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.
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.
February 23, 2006 | Tips from Us >
North Vancouver, Snowshoeing
Find more information about North Vancouver - Snowshoeing
A bunch of us went snowshoeing last night at Grouse Mountain
. While the trek beside Blue Grouse Lake and along the side of the ski run was quite easy and relatively short, we quickly learned the best reason to take their Snowshoe Fondue tour had nothing to do with the snow or the shoe - it was the cheese fondue! We ended up in Altitudes Bistro for our dinner complete with 4 different fondues: traditional cheese (yum!), vegetarian bouillon, curry bouillon, and chocolate. Waiting for us were plates of salmon, scallops, prawns, chicken, beef, pork, tofu, potatoes, and an assortment of vegetables. Hands-down, the winner of the evening was the never-ending bread basket. Imagine baguette slices drenched in bubbly warm, melted cheese, which I assumed was french raclette. The other table favourite was the banana bread sloshed in liquid chocolate. However, Jackie prefered to just spoon it down straight. Overall, we all left with in a state of "fondue-pig-out-induced-stupor", as quoted by Mark, and managed to happily wobble our way back to the gondola for our ride down the mountain.
February 14, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Festivals & Events
I was on the bus yesterday and read a poster about Celebration Week
. If you are a fan of the Olympics, you might want to check out these free events promoted as the “countdown to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
On Sunday February 26 there is a Street Party at Library Square from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm, complete with a live broadcast of the closing ceremonies in Turin / Turino, live music, Italian food, cake, and sports demos you can try.
On Wednesday March 1 from 5:30 to 6:30 there is a sunset procession of fire twirlers, stilt walkers and drummers to the official lighting of the Inukshuk stone sculpture that stands over English Bay. This sculpture inspired Vancouver's 2010 Olympic emblem. The event starts at Sunset Beach.
February 07, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Gardens
What a beautiful day! The sun is out, the air is crisp and I walked outside at lunch, along with all the other Vancouverites excited about spring coming. A perfect day to head to the park, I thought. Which reminded me that I wanted to tell you about a great park to visit if you happen to be in Vancouver
on a day not like today, but more like a blustery day in Hundred Acre Woods. Queen Elizabeth Park
is a 52 hectare (130 acre) park at the highest point in the city at 67m (505 ft) above sea level. If you stand above the garden you have a 360 degree view. On bad weather days, when my thoughts head to the Bahamas, I head to the Bloedel Conservatory
at the top of the park. It is a geodesic dome filled with tropical plants, free-flying birds and fish. In fact, I just read on their website that they are the second largest single-structure plant conservatory in North American. A little bit of warmth, rainforest and tranquility; I take off my jacket and stay awhile â?? in fact, I once hung out for a few hours playing cards inside. For less than $5 (depending on age) itâ??s a cool place to get, well, warm!
February 02, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Victoria, Historic & Heritage Sites
Find more information about Victoria - Historic & Heritage Sites
I have lived near the British Columbia coast most of my life, and although I have seen them from near and far, I have never actually looked at a lighthouse lantern up close and personal – until I was in Victoria
earlier this week.
The cool thing about the Trial Island lantern house (as it is called) is that it is on the street - on the corner of Bastion Square and Langley Street to be exact. It kinda resembles a modern industrial street-art installation – picture a giant red robot helmet with a golf ball and weather vane on top.
The plaque on the lantern base states that it was first installed on Trial Island, 4 miles southeast of Victoria, in 1908. It was a beacon there until it was replaced by an acrylic lens in 1970.
The lenses themselves are enormous. I imagined that if I was an ant I wouldn’t want to get too close to this thing when it was working. Zzaaaap. Two flashes every ten seconds would fry me pretty quickly.
The Trial Island Light is on loan to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
, just a few steps away.
January 30, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
Find more information about Vancouver - Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
I know that Vancouver
may not be Prague, and British Columbia may not be Ireland, but we do have plenty of great local beers, and places to drink them, just the same. I recently picked up a copy of the Passport to Beer
guide book which highlights all these great beers, and watering holes. It cost $20 and includes $500 worth of coupons for free beer tours (e.g., Vancouver Island Brewery, Gulf Islands Brewery), 2 for 1 admission (Granville Island Brewing Tours, False Creek Ferries), 2 for 1 appies at local restaurants and even a few merchandise and accommodation discounts.
Might be worthwhile if you are planning on hanging out for a while, or just plan to hit all the best brew spots during your stay. 2 for 1 tapas at Stella’s – let’s go!!
January 26, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Whistler, Festivals & Events
Okay, really now, any week in Whistler
is an entertaining week - especially the après-ski part of the week! That being said, Whistler has sent me a notice about two upcoming weeks that sound a bit more exuberant than the normal amount of high-spirited fun.
First, from February 6 to 12, Gay Ski Week will be in full swing. The headlining acts are the guided tours and a “fabulous” martini party. And, as my favourite CBC radio Stepping Out host Fred Lee says, “How much fun will that be! Xciting with a Capital X.”
Second, from March 5 to 11, Women’s Week features women-only clinics, seminars and what I might call “gear for grrls” specials offer. “I am women. Hear me roar. And Watch me Ski!”
January 16, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Chemainus - Diving
For me, SCUBA diving is like flying under water. So you can imagine how excited I am to be able to "fly" over and around a plane underwater! It has taken years for the out of service Boeing 737 to finally find a home as an artificial reef in Chemainus
on Vancouver Island
. It was finally sunk this weekend and my dive buddies and I can't wait to drop down the 70 feet to blow bubbles (or not - for those with rebreathers) and "fly" around the plane peeking into portholes. As the plane sits 15 feet above the ocean floor you can even swim under the belly. The new dive site has been called Xihuw Reef, the Hul'qumi'num name for red sea urchins. Check out the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia
for more information.