by LaDawn Murphy Stone

For years, my husband and I have heard about Whistler and what a great place it is to visit with family any season – winter, spring, summer, fall.
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Although we may not have had the perfect weather for the week of June 24, 2013, I don’t know if we could have picked a more perfect place to enjoy several days with our kids.  Now, with four boys (ages 6-14), choosing our fun was pretty easy because the menu is full of high-octane stuff.  But, even for a middle-aged mom, I was pretty energized by the curl of my toes and the adrenaline coursing through my veins with our feast of excitement!
We visited Shannon Falls, Lost Lake, and had many adventures throughout the week.
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Here is a sample of the Whistler Blackcomb menu…
APPETIZERS–that wet our appetite for adventure:
The Adventure Park–when you have an hour or two, your kids will enjoy the mini golf, trapeze trampoline, spider web bungee maze, gyro “make any adult sick” ball, mini ropes course, and “the luge” alpine slide.  See http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/summer-activities/family-adventure-zone.aspx
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Peak to Peak Alpine Experience–the longest gondola in the world (2.73 miles) that sends you gliding 1427 feet above breathtaking vistas of lakes, dense forested mountains and valleys, glaciers, and rivers.  Your eyes won’t get full…ever…from this visual feast. See whistlerblackcomb.com.
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MAIN COURSE–that filled our craving for excitement:
Ziptrek Ecotours-we learned that if you ever want your kids to still think your measly 100 foot zipline you have at home is fun…DON’T take them on Zip Trek.  But if you want them to think YOU are really fun…then DO IT.  Zipping through 300 year old Douglas Firs and Red Cedars, and over a torrential river with the wind rushing through the hair sticking out from under your helmet was incredibly fun!  We even saw a black bear!  Lincoln (6) mastered the cannonball position for speed, while Jackson (10) flipped himself upside down,  and Cameron (14) and Harrison (13) rallied for the “sickest” pose while  sailing down the line.  Visit:  ziptrek.com or call toll free at 866-935-0001.
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Whistler Bungee–I think we earned the title of “the coolest parents ever” by making this family activity happen.  The guys from Whistler Bungee were so professional, put everyone at ease, and made the atmosphere as unintimidating as they could…considering that we were about to all jump off a 160 ft bridge over a beautiful river lined by the stunning Whistler forest.  Lincoln started us out…by just jumping.  He said he wasn’t scared at all.  I, on the other hand, was totally scared  and my jump off the platform looked really uncoordinated in the pictures.  But, I did it!  It was a full body adrenaline rush!  I love the pictures of the boys after their jumps.  Their expressions mimicked the words they used to describe the experience:  “Awesome, spectacular, thrilling, insane!”  Website is www.whistlerbungee.com, email bookings@whistlerbungee.com, or call 604-938-9333.
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Mountain Bike Park 101–through Whistler Guest Services, we arranged to have “Mish” take our older 3 boys out for a couple of hours to introduce them to the sport that attracts as many bikers during summer as skiers in the winter.  The boys greased their gears with safety info, loading bikes onto the chair lift, and hitting the trails.  I could see the smiles on their cheeks squeezing out of their snug helmets every time they whizzed by us.  At the end, Cameron said “I can see how people get addicted to that!”  Visit: www.whistlerblackcomb.com.
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DESSERT–that completed our experience in such a satisfying way:
Fly Fishing–Kevin, owner of Whistler Fishing Guides, took our
family to a small remote lake where we each got a fly rod, waders to keep us dry, a rain coat (remember I mentioned we didn’t have the best weather), our own little sturdy inner tube boat, and his collection of handmade “flies” and he worked with each of us to learn how to fly fish.  For three hours, I was reminded just how quickly paced our life is at home, and just how welcomed and peaceful it was to paddle around a serene, perfectly gorgeous lake with snow capped peaks stacked above our trees, and soak in nature in its purest form.  The serenity was only made more perfect with the exclamations of “I got one…I got one” coming from my kids.
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Trail Biking–on our last morning (and the first morning of bright sun!), we rented bikes and a carriage from the Solomon Store (at the base of the Pan Pacific Mountainside hotel in Whistler Village) and hit the Lost Lake trails.  Scenic paved and well groomed trails were the host of young and old alike,  some walking or jogging, some biking, others throwing rocks in the river, some at the skate board or mountain bike parks, but ALL enjoying the fresh air and incredible summer mountain day!  Call the Salomon Store at 604 905 2295.  Maps of the trails are available at the store, guest services and the hotels.
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Tasty Highlights –  if you really would rather hear about food…a few of our tasty highlights along the Whistler Village stroll were:
  • Misty Mountain Pizza–Most of us are Gluten Free, so it was so great to have a GF crust option.  These pizzas are a meal piled high on the crust.  Definitely a break from your traditional single layer of toppings, but once again, it was a filling “high octane” way to fill our tummies.
  • Mexican Corner–as one local put it, “you are paying for a $13 Mexican meal rather than a $7 one.”  I have to agree, and it was worth it.  The flavors had a little more interest, body, and uniqueness without sacrificing my craving for authentic Mexican food.
  • Splitz Burgers–they had me at Gluten Free buns.  But, the burgers and options beyond the expected ones ended up impressing me more than that!  Bison, lentil, onion rings, sweet potato fries, splitz sauce, BBQ, honey mustard, sprouts, etc.  It didn’t disappoint!
  • Sushi Village–fresh, well-prepared, delicious sushi!  Being GF, I end up having to stick with basic stuff, but not that night…the Red Hot Volcano and BBQ salmon roll were rockin’!
  • I mentioned to my husband that although we had more rain than was normal for Whistler this time of year, it really didn’t slow us down, or put a damper on how amazing our trip was.  We have decided we easily could have spent more time here, and we have to come back!
For more information, visit:
Whistler Tourism Sitewww.whistler.com
We’d like to thank the Vancouver Tourism Office for helping us with our trip planning, and Whistler Blackcomb for hosting us and providing access to the activities listed above. 
Also, we want to thank Ziptrek Ecotours for hosting our ziplining experience, and Whistler Bungee for partially hosting our bungee experience.