April 13, 2008 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Oliver - Golf
Every year I go on a "guys golf weekend" to the Okanagan. There are great courses everywhere from Vernon through to Osoyoos, but the highlight of my whole golf year is the 18th tee shot at Fairview, near Oliver, in what has become the South Okanagan wine belt.
Alongside prime vineyards, Fairview is well-named: it is fair and it has great views, but it is also a demanding golf test. Score well and you have played well. The reward is the 18th hole tee shot: a drive off a cliff to a landing area seemingly hundreds of feet below, with the valley behind. Hit the ball cleanly, and it goes up, and out, and hangs, and hangs.. and... it is sheer ecstasy watching and waiting for it to land.
We play Fairview twice in the weekend - two chances of hitting the "best shot of the year"!
April 13, 2008 | Tips from Travellers >
Surrey, Festivals & Events
I've been thinking about a trip to India - who would guess I could do it at home? Reading my morning paper, I discovered that the largest Vaisakhi celebration in the world, outside of India, is in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver. Not far at all from where I live.
Vaisakhi is a holy day, marking the birth of Sikkhism and why not, the harvest too. Although, that must be an "India" thing because there is not too much harvesting going on in BC in April. Nevertheless 100,000 colourfully garbed Sikhs and a few curious others like me showed up to particpate in the parade and share the wealth. That last is a very good thing, as people and organizations set up stalls along the parade route. You cannot walk five feet without having food and drink and sweets pressed on you - traditional East Indian fare from chickpea curry to fried bread to pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Well, maybe not all traditional but all wonderful and all free.
The parade got underway with drummers drumming and music reverberating off the walls of nearby businesses. A flashy motorcyle core revved their Harleys and children marched by spnning ghutkas. After a few minutes of that, a smiling man with a bag full of kerchiefs moved through the crowd helping the heathens like me tie a kerchief over our heads. Seems the float carrying the holy men was making its way towards us and heads must be covered.
When I removed it later I was amused to discover I'd also been advertising for "Gilco Real Estate." Entrepreneurship is alive and well at Vaisakhi! But equal opporturnity not so much. As the holy men floated by I turned to the fellow next to me and asked, "When does the float with holy women come past?" I received the only frown of the day. Oh well, maybe next year.
April 09, 2008 | Tips from Us >
in the Revelstoke area, seeking a fabulous home-away-from-home, you need look
no further than The Hillcrest Hotel, a Coast Resort. Located just a short
distance from Revelstoke city centre, at the gateway to Glacier & Mount Revelstoke National Parks,
you’ll be awestruck by the majestic views of the Selkirk and Monashee mountain
ranges! The resort is perched atop a hill (hence the name) and was built about
7 years ago to offer quality accommodation and dining to the heli-skiing
aficionado’s and other outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, you’ll likely notice the
helicopters parked in the spacious parking lot. Our rooms overlooked the valley
and I highly recommend paying a small additional premium for a room with a
Jacuzzi tub, especially if you plan to take advantage of some of the fabulous array
of activities available year round. Whether you choose skiing at the newly
opened ski resort or partake in some of the other recreational activities such
as back country hiking, heli-skiing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing or
snowboarding in the winter or camping, biking, river rafting, boating, rowing,
canoeing and kayaking in the other seasons you’ll be glad you chose the
Hillcrest to come home to at the end of the day. Revelstoke also has an 18 hole
championship golf course, bowling lanes, fitness centres, tennis courts,
skating arena, curling rink, and a spectacular new aquatic centre.
that activity you’re sure to have worked up an appetite! Why not start out with
a pre-dinner appertif in the Mountain Guides Lounge – cozy up by the stone,
wood-burning firelplace and then head to the dining room. This fine dining
restaurant is not to be missed and features a mouthwatering selection of
gourmet fare. We sampled many of the appetizers from fresh mussels, steamed to
perfection, stuffed mushroom caps, potstickers and bruchetta. For my entrée I
chose the succulent rack of lamb, one of their features and wouldn’t hesitate
to recommend it! As well, I tasted a friend’s tuna which was moist and
delicious and the chicken stuffed with gouda
and prosciutto looked quite tempting as well. Save room for dessert as they
offer a unique twist on crème brulee with a touch of ginger along with a “well
worth the calories” cheesecake! I hear the chocolate mousse was heavenly!
wine selection was good and they offer a great morning buffet with a choice of
full or continental breakfast - don’t miss the melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon
buns! I hear the huge sundeck is a popular place to dine during the warmer
months, delivering a spectacular al fresco dining experience!
feeling the need to work off those desserts, the Hillcrest offers a fully
equipped gym or if you feel the need to shop check out the fabulous gift shop
full of great sportswear and funky accessories also located on the lower level.
wowed by the scenery, food and vast array of activities to choose from but it’s
the warm hospitality of the staff at the Hillcrest that will be sure to bring
you back time and again.
April 08, 2008 | Tips from Travellers >
Maple Ridge, Wildlife Tours
View a larger image on flickr.com
Want to experience birds of prey up close and personal? There is a place in Maple Ridge called Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey that offer hands-on experiences with Raptors. They offer several different courses, for the bird of prey enthusiasts. Who knew these animals had such unique personalities? Every course offered is lead by a Falconer.
April 06, 2008 | Podcasts >
Cumberland, Festivals & Events
Excepted from the weekly radio segment on "All Points West", a CBC Victoria show heard every Friday from 4:00 - 6:00 PM.
Podcast for March 28, 2008.
Vancouver Island Region Highlights:
- Cumberland Taiwanese Lantern Festival just outside Courtenay area
- Campbell River - 50th anniversary Ripple Rock Explosion
- Annual Snow to Surf Relay in the Comox Valley on April 20th