The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train

The Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train is an annual favourite for locals and visitors to Vancouver. The setting for the miniature train is pretty eerie at night even without all the dramatic presentations. Since we have one younger child, it’s best to head there at sunset because, by the time you have bought tickets (we just bought at the gate; it was 5 days before Halloween and there wasn’t a crowd), the woods are getting to be just that great creepy feel. Lingering sunlight from sunset is blocked out by the trees. This year the theme was old monster movies. […]

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Bard on the Beach is not a Comedy of Errors

It had been a number of years since I’d manage to organize time for Bard on the Beach, the Shakespeare festival in Vancouver. It is a collection of tents in Vanier Park nestled next to the Museum of Vancouver and the City Archives. “Bard”, as the company is called, has been running since 1990 where they had one tent and one play they put one and now have the main tent which for 2015 alternated between Comedy of Errors and King Lear. On the small stage they were performing Love’s Labour’s Lost and Shakespeare’s Rebel, a modern play by C.C. […]

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Ocean Trails Resort and Rathtrevor Beach

In Parksville there’s Rathtrevor Beach which, at low tide, goes out for miles giving you the sense that you could walk to the small Mistaken Island during that low tide period. Ocean Trails Resort, where we stayed for five nights, is accessed via Resort Drive, which has a collection of resorts ranging from the fancier Tigh-na-mara to more modest priced ones. From what I gather Ocean Trails is in the mid range. It does not provide rental units right on the beach, so I’m assuming the price tags on those (e.g. Madrona Beach Resort) are higher. However, there’s this great […]

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Shopping in Coombs BC

Coombs BC takes its hippy heritage seriously. If you can imagine a totally funky market with goats literally on the roof, grazing, you are in the right place. Goats on the Roof Old Country Market is located at 2326 Alberni Highway, west and north of Parksville, and west and slightly south of Qualicum Beach. It’s no more than a 15 minute drive from either town. The market, apart from its unusual roofing, has a deli section, a bakery, a restaurant at the back, a great cheese section, a wild selection of craft items including home furnishings, bamboo fans for cooling […]

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Riptide Mini Golf Parksville

Mini Golf is one of those games where, once at the third hole, and if you were playing fairly, gives you the thought “why did I ever think this was a fun game?” The “no cussin’” signs are appropriate. Parksville has a couple of mini golf courses and RipTide is in the southern end of Parksville’s part of the 19A “old” Island Highway. It services all the Rathtrevor Beach traffic and Resort Drive folks. Riptide has two courses that are consistently themed and decorated in a very imaginative way. I’ll let the photos do the talking on that point. Despite […]

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Lefty’s Fresh Food Parksville, facilitated by BC Ferries

It seems we have a tradition with Parksville. It’s Lefty’s Fresh Food, which is a restaurant on the Island Highway. It’s right beside a Thrifty Foods in the same strip mall. We never manage to leave Vancouver early enough to stock up for our stay at Thrifty Foods and have the energy to cook something back at where we stay. Part of the reason that we end up late in Parksville is because of a) we aren’t morning people and b) BC Ferries is odd. BC Ferries charges you extra to book a sailing but they only allow bookings for […]

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Kitsilano Showboat

Kitsilano is a Vancouver neighbourhood that begins on the south west side of the Burrard Street Bridge. Kitsilano Beach Park, or Kits Beach as it’s known locally, has a great beach, wonderfully upgraded concession stand and a huge swimming pool. An additional feature of Kits Beach is the Kitsilano Showboat which, this year, celebrated its 80th anniversary. It’s an outdoor theatre on the south side of Kits Beach Pool. (Were it on the north side, it would be in the ocean!) In 2015, Kitsilano Showboat ran from June 22 through to August 15. We caught the last show which was […]

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A Day in Chemainus

We were visiting family in Victoria in August and decided to drive the hour and a half up Hwy 1 to catch a show at the Chemainus Theatre. As my son is only 7 we enjoyed the matinee of James and the Giant Peach originally a book by Roald Dahl. This production was dramatized by Richard R. George and was just delightful. It was entirely geared to a young audience with songs, audience participation, funny costumes and wonderful puppets. The Chemainus Theatre boasts an entire festival season of 6 to 8 productions throughout the year (http://chemainustheatrefestival.ca). It was lunchtime when […]

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Miniature World in Victoria BC

Victoria has plenty to see for all members of the family, museums, art galleries, gardens, churches… Miniature World is a category all on its own. Located at 649 Humboldt St., Miniature World is just around the corner from Victoria’s most famous Fairmont Empress Hotel. A Victoria attraction for over 40 years, it has over 80 displays depicting various events in history, doll houses, scenes from old story books and even a peek into Space 2201. Some displays have buttons that highlight a section, or make characters or objects move. The attention to detail in facial expressions, costumes, ground cover, cobble […]

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Less Tourist-y Summer Activities in Vancouver

Finally, summer is in full swing. It is most definitely my favourite season. Shedding layers of clothing, BBQ dinners with friends and family, occasional drinks, reading on the patio, and outdoor workouts – who doesn’t love summer! Unfortunately it’s also the peak of tourist season here in Vancouver. But don’t you worry! I’m here to help you and your family find unique summer activities and hidden spots away from the regular tourist spots. For those of you who take advantage of the warmer weather by moving your workouts outdoors, the choices are endless. Here are my top three favourites: 1. […]

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