The Tale of Two BC Book Stores

When on vacation, sometimes you get a moment to read. When shopping in places, I love looking for small bookstores. Occasionally you find a good book. Coombs BC is about 9 km from Parksville. In Coombs there’s a bookstore called Cozy Corner Books that’s got a lot of stuff but over time it’s gotten more disorganized over time. The owner knows tons but I literally tripped over a pile of books and was trapped for a couple of minutes. It’s always fun to look around but ton find anything is tough. Meanwhile in Parksville, at Fireside Books, the place is […]

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Four Lakes Trail – Alice Lake Provincial Park

Many years ago, we bought a book called 109 Walks. It’s one of those books you pull off the shelve every now and then to be ambitious when you are a city slug in a pandemic wanting to feel less locked in. The walking team picked Four Lakes Trail at Alice Lake Provincial Park. They set out from Vancouver and took the Upper Levels Highway (99) and drove about 12 km past Squamish to Alice Lake Road. At the Park it turned out the parking closer to the HQ was full, but there were lots right near Alice Lake itself […]

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Lighthouse Park Walk – West Vancouver

One of the more popular easy trails with stunning views is Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. When I asked Google Maps for a driving route, it suggested taking the Upper Levels Highway, which is a horrible route for a tourist. If you are coming from Vancouver stay on Marine Drive and head west. This will take you through the Ambleside and Dundarave sections of West Van, but then lead you to twisty roads with wonderful views. Be careful because the locals like to take these fast. It’s a left turn onto Beacon Lane where you can head down to the […]

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Agricultural Fair Coombs

Coombs BC is about 10 km west of Parksville. Every summer for 106 years, there has been the Coombs Fair, which is a flat out good old-fashioned agricultural fair. We for once were in the area when it was being held and decided to join in the fun. There is a dominance of 4-H clubs, which is a group of folks running youth programs in various disciplines. In Coombs’ case, it was animals, arts and small engines. It was interesting seeing young people wrangle rather large cattle with a calm that I wouldn’t have with an animal many times my […]

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The Range Langley

Heading to a gun range is not a normal tourist event in Canada, but you can do it in Langley BC. My goal was to conduct research for some fiction writing I’m doing. The Range is on 201 Street, Langley, not far from Highway 1. It’s important to note that if you just want to fire guns at their range, you either need a completed Canadian Firearms Safety Course or at least one other person in your group. I brought a friend with me. Prior to this trip, the only firearm I had fired was a 22-calibre rifle at a […]

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Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is located in Errington BC, which is about 6 km from Parksville. It’s my kind of hike (more of a walk, really) because it’s short (3 km) is easy and the scenery is spectacular. There are two falls (upper and lower) that have wonderful views. The lower falls ends in a pool in which thick-blooded individuals were splashing about. The water comes from a mountain and I expect it would be a tad chilly. The park is fairly busy, given there’s a campground attached and is easy access to day trippers as well. But you […]

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Milner Gardens Qualicum Beach

Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach was a visit a long time coming. We visit the Oceanside area of Vancouver Island once or twice a year and, every time we tried to sneak in a visit to Milner Gardens, we’ve been thwarted by scheduling issues. Vancouver Island University came into possession of the 79 acres of seaside walk and botanical gardens in 1996. Make sure to read the History page of the website because the original patrons are super British connected and the gardens have hosted Queen Elizabeth and some of her offspring over the years. For us, we had a […]

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Canada Place to Stanley Park and Back

There’s a really long walk you can take from Vancouver‘s Canada Place, which will take your around Stanley Park. It’s an easy walk, in that it’s flat and well kept. But it’s long. It’s also much longer if you are a nincompoop. Never change your orthotics into newer shoes before embarking; it will feel like you just put the orthotics in for the first time. However, let’s not focus on the pain; let’s focus on the scenery. When you start from Canada Place it’s a more industrial place. Seaplanes, ships, caf├ęs and so forth. The good news is that there […]

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Granville Island Markets and More

If you are visiting Vancouver, you should not miss Granville Island. Food, shopping, boats, artisans, entertainment and more. Food and shopping is what you’ve likely heard, but when I last walked onto the island, I noticed the first thing you see looking forward is the Theatresports venue, where you can enjoy improv. If you look behind you, you will see the Kids Market, which is a collection of toy stores and other fun things. Adults do not need children to enjoy that section. On the road heading to Granville Island Market, you will find unusual (i.e. not so branded) shops […]

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Vancouver Harbour Cruise

It’s nutty that I never went on a Harbour Cruise in Vancouver. Luckily someone at work decided this would be a good way to celebrate for our department. The cruise company provided food and a bar and even though it was a social event I had time to ponder how highly changeable the harbour becomes. It’s pretty industrial at first and is particularly eerie to see the structures for the Burnaby Terminal for the Trans Mountain Pipeline System. There’s so much debate about the expansion and to see the oil infrastructure with the creepy exhaust pipes that you think you […]

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