Adventures on Vancouver Island

This past weekend I met up with my friend Teresa for a visit.  She’s been in the area for about a week on vacation, visiting her family in Comox – a nice little town on Vancouver Island. I got up early Saturday morning to catch the 8:30 a.m. ferry, and was super excited to see a friend from home!

When I arrived, Teresa was waiting with her cousin Claire, who is also visiting but lives in Ireland. We said our hello’s and from there we began our day! First, we drove about 40 minutes and stopped at a nice park. Everything was so fresh and so green! There were tall trees everywhere and the sun was shining. What a beautiful day! As we walked along the paths, we came to the largest tree in the park – a giant Douglas-fir. It is over 800 years old, 76 metres tall and nine metres around. It was over 300 years old when Christopher Columbus came to North America in 1492. The Douglas-fir is one of Canada’s oldest living tree species and can live to be over 1,000 years old! Here is a picture of me with the tree, so you can see for yourself how large it is!

We continued out walk through the park, seeing hollow trees, large roots and insects along the way. It was a nice walk. Once we decided to leave, we hopped in the car and were off to the next destination! We made a pit stop at a nice area by the beach, to take a few pictures. The mountains were tall and the water was clear, it was a truly beautiful sight! In the distance, railroad tracks could be seen in the mountains.

After walking around and taking many pictures, Teresa, Claire and I had worked up our appetites! We decided to head to the local shopping mall to get something to eat, and of course, shop. Within a few hours, our bellies were full and we each had a few shopping bags… so we headed to Comox where Teresa’s family lives. Later that evening, we walked to a nice restaurant where we enjoyed a nice dessert with a glass of wine. From our table, the harbour and mountains could be seen – it was the perfect end to the night!

Have you been to the Island yet? There is so much to do there, including surfing in Tofino, visiting one of their many parks, and even kayaking. The island itself is is 460 kilometres (290 miles) in length and 80 kilometres (50 miles) in width at its widest point. It is the largest island on the western side of North America at 32,134 km squared and the world’s 43rd largest island, Canada’s 11th largest island and Canada’s second most populous island.  Major cities on Vancouver Island include Victoria, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville, Courtenay and Campbell Rivier.

I hope you get to visit the Island this summer!

– Laura

Café Crêpe

I think I’m in love. With crêpes. This weekend, I went for another stroll down Robson Street, however I didn’t get very far. The sweet, sweet aroma of chocolate drizzle, strawberry and nutella made me stop dead in my tracks. Could it be? Love at first bite…

I had always seen the red lights that hovered above this little restaurant on Robson street, but had never stopped to order anything. Usually I eat lunch before heading out for some shopping, but on Saturday all I could think about was food! As soon as the smell of melting chocolate and fresh cut strawberries reached my nostrils, I was running towards the express window at Café Crêpe.

Importing the tradition of the classic European café to North America, Café Crêpe specializes in Parisian sweet & savoury crêpes. There are so many different types of crêpes to try at this hub, it can drive a hungry person mad! In addition to crêpes, they also specialize in french baguette sandwiches, and grilled Italian panini.  As an international café, Café Crêpe also offers world classics like half-pound certified Angus burgers, pommes frites (french fries),thin crust pizza, and a full traditional breakfast menu that includes Eggs Benedict and an exciting variety of omelettes, among other specialties. In addition to serving exceptional Italian roasted coffee, Café Crêpe is fully licensed, offering a vast selection of alcoholic beverages and cocktails, along with select beers and wines.

Everyone NEEDS to try something from this restaurant. Although a little pricey (depending on what you order), you will not be let down! I still dream about this crêpe.

Enjoy your eats!

– Laura

Chinatown and Richmond Summer Night Markets

If you haven’t been out to a summer night market yet, you need to experience this while in Vancouver!

The summer night markets commit to representing ethnic diversity by inviting the celebration of many cultural festivities on site, promoting new and young talent on stage, giving opportunities to many charities and assisting them towards their goals, and most of all, offering many types of entrepreneurs, including the young and old, a  place for business opportunities.

A shopping extravaganza featuring Asian traditional handicraft, fashionable gifts & ethnic snacks. A shopping experience like never before! The street market contains booths with different merchandises on sale including artistic handicrafts, creative gifts & decors, modern electronics, fashionable clothes, popular music CD, VCD, DVD, delicious snacks & ethnic food…etc. You don’t even need to buy anything – you can stroll around and enjoy the multicultural performances: folk dancing, singing, magic shows, martial arts, lion dance, bands… as well as games & prizes! Spend a summer night at the the Chinatown or Richmond Night market!

They are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all summer long.

Click here for further information on the Chinatown Summer Nights Market!

Click here for further information on the Richmond Summer Nights Market!

– Laura

Enjoy Stanley Park!

Hey guys!

Did anyone get outside this weekend? The beautiful weather made it impossible for me to stay indoors. I joined in on a trip to Stanley Park with my housemate Melissa and her friends – who are visiting from Germany!

Beautiful weather at Stanley Park

I guess we weren’t the only ones with that idea, because as soon as we reached Denman street, there were people everywhere! Robson street was also quite chaotic as people hopped in and out of stores to get the latest deals on clothing.

As we stepped off the bus, we made our way over to a bike rental shop. If you’re looking for a nice way to spend the day, there are many stores which rent out bicycles and roller-blades for a nominal fee. I rented a mountain bike for 5 hours, and it cost me less than $20.00 CAN. Melissa’s friends rented roller-blades from Spokes for an hourly rate of $9.00 CAN. Did I mention you can also rent tandem bikes? These are bicycles with two seats, so if you have a friend or significant other, it makes for a fun day!

Once everyone was geared up and ready to go, we were off! We made our way around the boat harbour, and soon came across the 9 o’clock gun. Cast in England in 1816, brought here in 1894, the gun was used by mariners to set their chronometers and also to warn fishers of closing. Neat!

As we continued our trek, we passed a lovely scene of totem poles at Brockton Point.  This was a great place to stop and take pictures. The totem pole display area is the most visited tourist attraction in all of British Columbia and has an interesting history. In the early 1920s, the elected Park Commissioners of the day supported the idea of constructing an Indian Village in Stanley Park near the Lumbermen’s Arch area. This site was chosen as it had been the location of a massive midden, or cultural mound, resulting from years of habitation by the native aboriginal peoples.

Laura at Stanley ParkAs we continued our journey around Stanley Park, I realized that every view was a gorgeous view! Around every bend, and every corner was a breathtaking sight. I took many pictures on Saturday to make sure I never forgot what a fun time I had! This is a picture Melissa took of me. I love it because in the background there’s water, mountains and a sailboat.

There are many beaches along the route we took, so we decided to stop at Second Beach. A couple of feathery friends payed us a visit while we relaxed and listened to music. Two bald eagles sat, perched on a branch on the tree beside us. They remained there for quite some time – I guess they were enjoying the sunshine too!

Make sure you get a chance to check out Stanley Park, it really is a great way to spend the day with some friends! Click here for a map, which shows all the nice things to see along the way. I’ll be back there sometime soon, because I didn’t get the chance to go through Stanley Park – just around. It’s that big!

The best thing about this park is that it’s free to enjoy. Also, there’s so much to see. Lionsgate bridge, Inukshuk, even an aquarium hidden in the area. Make sure to check this while you’re here in Canada. Hope to see you guys out at the Calling on Wednesday for INTERNeX PuB NiGHT!

Cheers,

Laura

The Caprice 7th Anniversary

Caprice nightclub is proud to invite you to celebrate its…7th Anniversary! This event is premiering on April 29th with doors opening up at 9pm and the party will be going strong till 3am. Last years anniversary party was epic to say the least! For some footage of previous parties hosted by Caprice become a fan of their facebook page. Guestlist for the 7 year anniversary party has now opened! So if you visit their official company website and register to get on the list you will receive your complimentary cover and free cocktails and canapes before 10:30pm.  Amazing surprises will help to keep you entertained all night and LA’s own DJ Kevin Scott with resident DJ JohnnyJover will be heating up the dancefloor with their amazing music! Spaces are limited so hurry up and get your guestlist request in! This beautiful club is located at the heart of Vancouver nightlife at 967 granville street so if you haven’t see it before just take a stroll past it.