Friday, December 16, 2011

Four-Hour Friendship in Whistler and the Quest for Soup

I woke up this morning and decided to go to Whistler. I clambered up onto Highway 99. Stuck out my thumb - and magically I appeared in this town I'd heard much of.

My first steps in Whistler weren’t the brightest - they were slushy brown steps right after Ryan (whom had just picked me up 60 km ago in his giant truck ) had dropped me off at the public library. A few more slushy steps later and I saw a dapper red-headed chap strumming away on his guitar.

I walked on, used the washroom of the library, and hopped right back out trying to decide if I should go back to the red-headed boy. Few things beat live music and that's really all I wanted. He was still there and I asked if I could listen, as I sat on the bench next to him, and he told me that I could and I made sure I wasn’t keeping him from making money and he told me I wasn’t because he wasn’t there to make money. All clear.

Beautiful rhythms and pickerings came out and I was overjoyed. This was lovely music I could enjoy. He asked if he could sing and had no objections.

As I listened to the words of the songs, I kept hearing, “Margaret,” “Margaret,” “Margaret.”
This song was about Margaret. That's me....

Had I told him my name?
Did he have any idea that he was singing to a Margaret?

Of course I was delighted to hear my name in a song and moved accordingly to such joy. He had a sweet melodic dulcet voice one could easily listen to for extended periods of time.

After the song finished, I told him my name was “Margaret” and a laugh was had after that... and we proceeded to hang out for four hours, until I hitchhiked back to Vancouver.

For perhaps one to two hours, we sat in front of the library in the frigid 2° C weather. He pulled out a harmonica and we jammed with that. The smiles from passerby and encouraging words were assured approval. He taught me to play “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on the guitar, and I handed it back to him as we sang through four verses.

Chris was quick to laugh. Usually smiling. And altogether a wonderful chill guy. And from Ontario (what's with all the Ontarians and where is my fiancé when I need him?).

One older man, Donny (scroll down to see him dancing), came outside multiple times to smoke. We got talking (after I encouraged him to clap) and I later gave him a hug as he went back inside. He made sure I knew where I could find him, Starbucks, so we could hang out if ever I wanted. Later, he told me I had pretty eyes and asked if I wanted a beer. I said, “No thanks,” as I had only eaten a carrot and a few handfuls of Cheerios that day.

Chris took up the cue and said, “Why don’t we go look for some soup?” He knew I really really wanted soup. Really really really really wanted soup in Whistler.

See, Julia, of L’Abri, had told me about a place with wonderful soup in Whistler. She didn’t know the name of it, but she said it was lovely. I set out to Whistler with the hopes in spoiling myself with a cup of delicious soup.

We set out in the slush, meandering around keeping our eyes open for any shops with soup. We spotted an information place and stepped in. Some brochures did have soup, but nothing seemed quite right.

Chris and I walked up to the counter and the front-desk-lady asked if she could help us.

“Yes, I’d like to get some soup.”
Without hesitation she told us to go to Gone Village Eatery - beyond the mailbox, to the left, and through the bookshop. It was beautiful! She knew exactly what I wanted!

I ran out of the door, Chris following, and I skittered her directions out  till we got to the shop with soup. This was not a time to walk. Soup was near! I had to run. I could not contain my excitement as we found Gone. Oh! It was perfect! It was perfect! I got that perpetual grin on as we waited in line for this finest of soup shops. I don't think we ever would have found it without the Info-Lady's guidance.

French Onion Soup Au Gratin with Bread was my order.
How exciting!
Chris got Yam and Bacon.
Equally exciting!

And we found our table. I looked at him and said, “This is the best time I’ve ever had in Whistler.” It was, indeed, the best and only time I had ever had there. “Me too,” he said. ‘Cept he had been to Whistler before so I think it meant a lot more when he said it.

That soup was perfect! It hit the spot and was just what I needed that afternoon.

We walked around the bookshop, read Winnie-the-Pooh quotes, and wandered around Whistler.

We ended up at the Hilton and the front-desk-man helped us find the bear skeleton Chris had seen before, but had forgotten where it was. It was in front of the mineral store and huge! We found the trinket bridge. We found the means of making soup - a can opener in the kitchen shop and fire from the torch in front of a restaurant. We admired a vibrant parking garage. We laughed abundantly and took snow paths, turning left. We went up stairs that led to nowhere but closed off hot-tubs and admired the playground.

And then I realized folks were leaving the slopes - 3 PM, they were closed, which meant now would be the perfect time time hitchhike home. He walked me to Highway 99, hugs were exchanged, and I was sent on my way.

What a terrific time in Whistler, though.

I got to meet an incredible friend within 3 minutes who I got to hang out with for a zealous four to five hours up until I left the town again.

Donny - the wonderful man who offered to take me out for a beer and told me I beautiful eyes. I had to pass up on the beer offer.

This is the song Chris played - "Margaret Downe" by Aidan Knight of Victoria, BC.
After just a few minutes of listening, I recommend it with all my toes.

And a bit more of Aidan Knight for kicks:


  1. Nothing like great music, great friendship, and great soup. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... Soup is good food.

  2. Sounds like a great adventure, and I think Donny is pretty fashionable for an older fellow.


Your words make me grin.

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