Mount Maxwell Provincial Park

In my opinion, calling this peak a “mount” is an insult to the peak. One of they key unexpected surprises is how twisty, up-and-down and basically mountainous Salt Spring Island is. By the time we were settled in our B&B, we had figured this out through driving and were listening closely when our hostess suggested that the Mount Maxwell view was stunning. However, she cautioned, the road was challenging for regular vehicles, but figured a regular sedan would do the trick. Taking Cranberry Rd from Ganges, you simply follow the signs. You will be going up and up. When the […]

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Oystercatcher Seafood Bar & Grill Salt Spring Island

Our first night on Salt Spring Island we needed to find a place to eat. In our case the usual issues of kids’ menu and vegetarian choices applied. Our B&B (Quarrystone House) was keen to recommend the Oystercatcher as they share ownership! The Oystercatcher is located at 110 Purvis Ln #201 near the Ganges shopping area. The restaurant has a great view of the Ganges Harbour. The decor was nautical with boats (like a sculling boat) hanging from the ceiling. I had the beef burger that’s a common theme on Salt Spring Island as they like to use the local […]

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The Ferry to Salt Spring Island

Important safety tip … when booking your ferry trip to Salt Spring Island, it’s a good idea to pay a lot more attention to the process than I did. It wasn’t until I went back to figure out what I’d missed did I realize on the BC Ferries schedule did you have to go to the Southern Gulf Islands schedule (www.bcferries.com/schedules/southern/) and then click on Vancouver Departures. On this page you have to navigate to further navigate Tsawwassen to Salt Spring Island (Long Harbour). There it tells you that it’s a three hour trip because you stop at Galiano, Manye […]

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Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park 2015

December 2015 in Vancouver has been hit by a series of ‎ storms that featured high wind, cold temperatures (5 C is considered cold here) and rain. It’s a gross feeling to have rain literally blown into your ear by the wind. But, between storms there have been single days of sunshine showing the snowy peaks of the North Shore Mountains. And, better yet, ‎coincided with our visit to Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Due to these storms people with choice of timing also came down to the Park, which makes it a bit crazy down there. For parking, there’s […]

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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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