Also, it turned out that the tickets weren’t just for the three hour chocolate fondue + snowshoeing tour as I originally thought, but for the four hour cheese fondue dinner + chocolate fondue + snowshoeing tour. Which was an extra good thing, because Alicia gave up chocolate for Lent (which started yesterday), so if it had only been chocolate fondue that would have sucked for her!
First of all, we got there way super early because I’m paranoid about driving up the mountain in the snow and there were rumours of a blizzard in Chilliwack moving swiftly towards us and 20 cm on fresh snow on the North Shore mountains, so we left really early to make sure that we got there on time and instead the roads were completely clear on the way up and we were an hour early instead of the required 30 minutes. The upside of all the fresh snow was that we had awesome conditions for snowshoeing in – amazing, fresh fluffy snow!
Now, when I hear snowshoeing, I always think of this kind of snowshoe:
I’m pretty sure my dad had a pair like that when I was little (although I don’t remember him ever going snowshoeing). Anyway, apparently that’s not what people wear to go snowshoeing; these days, they look like this:
If you’ve never been snowshoeing before – it’s pretty much like walking. But through a gorgeous forest on fluffy white snow that you can actually walk across rather than fall into (and the snow up on Cypress is so deep that in places your feet are level with the roof of cabins!)
After the trek through the beautiful forest, made all the more beautiful by the softly falling snow, punctuated by, imho, far too many stops where the guide talked about trees and public service-like safety tips and games with stupid names (which I may or may not be saying are stupid due to being one of the first teams eliminated in said game)1, we arrived at Hollyburn Lodge for dinner.
First up was a cup (or three) of hot apple cider. I *love* apple cider. Also, we discovered through this photo that Hollyburn Lodge has a ghost who looks not unlike the V for Vendetta guy:
Now, I’ve never had cheese fondue before and, as it happens, cheese fondue = a hellava lot of cheese! It was tasty, to be sure, but I just could not keep up with all that cheese! Especially knowing that chocolate was on its way! (Alicia, on the other hand, decided to fill up on the cheese so she wouldn’t feel so deprived when the chocolate appeared on the scene).
I’ve had chocolate fondue before and last night’s fondue reminded me of a very important fact that I learned the first time I had chocolate fondue: there aren’t that many fruits I like dipped in chocolate. When it comes to chocolate, I’m something of a purist – I like my chocolate dark and unadulterated with fruits or nuts or nutty fruits or random flavours. Our chocolate fondue came with a number of dipping options: bananas, grapes, pineapple, apple, orange, angel food cake and marshmallows. I would *totally* have loved marshmallows dipped in chocolate, but you know my policy on marshmallows. So I tried all the other options, but really, I would have been happier if I’d just been able to eat spoonfuls of the chocolate. I know, I know – I’m totally sexy. Anyway, I decided I liked the bananas dipped in chocolate the most. Mmm… bananas dipped in chocolate.
At dinner, Alicia and I got to chatting with some of our fellow snowshoers and found that some of them were planning to wait for the shuttle bus down the mountain and since I had room in my co-op car, I agreed to give them a lift. And it’s a good thing I did because it turned out that so much snow had fallen over the four hours that we were out in the woods that my car was stuck in the parking lot and they had to push me out!
1Now, don’t get me wrong, I liked our guide. He was pretty nice and all, but I just would rather have done more snowshoeing and less standing around.