October 31, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Art Galleries & Artists
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One of my favourite annual events in Vancouver is coming up. The Eastside Culture Crawl
is a weekend in November (this year, the 18 - 20th) when local artists open up their studios that dot the semi-industrial eastside of Vancouver. You can visit the studios of everyone from furniture makers to sculptors to painters to potters; some very mainstream, and others very eclectic. It's a great way to get to know the style and spirit of many Vancouver artists, and explore an oft-forgotten neighbourhood. My favourite stop is Joe Blow Glassworks
, to watch the glassblowers at work. A must to cap off your studio-crawl is a gelato from the pink-coloured La Casa Gelato
; an amazing shop with hundreds of flavours of the italian frozen treat.
October 30, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Victoria, Sightseeing Tours
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Travelling from Vancouver to Victoria this week, I had my first ride on Helijet's
new 23 passenger Sikorsky S61 and it was a treat! Launched on September 19th, a joint initiative with Helijet Airways and Executive Transport Airways, this bird takes flying to a whole new level. I must admit confusion as I knew I was riding on a helicopter but upon entering the long and lean machine I was greeted by a flight attendant who launched into a safety briefing so similar to those you hear on airplane flights. My seat was incredibly comfy and I had a perfect view of Georgia Strait in my individual window seat. The view is indeed spectacular however, the gentle motion of the helicopter (ear plugs still a must) put me into a pretty good nap and awoke only to hear the attendants landing announcement. If you're travelling between Victoria and Vancouver in the next while, you may want to check out their schedule and give it a try!
October 27, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Penticton, Sightseeing Tours
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A very quick business trip to the South Okanagan this week left me thinking about what an incredible part of the province the Okanagan is and how I must bring my family back to enjoy more of it. I took the night flight into Penticton
on a tiny Central Mountain Air Beech 1900D (operating on behalf of Air Canada) in which every seat is both a window and an aisle. The airport looked dark and quiet but the Budget Rent a Car guy was waiting patiently for me and handed me the keys to my shiny Toyota Corolla. Having driven a standard for the last few years, I initially had some trouble remembering not to put my foot through the floorboards in effort to locate the clutch! My accommodation for the evening was the Penticton Lakeside Resort
. A friendly desk clerk offered me an upgrade to a lakeside view which I happily accepted and gratefully enjoyed the next morning as I watched the sun come up on beautiful Okanagan Lake. I made a mental note to add this property to the list of ones I want to come back to with my family. A casino for my husband, jet-skis for our teenager and a gym and long beach walks for me! The next morning I struck out for Osoyoos
, a very pleasant half hour drive s
October 26, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Victoria, Historic & Heritage Sites
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I had just 15 minutes in Victoria to find an inexpensive present for my four-year-old so I ran into Chinatown. I swooped into Quigley's and bought some White Rabbit candy, sparklers and a box of watercolours.
October 24, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Whistler - Dining
When I was a little girl, my parents took me to Sunshine Village for a family ski vacation. I remember waking up every morning and eating my fresh fruit breakfast in a dining room that, for me, epitomized the 1970’s. Imagine orange knit drapes, an open fireplace, tiled and wood walls, orange carpet and dark wood tables. Very hip.
Well, I relived my childhood in Whistler
last week – only this time I was feasting on black cod, crème brulee and sipping the best of BC wine in the Fifty Two 80 Bistro
, which is tucked away in the Four Seasons Resort
. The Bistro is also very 70’s – orange drapes, a round, open fireplace decorated in a mosaic of coloured tiles, low chairs, and orange carpet. Very hip, but now in a more chic-chic, retro way.
The service was incredible and the attentive waiter managed to make me feel as though I was getting special treatment. However, by the end of dinner I realized he was making everyone at our table feel as though they were the ones getting special treatment.
Overall, a hip place for an après-ski drink or a swanky dinner.
October 19, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Whistler, Sightseeing Tours
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“How do I get to the village?” I asked the hotel Concierge.
“Just walk along the courtyard onto the Meadow Path, turn right at Fitzsimmons Trail, cross over the covered bridge, enter Rebagliati Park, around the BMX Track, through the Skate Park, and cross the street into the Town Centre.”
really is a walkers, hikers, riders, bike haven! I paused at a Whistler Trail
map, which are all over the place, to check that I was heading in the right direction. I counted seven types of trails throughout the valley: Wide XC Trail, Crush Gravel Trail, Single Track Mountain Bike Trail, Nature/Walking Trail, Valley Trail, Paved Road and Golf Cart Trail.
It was just me and my shoes so I mainly stayed on the Walking Trail. The air hung somewhere between post-summer and pre-ski season and I was glad I brought a toque (wool hat).
At the Skate Park and BMX Track I got a chance to watch a few of the local Extreme athletes do their tricks. Needless to say, I was happy to just be watching.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to rent a bike to explore a bit more, but I highly recommend checking out the valley trails when you head to Whistler.
October 17, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Art Galleries & Artists
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Here is something cool. Yesterday I took the family to the Vancouver Art Gallery
and it just happened to be supersunday
, which meant Family Day. There were kids everywhere, so I didn't feel too bad when my son started to do somersaults in the Chinese Paper Cutting exhibition room.
Since he is only four, I also didn't feel too bad when he decided he had enough of the Picasso exhibit
after a rushed five minute walk through the first floor. Fortunately, there was a mound of a million pennies on another floor that caught his attention enough to convince him to stay. We managed to extend our adventure by participating in one of the hands-on art projects for the kids – tracing our family history with a map of the world, shiny stars and felt pens. Supersundays are the third Sunday of every month and Picasso is showing until January 15, 2006.
October 12, 2005 | Tips from Us >
West Vancouver, Dining
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If you read my previous entry on Sechelt
, you will know that I had to go back to finish my summer rituals. Well, the Thanksgiving dinner beckoned (as did my mom) and I just got back from another "stuffed" trip to the Sunshine Coast. In fact, this weekend was a bit more relaxing than usual: I reserved my spot on the ferry. Instead of missing a sailing and hanging out in the car for an extra few hours, as per my normal ferry routine, I pretty much drove on just minutes before the ferry was ready to leave. Reservations can be made online at BC Ferries
; they cost about $15 and I highly recommend them during peak travel dates - weekends, holidays, and summer. However, if you do get caught without a reservation, I also recommend another dinner ritual that beckons - fish & chips. Once your car is parked in line, walk out of the Horseshoe Bay terminal (bring your ferry ticket with you), and head to Troll's Restaurant. They know the ferry schedule off by heart and will ensure you get your hot fries back to your car before loading begins. While I enjoyed my reservation, I must admit I missed having the time to indulge in my traditional fish & chips.
October 11, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Vancouver, Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
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It's Autumn! You can always tell - the air is crisper and cooler, leaves start turning colour, and Steamworks Brewpub
serves up their delicious Pumpkin Beer. Located in Vancouver's Gastown area - the most historic neighbourhood in Vancouver
- Steamworks brews this unique beer the beginning of every Autumn. Lightly spiced and ripe with pumpkin flavour, it's a great way to ring in cool season in the city. If you like beer, head down for a pint or two. But don't wait too long, they only serve the brew till Halloween.
October 06, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Victoria - Dining
When I was on Vancouver Island
last week, I couldn't help but indulge in my favourite chocolate treats. I know the Island is well known for grizzly bears, salmon fishing, spring golf, totem poles and whale watching - but I think chocolate has
to be added to that list. Whenever I visit Victoria
, I refuse to leave without my pink-and-white checkered hand-wrapped Victoria Creams from Rogers Chocolate
; Raspberry for my youngest son, Strawberry for my 11-year-old, Rum for me and just plain, which is anything but plain, Chocolate for my husband. I place them in the bottom of my travel bag (where they are hard to reach) and wait anxiously until I arrive home. Needless to say, I get swarmed by the family everytime. I grew up eating Nanaimo bars, which are named after the City of Nanaimo
, at Christmas time. When I was there last week I came face-to-face with an entire tray of these layered treats. Hold me back! Semi-sweet chocolate top, sugary yellow centre and graham crumb bottom. I walked by all the souvenir shops, with their spoons, pins, t-shirts and placemats, and snuck home with a tray full of Nanaimo bars.