April 16, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
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When I think BC I think nature. A couple of years ago my daughter and I took a road trip through the interior of BC. We enjoyed a wonderful leisurely VERY relaxing trip. We soaked in natural hot springs and camped in picturesque, clean well cared for campgrounds.
One of the highlights was Premier Lake just northeast of Cranbrook. The campground is tucked away alongside a pristine lake. On the southern tip of the lake and in the campground is a fish ladder. We were there around the 3rd week of June and although the fish migration was for the most part over. There were still an abundance of rainbow trout making their way up the man-made ladder and into the creek above. There were also eagles taking advantage of the 'easy' meal. Down by the lake we were mesmerized by the countless trout swimming around under the pier and leaping out of the water. This is a definite 'must-stop' for us from now on!!!
April 13, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Dawson Creek, Shopping
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Any time friends come to town and want to do a bit of shopping, I always tell them about the Olde Creek Store on 10th Street, one block south of the Mile O Post. This is one of the most popular stores downtown.
People even come from neighboring towns to shop there because the merchandise is so unique.
The store is reminiscent of an old fashioned mercantile stuffed with a blend of the hottest trends in home décor and personal fashion along side great antiques.
I recently went in looking for a gift basket for friends and ended up buying a bunch of stuff for myself as well.
They have a huge collection of cast iron reproduction hardware. I found a chickadee towel bar and a set of kitchen drawer pulls that I have never seen before.
The next area I checked out was the bath and linens. I fell in love with the Egyptian cotton towels and the tablecloths.
They have really unique clothing and accessories too from around the world.
I had to walk by the big jewelry display on my way to the antiques, and although jewelry didn't fit for the gift basket, I found a wonderful sterling silver bracelet for my pile.
My friend collects antique dinnerware, and I chose a great Royal Dalton teacup that I know she will love and a 1955 Webster's Dictionary in great shape for their collection of antique books.
A couple of stained glass candleholders for me, a sterling silver picture frame and wicker basket for them and I was done.
Tina, the woman behind the counter, decorated the basket and gifts with beautiful tissue and ribbon.
When you come to Dawson Creek, make sure you give your self plenty of time to poke around this store...
April 08, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Richmond - Museums
Hey everyone! How many times have you walked by the Steveston Museum in your life? If you’re like me, I lost count around the 100,000 mark. I went inside today for the first time and was pleasantly surprised! I know, I’m horrible. I’ve lived in Richmond, nay, STEVESTON, my whole life and I’ve never even visited it. Well, that day has come and I’m happy I did. As you know Steveston has got a pretty long and interesting history, and that little building has been around to see most of it!
What the heck is this building and why is it important? Well, first off you need to know that the Steveston Museum is over a hundred years old (built 1905!), and has three distinct chapters to its history. It initially started off as the first bank in all of Steveston, called the Northern Bank. It was later renamed the Crown Bank, and then finally in 1918 became the Steveston branch of the Royal Bank of Canada. (Which at present day has moved directly across the street!)
During the second stage of its life it acted as a day clinic, office, and home for Dr. James M. Campbell who began his practice in the Brighouse area of Richmond in 1958. It was the only medical facility in all of Steveston at this time! He renovated the building, but kept the original bank manager’s office and vault intact. In 1977, he sold the building to the city of Richmond to be preserved as a heritage structure.
The third and current chapter of this building’s history is as a museum and working post office. The City of Richmond bought the building with funds provided by the Neighbourhood Improvement Program and The Steveston Historical Society oversaw its restorations. The museum and post office officially opened in 1979 and became a city designated heritage site in 1989!
It’s a neat little building with several period-decorated rooms, complemented by trinkets and curious items meticulously placed all throughout. You can still see the massive old bank vault doors, and there is information and old photos on Steveston’s history all over the building. It is small and quaint, just like the rest of Steveston; the entire thing wouldn’t take more then fifteen to twenty minutes to check out. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it!
Next time you’re in Steveston, take a quick stroll inside! It’s free to check out (though they do take donations!) and full of old relics from the past! I was happy I did!
April 05, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Find more information about Ucluelet - Dining
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The waves moved towards the shore in long, straight lines. I watched the surfers, little speckles of black, bobbing between the lines. The sandy beach was windswept, drift logs brought in by winter swells gathered along the coastal tree line. A family was exploring tide pools in the rocks, and beyond that a black headland jutted into the ocean. From my dining table at the Wickaninnish Restaurant I was observing the magic of the west coast; I was already awed by the view and I hadn’t even had lunch yet!
The Wickaninnish Restaurant is located in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Wickaninnish Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Since 1986 this seaside restaurant has been serving fresh west coast cuisine, specialty coffees and full bar services for lunch and dinner. It is the only restaurant in the park.
I started with the daily soup, the chef’s creation, which was vegetarian corn chowder. Creamy, with a peppery bite, loaded with vegetables from local markets, served with fresh bread and whipped butter.
Speaking with management I learned the Wickaninnish Restaurant uses local Vancouver Island products as much as possible. Their seafood, meat, cheeses, and vegetables come from island producers. Their desserts are homemade and their seafood is smoked in house.
I ordered the Florencia Bay Wrap, named after another section of the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with grilled vegetables, baby greens, goat cheese, and homemade humus. I added smoked salmon. It was served with an artisan mixed green salad and fresh cut fries.
The ingredients in the wrap complemented each other perfectly: the tang of the goat cheese, richness of the humus, the delicately smoked salmon and refreshing greens. The Florencia Wrap, simple in its individual ingredients, came together to satisfy gourmet taste!
The Wickaninnish Restaurant has items on their menu new for this season. Come for dinner and start off with the Island Bison Carpaccio: naturally-raised bison strip loin with a balsamic reduction served with a fresh baked baguette. This delicious red meat is nearly rare, sliced paper thin, and will melt in your mouth.
Then try a new, unique entry that isn't seen very often in this region. West Coast Black Cod, a fish found in local waters; which is a rich and savoury. The Chef at the Wickaninnish Restaurant steams the fish on a cedar bough, dresses it with lavender butter, a blackberry garnish and serves it with rice and market vegetables.
Then it is time for dessert! Share a South Baked Alaska, Long Beach style, with home-baked spice cake, served with mango and peach sorbet, covered in meringue and baked golden brown. This dessert is then doused with brandy, lit, and served to your table in flames!
Diners can also start off with classic seafood chowder, crab martini, or Chef’s seafood specials; and discover entries like citrus glazed salmon, certified Angus New York steak, and the popular fresh steamed local Dungeness crab. Vegetarians will be satisfied with options the Big Beach vegetable stack of wild mushrooms, grilled vegetables, polenta, tomato puree, topped with watercress pesto and goat cheese.
There are few places on the west coast where you’ll find such an amazing view of the sweeping wild coastline while dining on local, fresh and delicious creations. Dine near the end of the day and watch the sun set over the horizon.
After my lunch I took a coffee to go and enjoyed a long walk on Wickaninnish Beach. It looks even more beautiful on a full stomach.