June 27, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Lytton - Attractions
I just read about this and although it sounds kinda kooky, it could be a unique way to spend Canada Day. Hell’s Gate Airtram
in the Fraser Canyon is celebrating Canada Day (this Saturday, July 1st) by breaking their world record of 230 flavours of fudge on site at one time in the Fudge Factory. Sounds like there will be free samples of gooey goodness...
June 23, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I've found my new favourite restaurant in Vancouver. Located on the south side of False Creek, east of Granville Island and west of the Cambie Street Bridge, you'll find Stamps Landing. And tucked in a corner of this square on the seawall is Ocean 6 Seventeen Restaurant. It's tiny - probably about 45 seats in total - and faces out onto the water just a few feet away, overlooking a marina filled with sailboats. The menu is fresh, extensive, generous and well-priced. However, I haven't explored it as much as I should, because I've gotten hooked on their Squid dish - lightly coated in cornmeal and served with tomatilla sauce. That and a glass of Smoking Loon Viognier out on the patio, and I'm set!!
June 22, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Prince Rupert, Dining
Find more information about Prince Rupert - Dining
When asked what makes his freshly-made-at-the-table Caesar salad better than all the rest, Luke replied, “There isn’t a waiter in the world that doesn’t think theirs is the best. They’re all wrong – mine is.” I was dining at the Masthead
restaurant in Cowichan Bay with a bunch of friends, and a few bottles of wine. Turns out Luke’s Caesar has a bit too much anchovy for me, but combined with a local Pinot Gris, I wasn’t complaining. We took turns guessing which movie the pianist was playing his songs from. Was that from a Ginger Rogers movie or Fred Astaire? Ah... Sahara.
More than a few of us commented on how nice it was to get such fine dining in a small town.
June 20, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Duncan - Museums
If you have read any of my previous entries, you will know I am a big fan of small museums. I walked into another unique one a few weeks ago in Cowichan Bay. I was actually trying to go for a stroll down one of the main piers, but as it turns out the pier is actually the museum.
As I walked down the pier, I entered a series of covered sheds (like small covered bridges). As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so click here
to check it out.
One of the sheds is set up for kids to build their own toy boat to take home. In another shed, I particularly liked the Johnson Outboard motor from 1947 that was on display – very retro chic in a maritime sort of way. At the end of the pier, there is a pavilion that currently exhibits over 30 hand-made miniature boats.
The maritime centre also restores old boats and offers boatbuilding shops, which are held in the onshore workshop. Inside, the smell of freshly carved wood hit me like a winter gale in open water. There, I met Herb Rice, a resident Coast Salish Artist, who was carving elaborate doors for a private home. Cowichan Bay is located on Vancouver Island
, just south of Duncan
June 17, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Atlin, Backcountry Skiing
First, let me apologize for not writing about this months ago, when you could have hopped on a plane and land in Northern BC
immediately. But, perhaps a winter story in summer isn't such a bad idea - it might help cool things down a bit on these hot, almost summer days we seem to be experiencing (yes, I am bragging - it has been tank-top weather here lately). I was flying to the Yukon in March and happened to be sitting by a group of travelers from Switzerland. Turns out they were all heading to Atlin
, (which just so happens to be known as the "Little Switzerland of the North," as I just read on our website) for some spring heli-skiing. They were all decked out in high-end branded downhill ski clothing, i.e., Volkl, and looked like quite sleek and serious skiers (as opposed to baggy-clothed, laid-back boarders). I must admit, it seemed a bit odd to me to see an elite bunch from Switzerland, land of world-famous skiing, head to the most northern point in British Columbia for some snow. I confess that until that day I knew very little about Atlin and their corner of the world. Anyhow, when our plane flew over Atlin, every passenger looked out the window. The view was spectacular. Puffy, white mountains stretched out. Glaciers bounced sunlight right back at us. Snow, snow and more snow. The plane was silent except for oohs and aahhhs. The guy sitting next to me said, "This is a once in the lifetime trip for me, I have always wanted to come here." Looking out at the view, I could definitely understand. In fact, I was half ready to don a pair of expensive sunglasses and join their crew. And now, I suppose, if you so feel inclined, you have all summer and another nine months to plan your trip there too - and save all your pennies. And then, perhaps next winter while you are sipping an apres-ski drink, I will write an
June 17, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Quesnel, Sightseeing Tours
Find more information about Quesnel - Sightseeing Tours
I was lucky to be invited on the Rocky Mountaineer Vacations train as apart of a FAM tour. Accompanying me, was Quesnel dignitaries, tourism industry people and anyone who had worked with the luxury rail tour company when their quest for an overnight stop began many years ago. The Fraser Discovery Route is one of the newest adventures on the train, it takes you from the beautiful mountains in whistler to the breath taking mountain views in Jasper. Quesnel was fortunate to be a perfect in-between spot to stay overnight. The community has shown a huge appreciation from greeting the train each night to inviting the staff and crew out while they stay here. It is a huge leap forward for tourism here in Quesnel. Back to the train adventure; we were seated in the Goldleaf section with this amazing glass dome as our viewing window, first point of business was a champagne and OJ toast to a great trip. As if that wasn't enough we were served fresh coffee and warm homemade muffins as a starter, then we were directed to the dining cart for scrambled eggs and caviar. Along the way the staff narrated points of interest and many wildlife sightings. It was so interesting to watch the international tourists also on the train, absolutely amazed by the sight of a deer, bear or an eagle flying by. These are things we see regularly yet don't seem to take the time to really stop and watch. Although we only went half way, the day was an indulgence of comfort, friendly service, and high quality food with beauty in every corner. It really was about the journey rather than the destination. Rocky Mountaineer Vacation is a success for a reason, at no time is the guestâ??s needs or desires compromised in any way. In fact before you even contemplate the urge for anything; it is offered to you. I have worked in Hospitality and Tourism for over a decade and I was really impressed at the service and commitment this company has to excellence. If you ever get a chance to go......go, you w
June 05, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Campbell River, Museums
Find more information about Campbell River - Museums
Although I appreciate both, I prefer hands-on exhibits to formal, hushed galleries. And when I entered the Museum at Campbell River
I was fascinated with the touchy-feely texture and layout of the award-winning exhibit, which is themed around the Northwest First Nations 9,000 year history in the area, with spotlights on the logging and fishing industries.
My family and I started our visit by entering a small, dim lit theatre where a First Nations story was told through a multitude of elaborately carved wooden masks. The Treasures of Siwidi, a story owned by the Kwakwaka'wakw families (I love that name), tells the journey of a young man to the Undersea World where he encountered a host of supernatural creatures.
The rest of the museum is filled with First Nation artifacts and poles, a cross-section of a felled tree, the life size replica of a 1920’s pioneer floathome, a replicated hotel lobby, rowboats, gillnets, tuna cans and more - each room demanding more and more of our curiousity. My four-year-old spent time driving an antique logging truck while my eleven-year-old practiced netting cod, pumping water and ringing the camp dinner bell (the other visitors laughed at all the noise, not something you typically see while taking two loud and rambunctious kids through a museum). Things quieted down a bit as we settled into the art deco theatre to watch historic film footage of the famous explosion of Ripple Rock.
Overall, a highlight of our trip, something not to be missed.
June 02, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Boating & Sailing
Find more information about Vancouver - Boating & Sailing
I love being outside in Vancouver
in the summertime, especially since my office is about a five minute walk to the waterfront. Last summer, as I was strolling along Coal Harbour, I noticed a boat rental sign. Well… as you can imagine, it didn’t take long to organize a lunchtime boat ride for a few friends. Four of us grabbed hot dogs from a street vendor and boarded our speed boat. Maximum speed in the harbour is S-L-O-W, so we had lots of time to watch float planes, sailboats, cruiseships and Stanley Park go by, although it didn't take long to get beyond the marker and let loose at full throttle.
Within one hour, we roared under the Lions Gate Bridge, zoomed across the inlet to West Vancouver
(nice waterfront mansions to ogle over), zipped up to Lighthouse Park
and flew back again to Coal Harbour. We came back a little “soar” from jumping the waves (WAY too much fun!) and our bellies hurt from laughing. Definitely a perfect way to enjoy a sunny day.
We rented our boat from Coal Harbour Boat Rentals (Telephone 604-682-6257) for $55 per hour, but they do have a smaller one for $30 per h our. Other boat rentals in the Greater Vancouver area include Sewell’s Marina
in Horseshoe Bay (boot over to Bowen Island) and Bonnie Lee Boat Rentals
in Granville Island.
May 15, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Squamish - Hiking
This past weekend brought beautiful weather to Vancouver, Coast and Mountains so to take advantage of it, a small group of us went to Stawamus Chief
(aka “The Chief”) for a hike just outside of Squamish. The Chief is a Provincial Park with picnic tables, grass area, full running washrooms, camping, a little info booth/gift shop where you can snack on ice cream bars and a nice little walk to view BC’s 3rd highest waterfall - Shannon Falls
The hike up the Chief is a little more intense than the walk to Shannon Falls. I found the trail level to be intermediate-difficult. I'm not a big hiker but I found it was a good work out and it's much more scenic than the Grouse Grind. The age range of hikers varied from 7 years old to 65+ and some pet dogs. I would ensure you wear proper footwear, take extra clothing, water and a little snack before you go up. Although we did see a fellow walking up the trail barefooted… he looked like the extreme/outdoorsy type and probably was ‘callousing’ up his feet for some other sport?! Perhaps training for a hot-coal walking contest or he could be just plain crazy.
Anyways, the trial had some man-made steps, ladders and chains to assist you on the steep inclines but majority of the trial was composed of rocks and mother-earth. There are 3 peaks you can hike; one path leading to peak 1 & 2 and another path leading to peak 3. You can also get to peak 3 via peak 2 (map
). We only climbed to the 1st peak where we soaked in the view of the Howe Sound and overlooked the town site of Squamish and the surrounding mountains. It was very breathtaking and serene minus the stark-white topless male teens who were trying to work on their tans (a sure sign that summer is on it’s way...)
We managed to fi
May 12, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I am not a huge fan of oysters, but I’m game to throw one back every now and then - as long as you shove it in a shooter glass full of spicy-something or another with vim and vinegar added in for good measure. That being said, I happened to run into Rodney’s Oyster House
as part of a scavenger hunt yesterday, and I think I may have been instantly converted into one of those obsessed slurpers I keep bumping into.
While I have never been to Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard, I would expect Rodney’s would fit in there just swell, with white-washed wood, hand-painted driftwood signs, hanging buoys and …er, hanging around beach-bum-looking-boys.
Here are two tips I picked up for you. 1. Happy hour is from four to six with oysters for a buck a shuck. 2. In the summertime Rodney (I assume he hangs out there too somewhere) opens up a garden patio for picnics -Wednesday through Saturday 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM (weather permitting). Rodney’s is located in Yaletown