Category Archives: Travel

Mini Adventure: Slowing Down on Salt Spring Island

Since moving to Vancouver in 2011 after two and a half years of gallivanting around Latin America, you could say T and I have been full steam ahead trying to get our careers back in order and settling into a normal cadence (for the time being). It has taken until about now to feel relatively stable and we haven’t really taken a vacation just the two of us for a long time.

With BC finally getting on the Family Day bandwagon we snuck a 4-day getaway to Salt Spring Island to escape and unwind. Here’s a couple highlights from our mini adventure:

cozy Casita

First up was checking into the cutest casita this side of Mexico. Carl and Tracy of Frida’s Villa & Cottage welcomed us to their adorable studio with fresh lime margaritas. Pet-friendly with a wood-burning stove, full kitchen stocked with amazing breakfast foods (including fresh eggs from their neighbour, Art) and an ocean view, this little cabin was the perfect find. (Note: you need to ask about the casita as it isn’t listed on the site)

Coffee Talk

Morningside Bakery & Cafe in Fulford was our first stop. Owned by Manon and Alan you can expect great coffee, a selection of delish and health-conscious food as well as stimulating conversation. We went in for a latte and stayed for an hour discussing South America, the state of society and whether we’ll all have drones following us at some point in the near future. I love me some strong coffee and conversation and this little cafe serves it right up.

Hiking Ruckle Park

 

We made the most of a rain-free day and headed to Ruckle Park for a leisurely stroll. As per usual this stroll morphed into a solid 10 km hike around the coast of the southern tip of the island.  Don’t miss King’s Cove.

Dinner Time

After our solid hike we decided to forgo cooking and try Bruce’s Kitchen, a local fave. What it lacks in ambiance this restaurant makes up for with flavourful and creative dishes made from locally-sourced products. The famous chicken pot pie made this hiker pretty happy.

A couple of other highlights include:

Basically, this is what you’ll feel like on Salt Spring Island, can you tell we’ll be back?

My 5 Favourite Things About Vancouver (So Far…)

Coming from the prairies, the one thing I was worried about (and warned about) was Vancouver’s grey weather. I was doing pretty well with Raincouver’s constant overcast weather up until about two weeks ago. It’s been rainy, grey and downright blech for the last few weeks.

I could whine about it some more and prove to sun-lucky Calgarians that yes, there really are some benefits about dealing with freezing temperatures namely (or maybe only) the usually beautiful, sunny summers. However, to pull myself out of my “am-I-ever-going-to-see-the-sun-again” cave I decided to remind myself about some of the things I really love about Vancouver:

1) The Seawall
As a runner, having access to such an amazing path system is heaven. An ocean view set against a backdrop of mountains isn’t too shabby either. Bonus points for Van: you can run outside all year-long!

2) Le Marche
Having a latte here is akin to sitting at a cafe in some small French town. With neighbours popping in for a few groceries,  the best croissants in town and a gorgeous selection of home accoutrements, Le Marche is my escape when I need a little break from the daily grind. I’d also like to make their beautiful rental my permanent home but until then a latte every now and then will have to do.

3) Barefoot Contessa
I love stepping into this whimsical shop on Main Street. Beautifully put together displays, an amazing array of adorable dresses and stylishly quirky staff make it all too easy to find something (or a bunch of things) you “must have”.  As a digital geek, I totally applaud the way this shop uses social media to create buzz. Genius.

4) The Park Theatre
This is in my favourites for three reasons: one, I can walk here in about five minutes, two, the Park plays both blockbuster and indie films and three, with 500 seats in theatre you are almost always guaranteed a good seat.

5) The Beaches
Sure, there are no palm trees swaying in the breeze or drinks in coconuts being served but c’mon, it’s Canada, what were you expecting? There is however, sand and water and quite a few beaches to choose from, all of which are the right choice when the sun is out. Anytime, Vancouver, anytime.

Hey Vancouverites, what’s your fave thing about your city?

Living it up at Coachella

So Coachella 2012 weekend two was amazing. Seriously why have I not gone before? With big blue skies, soaring temperatures (40 degrees!), good friends and a lineup of stellar music, there was no way this weekend could have been any better.

Here are some pics from the weekend:

We were lucky enough to stay with a friend’s parents’ place. Who knew it would look like a page right out of architectural digest? (Yeah I happened to coordinate with the accents, what can I say?)

Day one was amazing. We took in The Sheepdogs, Other Lives, Gary Clark Jr., Mazzy Star and finished off the evening with The Black Keys.

As mentioned it was scorching hot so day two involved tracking down some bandannas, to make these guys look badass of course.

It also involved an insane amount of good music starting out with Dragonette (where their computer kept overheating),  Childish Gambino (Troy from Community raps for those who didn’t know), Noel Gallagher, Feist, dancing to David Guetta and chilling at Bon Iver.

Radiohead closed the evening with mind-blowing performance even if Thom flubbed a couple lines and giggled.

So Day three was the one I had been waiting for. After catching the the last song by the folk-duo First Aid Kit (definitely worth listening to) and dancing to Santigold (a less aggressive version of MIA) next up was Gotye. Even though I am sure most people in the crowd only knew “Somebody that I Used to Know”,  he still managed to get everyone up dancing and singing. We zipped over to catch Girl Talk who drew a massive crowd with his easy-to-dance-to mashups.

Then it was time for the woman I had been waiting for: Florence and the Machine. Dressed in a black leotard with gauzy wings and as kooky as ever, Flo put on a wicked show. Best part about it was I could actually see the stage. A really tall guy was nice enough to switch spots (seriously, who does that?!).  If you haven’t seen her and you have a chance to you should (pssst, she’s coming to Vancouver).


Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and yes, hologram Tupac closed Coachella. We were all  surprised (or maybe a bit embarrassed) to realize we actually know way more of his songs that we thought—who knew we were such gangstas.


So, see you at Coachella next year?

What to Pack: Coachella 2012

I’m not going to lie for someone who has travelled a lot I am absolutely horrible at packing light. Tell me to pack for two years and I am good to go, tell me to pack for five days and suddenly I decide that seven pairs of shoes is totally acceptable. What can I say? I’m a much better long-term traveller.

One of my travel goals is to be able to pack everything I need for a five-day trip in carryon and still be stylish and appropriately dressed for any occasion. I know, it’s a really serious goal. (If you are a really awful packer, Kelly of Travellious found an amazing app that makes packing a snap!)

Coachella is a mere week and half away (we’re headed to the second week) and I cannot wait! I’m determined to pack light and am looking at the lightest but most versatile clothes that I can cram into a carryon. Maxi dresses are my new fave (I know I am late on that trend) so I chose one simple dress and built around it. I’m opting for basics and then adding in some fun with bright (and inexpensive, thank you H&M) jewellery and accessories.

What to pack for Coachella

 

Everyone is telling me to pack boots but given that I plan to rock a carryon I suspect my trusty Converse will be the shoes I end up wearing the whole time. Don’t worry, I’ve heard the horror stories of wearing sandals to any music fest (thanks to Coachella expert Kelsey Dundon of The Anthology) so my sandals will be worn outside the venue.

What is your must-have for a music festival?