Summer Time is the Best Time!

I just absolutely love summertime. Fresh, cool air breezes through the city and brings with it the aroma of sizzling meat on the barbecue. In Vancouver, the groups of people clustered on Robson Street signal the latest in-store sales and product promotions. In Toronto, the  GO trains become packed with Blue Jays fans waiting to see Ricky Romero wind up on the pitcher’s mound. Ahhh, summer.

This past Saturday was a great summer day for myself and some friends. If you live in Vancouver and were anywhere near Gastown this past weekend, you know that the Vancouver International Jazz Festival was on. As we strolled down Water Street, the atmosphere surrounding us was uplifting. Magicians and jugglers lined the streets, welcoming any and all spectators. Nearby pubs were packed with jazz fans yearning for a pint. Lemonade stands and corn on the cob stations offered food to satisfy anyone’s taste buds and two different stages hosted the smooth, rhythmic beats of Jazz.

Looking around, I couldn’t help but really feel a part of something that day. People lucky enough to live in Gastown hung out their windows, watching the live performances from the comfort of their own home. The crowds watching the shows were both young and old, tourists and Vancouverites alike – all coming to enjoy the same genre of music. It was a great day!

If you didn’t get the chance to go out this past weekend – shame on you…buuuutt don’t worry. The Jazz festival will continue until July 4, 2010.  For more information on show times and locations, visit the website.

Lynn Valley

A bunch of us went to Lynn Canyon Park this weekend. For those of you that have never heart of Lynn Canyon Park, it is located in North Vancouver and it is know for its suspension bridge, leisurely hike or refreshing swim in one of the many popular swimming holes. The entree to the park, bridge and walks is free!

The suspension bridge is very narrow, but it offers a spectacular view of the river below.  Most of the hikes follow the river and takes you to some amazing waterfalls. You don’t have to be very fit to be able to do a hike in Lynn Canyon Park, most walks are well maintained and easy to walk on.

We had very nice weather making the day even better. Even though you are allowed swim in the water and the water looks like it is inviting you to come in, I would not recommend it just yet. I put my hands in the water and it was freezing! Hopefully the water will heat up so that we can go swimming in it in the summer.

We did almost all the hikes that are there and I really recommend doing as least some of the walks to everyone. There are so many trees and plants in the area that you get the feeling you are walking in a forest!

So if you are looking for something to do and love to be outdoors, go check out Lynn Valley!

– Manouk

Grouse Mountain Hike! Part 1

All I can say is – WOW! Saturday was an amazing day! The weather was gorgeous and made it the perfect day for hiking. Five of us met up to enjoy the day and get some exercise! I’m glad we could hike it together, because I must say that having each other there for moral support was needed.

You know, when I thought about hiking Grouse Mountain, I expected it  to be a couple hours of fun and some good exercise. When we arrived at the bottom, and I looked up to see the clouds covering the top of the mountain – I knew then that it wasn’t going to be all that easy.

It was a grueling 1 hour and 40 minute walk to the top. There were markers along the trail saying “You have now reached the 1/4 mark.” When I saw that sign I wanted to cry! I was a lot more out of shape than I thought, and with Radek calling me “Grandma”, you can only imagine how unamused I was. However, those comments made me push myself hard and keep going to reach the top. I was so exhausted already but knew that the view would make it worthwhile. And did it ever.

All of Vancouver – and further – could be seen from the peak. Below, the Lionsgate bridge sparkled as the sun reflected off of hundreds of vehicle tops. Hiking Grouse is a truly amazing experience and I encourage you to hike it! I won’t say too much more so Manouk can write some of her experiences and what activities there were at the top of the mountain.

Get out there to Grouse mountain and hike the Grind! You’ll love it!

– Laura

Grouse Grind Hike with INTERNeX!

With all of the rain we’ve been getting in Vancouver, I’ve been itching to get outside and enjoy the weather. If you’re in Vancouver, you know what I mean. Anyone is welcome to join Manouk and I tomorrow morning as we head to Grouse Mountain to hike their Grouse Grind trail. We will meet inside the Waterfront Station at 10 a.m. and take the sea bus to North Vancouver. From there we will hop on a bus that will take us straight to our destination.

What you will need:

  • Good hiking shoes / running shoes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Bottle of Water
  • Packed lunch (optional)
  • Money ($10.00 Skyride down the mountain and bus fare OR 2 Zone bus pass)
  • Camera

The Skyride is optional, as you can hike back down the mountain. We can decide this once we get to the top, however the Skyride is a one-mile journey like no other.

High above towering Douglas firs, breathtaking views of the city of Vancouver, sparkling Pacific Ocean, Gulf Islands, and snowy peaks unfold as you journey up the mountainside. North America’s largest aerial tramway is your gateway to the majestic nature of the Peak of Vancouver, and an experience in itself.

Once we get to the top, there are many activities to do if we want to stay and have a few more hours of fun. They have :

You don’t have to bring a packed lunch, but it might be fun to have a little picnic at the top, it’s supposed to be beautiful out tomorrow. There is a few restaurants at the mountain and a Starbucks I believe if you want to buy food instead.

This will be a  fun adventure guys, hope to see you tomorrow at 10 a.m. outside the Waterfront Station!

Can’t make this activity? Join us for pub night at Metropole, June 23!

Cheers and have a great weekend

Laura

Bike Ride Through Stanley Park

Have you been out to Stanley Park yet? If not, or if you want to get to know other INTERNeX candidates join us for a bike ride through Stanley Park on Sunday July 4.

For those of you who don’t know, Stanley Park is Vancouver’s biggest park, located on the edge of Downtown Vancouver. Every year Stanley Park attracts an estimated of eight million visitors every year, who come to check out the beauty Stanley Park has to offer.

Stanley Park offers something to do for everybody. You can take a walk, have a picnic; there is even an outdoor swimming pool! A fun, relaxing way to see Stanley Park is by a horse-drawn tour. The tour takes an hour and takes you all around Stanley Park. But what better way is there to see Stanley Park than on a bike. As you can see on the map, there a lot of bike paths that takes you through the entire park.

If you don’t have bike, you can still join us. We will meet up in front of the Bayshore Bike Rentals, located on 745 Denman Street in Downtown Vancouver at 1 pm. There everyone who doesn’t have a bike can rent one. You can rent a bike for only $6.00 per hour or $16.80 for 4 hours. As it is mandatory to wear a helmet while cycling in Vancouver, the rental price includes a complementary helmet.

Another fun way to explore Stanley Park is on roller blades! For only $5.00 per hour or $14.50 per 4 hours you can see Stanley Park on wheels!

After making sure that everybody has a bike or roller blades we will make our way to Stanley Park. Before we enter Stanley Park we will ride on the Seawall of Vancouver. The Seawall is a 22 km (13.7 miles) path that starts at the Convention Centre on Burrard Inlet (Coal Harbour), then goes around Stanley Park and False Creek, past Granville Island and ends at Kitsilano Beach Park. We will follow the Seawall part that goes around Stanley Park.

To be sure that there are enough bikes or roller blades for everybody, we encurage you to let us know if you want to join us for the bike ride. You can let us know by sending an email to pr@internexcanada.com or by calling us at 604 662 8149. This way we can reserve your bike or blades in advance!

As the weather in Vancouver can change at a moment notice, be sure to check out our blog frequently. Should the weather be really bad, we will post a notice on the blog saying if we are cancelling or not. You can also call us on Friday at the office (604 662 8149)  to check if the bike ride is still on!

I hope to see you on the 4th July for a beautiful ride trough Stanley Park!

– Manouk

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

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Even the name sounds delicious. This store is amazing… but if you have a history of cavities or an upcoming dentist appointment – stay away from this place! Why? See for yourself.

This place could be your worst nightmare or your heaven on earth. If you’re like me… somedays it may be deadly to walk in here! I can be quite an impulsive shopper on an empty stomach. When I visited this store the other day, I walked out with an Apple Pie Caramel apple. It was absolutely divine! Everyone should visit this store while in Vancouver! They do have shops in other cities, but come on! Just look at all the goodies!

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is an international franchisor, confectionery manufacturer and retail operator in the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The Company is based in the charming old-west town of Durango located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. From its 53,000 square foot factory, the Company manufactures an extensive line of premium chocolate candies and other confectionery products to supply its many franchise locations, delivered fresh by its fleet of refrigerated trucks.

The factory typically produces approximately 300 chocolate candies and other confectionery products, using proprietary recipes developed primarily by its master candy maker. These products include many varieties of clusters, caramels, creams, meltaways, truffles and molded chocolates. Individual stores prepare a variety of caramel and candy apples, fudge, chocolate items and confections in full view of the customer using traditional cooking utensils such as copper kettles on gas-fired stoves and marble slab cooling tables.

Neat huh? I’ll leave you with a few more pictures. If you would like to visit their website, click here! The location I visited was at 1017 Robson Street. They even had cute little piggy candy apples. They also serve fudge, ice cream and truffles. If you’re good you’ll show up just in time for samples 😉 …

That’s all for now guys! Gotta jet, I’m hungry…

– Laura