I ease my aching knees into the hot tub and look out the window onto skiers and snowboarders disembarking from the gondola. It’s been a long day on the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb, especially for a lousy skier like me.
This is our second annual Easter weekend trip to Whistler. The late-season snow is patchy, but there’s so much mountain you can spend days just exploring the higher elevations. To visualize just how big the resort is, consider the trek to Blackcomb Glacier: a ride up the long Excalibur Gondola, Excelerator Chairlift, ski to Glacier Express lift, ski to Showcase T-bar lift, and finally an uphill hike. The payoff is skiing down the face of a glacier. Last year the hike claimed a friend’s wallet just before a storm came in.
The rest of the gang gradually trickles into our two-bedroom + loft condo rental at Powder’s Edge. Jesse suggests we all explore the village for discount ski gear while Kelsey stays behind under the pretense of watching the Wisconsin final four game.
When we return, we discover that she has been busy. A series of paper bags lie on the table.
Here’s a closer look at the instructions:
This is no toddler’s Easter egg hunt. The eggs are cunningly hidden. We sprint from room to room and tearing the place apart in our frenzied search. We soon realize that each room features a specific color. This means that once you shake an egg out of a vase in the living room, you can move on to ransacking all the pots in the kitchen.
James climbs into the crawl space and finds the bonus giant silver egg full of portable shots of alcohol. It’s a well-deserved prize since today’s his birthday.
I end up finishing my search at the same time as Jesse and Matt (who has accidentally eaten some of his candy). We work together, spilling the contents of our eggs onto the kitchen island. Each has a different kind of candy in it. One has a bunch of blue jelly beans, another a couple Cadbury eggs.
I’ll spare you all our wild conjecturing (we focus on the colors too much) and go straight to the solution.
Counting up the number of candies in each egg, you get five numbers:
15, 2, 25, 2, 12
These can then be translated to letters:
O, B, Y, B, L
Which are unscrambled to form:
L, O, B, B, Y
If we hadn’t just done a Grimm’s fairy tale themed puzzle escape room the weekend before, we’d probably be stumped.
Scott and Virginia figure it out just before we do, but are focusing their search among the ski gear in the foyer of the condo. With a hint from Kelsey, we discover it references the lobby of the affiliated Hilton. The race is on!
Our trio is distracted multiple times, first by a paper bag full of trash, second by a half-eaten roll of Mentos. Virginia, however, remains focused and rushes up to the receptionist. He hands over the prize: an Easter basket full of candy, alcohol, and other goodies.
In the aftermath, we try to make the place look like less of a war zone. We debate going out dancing, but instead create our own club named Tammy Bahémuz. Our club’s best feature, besides the sign on the door and the bag hanging from the ceiling, is the invention of an Easter egg drinking game: Mama Hen.
The “mama hen” spins the giant silver egg on the kitchen table. Then the “yolkers” set down empty beer cans in a defensive perimeter around the spinning egg while the “shellers” flick smaller eggs to try to shoot it down. If the egg stays on the table, the yolkers win and the shellers drink. If it falls off, vice versa.
We celebrate James’s birthday with cupcakes before moving the party to the en-suite hot tub. Long story short, it’s a memorable night for those who can remember it.
Detour: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
To build on the springtime Easter spirit, the Glowskis and I hit up the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on the way home. Happy springtime!