Rim Rock Cafe – Whistler

 

We happened to have a gentleman sitting in between Patrice and I on a flight back to Seattle and he worked at this restaurant. He told us that after we had mentioned we were going to be in Whistler. He highly recommended the place so we made note of it. We did in fact eat dinner there and we have to say it was one of the best dinners we have had anywhere in the world. I am not kidding and I do literally mean anywhere in the world that we have eaten. We have enjoyed great food everywhere we have traveled but this was special. Let me tell you what we had.

Appetizers:
Seafood Antipasto for one – chef’s sampler of smoked and marinated seafood
What a marvelous collection of tastes this dish has.

Beef Carpaccio – sliced beef tenderloin, pickled cipollini onion,shaved parmesan, capers and mustard
I must say I make this dish myself and this was even better than my version. We really enjoyed the pickled cipollini onion.

Main Course:
Venison – porcini mushroom crusted, truffle butter, spatzle and porcini cream
This was amazing. I don’t know what more I can say than look at what was served with a beautiful piece of Venison.

The service was perfect, as was the wine selection I might add. We ate more than I mentioned but I am getting hungry writing this and it is a very long drive to go there for dinner ­čÖé

Pan Pacific Mountainside – Whistler BC

As the name implies, you walk out of the back door and there are ski lifts right there. It is in a beautiful setting and it is very well kept too. The staff couldn’t have been nicer either. We stayed in a Studio and had great kitchen facilities.

We really felt at home and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere during our stay. The only thing that seems out of line was parking was on top of the room and was expensive! At most places you end up paying for parking but usually there is a discount, at least for guests. I know it is a minor thing but it is just annoying to me. Why not just add it to the price of the room and let me think it is free. It always rubs me when you find out there is add ins. Don’t even get me started with paying for Internet at Hotels.

Aside from the price for parking we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We went up on the lifts one day and took what they call “Peak to Peak”. Peak to Peak is the longest unsupported span in the world. The weather was just gorgeous while we were there also.

We look forward to staying there again next time we are in Whistler.

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort – Review

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

The setting for this place is absolutely stunning. The views are just as good too. It is located on the west side of Vancouver Island in a town named Ucluelet. We stayed in a one bedroom Condo and the view was great there too. After you take everything in though things start going downhill from there. Everyone of the staff that we met seemed very good too but the place just didn’t seem to have its act together like it should. Let me explain our experience and you can be the judge.

Check-in:
We arrived about Noon and were told our place was almost ready. So we figured we would wait so we could check it out before we went into town to get anything we might need. Since it was lunch time we went into the restaurant to have lunch, (the restaurant is covered later). After a long lunch we went to the front desk and asked about our room, again it was almost ready. I should note that we did not receive any information about the resort when we arrived, or any of it’s facilities. We asked about WiFi and sat in the bar waiting for our room. It wasn’t until after we left that we found out that they had a Business Center, that would have been better for us. We arrived at Noon like I said and it was 3:30pm before we were given keys. Every time we checked – and I checked often, it was almost ready. Not a good way to start.

The Room:
The condo was great and had a nice balcony looking out over the water. We brought some movies and tried to use the player in the condo but couldn’t get it to work. We called the front desk and they sent someone down and sure enough it was broken. They would have someone look at it the next day they said. Ok, so much for watching the movie… The next day we got ready to leave and put some items into the safe, but it wouldn’t lock. We called the front desk and they said 20 minutes and someone would be there. An hour later, we called again and were told he was on his way. After a couple more calls and 2 and a half hours later a guy showed up and put new batteries in the safe. While he was there I asked him about the DVD player. He agreed it was broken and said he would take care of it. When we returned He DVD player was replaced and worked just fine. A couple days later we were about ready to go to the front desk and check out when the phone rang and it was someone saying they were going to come over and look at our DVD player. I said that it had been taken care of a couple days prior and we were checking out.

The Restaurant:
Lunch the first day took 45 minutes to get served from the time we ordered. The food was good, not over the top by any means, and was COLD. It seemed that it had been plated and then sat somewhere. Not to impressive and the place wasn’t busy. I had Mussels and Clams at room temperature with some grit. Patrice had Seafood Chowder that was at room temperature with skin on the surface from setting so long.

They had a breakfast item on the menu that I just had to try. It was Eggs Schroeder, now when a place has a dish named after you,(yeah right), you have to try it. So the second day we were there we went to breakfast. I ordered Eggs Schroeder of course and Patrice ordered their signature dish. Yes she ordered “Eggs Black Rock”. My Eggs were great but…the dish Patrice ordered had 5 ingredients total, and one of those was Sausage. There was no Sausage on her plate. We sent the dish back. Meanwhile I ate mine and we still waited for hers to arrive. They did apologize and didn’t charge us for her dish. But it took us exactly twice as long as it should have to complete breakfast. They were now 0 for 2 and we decided we would not eat there again. Besides I enjoy cooking and we have a kitchen in the Condo.

Summary:

To the credit of the staff, both the restaurant and the┬áMaintenance┬áman, it turns out that they went to the General Manager and told her that they thought we weren’t having a stay like we should. She sent us a bottle of┬áChampagne┬áand a personal note that included her contact information.

Before we checked out I sent an email to the resort Manager explaining what we had been through and even made some recommendations to her. Now it took me some time to write this up and explain things properly in an email, and I didn’t do it just because I am such a nice guy, (although I am). We did it to provide feedback, which is hard to get when you run a business, and…In the past, whether it be good or bad feedback, we have always either got a discount on a future stay, or a discount on our bill. It is always good to know you aren’t wasting your time and that what you said didn’t go into a black hole. We were happy to learn that our email was the topic of her Management meeting. It is good to know you didn’t waste your time and that actions were taken as a result of feedback. We also learned that ┬áthat there were some changes in personnel at the restaurant that were underway prior to our email.

There are a number of places to stay in that general area and as beautiful as this place is, by no means is it a 5 star experience by any stretch. That is the downside. On the upside, they responded before we officially complained and took action when we went through official channels too.

For our next trip there we will check this place out for another stay.

WiFi Hot Spots – Traveling Locations

When we travel we use the Internet A LOT! Sometimes it can be very frustrating to find a place quickly and even if you ask someone they don’t always know. We have found good WiFi even when people have told us there was none available.

The purpose here is to keep an updated list as best we can of where you can find WiFi. As people send us other information about places we will try to keep this updated also.

NORTH AMERICA
Alaska – Traveling on a Cruise ship in most ports, at least in Southeast Alaska Seaport Cyber has been good for us. Most times you can use it directly from the ship with pretty good quality and it isn’t that expensive to use. They usually have office locations in the ports also.

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
Columbia, Santa Marta – Santa Marta Digital – Look for access on your PC by that name, it is free WiFi

Costa Rica, Puerto de Caldera – Wellcome SPC – Look for access on your PC by that name, it is free WiFi
Costa Rica, Puerto Limon – On shore there are many locations close to the port docks. Look for signs.

Mexico, Cozumel – End of Pier, Three Amigos, sometimes they charge but not always, so check. They like to play LOUD MUSIC so be aware of that.

Panama, Panama City – Just off dock at Alberto’s, buy a drink and it is free.

Roatan, Mahogany Bay – Look for the Red Roof, Crazy Ice Gelato. Buy something and they will give you the password

EUROPE

Denmark, Torshavn(Faroe Islands) – Library free, Bar/Coffee shop free

Iceland, Reykjavik – unknown
Iceland, Isafjordur – Everywhere

Norway, Bergen – Burger King (coffee, Fish Market Bar free
Norway, Flam – NONE
Norway, Kristiansand – Library free

Vietnam – Not to Miss

(in our opinion, which we think pretty highly of)

Places we have seen and enjoyed.

All of these places can be reached easily from Hanoi. Halong is a few hours by van to get to – but sooo worth the trip.

You need a visa BEFORE you an travel to Vietnam – its easy to do this ahead of time. I found this place http://www.myvietnamvisa.com/ for visa on arrival. Quick and fast – but make sure you have it done before you leave.

Picture perfect - park in Adare

Ireland – Not to Miss

Picture perfect - park in Adare

Picture perfect – park in Adare

(in our opinion, which we think pretty highly of)

Some of our favorite places in Ireland to visit

Adare Manor We have stayed here both times we have visited Ireland and LOVE the condos. Self catering means you can cook what you want (if you want too). Downtown is an nice walk past thatched roof cottages, this lovely park (pictured above) and a beautiful church.

Dingle some of the most breath taking scenery you will see on the coast of Ireland

No trip would be complete without a trip to the Cliffs of Mohr

Get in touch with Tim about driving you to any of these places. Tim we have known since our first visit to Adare, you can relax and enjoy the scenery with him at the wheel – he’s a wonderful guide too!!!

Some great places to eat in Dublin:
If you love steak – this is a must do Darwins the staff are outstanding like the food.
And our favorite so far La Cuvee lovely wines, great staff and we can bet your evening here will be just delightful!
Good World Chinese in the temple area – great food, great service warm and friendly staff = a perfect evening.