August 29, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Victoria, Art Galleries & Artists
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The first thing I notice as I walk into room #308 is the amazing array of artwork. The immense Roy Henry Vickers
carving of a Tshimshian Halibut and Octopus Red Cedar House Post dominates the entrance way. An original Jack Shadbolt collage, Birds in a Tree #2, is tucked away in the corner of the living room, humble in its place, yet bursting with colour. The Toni Onley
in the dining room is, unfortunately, too big to stuff into my suitcase and take home, like shampoo and shower caps.
To say I am in awe would be an understatement. I am standing in the middle of a private art gallery / hotel room, filled with the work of famous B.C. artists - who wouldn’t be drop-jawed? And then there are the antiques. Original Louis Vuitton luggage in the bedroom. Asian dressers with secret drawers. Light fixtures, vases, butlers and books. Too many to place in time.
I can easily (and literally) see why the renovated heritage hotel, the Swan’s Suites Hotel
, is known as Victoria
’s “Art Hotel.”
The next morning, in the Brewpub
where breakfast is served, I spot three Toni Onley watercolours in the entranceway, and many Firs
August 16, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Kamloops, Sightseeing Tours
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On my journey this last weekend I experienced utopia down the stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway (good ole #1), between Kamloops
. I had Johnny Cash blaring in my ears and warm wind streaking through my hair, which was still wet from swimming in the North Shuswap Lake
, but drying fast. I was a happy traveller and doing just fine. So fine in fact, I wanted to share it with you.
At this point on the road, the highway runs along the South Thompson river at the bottom point in the “V” between two cowboy-country mini-mountain ranges, with the meandering river splitting the valley in two. Train tracks run sandwiched between the riverbank and the roaring sound of motorcycles, RVs, and pick-up trucks pulling speedboats and dirtbikes. The hills on the highway side are covered in Ponderosa Pine, with green agricultural lands butting up against where the needles start. I drove by roadside fruitstands, rodeos and golf courses. On the other side of the river I could see eroding cliffs of dusty earth, farmhouses, cows, horses and riverfront mansions. I would have liked to transform the highway into a dirt path and ride horseback. Or perhaps just float along the river on a log raft or inner tube!
As Cash’s rail-driving song, Legend of John Henry’s Hammer, was hammering away in my ears a long train passed by (or perhaps I zoomed by the train). Perfect timing! Sunny day, good music, and a perfect one-hour drive down a road meant for driving.
August 09, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Prince George, Sightseeing Tours
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A friend of a friend recently drove from Toronto to British Columbia
, through the Yukon and north to Alaska - and then back to Toronto. Across Northern BC
they took the Cassiar highway and had this to say about it: "basically it is THE only road... and very remote. It was a great drive. We saw tons of wild life including a linx and 3 kittens, our first of the trip. We then headed through Prince George towards Jasper. We were looking forward to the comparison of the Rockies to what we had seen... and well when we literally turned a corner in the road and were smacked in the face with Mount Robson
... we both, slack jawed agreed -the rockies do not disappoint!!" She also sent out an email with great notes from the entire trip, which I thought I would pass a few along to you. Subject: I almost miss the car.... Number of kms driven -15952 Number of nights away -37 Number of nights camped -22 (the remainder spent with friends, family and motels) Number of bears seen -11 (5 Grizzlies) Number of Moose seen-8 Number of Mosquitos seen -I don't know... lost count at 1 BILLION Other animals seen... lynx, multiple fox types, elk, mountain goats, big horned sheep, countless bald eagles, sea otters, porpoises, seals, humpbacks and puffins... oh and mosquitos Best animal sighting, 1 grizzly with 3 cubs Scariest animal sighting, the mosquito (scariest animal non-sighting, the 'no see em's') Number of Cracks on the windshield -1 (pretty good considering......) Number of kms driven on gravel/dirt roads -about 1600 Number of oil changes 1 Number of times we could have driven to Vancouver in the distance we traveled... 4 Number of times flipped raft (while white watering in GLACIER fed water) 5 Number of kms hiked in 4 straight days of chilkoot trail 7