Malcolm Island Activities

What a beautiful summer it has been so far. Since the end of May I believe it has only rained for 4 days. I love staying here. Whether in the upper or lower suite, the views are incredible from our private deck. At times the sunsets light up the sky till almost 10:30 at night.   They provide kayaks here which you can launch right off the beach in front of the lodge. As soon as you leave the deck you are on the beach and can walk for miles.   There are a couple of beautiful hiking trails. The Mateoja […]

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University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology

A museum of anthropology doesn’t sound like a mass market kind of place. Yet the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology draws respectable and diverse crowds, if the tour we just took there in early July is any indication. The reason (my guess) is that it largely devoted to the cultures of what Canada politely calls the First Nations. This name is a straddle between historical accuracy and condescension, the latter embodied in the name of the American Indians or Native Americans. Like the First Nations peoples, there is not much to prove whether they originated in North America […]

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Vancouver’s Showplace Gardens

Vancouver’s climate is one that gardeners at the minimum envy. It’s cold enough so that fruits like apples or pears get the chill down they need to prosper. Summers are warm enough for an explosion of plants to grow and flower. Yet they are not hot enough to sear the profusion of greenery. Not only does Vancouver have lush and prolific home gardens, but it also has two very fine botanical gardens, Van Dusen and University of British Columbia’s, not to mention Queen Elizabeth Park, a naturalized park that could qualify as a third. Both botanical gardens are high on […]

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Ogopogo or too much wine?

In the last few days some mainstream newspapers have reported that a fellow named Dan Poppoff found an odd looking 1.2-metre-long carcass in June 2009 while kayaking Lake Okanagan, where Kelowna sits. www.theprovince.com/Ogopogo+washed+Okanagan+Lake+shoreline/1768656/story.html Speculation is that this is Ogopogo, the lake monster that’s similar in both sightings and improbability of the Loch Ness Monster. OK, if he took a picture, why is it not in the hands of the press? I also frankly don’t believe the so-called native legends because I have the distinct feeling that any existing lore was skimpy (e.g. fairy tale stuff) and then, to annoy the […]

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Sightseeing by Seaplane in Vancouver

Visitors walking around, driving around, or just sitting on a bench around Burrard Inlet, English Bay, False Creek, or Stanley Park find it hard to miss the seaplanes taking off at Coal Harbor, climbing out or letting down to land or just cruising overhead.   That’s because seaplanes are a denizen of Canada and Alaska and not many other places. These are more precisely called floatplanes because of the two pontoons mounted on struts below the fuselage instead of the conventional wheels.  For the most part residents seem either oblivious to them or annoyed with their engine exhausts perhaps but […]

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Canadian Museum of Flight and Fort Langley

Here’s a day trip from Vancouver — a two for one — that parents or grandparents can convince themselves is interesting, historical and educational for the kids, something they must sacrifice to do. Anyone who has raised any number of kids knows that is a delusion, especially in the summer when the kids want nothing more than to put “education” as far away as the North Pole. So the reality is that the adults will like it, maybe a lot, and the kids will tolerate it maybe for a while. What I mean is Fort Langley and the air museum, […]

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Not your Normal Evening at Starbucks in Vancouver

I live in Kitsilano in Vancouver and there’s a Starbucks as close to my house as they can put one without breaking the zoning bylaws.  I am a regular and I call it “my” Starbucks. True, it is profoundly lame to have such a close identification with a global brand.  I am also known to be seen with my computer often working and meeting with people.  An associate of mine refers to the 3rd Ave and Burrard St. Starbucks as my office. So it’s no surprise that the area manager, stopped me one day and gave me in invitation to […]

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A Saturday to Savour in Courtenay and Comox

What better way to experience your destination than by enjoying local food and beverage.  The communities of Comox and Courtenay are bursting with the sights, smells and tastes of passionate people willing to share their products with you. If you are lucky enough to be here on a Saturday you can start your day at The Comox Farmers Market, a favourite gathering place since 1992.  You can sip a coffee, nibble on home baked treats and enjoy our local entertainment while supporting our local farms and businesses.  The market is located in the Exhibition Fair Grounds. After the market head […]

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RBCM in Victoria Hosts “Treasures: The World’s Cultures from The British Museum”

We looked at the parking meter in the lot behind Victoria‘s Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM). We figured two hours would be enough time. Ha! I have watched the RBCM grow since it moved out of the Legislature building across the street to its new quarters in the 1960s. I even work there briefly in the early 70s. So I knew of its renown throughout both Canada and the world for its permanent displays in the Natural History and Human History Galleries. This renown has enhanced its ability to attract world class traveling displays like the Egyptian treasures and the […]

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Vancouver International Children’s Festival 2009

It’s always fun to go to the Children’s Festival with the kids and see what’s new as well as visit old favourites.  We’ve never attended any of the shows; we simply explored the many tents and activities.  My daughter is now 7 and almost too old for the festival,  however she insisted that she go with her mom.  My one recommendation is that you don’t go on the last day of the festival, because everything is winding down. This year we arrived around 11 AM at the west gate on the last day of the festival.  The fee for us […]

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