one of the best anecdotes from this train ride was the joke that one of the attendants told about the pronunciation of scones. She said that she had long debated whether they should be pronounced scone (sc-own) or scone (sc-on) and so she called up the queen of England. She clarified the dispute by telling her that you receive your sc-own and cut it in half and spread your jam on it and then you eat it and it’sc-on. (This is probably considerably more difficult to understand written out than it was to hear spoken).

I got to finish a book today on the train today as well- Ape House by Sarah Gruen. Good read. Highly recommended.

When we got back to Vancouver we went into the next hotel which has a really nice view of the harbor and especially the dock where the Disney Cruise will pull in tomorrow morning at 6am. Stuffed from tea-time we didn’t really want to eat dinner and instead went on a little walk to tour the cruise terminal. Inside we saw some more totems as well as a developing-science-conference called Siggraph which my dad had attended in 1984. We got a chance to look at a few of the displays including an idea for 4D Sonograms which I thought was pretty cool.

Soon we had enough walking and returned to the room where I changed my mind and decided to walk a little more in the fitness area. Tonight we will enjoy some chocolates from the Farmer’s Market and get excited about boarding the cruise tomorrow!