It was great to have Rita Watts join me on a weekend trip up to Whistler to enjoy two free concerts staged by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra featuring popular classical music in the Whistler Olympics amphitheatre.

Because we signed up for a package deal for two nights at the Crystal Lodge in Whistler (cost approximately $170 each including parking and tax) we were presented with VIP tickets to front row centre seats at the concert. Plus we had VIP invitations to a lavish wine and hors d'oeuvres after-concert reception to meet soloist Karen Gomyo, violin, conductor, John Morris Russell, and many familiar and well loved musicians from the VSO. What a thrill!

The weather wasn't of the best - and for the first night out there in the open, having come ill prepared for a bone-chilling wind, I just about froze into immobility! The second night was much better, as both Rita and I were muffled up to the ears!

Apart from the evening concerts (the lawns were packed with eager fans - all bundled up while enjoying picnic dinners prior to the performance), Whistler's restaurants were roaring - patrons drinking wine, laughing and chatting. Window boxes along the pedestrian lanes brimmed over with flowers, families with kids, grandkids and dogs thronged the walkways, and groups of teens plugged into their i-pods shoaled past me. High above the village, ski lifts were going full throttle.

I'm going back again next year. Wanna come too?

Outdoor dining amid a profusion of flowers

Whistler Wheels

Picture perfect

The Olympic Plaza

Memorial to Luge athlete killed during the Games

Posing for pictures on the Olympic rings

Pre-concert picnic supper

An ice-cream cone makes the wait worthwhile

An eager audience waits for the concert to start

Front row seats.

Bundled up against a brrrr...cold wind.

Soloist Karen Gomyo plays Tchaikowsky's violin concerto

Lyrical slow movement