Going Coastal on Vancouver Island

Swimming in potholes. Riding a steam train. Beachcombing. Sampling the local vino. Falling asleep to the sound of surf. British Columbia’s Pacific Marine Circle Route serves up so many tempting diversions on its 255-km-long journey along southern Vancouver Island, you’d be insane not to slow down and enjoy. The scenic drive begins in Victoria andContinue reading “Going Coastal on Vancouver Island”

50 Ways to Freeze Your Lover

In winter, Quebec City looks impossibly romantic. Snowdrifts cover the city’s centuries-old walls. Lovers walk hand-in-mittened hand down cobblestone streets. It’s all so dreamy and seductive and, well, hot. But, if your idea of a romantic getaway includes getting active outdoors, you’ll discover a chilly truth. In Quebec City, in winter, there must be 50Continue reading “50 Ways to Freeze Your Lover”

Marilyn Monroe in Whistler Blackcomb: skiing, zipping, indulging

My husband wants me to be Marilyn Monroe. No, not for the obvious reason — I’m already blonde and, well, sort of voluptuous. It’s the attitude he’s after. “Ever notice that ‘what the hell’ is always the right decision?” the legendary Monroe is quoted as once saying. And so my husband Kent hopes I’ll copContinue reading “Marilyn Monroe in Whistler Blackcomb: skiing, zipping, indulging”

Feed, preen and loaf in Ladner B.C.

Making your way along the entrance path at the George Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island is like navigating a big, boisterous holiday party. First you must sidestep the crowd of noisy mallard ducks that waddle toward you like Aunt Martha looking for her Christmas kiss. Then you’re obliged to tiptoe around dozens ofContinue reading “Feed, preen and loaf in Ladner B.C.”

Shank’s Mare and a Comfy Bed: East Coast Trail in Newfoundland

On the eastern fringe of Canada, where the rough-and-tumble Atlantic Ocean meets the hard rock and good people of Newfoundland and Labrador, there exists a remarkable hiking trail. The East Coast Trail is long–540 kilometres–yet is parcelled into manageable day hikes. It follows one coastline, but delivers gobsmackingly varied terrain. It feels remote, yet runsContinue reading “Shank’s Mare and a Comfy Bed: East Coast Trail in Newfoundland”

Artistically inclined: Eight art-filled reasons to visit Vancouver, B.C. this summer

Don’t let the cycling jerseys, running shoes and beach shorts fool you. Buried under Vancouver, B.C.’s outdoorsy exterior beats the heart of an art-loving city. Case in point: the crowds of locals streaming in to see the Vancouver Art Gallery’s latest exhibit, “Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore.”  This extraordinary collectionContinue reading “Artistically inclined: Eight art-filled reasons to visit Vancouver, B.C. this summer”

Train tripping across Canada with teens

Although no one suggests my plan to take the train across Canada with my family is “an act of insane recklessness” (that’s what a politician said in 1871 when he heard that Canada was going to build a railway across the immense and largely empty country), some friends are clearly flummoxed. Even when I extolContinue reading “Train tripping across Canada with teens”

Wannabe cowgirl at the Calgary Stampede

That a 900-kilogram black bull is snorting and stomping in the rodeo chute beside where I stand doesn’t scare me. Even when it starts slamming against the chute rails and tossing its head in a vain attempt to sink a horn into the cowboy straddling the top rails, I’m frightened only a little. No, whatContinue reading “Wannabe cowgirl at the Calgary Stampede”

Getting air on Vancouver Island’s west coast

There is air, there is fresh air, and then there is the brisk, briny, oxygen-thick air that rides in on wild ocean waves. That’s the air you’ll breathe when you round the tip of southern Vancouver Island and follow the Pacific Marine Circle Route. This 158-mile scenic drive begins in Victoria, hugs the western coastlineContinue reading “Getting air on Vancouver Island’s west coast”