Big White(Out)

This past weekend a great group of eleven of us set out for the 6-8 hour drive northeast to Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.  Our car of Bryan and myself and Stephan and Carina left downtown at 3pm on Friday to start making our way.  We took the scenic way, heading east on I-90 before cutting through Blewett Pass and heading pretty much straight north through Okanogan wine country and over the border into Canada.  We had a traffic-free ride and stopped for dinner at a crazy busy diner in Omak, Washington called the Breadline Cafe that even featured a bread bar.  It took us a while but we finally pulled into the rented ski in/ski out condo at the resort just after midnight.

After a night of sleep to recover from the drive we all woke up to make a quick group breakfast and then set out for the slopes.  It was so nice to be able to ski in and ski out.  We started as one colossal group but with varying abilities, speeds, and patience for lift lines we shortly split up.  For all of Saturday Bryan and I skied with Mark and Jeff.  Me and the guys continued venturing towards the steeper and longer runs until we found ourselves in the supreme area of the mountain at the Gem Lake Express chair.  We were in hog heaven with a large snow bowl at the top of the lift and fast but gentle runs below.  After a few laps we headed into the tiny lodge at the base of the lift for a quick bite to eat of meat pies and roasted tomato red pepper soup.  We were shortly back on the same slopes with the sun out in all of its glory and until our legs were burning too good to carry on.  We made our way back towards our condo, found the other group, and eventually headed in just before 5 pm.

Truly perfect
Truly perfect

After much needed soaks in the hot tub to soothe our muscles, showers and a quick walk to the store for a few things.  We set out a spread of snacks and Tina and David were on dinner duty of a fantastic veggie chili, cornbread and all of the toppings.  Once full the games began.  We played a few round of our least favorite group game, Mafia, until we couldn’t take it any longer and Bryan made his pizookie for the group.  Only about two thirds was able to be eaten but we ingeniously mixed the remaining baked cookie into the vanilla ice cream carton for the next night.  We hung around talking for a while longer until we all headed to bed to prepare for another day skiing.

That view.
That view.

Sunday morning was a late start for everyone in the condo.  We all chipped in to make the group’s breakfast before hesitantly setting out for the slopes.  Sunday was providing extremely poor visibility conditions with fog and slight snow to confirm Big White’s nickname Big White Out.  Nevertheless we persisted and skied, although with confidence wanning in the beginning of the day.  Bryan and I went off on our own to ski some runs with the plan to meet up with the rest of the group in the Village Centre at 12:30 pm.  Somehow we were able to get a table for the whole group for a very long lunch at the Sante Grill.  They had some pretty epic sweet potatoes and otherwise great food that kept everyone’s spirits up for the rest of the day.

Group lunching.
Group lunching.

Bryan, Jeff and I found ourselves skiing laps in the middle of the mountain where we actually found some really great snow.  We skied until the liftie told us the chair was closing and we moved on to some runs through the trees.  Never before have I like to ski trees but at Big White I broke that barrier and fell in love with skiing them.  I also just genuinely enjoy trying to keep up with the guys.  I followed Bryan and Jeff all around until we were literally the very last skiers up the mountain and the chairs all closed on us.  We headed back to the condo around 4:30 pm to meet up with the rest of the group.  Hot tub time followed by snack time followed by my turn making dinner.   Per Mark’s request I made spaghetti for the group, something I haven’t made for a large group in a very long time.  The sauce came out great using some quality pasta sauce, beef and hot sausage, mushrooms and fresh basil.  I also made a kale caesar salad that was fortunately enjoyed by all and had help with the garlic bread.  After dinner and a brief encounter in front of the TV the group continued the games.  This time with pictionary styled “Telephone” which was a blast.  Once the charades and Hide and Seek began Bryan and I retreated to our own corner with a bowl of the baked cookie dough ice cream.  Finally the group was ready for bed and we called our last night to an end.

One more morning at the condo provided heaps of sunshine and fresh snow (bummer!).  The group pulled together one more great group breakfast, cleaned up the condo and packed to head out for the 6+ hour home.  Our group this time of Bryan and I and Luis and Carina were the first to set out and we made great time heading home, stopping for gas and a quick bite at McDonald’s we got back in just about 6.5 hours.  It was good to be home but Bryan and I quickly unpacked the car, changed and headed out to a supplied-supplied dinner at the Washington Athletic Club on the fascinating subject of waterproofing with Marika and Randy.  After a good dinner and treats, a glass of wine, and most of the presentation, Bryan and I scooted out for dance class.  We had a blast at our second week of dance class and are really excited for the rest of them.

It’s really great to be home and in only two days Amy will be coming to stay with us!


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