August 30, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Wells - Dining
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I just returned from a two-week journey around British Columbia, and well, I would have to say one of the most memorable communities was Wells.
The Frog on the Bog cafe jumped out at us with its bright red walls and friendly deck, as did all the shops along the main street. The Pottery studio is as yellow as the sunflower art in the front and the blue and pink Bear's Paw Cafe glowed in the sunset. Of course, I was glowing after scarfing a piece of homemade carrot cake topped with, you guessed it, colourful hot pink icing! Yum!
Dave, the Bear's Paw Cafe owner, shared with me his photo album from all his outdoor adventures around Wells. Turns out the locals are just as welcoming as the painted buildings!
May 14, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Squamish, Surfing & Watersports
Find more information about Squamish - Surfing & Watersports
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The Howe Sound wind forced me to sit lower and lower on the rocks, allowing the jutting spit to block the morning air from reaching my stinging ears. Despite their wet suits, the kite surfers swore at the cool BC water, and shared their energetic hoots and hollers with us onlookers as they stomped the waves. And then they would soar off again, into the snow-capped mountains or Shannon Falls or against the cargo ship docked on the opposite shore. I sat and shot away, and relished in the action as they played. The spit ranks right up there with the best wind-surfing and kite-surfing spots in the world.
May 11, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Attractions
Last night I had the opportunity to have dinner with the beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium. I have been fascinated with belugas ever since I grabbed my pillow, put on my pj's, and joined an aquarium sleepover a few years ago (yes, I brought my young son with me). Despite the late night, it was magical to follow the belugas around the tank and then into my dreams.
So dinner last night was followed by a nice slice of pool-side pie and a splash of "artic" sea water. Those blubbery beluga tails look small, but they can pack a punch! Fortunately I stood up fast enough to evade most of the over-the-fence wave.
And I didn't know this, but you can get into the pool with a trainer to feed, touch, and train one of the belugas. When you are that close to them, there is no way to move when they splash you - full soaking is included in the encounter. Fortunately, so is a wet suit.
Check out the live Beluga cam on the Aquarium website.
January 29, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Gardens
Stanley Park is a spectacular 40 hectare park in downtown Vancouver. It is Canada's largest park and one of British Columbia's top attractions. It is to us Vancouverites what Central Park is to New Yorkers. You may have heard that Stanley Park has recently been hit by violent winter storms, with over 3,000 trees being toppled and parts of the world-famous seawall getting shut down (I saw this morning that news reports have hit France media even!). As devastating as the storms have been, there is still so much beauty within the park, and many reasons to visit. Much of the seawall is still open, as it many of the park's attractions, including the incomparable Vancouver Aquarium
, and great restaurants like the Sequoia Grill
. You should still set aside an afternoon to visit the park while in Vancouver. British Columbia Magazine
is launching a special issue of the magazine, Stanley Park - After the Storm
, to celebrate the park's timeless beauty and capture this point in the park's history. Stanley Park - After the Storm
makes a great memento of a visit to B.C. and helps contribute to the park's restoration.
January 21, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Victoria, Bird Watching
Find more information about Victoria - Bird Watching
A few days ago, I stopped in Goldstream Provincial Park
for a quick look for eagles. I wanted to compare this Vancouver Island
location to the Brackendale
experience I had last weekend (below). Overall, I have to admit I prefer Goldstream. The stream, for which I assume the park takes its name, is smaller than the Squamish River in Brackendale so I was able to count eagle feathers without a telescope. But then, I could smell the pungent spawned-out salmon in a bit more detail as well. Also, the eagles perch in an old-growth temperate rain forest, which creates an ambiance that mentally takes you to the middle of nowhere - just you and eagles (if you are able to ignore the traffic on the highway behind you). Which leads me to the final reason why I like Goldstream better - fewer people. Instead of standing in an exposed bird watching lineup, I sat like a mist enshrouded stump, naturally enclosed with the shrieks of eagles and sounds of the living forest. Goldstream Provincial Park is a short 20 minute drive north from Victoria
January 14, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Squamish, Bird Watching
Find more information about Squamish - Bird Watching
My toes and fingers are still frigid from standing along the Squamish River as I tried to pick out eagles hiding in Brackendale Eagle Provincial Park
across the water. I heard there were approximately 1,700 of them, but I could only count about 50 from where I stood. There were four in particular worth watching, as they bantered at the river shoreline, looking for food and doing what eagles do. A younger one flew across the river, right over my head, and down the path where the other eagle viewers were watching. It was perfect, except for the cold, but I already mentioned that, and as long as I stood in the sun it wasn't too bad. Almost. My camera didn't even begin to have the strength to zoom across the water and capture the eagles antics, but that didn't really matter as there were telescopes for everyone to share. Margaret's weekly radio segment from January 5 also gives you more information on the Annual Eagle Festival & Count, see below.
January 05, 2007 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I just read a great list of things to do for Valentines Day
. My additional recommendations: Harrison Hot Springs
- hit the adults-only pool late at night. Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel
- just for the luxurious rooms. Parkside Restaurant
- romantic, West End location. Miraj Hamman Spa
- can be reserved for just the two of you. Nick's Spaghetti House - noisy, Italian joint, a first date classic!
December 29, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Smithers, Sightseeing Tours
I recently rented the Disney movie Eight Below
about an expedition in Antartica that gets evacuated, leaving the husky dogsled team behind. And yes, I enjoyed it; it had all the required elements of a Disney family flick - adventure, love, friendship, drama, and of course, cute dogs. What I didn't expect was a little bit of Canada thrown in there too. While flipping through the bonus tracks on the DVD, I ended up watching "Running With the Dogs: The Making of Eight Below," and was surprised to find out the gorgeous "Antarctica" scenery was actually filmed on a mountain plateau outside Smithers
, BC (with a bit of Greenland and Stewart
, BC thrown in too). To really get a sense of the area's beauty, you will have to just rent the film, and watch the bonus features. And then perhaps visit.
December 05, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I just read that the Raincity Grill
now has "BC's first totally local mid-winter restaurant menu."
Their 100-Mile Tasting menu consists of all BC ingredients that have been found less than 100 miles from the restaurant. It currently features Polderside Farms Duck Cassoulet Agassiz, described as ‘coco’ bean and pork belly ragout, house made Berkshire pork sausage, confit of duck leg. For dessert, Ricotta Cheesecake with roasted Denman Island crab apple,‘district of kent’ grown hazelnut wafer, sage honey. YUM!! You can't get more BC than that!
The Raincity Grill is well-known in Vancouver for its high-quality West Coast Cuisine. See The Tyee
for the full article.
December 03, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Theatre & Performing Arts
Find more information about Vancouver - Theatre & Performing Arts
Last month, I attended an evening at the Orpheum to listen to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
. Sorry it has taken so long to write about it, but…yawn, I am still a bit sleepy from the event.
I purchased tickets to the first of the new Horizons series. Here is what the VSO had to say about the concerts: “The brand new Horizons series explores music that is cosmopolitan, bold, and adventurous.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the VSO. But except for the charisma of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, I would have to say the evening was anything but cosmopolitan and bold. The only adventure I had that evening was walking along Granville Street to get to the theatre.
In all fairness, despite not getting what I expected, the music was beautifully played. Just like a lullaby.