• Comments: Comments Off on Plan Your Vacation to Vancouver, Victoria and the Sunshine Coast
  • Posted on: March 6th, 2013

“We’re planning a trip to Vancouver or Victoria – what do you recommend we see and do while there?”

This is a question asked of me by many friends, so here are my ideas for your trip to our beautiful city, and more!

I love promoting my Beautiful British Columbia as I was born here and think there’s no where else as spectacular. You will see majestic snow covered mountains, harbours, ocean, beaches, and parks – and that’s just during the taxi ride from the airport!

Vancouver offers diverse cultural shopping, food, open markets, harbour side dining, Stanley Park Aquarium, Science World and more exploring and sightseeing than you will be able to take in. A “must” is the seawall walk around Stanley Park, a day on Granville Island and a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you’re doing that, you should also go to Grouse Mountain Ski Resort and take the gondola ride to the top (photographers will go nuts!) Spending a week or more in Vancouver will allow you to experience the many local attractions, all within walking distance of downtown. There’s a huge selection of hotels – if you can afford the price, stay in the downtown area for ease of getting around.

If you fly in to “YVR” rent a car, take the Light Rapid Transit or hop a bus or taxi to your hotel. I can’t begin to tell you all there is to see and do in and around Vancouver, but a simple google search will keep you occupied for hours.

Personally, I’d drive to Whistler too. It’s a “must see.” Enjoy a day of skiing or snow boarding, a ride up the gondola to the top of the mountain, go golfing, shopping, pub hopping (it’s so much fun sitting in an outdoor bar, like the Longhorn, watching the skiers come down the mountain) or simply wander and people watch. You won’t be disappointed with your Whistler experience.

An alternative (which I recommend) to flying to Vancouver is to fly to Seattle and/or Bellingham. It’s nearly always a cheaper flight cost and an easy drive to the BC/Washington border crossing. Be sure to stop at a duty free if you want alcohol – it’s much cheaper than our BC prices – but only buy the maximum you are allowed to bring across the border. From Seattle it’s about a 3 hour drive, from Bellingham only 45 minutes. You can even stand with one foot in each country if you park for a short visit to see the Peace Arch, grab some photo opps, and take a pit stop. A stop at the Visitor Center on the BC side will give you enough information and brochures to keep you occupied 24/7.

If you take the first exit after the Visitor Center and go left at the roundabout, heading West will take you directly into downtown White Rock – a lovely sea side city with shops, sandy beaches, restaurants, pier, park and walkway. It’s definitely worth a visit for lunch and more photo opps. This is the area where I lived for 30 years while raising my family :)

Back on the highway, it’s less than an hour into Vancouver.

A great alternative to driving is to take the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to our Provincial Capital, Victoria. I’ve never done the trip on the clipper but have boated those waters and can tell you it’s a wonderful way to see both Seattle and Victoria Harbour.

Victoria is a beautiful city with flowers galore! There’s plenty to do there, museum, shopping, Butchart Gardens (pronounced “booshart”,) High Tea at the Empress, sightseeing and more that I’ve never even done. You could easily spend a week in and around Victoria, with side trips to various unique small towns – too numerous to go into – google will help you there.

Now, here’s where my area of BC comes in to play, if you are adventurous, have a week or more, and want to explore more of our coast.

You could do the BC Ferries Circle Island trip, starting in Vancouver or Victoria. Check http://www.vancouverisland.com/attractions/?id=57 for details of where to begin and end. You’d cover a lot of ground and it’s a very popular route especially if you plan to travel by motor home, van, camper or even if you’re tenting. Driving by car is easy too but try to book hotels or motels ahead. If you’re traveling in the peak season or on holiday weekends you should reserve space on the ferry as there’s usually a one to two hour wait if the ferries are busy.

Doing the circle island route, you’d be going right past my doorstep and I have a small campground if you’d like to stay a night or two. And, I’ll bet your kids would LOVE it here: WestsResort.com or facebook.com/westsresort/ I have beaches to explore, wildlife (watch for Elk on the road) and lots of room to run off some energy during a road trip – or to sit quietly on the dock, fishing or watching the sunset.

A must see in Egmont, on the Sunshine Coast, in my opinion, is the Skookumchuck Rapids: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/skook_narrows/ The easy hike through the rainforest takes about an hour each way. Pack bottled water, snacks and be prepare to see extreme kayaking if you plan around visiting at a maximum flood tide. Don’t forget your camera.

If you enjoy swimming we have lovely lakes where you can spend the day, picnic and swim. Boat, sightseeing, diving and fishing tours are very popular in Egmont, and other areas of our coast.

There’s also a pub, marina, cabins & motel a mile away from my place – Backeddy Resort: http://www.backeddy.ca or the West Coast Wilderness Lodge – an upscale resort: http://www.wcwl.com

The weather is rather unpredictable so pack a sweater or warm jacket no matter the time of year.

Whatever plans you make, I’m sure you will enjoy your visit to Beautiful BC! Once you’re home from your vacation, be sure to let me know the highlights. What area was the most fun, the most interesting and where would you recommend to others who wish to visit the Vancouver are?

  • Comments: Comments Off on Boating and Fishing In Egmont
  • Posted on: February 28th, 2013

Boating and fishing are my passions and with this mild, almost Spring, weather upon us I’m eager to get out on the water!

Of course power boats are my preference as I’m pretty serious about getting out on the water, catching a fish and going straight home to throw my catch in the frying pan! I love fresh prawns, ling cod and salmon, and super market or frozen fish just doesn’t compare…

Egmont is the place to fish, and don’t tell me you don’t have a boat – there are plenty of reasonably priced used boats for sale and our waters are fairly calm and protected and the sea life is abundant. Imagine trolling slowly down the shoreline, seeing a Bald Eagle sitting in a tall snag, waiting for you to throw him a rock cod. He will come swooping down, grab his lunch with huge talons then fly to shore to devour his delicacy. Photo opportunities abound! How about fighting and landing a huge Spring Salmon to get the adrenaline pumping? Just be wary of that eagle and the seals all round – they want your fish as much as you so it’s often a contest to see who really ends up with it! LOL – it makes for a great “the one you lost” story… and all fishermen have those!

Often we drift with the current, using live bait to fish for ling cod, sitting in the sunshine, listening to nature’s sounds all around – the lapping of the water against the hull, seagulls squawking, the wind gently blowing in the nearby trees, with majestic snow capped mountains all round. It’s a great way of spending a few leisure hours and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Pack your gear, head to Egmont, launch your boat in the water and go fishing! Maybe I’ll show you my “hot-spot!”

  • Comments: Comments Off on Get FootSmart with Comfortable Shoes
  • Posted on: January 24th, 2013

What do your feet say about your shoes at the end of the day at a conference?

“OUCH!?!” Mine sure do… shoes have been the bane of my existence as long as I remember, causing blisters, aches and sharp pains. Of course I’ve always been extremely vain, squeezing my feet into narrow, sexy, high heeled, uncomfortable shoes.

A tremendous amount of walking and standing is required to just get to a conference session or during time spent in an exhibit hall. Never mind after-hours networking, partying or sightseeing in one of the awesome cities like Las Vegas. I’ve gone home from conferences with blisters on my callouses. Believe me, that’s just wrong! The older I get, the more I value comfortable shoes along with style. If a shoe is fugly, I’m NOT wearing it…

During Affiliate Summit West 2013, I tried out a pair of Orthaheel Tide Thong Sandals from FootSmart.com. You might think from the unsexy name, “Orthaheel” the shoes wouldn’t be very stylish, but actually they were awesome. Ahhhh, what a relief to slip my tired feet into these cute flip flop thongs. And, FootSmart.com has a huge selection of fashionable shoes and brand names.

Not only are the thongs black, (my favorite color) but they have arch support and a cushioned strap. They do not have seams that irritate any part of my feet and they look great with jeans and casual clothes – perfect for walking the conference halls and floors. There’s a small band of patent which makes them dressy enough to wear just about anywhere.

They’ll also be perfect for summer wear while I’m boating, walking the property or on slippery beaches as they are durable, have a good grip on the sole, and will withstand my hard wear….

Thanks FootSmart for making my feet happy. I expect to enjoy many seasons of comfort with my new sandals!

I highly recommend you give FootSmart Orthaheel’s a try :)

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