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.
November 26, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Fernie, Historic & Heritage Sites
I just received the winter issue of British Columbia Magazine
and the front cover is spectacular – a fabulous shot of downtown Fernie all decked out in sparkles and wrapped in a perfect winter wonderland! The snow-sprinkled mountains in the background seem as though you can walk from Main Street to mountain top in less than five minutes. No wonder Fernie
is getting praises from the likes of Rolling Stone
, Conde Nast Traveler
, and National Geographic Adventure
. Read a portion of the British Columbia Magazine article on Fernie
Also in the winter issue: a photo essay on jellyfish
; a feature on Rossland
(another B.C. winter resort town); Vernon's Hot Air Balloon
festival; and a kayaking journey in Haida Gwaii
, where decaying Haida carvings compelled two famous artists, Emily Carr and later Bill Reid, to preserve the past for future generations.
Perfect reading for a day like today; the snow has been coming down since last night and I am sitting in front of my fireplace after shoveling the neighbour’s sidewalk, hot chocolate and magazine in hand.
November 20, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Richmond, Sightseeing Tours
Find more information about Richmond - Sightseeing Tours
Ever since The Fairmont
opened at the Vancouver International Airport
I have wanted to spend a night there, thinking that it would be fun to order room service and watch planes comes and go. Last week I got my chance and my expectations were blown away. My 5-year-old son loved the coupon he was given for free milk and cookie delivery. The two-feet-deep kiddie-pool is right beside the hot tub, so I could soak and keep on eye on the kids at the same time. Our room had a luxurious tub and a scrumptious bed. A comfy chair was set up for sitting by the floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows and watching the action. Binoculars provided. The room looked north into the International arrivals and departures areas. Ground crew moved about below like a real-life Little People Airport. Due to the stormy weather, the view of the North Shore Mountains was replaced by close-ups of airplane tails tattooed with markings from WestJet, Air Canada, Fiji, Alaska, and KLM. We turned off all the lights and spent hours in the dark staring into the microcosm. Overall, a perfect mini-vacation 20 minutes from home. p.s. While wading in your bathing suit at the pool, walk to the windows and wave to the passengers checking in for International flights below!
November 10, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Cache Creek, Historic & Heritage Sites
Find more information about Cache Creek - Historic & Heritage Sites
It was one of those crisp fall days when my family and I pulled into the Historic Hat Creek Ranch
in the Fraser Canyon, just north of Cache Creek
. The ranch is on one of the few remaining sections of the original Cariboo Waggon Road – the same road that miners, pack-train operators, stagecoaches, and wagon trains took to head north for the gold rush in the late 1800’s.
Here are the highlights we encountered: stepping down into the kekuli pit house at the Shuswap National Interpretive Centre and imagining 25-30 Stuctwesemc people living in it; riding atop an original stagecoach along the famous dusty road; spying on chickens in the sunflower garden; crossing a footbridge over Hat Creek; walking though the original Hat Creek House, complete with original wallpaper, antiques and well, everything; watching clouds pass over the sod-roofed chicken coop; and of course, finishing the visit off with ice cream cones from the Roadhouse Restaurant.
The kekuli can be rented out for overnight camping trips, which would be a great way to spend a night next summer. I’ll add it to my growing list.
October 09, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Whistler - Dining
All I can say it that I’m glad I forgot my dancing shoes and had to wear my stompin’ boots when I went out "clubbing" last week in Whistler
. It had been a while since I had gone dancing in the village and I forgot about the variety of music that gets played at Buffalo Bills
, a favourite après-ski, après-mountain biking, and après-ziplining dance club.
While current top hits like “SexyBack” (Justin Timberlake) and “Maneater” (Nelly Furtado) were on the list, so were old favourites like “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” (Corey Hart), slam-dancing songs from Spirit of the West and The Pogues (not that anyone wanted to slam dance with me and my boots…), and a myriad of head-banging tunes (there were plenty of folks to bang my head and whip my hair around with. Bettina – you rock!)
Pique, Whistler’s newmagazine, calls it “A mainstream mix of tunes that gets the dance floor going.” Fair enough. Don’t forget to hit the bar for the Jager Bombs.