The change of seasons on Maui, Hawaii are subtle. To experience a taste of a true winter season, we travelled more than 2,700 miles to British Colombia, Canada. Our Maui boys, Kieran and Ronan, were dreaming about seeing snow for the first time and my sister and her family encouraged us to join them on a ski trip to Canada.
We took an overnight direct flight on Air Canada from Kahului, Maui to Vancouver and rented a car at the airport. Jon drove the four of us to Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort via the Sea to Sky Highway. The picturesque drive north took around two-hours and the boys slept most of the way until we woke them to see a spectacular snow fall as we arrived into the town. It was magical and before we even arrived at our destination we were smitten with the winter wonderland.
Whistler Blackcomb hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the resort is a world-class family travel destination. We rented a condominium suite at the Aspens on Blackcomb, nestled slope-side, with ski-in/ski-out access. The accommodations were ideal for our family of four complete with an outdoor pool and hot tubs.
We headed to the charming pedestrian-only Whistler Village to drop the boys off to their full-day at Whistler Blackcomb Snow School with their cousins. They schedule the drop-off time for the kids program just right so the adults have time to get to their classes.
I have never ventured onto a ski slope in my life and had a little trepidation. My ski instructor was very kind, patient and qualified (she was Rookie Instructor of the Year 2016). I couldn't imagine navigating the experience without her guidance. We took the Whistler Village Gondola up to a relatively flat training area at the Mid-Way point to get used to my skis. The lesson allowed me to feel confident and excited about the new experience. I learned how to ride up conveyer belt and ski down a slope. I learned to ski in one day! I was not prepared to ride a proper ski run but the training area was exhilarating enough for me.
Skiing is fun but I love going to a world-class spa. I took a mommy break with my sister and we visited the Scandinave Spa Whistler for a much needed massage. We booked an appointment last minute so they only had a couple's massage room available, but it worked for me and my sister (lots of giggling and quality time). This spa is like no other. Imagine outdoor Scandinavian baths nestled among snow covered spruce and cedar trees. Eucalyptus steam baths, word burning sauna, hot baths and Nordic Waterfalls.
Jon and the boys finally convinced me to join them on the Magic Chair lift which is described as a great lift for "never ever skiers." I rode up with Kieran while Jon and Ronan were ahead of us. Jon conveniently had his phone out to film my first exit off the lift. It was memorable. See the video below if you feel like having a good laugh.
Watching my little island boys take to the snow was so fantastic. They both loved the snow and we stayed on the lifts until close of day. Ronan especially loved using the Magic Carpet, a conveyer belt, so getting up the hill is effortless.
A highlight of our trip was enjoying a family meal at the Whistler Village and watching the Fire and Ice Show which featured athletes launching through a ring of fire. The show ended with a fireworks show and was the perfect ending to our first visit to Whistler Blackcomb but hopefully not our last. Please view our YouTube video for more and watch until the end footage of my first time on a ski lift.