Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekend at Fernie - Part 2

Up fairly early on Saturday and after a lovely breakfast we head off to the Timber Lodge chairlift for a ride up the mountain. Now, although I was a skier for about 25 years (but have not skied since moving to the prairies), I am afraid of heights and am not a happy camper on the lifts - especially when they go over gorges that plunge about 100 feet down. I once was suspended over such a gorge -(Whistler Mountain) the chair had stopped for several minutes - my seatmate - evil B that she was, took great delight in swinging the chair and watching me cry. So anyway - it had been many years since I last took a chair lift (I have no problems skiing down though). So, I rode the lift with my Dad and my sister and I hung on for dear life while they wiggled around in the chair and asked me "what was wrong"?

Despite me being frozen in place, I did manage to look around a bit (moved my eyes). The temperature slowly dropped while we ascended the mountain. It was a bit foggy at the top, but the views were still spectacular. Thankfully, the little chalet at the top had a small restaurant and I got the best mug of hot chocolate laced with real whipped cream that I have drank. I savoured that heavenly brew while I silently worried about the trip back down the mountain on the chair. That is way scarier because there is no mountain in front of you - only sheer drops. We spent about 1/2 hour drinking in the sights and then it was time to go back down. I took the chair down by myself - no way was I going to let those two wiggly things on a chair with me. After the initial drop at the top, I managed to open my eyes and finally relaxed and enjoyed the glorious scenery. I would have loved to have taken a few photos while on the chair but between my frozen state and contemplating moving I was also worried that I'd drop the bloody camera - well, I did manage to take some photos at the top of the mountain.

Of interest - the mountain bikers are amazing - they take the lifts up and then scream like demons on their bikes down the mountain not only do they pit themselves against the sheer gravity of plunging downhill, but they also weave in and out of the trees as well as going over jumps and all manner of apparatuses. What an amazing sport!

I made it down the mountain with my sanity intact and now it's time to get ready for the wedding. Off to bathe, primp, dress and perfume myself. The wedding is at 2 pm and so far it is shaping it to be a beautiful day.

It's a small, intimate wedding of about 50 people and because the weather is cooperating the ceremony is performed outside. Leanne is gorgeous and I cannot believe that I am crying my eyes out (big wracking sobs) - I always thought people who cried at weddings were just putting on a show - but I could not stop the tears from flowing. And now my dear nephew is a married man.

The bride, groom and wedding party went off to places unknown for their pictures - I understand they took pictures on the chairlift! So - the wedding guests were left to amuse themselves in the lovely Lizard Creek Lodge. A light lunch came out with these amazing appetizers made of a melted cheese basket filled with brouchetta (sp?) and then some chicken skewers, veggie rolls and some lime flavoured shrimp...YUM!

The wedding party returned around 6 pm - and the common area around the huge fireplace was transformed into a dining area and hardwood dance floor had been laid over the carpet. We dined on a buffet of roast beef and chicken accompanied by many vegetable dishes, pickles, olives and of course an assortment of decadent deserts. A few speeches and then finally the first dance - again I was choked up watching the lovely bride and groom have their first dance together as a married couple.

The DJ was spectacular - not only did he surprise us with many dances and costumes but he took any requests and had all the music -he was never stumped. The music was fantastic and I danced like a woman possessed. Finally after several "last songs" the DJ finally declared it was OVER and I stumbled into bed around 1:30 am.

Well, morning arrived (way too early) and OMG! I was so stiff I could barely walk. My hips! My hips! What was I thinking? I cannot do the low rocking to the floor dance anymore - did I think I was 25 years old? I was paying royally for the dancing - but it was worth it!

I left around 9:30 am and made it to Medicine Hat around 2 pm. I could just manage to drag myself out of the truck and limped to the front desk, where the clerk took pity on my broken body and upgraded my room and assured me that I would not have to climb any stairs to get to my room.

I suffered for several days and was only able to walk kind of normal around Thursday.

Cheers Gord and Leanne - may you have a wonderful and prosperous life together. Thank you for including me in your celebration - it was the best wedding I have ever attended!

Weekend at Fernie - Part I

It's taken me a whole week to recover from the extravaganza that was my nephew Gord and his stunningly beautiful bride, Leanne's wedding. They were married on July 31st against the extraordinary background of the mountains in Fernie, BC.

Unfortunately, our dog sitter was unable to take care of our dogs, so I went by myself and Peter stayed home. Poor guy - he missed a wonderful time.

I headed out on Thursday, July 29th and was planning on staying overnight in Medicine Hat, but since I got an early start, I decided to drive all the way through to Fernie in one day. I had a wonderful time - the weather was perfect and I had a caseful of CDs that I had not listened to in ages so, I set the cruise on around 110 km/h and sang at the top of my lungs. The highways were great - the only construction was on the Trans-Canada at Maple Creek (due to that washout in June) but that was only for a couple of klicks - it was practically double lane well past Lethbridge - where Hwy. 3 intersects Hwy 2. After that, it was a steady climb into the mountains going through Crowsnest Pass (not as spectacular as Kicking Horse). Franks Slide was jaw dropping - hard to believe all that mountain came sliding down - what a tragedy.

I had been calling my sister all day (she was already in Fernie) to tell her I would be a day early - but there was no answer. I had no idea where anyone was in terms of lodging, so I figured I'd either find a place to sleep, or worse case, sleep in the truck. My nephew actually lives in Elkford (which is about 70 kms away from Fernie). I was well past Sparwood, when my sister finally returned my call. She had been white water rafting all day, and they had just returned and were going out for supper in Fernie. I was about 18 kms away, so just continued on and met up with them at this lovely little Japanese Sushi restaurant (I HATE sushi) - just don't find raw fish and seaweed appetizing. So, I had a stir fry.

Well, I guess the rafting trip was amazing and I wish I had of known as I would have left a day earlier to join them. Probably about as amazing as the party in Elkford the night before - I understand that the cops came twice and something to do with emptying the hot tub due to hazardous substances...hmmm. But that was for the young folks anyway - not these old bones.

After the supper, we drove back to Elkford and I stayed in this little mom and pop hotel - quite nice, very clean - sharing the room with my sister, Darlene and Lennie (my step-niece). My parents were there - they did not go on the rafting trip (they are in their 80s and used that as an excuse not to go...imagine that?). I was a bit tired after driving 9.5 hours and it really didn't hit me until I was finally relaxed at the hotel with a drink in hand. No problems sleeping that night!

Up fairly early on Friday and my parents accompanied me to Fernie. I was having a bit of a problem locating the Lizard Creek Lodge (reading comprehension problem). I phoned my sister to ask her where was the Lodge and she says, it's where we took the bus for rafting at the ski hill. I say to her - I don't know where the ski hill is. She again repeats it's where we got on the bus for rafting. I remind her that I was not with her for that trip. I end up calling the Lodge and get directions. I had apparently passed the turn-off. Well, let me tell you what a spectacular spot this is - breath taking. The Lodge is located at the base of the ski hill and one can literally strap on their skies and once out of their room and simply step onto the lift. It is a beautiful alpine lodge with vaulted ceilings, huge timbers and a stone fireplace that reaches the 30 foot ceiling. Very rustic. My room - wow! I open the door to find that I have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room with fireplace and a full kitchen. And a balcony.

Since I've plenty of time to kill, I find the Curves Gym and go for a workout - then head back to the Lodge for a shower and change of clothes and wait for the other guests to arrive. The wonderful thing about this wedding is that we had the entire Lodge exclusively - fantastic. A meet and greet happened on Friday night with everyone mingling around the huge stone fireplace in the common area. An open bar and well - it was a splendid night with many toasts. At one point my nephew Gord tells me - that they not selected a song for their first dance . Well - I suggest that I might have the perfect song for him and I take him to my truck to play the CD that has this song. Gord says "it's perfect!". I am so pleased. On that note - it's time for bed. My sister and Lennie ended up staying my BIG room - Darlene and I sharing the loft bedroom (2 queen sized beds) and Lennie got the master bedroom (with an actual door) with the king sized bed because she claimed that Darlene and I make too much noise (hard to believe, I know).