MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Hitting the road

Some observations on the world around us, such as it is, or at least such as it is from my vantage point of late...

Some observations on the world around us, such as it is, or at least such as it is from my vantage point of late, of course how could I comment on it from your vantage point as I wasn’t there at the time so….

…..anyway, just got back from a weekend at Whistler due to the fact that my wife’s group had a conference at the world-class resort.

It was wonderful. The weather helped, mid 20s and sunshine every day, but the scenery is spectacular, the people friendly and a relaxed mood add up to a great destination if you have some time on your hands.

And speaking of time on your hands, I had lots of it seeing how my wife was busy with convention stuff most of the time, and the Canucks just happened to be holding their training camp five minutes down the road, so I got my butt out of bed to catch the early practice (9:10 a.m.) on Saturday.

I wasn’t the only one, however, as I had to circle back for overflow parking through the streets of Whistler, but I found my way and easily got a spot against the glass of the Meadow Lake Sports Centre, along with a number of other blue-and-green clad fans.

The first thing you notice upclose and personal is how big these guys are. Yes, they are on skates but having Tom Sestito towering over you mere inches away from where you’re standing helps put things in perspective if you actually had to play against the guy.

It was fun watching fans try to take selfies with him as a backdrop, I’m not sure if they actually got him in the shot or not.

And they’re fast.

The drills are done at breakneck speed and they obviously know what they’re doing because no one looks lost out there, at least not that I could notice.

Highlights included Dan Hamhuis upending Kevin Bieksa in a puck drill along the boards, he took it OK but seemed to be talking to him a lot about it afterwards, although then Bieksa is always talking a lot out there so who knows what he was talking to him about.

It’s hard to say who looked good out there but it’s always exciting to launch a new year, especially with a new coach and new management and a new all-star goaltender and….

The hockey team was also staying at our hotel, or we were staying at there’s (not sure how that works) so we were on alert for Canuck sightings, although I confess there’s only a handful I would recognize in street clothes.

However we did run into a group of young guns studying the menu outside the restaurant one night and easily spotted Zack Kassian (he’s hard to miss, actually), who graciously agreed to  have his picture taken with a young female fan (no, not my wife, but only cause she was in a hurry to get somewhere).

Anyway it was a great weekend and we topped it off by doing the loop by coming back the Duffy Lake way, again spectacular scenery and well worth the trip…

…Seeing how I’m writing a travel column this week I’ll mention our summer venture to the Sunshine Coast for the very first time.

Again, blessed with great weather, don’t know if they’ve ever had a fire ban there before, it was also quite wonderful.

It pretty much lives up to the Super, Natural Beautiful B.C. moniker and it’s likely easier to get to than you might think. A short but spectacular ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay and you’re virtually at Molly’s Reach in Gibsons, and just a stone’s throw from Sechelt and Pender Harbour, all the while you feel like you’re on the Island or at least some island, but you’re not.

It’s hard to describe but it’s much more laid back than Greater Vancouver, even though it’s minutes away, so it has a Kootenayesque, little bit isolated, little bit greener than average feel to it, but there’s signs of wealth there too. Interesting mix and it’s got the ocean and all it has to offer to boot, and the ferry ride back is free, so there. Check it out when you can….

….of course October looms, the rain seems to be with us, and summer is on its way out, but what a great summer it was weatherwise. And hockey season looms so all’s right with the world…..