A Travellerspoint blog

Whistler back to Vancouver

Wow what a day! The sun was shining and 9 of us were zipping! The Ziptrek Adventure was outstanding! To be on the mountains, going through the trees with snow around you was breathtaking. We did 5 lines with the longest two being 900 ft and 1100 ft! I took pictures on one of them but I was going so fast on the others that they were just a blur! We had a blast! On the ride to the zip course we got to see where they did the luge and I think skeleton during the Olympics. That thing goes completely sideways! Guess they are going so fast they won't fall off!
After we finished we went back to the hotel to meet the group to board the bus back to Vancouver. Whistler is a beautiful place and I would recommend anyone up this way go there. The ski slopes look really neat and there are 2 mountains and now they have a gondola that goes across from the top of each one! This is where they did the skiing during the Olympics.
On the way back we stopped at the Brittanina Mine for a tour. It was a copper mine that closed in 1974. Our guide had actually worked there himself so he told us the good stuff! Was interesting and we got to pan for gold but most just found fool's gold!
We arrived at our hotel for the next 2 nights--The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Beautiful room with an outstanding view. We were so beat from all the walking and climbing today that we ate in the hotel dining room and came back to the room. Have a full day on tomorrow which is the last day of our Holland America fam.
Too much fun!!!

Too much fun!!!


Ziplining was AWESOME!!!

Ziplining was AWESOME!!!


Zip course

Zip course


I took this when I was on the zipline.

I took this when I was on the zipline.


Zip course

Zip course


Zip course

Zip course


The Ziptrek group!!

The Ziptrek group!!


Luge used in Olympics

Luge used in Olympics


luge---this is almost straight up and down!

luge---this is almost straight up and down!


On drive from Whistler to Vancouver

On drive from Whistler to Vancouver


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2nd hard hat of the day!

2nd hard hat of the day!


Our guide from the copper mine.

Our guide from the copper mine.


Check out all those stairs!!  YIKES.  There were no handrails back when it was in operation.

Check out all those stairs!! YIKES. There were no handrails back when it was in operation.


The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver

The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver


The cruise port from our hotel window.

The cruise port from our hotel window.


In our room tonight.

In our room tonight.

Posted by tammyk 22:51 Comments (0)

Whistler, BC

Arrival in Vancouver was beautiful today! It was a little cloudy but turned in to a bright sunny day. We boarded our private coach and made a stop at the Olympic Cauldron. It was neat to see and it was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be! Then we headed up toward Whistler resort. On the way we stopped at Shannon Falls which was breathtaking. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is an elegant resort. There is a Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center that was a sight to see. We met the hotel staff and were taken on a tour of the facility! The rooms are so nice and some have slope views with the chairlift right outside the window. We were treated to a 4 course meal that was superb. Get to go ziplining tomorrow!!! Oh yea...it is cold and all I brought were capri pants and short sleeves with a windbreaker!!
Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls

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Our hotel is to the right .  See the ski lift in the background?

Our hotel is to the right . See the ski lift in the background?

These candies awaited us in our room!

These candies awaited us in our room!

Our room at the Farimont Whistler

Our room at the Farimont Whistler

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Posted by tammyk 21:30 Comments (0)

Victoria, BC

Had the morning free and arrived in Victoria around noon. We met the ladies from Tourism Victoria and Toursim British Columbia onboard before we headed off to tour this lovely place. We had a guided tour of Butchardt Gardens which was fantastic! The tulips were awesome as you can see by the pictures. After that we went to the Inner Harbour and had a little time on our own. They gave us an admission ticket to the BC Royal Museum but we only had 15 minutes to tour it. After it closed we went to the Empress Hotel to walk around before catching the bus back to the ship. Dinner was on are own and we ate in the buffet and it was very good.
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Buchardt Gardens

Buchardt Gardens

Wooly Mammoth

Wooly Mammoth

Holland America Statendam

Holland America Statendam

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Posted by tammyk 21:21 Comments (0)

Holland America Fam

Friday the 13th was a long day! Had a 9:10am flight from DFW to San Diego and actually arrived a little early. My friend Theresa from Odessa had flown out on Southwest and met me at the airport. Theresa and I went on a travel agent trip in 2007 to Costa Rica and have remained friends since. This is an exciting time for us to get to spend together. We took a cab to the pier and were checkin by 10:45am They started letting us board the beautiful Holland America Statendam at 11:30 and we went to the cabin to drop of our bags and headed to the buffet! Of course on our time it was 2pm so we were starving! After eating went back to our cabin and unpacked and got ready for the safety drill. At 5pm they let loose the ropes and we set sail! Our group of 38 met in the Crow’s Nest Lounge for a cocktail party before dinner. I learned from the party that I really like Cosmopolitans! Had not had one before and they are pretty darn good! The group was divided into 3 so we could experience the specialty venues in a smaller group. Our group of 12 dined in the main dining room the first night. The food was very good but I’m not sure what happened but our service was not very good. It wasn’t really bad just slow getting our food. Maybe they were training someone new!! Being we had such a long day after dinner we were beat and headed to the cabin. It was only 8:30pm when I set the alarm clock and I don’t remember much after that!
We had to be at our first seminar at 8am on Saturday morning. Our host Rene’ and Dave are wonderful guys! Great sense of humor that makes the learning easy. Got a good overview of the Holland America Line and learned lots of facts. This ship is very small, only 55,000 tons! Capacity is 1,258! The cabins are huge with lots of storage and there is even a bathtub! If you have not cruised, most have only a shower that is so small you can barley turn around in them! The beds are wonderful! Very comfortable. And the air conditioning works good, our cabin is freezing! Of course it is in the 50’s outside! This afternoon we were given a private wine tasting for our group. We tasted 4 wines and learned about how to do food parings. We had a dinner reservation in Canaletto which is the specialty Italian restaurant. There is no extra charge for dinner in this venue and it was very good. There was a show called Bob Mackie’s Broadway this evening that I attended. It featured 6 people who have been in Broadway productions and they were wearing clothes designed by Bob Mackie. The singers were very good and it was interesting to hear what productions each had been in.
Our 2nd day at sea was action packed. At 10:30am we were given a private tour of the galley. After that we went to the Culinary Arts Theater for a cooking demonstration. That was fantastic and a very neat place. It is set up just like a cooking show with the over head camera and everything! We had a Q & A with some staff members at 1 and then the Future Cruise Consultant before a last session with Rene’. He cut his session short though so we could attend the cupcake tea at 3. The cupcakes were not really cupcakes to me. They were more of a mini muffin. They did have scones also. It was very nice and well attended. Our dinner tonight was in the Pinnacle Grill which was outstanding! Crab cakes were delicious and the shrimp in the cocktail were huge! Some had steaks and some lobsters. All were good and the desserts were outstanding. There is a service charge of $20 for this one but well worth it! We arrive in Victoria at noon and will be out all afternoon.
We even had a bathtub!

We even had a bathtub!

Our oceanview cabin

Our oceanview cabin

Wine tasting setup

Wine tasting setup

Lido deck

Lido deck

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DSC_4338

Seas were pretty rough!

Seas were pretty rough!

The water was sloushing around in the pool!

The water was sloushing around in the pool!

The Galley

The Galley

The Culinary Arts Theater

The Culinary Arts Theater

From the cupcake tea

From the cupcake tea

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Posted by tammyk 17:22 Comments (1)

Aruba

Know what that is on top?????  A cashew!!!

Know what that is on top????? A cashew!!!

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View from the ship.

View from the ship.

The ship docked at 7am in Oranjestad, Aruba. We met in the terminal building for our sightseeing excursion. Our first stop was the Butterfly Farm. Very nice place with lots of butterflies. They had some hatch this morning and then were still hanging waiting for their wings to dry! Learned some very interesting things there! Then were made a stop at the Aloe factory where we were given a tour. They were not making anything at the time we were there but the tour guide was very informative. If you have an aloe plant, and cut a leaf off at the bottom there is an orangish liquid that will come out. Stay away from it!!! It works as a laxative! They said 6 drops will have you running back and forth all day!! We saw some ladies packaging up some product for shipment. They have a store and we were able to by some products. After leaving there we did some sightseeing on our way to the Ayo Rock Formations. Very interesting place. Hav e a real nice park there and we saw some school children on a field trip. Tour guide was very good. Passed around many things for us to see. After the tour, we boarded the ship and had lunch then went out shopping. Went to a casino on the main street and bought a few things. Seems a lot more commercialized than some of the other islands. Can back to the ship and rested by the pool and watched Bon Jovi concert on the outdoor screen. Watched the last person coming running to the ship. I just don’t get that someone can be late. “Inception” is the Movie Under the Stars tonight. Well 2 days and sea and our island hopping journey is over. Grenada is still my favorite island with Bonaire being a close 2nd!
This was a very nice cruise and we met some wonderful people. The staff were all very attentive and polite. The food was good in the buffet. We are going to go to the dining room on Thurs. It was nice this trip to be able to plan around the activities instead of around dining time. The food in the buffet was the same as in the dining room.
Next trip is a Holland America4 night cruise moving a ship from San Diego to Vancouver in May. I will also be in Whistler one night and Vancouver for 2. Then taking the train down to Seattle to check out a hotel for us to stay in before our Alaska cruise next year!!
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Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

Butterfly

At the Aloe Factory.

At the Aloe Factory.

Rock formation looks like a monkey!

Rock formation looks like a monkey!

Look at the size of this!  Makes Dwight look short!

Look at the size of this! Makes Dwight look short!

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Ayo Rick Formations

Ayo Rick Formations

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Posted by tammyk 17:54 Comments (0)

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