It only takes a short visit from a friend to make you realize how lucky you are to live in Whistler.
Shame on me for forgetting this.
When I first got here two and a half years ago I couldnt stop looking up. Id get off the bus at the end of Function Junction and walk north to the office, wondering how on earth I ended up in this paradise.
I couldnt imagine that I would ever stop being amazed.
But last weekends visitor has made me realize that I havent looked up or around in a really long time. Could it be that Ive simply gotten used to Sea to Sky country, that I have begun to take all this natural beauty surrounding me from granted?
The exclamations began on the car ride up from the city. They got louder as we drove by the Tantalus mountain range, quieted down a little in awe as we drove through Whistler and then got really loud on the way past Green Lake.
If youve had a visitor here, you know exactly what Im talking about.
I began playing the role of the offhanded tour guide, routinely pointing out the sites like Black Tusk, Fissile, Wedge, with a little wave of my hand.
When we got out of the car the next wave of exclamations were about the smells all around, particularly the smell of clean, fresh air.
She was practically drinking it in, taking in deep breaths of mountain air, still pointing above.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," I said as a hurriedly unpacked the car. "We have fresh air here. Its great."
The next morning on the way for a ski the excitement began just as soon as I turned the car out of my driveway and Wedge Mountain and Sapphire Bowl came into view.
Next, Green Lake was shimmering in the sun and rising up behind it was Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
Little pockets of clouds cast an air of mystery to the forests.
I must confess in the morning when I pull out of my driveway, Im generally rubbing my eyes awake, juggling a coffee cup and trying to focus on the CBC while running through the long list of things that I have to do that day.
Rarely am I looking up at Wedge Mountain just for the sake of it.
"Youre so lucky to live here!" she said.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Its great. Did you remember that ski pass I gave you?"