The October 2004 trip to Vancouver was the first time Hillary saw the mountains in person.
I think the first day or so we were there it was cloudy and dreary and I spent the time showing Hillary my hometown of White Rock. Some sunny days followed and we started going further afield. We were freshly together. I was excited and happy to be around her and I can remember just wanting to show her my love for the mountains and ocean on these excursions.
I distinctly remember coming over the Alex Fraser bridge for the first time on a clear day with Hillary. As you crest the top of it, you get a view of the coastal mountains ahead of you. She commented on them in the distance.
Then we drove over the Second Narrows bridge and the conversation went something like this as we descended the bridge with Seymour and Grouse looming above us.
"Oh, I missed the mountains, it's so good to be back."
"I'd seen pictures but this is... not what I expected. Wow."
The Sea to Sky highway which connects Vancouver to Whistler is a spectacular drive. In particular, the part which goes from Vanvouer to Squamish is something special. The mountains are to your right, the Pacific Ocean to your left. Across Howe Sound is an imposing mountain range.
We stopped at almost every rest stop on that first trip to Whistler. She commented repeatedly on the stunning beauty of everything.
We would go to Whistler at least once every year after we moved to Vancouver. We drove the Sea to Sky highway together probably twenty times. Every time as we wound around the mountains above the ocean we'd appreciate the beauty.
Inevitably either she or I would talk about that 'first trip out west'. It never got repetitive reliving her first exposure to the mountains or my joy at being able to be the one to be there with her.