Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wonders around me

I work and live in the West Shore of Victoria in a city called Langford. It is more rural than down town Victoria. Victoria is full of trails, the most notable being the Galloping Goose Trail. Everywhere you go you will find trails and walkways. I don't particularly like walking on sidewalks and road ways, so I constantly look for places to get away from it all. Not far from where I live is the Millstream river and along the shores are old growth trees. I feel fortunate to be able to immerse myself in nature so close to home. Come and visit and enjoy what we have at our doorstep.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Golfing on Vancouver Island

Serious golfers golf year round on Vancouver Island, but not me. I am a fair weather golfer, so it is this time of the year when I kick my golf into gear. If you are coming to Vancouver Island and wish to experience some of the best golf courses on the Island, I suggest you check out the Golf Trail Card, it is a good deal and the courses are great. The photo to the right is on the 19th hole at Bear Mountain showing spectacular views of Victoria, Southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. This is an optional hole. Bring lots of balls. There are many good golf courses in Victoria and all over Vancouver Island.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Road Trip to Qualicum

We took a couple days off and travelled up to Qualicum Beach for a little fun and relaxation. One of the very special things you can do is go for long walks on the beach when the tide goes out and boy does it go out. It seems like you can walk into the middle of the ocean and search for shells and other neat sea life. The photo to the right is on the beach in Parksville looking towards the mainland. Rathtrevor Beach is a great campground in this area.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Freak Storm Hits Victoria

On Saturday, Victoria was rocked by a freak storm that was totally out of character for this City and this time of year. We were stunned. The blossoms were in bloom, the leaves were out on the trees, daffodils were in full bloom, rhodos were out, spring was here, so we thought. The good news is that 24 hours later, there were very few signs of the storm left. Saturday morning everything was white, the sky was white, and it looked worse that most days during our mild winters. It has been sometime since I saw so much snow come down in such a short period. Good news is that it is gone and spring is back. We are back to feeling lucky that we live here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tall Ships Visit Victoria

In June of 2008, Victoria’s spectacular Inner Harbour will provide the stage for an event that will "shiver your timbers". From the 26th to 29th of June the harbour will be alive with excitement and celebration, as Victoria commemorates the city’s maritime heritage. It is estimated that two dozen or more tall ships from around the world will weigh anchor in the harbour. Visitors will be able to walk the decks, touch and feel the rigging, brass and timbers and imagine themselves back in the times when pirates roamed the Atlantic. Don miss this super event. For detailed information visit the tall ship web site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Floating Boat Show

The first major event of the year is coming April 24 to 27 at the Inner Harbour Causeway and Ships Point. Here is your opportunity to dream, or if your resources are plentiful, purchase a floating palace. For a $10 boarding pass you can "cruise" through a host of boats and yachts. It is a great show in a great location. Don't miss this event.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Southern Vancouver Island - a don't miss location

Vancouver Island is approximately 460 kilometres (286 miles) long from north to south and almost 50 - 80 kilometres (31 - 50 miles)wide, east to west. It has over 3400 square kilometres of coastline (2,136 miles). The highest point is 2195 metres (7,201 feet) at the top of Mt. Golden Hinde which is almost in the geographic centre of Vancouver Island. It is the largest island on the west coast of North America. Conde Nast Traveler, Readers Choice Awards has named Vancouver Island the Top Island in North America for the last seven years (to 2007). The reason is obvious to anyone who lives here. Vancouver Island has it all - snow-capped rugged mountain, lush green rainforests, pounding surf, miles of sandy beaches, clear, sparkling rivers and the best weather in Canada. Southern Vancouver Island is my home and there are tons of reasons why you will want to spend time here. Read more....
Photo is from our spectacular Royal BC Museum.

Friday, April 11, 2008

We have big trees...

We have giant trees on Vancouver Island, some as many as 800-1000 years old. There are a few around greater Victoria, but the first good stand is at Cathedral Grove between Parksville and Port Alberni. This stand is right along the highway. Another good stand is on Meares Island near Tofino. You have to take a water taxi to get to these trees (shown to the right), but it is well worth the small effort. There are also other stands that you have to hike into like the Walbran Valley. Come visit our island and these gentle giants that live in our forests.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whale Watching is superb!

Just around the corner is whale watching season in Victoria. From May to September, there are three resident pods of Orcas (Killer Whales) that frequent the waters around Victoria British Columbia. The whales travel about 100 km a day in search of food and can be found anywhere from Seattle's Puget Sound, to Vancouver's Straits of Georgia or in Juan de Fuca Strait or the Gulf and San Juan Islands. Sometime they are right off the Victoria waterfront. There is a system of watchers that keep fairly good tabs on the whales so that they can be found by the various tour companies. When you go out, you can choose between the adrenalin rush of the speedy zodiac type rubber boats or the more conservative boats with cover from the elements when needed. I like the boats that have on board washrooms since most tours are three hours. In those three hours, you are likely to spend at least 1 hour with the whales and the other two hours travelling to wherever they are, or spending time with the other birds and animals you may see along the way. It is an exciting adventure. Bring along a good camera with a telephoto lens so you can get good close-ups. The whale watching boats are supposed to stay 100 meters away from the whales, but sometimes the whales decide to check out the tour boats. During the period from May 1 to Sept. 30, generally there is about an 80% chance of seeing whales. That is very good. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, it is world-class whale watching around Victoria.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Qualicum-Where the Dog Salmon Run?

We are soon to be off to one of our favourite B&B's, Heritage Cottage in the superb town of Qualicum Beach. The name Qualicum means "where the dog salmon run". Catchy, but it does not have much to do with the beautiful town that has developed mid-island. It is one of the nicest towns on Vancouver Island. There are golf courses everywhere and lots of shops to visit. It is also close to the Coombs country market, my favourite little tourist trap! Don't miss it. Pictures do not do the Heritage Cottage B&B justice. The hospitality is great and the breakfasts even better. If you would like to read more, visit our travel magazine and read more about it.
To learn more about Qualicum Beach, visit:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Short Hop to Vancouver

I just completed a short visit to Vancouver to see Bruce Springsteen. I tend to forget just how beautiful Vancouver really is. The north shore mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the big harbour. It is a lovely city, but it still is a really big city with incredible traffic. Makes me appreciate why I live in Victoria. The shopping is also much better in Vancouver than Victoria (so says my wife). If I were going to recommend anything to my blog readers, it would be to spend your time on Vancouver Island and take a day trip to Vancouver. You may appreciate this suggestion.