May 12, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Sightseeing Tours
Find more information about Vancouver - Sightseeing Tours
British Columbia has, yet again, won the RV-friendly Welcome Mat Award! For the fourth year in a row, Good Sam Club members (1 million of them) have voted British Columbia as the most RV-friendly province to visit. I have spent more than a few nights in a camper (small C class) and have would to agree – not that I’m biased or anything.
May 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Whistler, Sightseeing Tours
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The Whistler Mountaineer
has just launched a fantastic new rail service to/from Whistler this week. I was really, really lucky to be on the inaugural train. The journey takes about three hours each way. I've driven the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler
many, many times, so for me, the train experience was very cool. You can still see the scenic highway from some of the stretches of track. But I thought the best part was travelling through the areas which you can't see by car. There's a section that goes through the Cheakamus Canyon. They actually slow the train down to give everyone a really good look at the rapids and cliffs. Further north, you overlook the top of Brandywine Falls. There are two levels of service on the train -- Glacier Dome and Coast Classic. The Glacier Dome is the premium service and includes hot, plated meals and a more panoramic rail car. The Coast Classic service has large windows and offers chilled meals. For BC residents only
, there is a special $99 round trip introductory rate if you book before June 30th.
April 26, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Silver Star Mountain Resort, Skiing & Snowboarding
Find more information about Silver Star Mountain Resort - Skiing & Snowboarding
I made it to Vernon for my first and last run of the year on the Easter weekend and all I can say is... FANTASTIC!!! I arrived and stayed overnight in Vernon on Thursday night and headed for the hill on Friday morning. I left Vernon at 9:30am and I was strapped in my bindings at 10:30am. Ok, i'm not the die-hard-boarder making it there for first tracks... but why bother when we had the whole hill to ourselves?! We still found the runs where no one had been all day! Fresh tracks - CHECK! Perfect spring skiing conditions: weather and snow - CHECK! Exhausted by the end of the day - CHECK! Do it again the next day?! - CHECK! Yes, for a day pass of $53 the resort had a special deal that weekend: $53 for a 4 day pass! How could we resist? The second day was even better only because it had snowed overnight and left us fresh powder in the morning! For the rest of the day the weather was pretty good minus the interludes of fog but we had moments where it was snowing when the sun was shining and blue skies were over our heads! It was a pretty surreal moment if you have never experienced it before and NO... I don't smoke wacky grass... The higher elevation winds were moving the snow clouds so fast that the snow fell slower than the winds blew the clouds... Anyways, the backside of the hill was closed on Saturday but the hill still offered a lot of terrain. We managed to find a circuit route that gave us a lot of opportunities to explore off the main runs and into the trees... yah, it was pretty fantastic! For the 3rd & 4th day... I could see the mountain ranges from where I was staying and again, it looked like the snow had fallen overnight... Fresh snow! I wish I could say I went up again but regretfully I had to stay home and get rid of the jello feeling in my legs. Yes, I'm out of shape and yes, I've put myself to shame by blogging this, but I thought I needed to share this to those who are interested in finding a great place to ski or board for next year! Silver S
April 13, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Victoria - Hiking
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hike the famous West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. For one week we were completely disconnected from everything. Just 75KM of nothing but rain forest, beach and the most awesome scenery imaginable.
We hiked the trail from Port Renfrew to Bamfield (south to north). It's supposed to be a little easier because you're still fresh when you do the hardest part first. Others argue it's better do start north so your pack is lighter near the end. The trail leads you along the ocean shoreline, either on the beach, or up on the cliffs. So the only climbing is up and down cliffs. This often involves wooden ladders, some very high and steep. And because you're in a rain forest, you have a fair chance you'll get (you got it) RAIN. That makes the ladders a little more challenging but after climbing a few of them we got the hang of it. we just took our time. We got our fair share of rain during the trip, but it didn't bring our spirits down at all. The scenery and the experience of being in the middle of nowhere made it all worth while.
You're allowed to camp almost anywhere so you can isolate yourself from all other hikers if you like. We chose the safety of the bigger campsites, equipped with bear locks and outhouses. We're not the most experienced multi-day hikers so we liked to stay close to people who knew what they were doing better than us. The bear locks in particularly are very useful because a couple of times we had to hang our food up in a tree to make sure the bears wouldn't get to it. And performing this activity in the dark and rain is not ea
March 31, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Quesnel, Kayaking & Canoeing
Find more information about Quesnel - Kayaking & Canoeing
Last night I attended a slide show presented by 3 members of the Blackwater Paddlers Club. The slide show titled “Spring into Paddling” showed photos taken of rivers and lakes in and around the Quesnel area. Stunning images of the Cottonwood River, Blackwater River and Quesnel Lake, all showcasing the beautiful, natural, unspoiled environment we live in.
Paddle members John Marien, George Ryan and Jerry McFetridge set off in July 2005 for their ultimate paddle adventure. They toured the Horton River in North West Territories and paddled to the Arctic Ocean and shared with us photos from their 26 day voyage. They were without human sight or contact for 25 of the 26 day tour, having the company of rain for 21 of the 26 days and sighting 11 Grizzly Bears. The wildlife appeared abundant especially the bird population. The water in the river was so clear you could see the rocks on the river floor from the back row of the Correlieu Theatre where I was seated.
I was really surprised to see such a diverse range of ages and interests in the audience that evening. Over 200 Quesnel and area residents came for a glimpse of an adventure only few would dare to dream about. It really made me think about adventure, exploring and the next canoe I see I’ll buy!
For more information on the Blackwater Paddlers Club; log onto www.quesnelpaddlers.com or swing by 337 Reid St Quesnel and talk to John Marien at Quesnel Ski & Outdoor.
March 31, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Victoria - Dining
Funky and whimsical, those are the two words that come to mind as I sit and eat my yogurt, mango, banana parfait (served in an ice cream sundae glass) with raisin toast on the side. The walls are grass green to match the wheat grass growing in pots above the bar. Metallic cake pans adorn the walls adjacent to the front door and Godzilla perches above my table peering into my oh-so-freshly-squeezed orange juice. I am in rebar
, a restaurant that proclaims to serve Victoria’s healthiest and funkiest food. At this point, I would tend to agree.
The waitress talks loudly about her gourmet picnic the day before and a regular customer makes the rounds hugging the staff. The juice bar menu includes items with names like Capital Iron Basement, Haiku and Cathedral Groove. My vinyl tablecloth explodes with an over-the-top flower pattern in primary colours. Overall, healthy for my tummy, entertainment for my ears and eyes.
The kitschy corner restaurant is in Bastion Square, downtown Victoria
March 30, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Kelowna - Dining
I had dinner at the Old Vines Restaurant at the Quails’ Gate Winery
a few weeks back. I must admit the food was fabulous – while I was hesitant purchasing a Thai fusion plate at a BC winery, the dish was incredible, especially following an afternoon of wine tasting at other vineyards.
Along with the tab, I picked up a little tidbit I thought I would share with you. Quail’s Gate holds Wine Appreciation Evenings, where you can “learn about the history of Quails’ Gate’s wines and winemaking, taste wines and explore the art of food & wine pairing.” Sounds like a rather nice way to get into the Okanagan mood. Reservations required, email email@example.com.
March 23, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Duncan - Dining
Food and drink are without a doubt two of my favourite things and one of the best ways to enjoy them is by touring the vineyards and farms of the Cowichan Region on beautiful southern Vancouver Island. With over a dozen vineyards and the only estate cidery in BC, Cowichan is the second largest wine region in the province and becoming well known for it's character and culinary delights. The vineyards are all fairly small and the growers and vintners are generally available to spend time talking to visitors about their craft. The quality and variety of foods grown and produced in the area is one of the main reasons that world class chefs are making this area their home. You can take part in culinary workshops, demonstrations and gourmet pot luck dinners held in many homes and commercial kitchens. Local chefs can often be found sharing their craft at local festivals and events throughout the year. Culinary retreats and accommodations with fully equipped gourmet kitchens are springing up throughout the region for guided or self catered culinary enjoyment. A scenic wine tour will take you past diverse farms to collect seasonal fruits and vegetables, visit the cheesemaker and organic bakery in historic Cowichan Bay and buy fresh fish & seafood straight from the fishermen. Learn about wild mushrooms and have a guide take you into the forest in search of these elusive delicacies. You can even visit local potters and glass makers along the way to collect your dinnerware for a truly authentic Cowichan feast. After a bountiful day of gathering you can bet that dinner is going to be great ! http://www.visit.cowichan.net
March 23, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Quesnel, Cross-Country Skiing
Being an avid downhill skier the idea of pushing & sweating my way through a ski run was a hard sell but enough harrassing from good friends Sunshine & Victor and the "excuse" reserve pathetically low I decided to check it out. Cross country skiers always look incredibly fit and healthy and for good reason, it is a physical work-out but after one time I was hooked. I was so impressed by the professional standards of the trail network, the maintenance and constant work was evident. We set off at 7:00pm, minus 12, on the 3km of lit trails, under the stars and among the silence. It was such a great night and such a great facility, we are so lucky to have this kind of devotion to a passion as the Cariboo Ski Touring Club has displayed; it is a true asset to our community, region and province. Hallis Lake Ski Trails - check it out! www.caribooski.ca
March 22, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Art Galleries & Artists
Find more information about Vancouver - Art Galleries & Artists
Don't be surprised if you're walking around in Vancouver and you see a man hanging off a cable as in this picture (by CharlieBrown
) I pulled of Flick. It's the filming of X-men 3 last year. This is one of many movies that was shot in Vancouver. The TV and film business is booming and Vancouver and movie and TV sets are everywhere. Especially the Vancouver Art Gallery
seems to be a favorite spot. So keep an eye out for the little "crew" signs, large mobile dressing trucks, large lights and flying men on cables during your next visit. You might even spot a celebrity.