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Crazy fun - for a price - in Whistler

Updated January 2011

Think Thelma and Louise with a few twists. With our daughters Maya (6) and Sophie (13) in tow, my identical twin sister Andrea and I took off for a few days of skiing in Whistler, B.C.

We left in no great hurry on a Sunday afternoon. We had not intended to end up in downtown Vancouver, but somehow we found ourselves on the steps of Vij’s -- a famous high-end Indian cuisine restaurant just off Granville on West 11th Street. With a reported 90-minute wait (at 8 pm on a Sunday!), the hostess recommended we try their swank sister restaurant next door, Rangoli. Rangoli’s reputation according to Vij’s: same cuisine, just more laid-back and casual.

The restaurant’s one-inch brick red tiles from floor to ceiling make a warm backdrop for the glass and stainless contemporary setting. We were greeted by a charming host, who assured us the tables were about to clear, and we would be seated within minutes. We were. We instantaneously eyed the cassava root French fries, served up with mint mango chutney and tamarind date dipping sauces. Before our "quick stop" dinner was over, we had demolished a second round of fries – an absolute kid pleaser that mommies are sure to help finish.

The lamb, beef and lentil kabobs served with date-tamarind chutney were a source of amusement for the kids (think “Grossology”). Our entrees included pressure-cooked natural beef and vegetables and yogurt and tamarind marinated grilled chicken. Both entrees were excellent, served with rice and delicate naan. The kids swooned over the mango-pineapple lassie – smooth, fresh, and not too sweet. Service was a bit a slow, but the charming staff and delicious authentic Indian food more than compensated for the lack of speed from the kitchen.

We pulled into the Four Seasons Whistler at 11 p.m., greeted by a melody of beautiful and thoughtful touches, including teddy bears to welcome our tired daughters. Our luxurious and spacious room had personalized plates of goodies for the girls. The girls celebrated our arrival by decorating gingerbread cookies.

Here is the spectacular symbiosis of this group: No one was even going to think about getting up early to ski on morning one (or two or three, if you were not subject to ski lessons).

We eased out of our deliciously warm fine linen beds to enjoy a leisurely room-service breakfast of fresh fruit, extraordinary blueberry muffins, coffee and hot chocolate. The five-star service at the Four Seasons prevents you from doing much heavy lifting. Your ski equipment requirements are faxed to the Four Seasons Ski Concierge situated in Blackcomb, near the lifts and ski school. This is easy living, if you can afford it.

Maya and I stayed on the magic carpet ski area, getting her comfortable for her next two days of lessons, while Sophie and Andrea began their adventure up to Seventh Heaven – a great area for blue skiers.

We all met at the bottom at the end of a gloriously sunny, perfect spring ski day only to be met with disaster. I was hit by a thoroughly out-of-control adult female skier (no, not a punk snowboarder!). Ski patrol personnel surrounded us, and my protective twin sister was ready to punch the indescribably crazy skier. Here is the silver lining: The kids were safe, and I was at just the right hotel to pamper my cracked ribs with spa indulgences.

And then, there was Dave.

The staff at the Four Seasons seemed to have an APB out on this red-headed twin with rib fracture, including Dave, the extraordinarily sweet security man who delivers ice and good wishes around the clock. So, while the rest of the team skied, working hard for their hot chocolates and fries, for the next two days, I read in the Jacuzzi, sweated in the eucalyptus steam, and had the best facial of recent memory. I felt courageous and valiant just getting Maya off to her ski lessons on time with my body feeling like I had lost a heavyweight fight. Maya’s two days of ski lessons were exceptional. I have never had a child gleefully enter lessons with strangers with such joy. Her skiing improved exponentially with the “pip pip cheerio” encouragement of the gorgeous team of instructors.

Our routine of going to bed at 10 p.m., and waking with fresh croissants and fruit tipped the love – hate feelings about our usual ski routine.

If you go:

Four Seasons Resort Whistler - Rooms start at $304 CAD. Ski packages available.

Rangoli - Fresh, fabulous Indian food in downtown Vancouver, B.C.  

Rim Rock Café – On Highways 99, just past Creek Side: out-of-this-world pureed butternut squash soup, sable crusted with pecans/macademia nuts and mango, best buttered noodles.

Umberto’s – The best pesto of memory. Delightful traditional Tuscan dining.

Mongolie Grill - Load your bowl with an amazing array of ingredients from Udon noodles, rice noodle, veggies, chicken, beef, to shrimp, with a variety of sauces that delight the senses. Beware: The filled bowl can be quite pricey –so share them!

Ziptrek - Explore the forest from the treetops as you fly through the air on a zip line. 

Tobogganing - If you are 36” tall, you can feel the wind in your face cruising down the tubing hills located in the Base 2 zone on Blackcomb.

Alayne Sulkin is ParentMap's publisher.

This article originally appeared in the February, 2008 issue of ParentMap.

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