Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Exploring Mayne Island

Family Day weekend in BC, and a great excuse to get away.

This venture was to Mayne, one of the Gulf Islands (our first!) that lies between Vancouver & Vancouver Island.

It was an unusual time of year to visit. Most people hop over to the islands during the summer months for sunshine, sand, hiking etc. Feeling brave, we went across anyhow and simply accepted the inevitable rain we'd face.

We rented half a house that overlooked the sea and we could watch the sea otters and seals playing from our window. All very romantic.

Our weekend focused on hiking, eating delicious food and our new addiction, playing scrabble.

Over the three days we did every hike on the island, visiting Parke Park (yep, its real name) twice to do most hiking trails.

We also visited a Japanese Garden (photo above) as the island had a big Japanese population, prior to WWII.

In terms of scrabble, I have to say my skills were somewhat lacking. I made a come-back towards the end of weekend, winning two out of the six games we played. Clearly I need to up my skills.

A great introduction to the Gulf Islands. We'll explore more over the summer months.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014!

2013 was without doubt the best year of our lives, and we're excited to see what 2014 has in store for us.

We had an excellent New Year's Eve. We teamed up with Cathy and Dan for a snowshoe adventure on Grouse Mountain, along with dinner and chocolate fondue.

The evening drew to a close with a well-fought game of Scrabble (Dan won) and Pass the Pigs (I won), before the boys passed out in drunken stupors (OK, slight exaggeration but they were pretty merry).

2014, we salute you!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Here is our beautiful tree, called 'SideShow Bob' that is at the heart of today's events:

We are celebrating today in true ex-pat style...lots and lots of Skype/Facetime calls, a delicious roast and a walk along the sea wall.

Enjoy your celebrations all!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Silverstar experience & wedding bells

We had an extraordinary winter solstice this year spent in Silverstar ski resort for the wedding of two close friends, Cameron and Chelsea.

Silverstar is a gorgeous ski resort that is a five hour drive from Vancouver, towards the interior of British Columbia. It is made up of a collection of coloured chalets, and the village itself is very quaint - a great location for a wedding.

It was a stunning ceremony held outside in the snow:

We had been told to wear warm clothes, rather than typical wedding attire. David had an interesting outfit (anyone who attended our wedding will understand why the tie is so funny):

The reception was held in a local restaurant, and David played his role as Emcee for the evening.

The rest of the weekend was spent in a whirlwind of parties and social activities, and a few hours on the slopes were enjoyed too.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Whistler walkies

This weekend we had a ladies walking trip in Whistler, while the boys hit the slopes.

The four of us - me, Cathy, Sarah & Jess - set out on a three hour hike around Lost Lake. There was some snow, but not enough to warrant snow shoes, so we survived in just our hiking boots & hats/mittens (it was freezing at -10).

The lake itself was iced over and people were bravely using it as a skating rink. We also found (not made) this cute looking igloo. Kudos to whoever spent hours building it.

On route home, we stopped off at a friend's house to chop down a Christmas tree for Cathy and Dan's new home (very Canadian). Only Dan hadn't thought through the logistics about how we'd transport the tree itself back to their house...

We ended up with four of us in the car, along with a 10 foot tree. It smelt refreshing, although the prickily pine needles in your eyes wasn't so nice.

And what a tree it was! A 'Charlie Brown' is the only way to describe this thing...check it out:

What a beauty!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reifel bird sanctuary

What Autumn would be complete without a trip to Reifel bird sanctuary?

It is only 40 minutes from our apartment, and is an epicenter for wildlife. Of particular fame is the thousands of Snow Geese that flock to the area each year.

Here are some photos from our trip:


Monday, October 14, 2013

Birthday celebrations at Cannon Beach

This weekend David reached another milestone...his 32nd birthday.

We suitably marked the occasion with a three day surf trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon, one of our favourite getaways.

We stayed in a gorgeous apartment in Seaside with sea views (would you expect anything else?), and had a very indulgent weekend of food, wine and waves.

Here are some photos from our adventures, including our time at Short Sands, our favourite surf spot in Oswald West State Park:

This is the view from our apartment....pretty stunning:

This is another surf spot we explored:

All in all, an excellent weekend & a place we'll undoubtedly be coming back to visit again soon.