In case you were unaware, I love all things Canada, Canadians, and anything with a maple leaf on it. And I fell in love a little bit more this week.
In Bachelor-speak, Canada and I have a real connection. A strong, no-need-for-a-reassurance-rose-on-a-group-date kind of connection. So the idea that my love would grow with a visit to the beautiful mountains of Whistler was almost an impossibility. Its beauty though can overcome you.
The Whistler area strikes a good balance between refinement and scrappiness. Picture sipping a glass of local Okanagan Valley (BC's wine country) wine at a loft restaurant overlooking scrappy mountain bikers barrel down trails on Whistler Mountain. Or teeing off at a pristine course while keeping an eye on the forest perimeter for bears. It's a pretty cool mix.
While winter here is a well-known skiing paradise, summer seems to boast just as much adventure, allure and wonder. Case in point when yesterday I took a few chairlifts to the top of Whistler Mountain, where the peaks are still snow-covered, and a black bear roamed about 50 feet below me. And hikes to a few sparkling, local lakes envelop you in the smell of cedar and refreshing shade from the tall pines on a warm day. The kind of natural beauty that even motivated me to pull myself away from a breezy, lakefront patio where delicious mojitos were served and Kings of Leon played overhead. It must be pretty breathtaking to pull me away from that scene.
And while my recent independent travel has made me a staunch supporter of it, I've loved convening each night with one of my dearest friends Mona after her conference and my exploration to discuss, laugh, and reconnect.
On top of it all, I got to celebrate Canada Day. My beloved's birthday! Seems connections abound in Canada for me... Nature, friends, culture. Sorry Trista and Ryan. My bet for longest-lasting love is on me and the neighbor to the north.