February 24, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Richmond - Dining
This past Tuesday my friend dropped into town and decided to stay at the Fairmont YVR the other night, I had my hesitations to visit her because of the cost for parking. A good thing for her, she was one of my best friends so I didn't mind sacrifing parking fees. I rolled up to Gateway Valet & Concierge at the hotels entrance and asked the valet what my options were for parking in order to visit a guest at the hotel. He offered valet at $15/hour or go into the economy lot and park for $10 for the entire evening. Well, as the thrifty person I am, I went for options 2. All you need to do is bring your parking stub with you after parking your car and take it to the front desk and ask to pre-pay your ticket with them. You must get the room number of the guest staying at the hotel and the fee will be applied to the guest's room. Just make arrangements with your friend/family to pay him/her the $10 and voila, parking guaranteed, at least, til the next morning and as a bonus, you have in-and-out privilages! I didn't get the procedure on the in-and-out privilages but they take your license plate so there is something in place, just ask the cashier upon exiting. One concern I had was that, at night, the economy lot looked dark and far but when walking from the parking lot to the hotel, it wasn't as far as I thought. Just follow the pedistrian paths, the signs and as long as you walk in the lit areas, you'll feel safe. Another great thing about the economy parking lot is that the main lit area was wide, turfed and was covered for those rainy Vancouver days! Two notes on the hotel for visitors and travellers: 1) If you have down time before your international/US flight, go to the bar in the hotel for a drink where you can listen to the catchy music stylings of the bar's pianist and enjoy some complimentary spicy trail mix while sitting in comfy couches/chairs. 2) This hotel is also a great place to stay if you have a really early flight the next day and you have no one in
February 24, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Festivals & Events
If you're a sports fan like me, you've probably spent the last couple weeks glued to the TV watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. As the games draw to a close eyes are shifting towards the home of the 2010 Winter Games - British Columbia. Here at Tourism BC we can feel it already. Interest in the province, and in Canada is starting to swell, it's only going to grow. The next four years are going to be exciting ones. The spotlight on BC officially begins at the 2006 Closing Ceremonies, when the Olympic flag gets passed on to the Mayor of the next host city - Vancouver. Sam Sullivan, the current Mayor of Vancouver will be there to accept the flag, as well a take part in a ceremony inviting the world to come to BC in 2010; it's shaping up to be a great show. The Closing Ceremonies will take place this Sunday, February 26 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time.
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 13, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Apex Mountain Resort, Skiing & Snowboarding
Find more information about Apex Mountain Resort - Skiing & Snowboarding
The ski and snowboard season has been very good in BC so far and it's only mid-february. After riding in Whistler a few times and a weekend in Sun Peaks, my wife and I crossed off our next resort in BC. We flew into Penticton and about 45 minutes by taxi later we arrived in Apex. Apex is smaller than some of the other resorts but that doesn't mean you'll run out of things to do. The information on HelloBC sums it up nicely.
We had ski-in/ski-out at the the Apex Mountain Inn & Spa and the gun barrel pub was next door. The snow is excellent right now and the runs vary from easy to very challenging. We also spent a great deal of time in the new terrain park.
We took the Sun Bus back to Penticton instead of a taxi and saved ourselves a few dollars. Now that I'm entering this blog from my Hotel in Penticton it has started snowing again so I assume a layer of fresh powder will ensure this season of powder will continue.
February 13, 2006 | Tips from Us >
North Vancouver, Attractions
Find more information about North Vancouver - Attractions
We've been having some beautiful weather in Vancouver lately. So, I decided to head up to Grouse Mountain on Friday evening to cap off a long work week with a group of friends. We decided to take the Skyride up to the top of the mountain. I have been on the Skyride countless times, but never tire of the amazing views. We had a great dinner in Altitudes Bistro in the Peak Chalet. Every Friday night, they have free concerts in Altitudes (the night we went, a fab local musician named Paula Toledo was playing), so it was a real treat to spend an evening up there. After dinner, we worked a few of those calories off by skating on the mountaintop ice pond. It's the only outdoor rink left in Vancouver and while it isn't very big, it is still a ton of fun. I only wish I had enough time to ski that evening too... the conditions are fantastic.
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 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Arts, Culture & History Tours
Find more information about Vancouver - Arts, Culture & History Tours
I watched a very cool short film featuring some of Vancouver's landmarks on an Air Canada flight recently. It's created with stills and put together in an unusual but very interesting way. I wrote down the name and after a bit of Googling I learned that the film was made by Guy Roland from Vancouver. He used a digital camera and a PC over two years. The film won the Zoom In Awards
. If you like to see Vancouver a little different, you you can view it here
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!!