All tagged Canada
Although we have done a fair amount of traveling I always feel like we have just scratched the surface. There is so much to see and do in our neck of the woods there really is no need to venture too far unless we are in the mood for a change of scenery. On our way back from Pemberton last month, we stopped at the Sea to Sky Gondola. We rode the gondola up, ate lunch and then walked along a few of their trails and rode it back down. Next time, we plan to hike up and then ride the gondola down. Had we not been pressed for time we would have done so this time.
In Pemberton, BC there exists a place so beautiful it just begs to be shared. North Arm Farm is a family run business that was started by Jordan and Trish Sturdy in 1995. Since then, it has been developed into forty five acres of vegetables and fruit. One July morning, we made the trek from our home in Seattle to their farm in Pemberton. What ensued was an evening of stunning food, inspiring conversations and endless beauty. My only wish is that this farm was located closer to Seattle because I would like to spend as much time as possible in this idyllic setting.
The biggest perk of catching the early ferry is you can hit the ground running once you are in Victoria. When traveling with a toddler two of the most important factors are food and speed. During our boat ride we were able to eat breakfast and then spend the rest of the time checking out all the boats and beautiful scenery out our window and chatting with the interesting people on board. Once in Victoria we took a short taxi ride to our hotel and without much fuss we were able to be settled into our room and get a bite to eat all before noon. Since it was so early in the day, we then had the rest of the day to explore Victoria at our leisure. We had such a long list of things we wanted to do we really appreciated being able to get up to Victoria so fast and with such ease on the Victoria Clipper.
Earlier this year, we decided it was high time we returned to where we spent our honeymoon- Ucluelet, B.C. For our eleventh wedding anniversary we spent a relaxing four days at Black Rock Resort as we celebrated each other and the awesome life we have created together. Although many people have never heard of Ucluelet, it is a ruggedly beautiful place located on Vancouver Island about four hours west of Victoria, B.C.
Vancouver Lookout is the perfect place to visit while you are in Vancouver, BC. Being up so high with a 360 degree view you are able to easily get your bearings of the city and visually plan out the rest of your visit. We could not decide if we wanted to visit the Vancouver Lookout during the day or at night, so we decided to visit at dusk. As a result, we were able to watch the city turn from day to night and catch one of the loveliest sunsets from the lookout.
One of our primary reasons for visiting Vancouver was to go snowshoeing. There isn't one, but three fantastic places to go snowshoeing all within twenty minutes from the city. However, between getting late starts each day and the extra holiday traffic we were only able to visit Cypress Mountain this time. On the day we were up there the glorious sunshine and blue skies combined with a fresh dumping of snow made for one heavenly day. The snow shoe route we took was one of those straight up the entire way. When we are out snowshoeing I am always thoroughly impressed with Cameron's ability to carry our heavy son on his back. He never complains and makes it look so easy. I am reminded time and time again how much fresh mountain air and family time is good for the soul. I am continually grateful for these two adventurous dudes and how much they make every single day special.
After Christmas, we were excited to spend time in one of our favorite cities- Vancouver, B.C. Although it had been a couple years since we last visited I was reminded how much I love Vancouver and the diversity of its surrounding neighborhoods. I like to think of Vancouver as the hip, more refined and established older sister to Seattle. Whatever characteristics I like about Seattle it seems Vancouver has in greater abundance or accessibility. My two great loves are the water and the mountains. Vancouver like Seattle has both, but in Vancouver the mountains are so easily accessible from the city it makes me envious.
The Maligne Canyon is a natural feature located in Jasper National Park. In some parts this canyon is 160 feet tall. Walking along this canyon is the perfect activity for kids and could occupy them for a couple of hours exploring. There are waterfalls, streams, plants and birds galore.
Whenever we mentioned to others we were heading up to Jasper and Banff people would mention Lake Louise. Although I found Lake Louise to be beautiful, I think it is popular based upon its easy accessibility and uniqueness of having a hotel on its shore. Don't get me wrong, Lake Louise is beautiful, but I can think of many other lakes I would rather spend the afternoon at. The changing light provided an array of different water colors as we walked its shore. It was a lovely afternoon indeed.
While visiting Jasper National Park our days consisted of hiking, exploring, and hanging out lakeside. In Washington state, you have to really work to visit most alpine lakes. The shortest distance you typically have to hike to these alpine lakes is three miles each way. However, in Jasper National Park there are breathtaking lakes literally a stone's throw from the main highway. In a matter of ten or twenty minutes you could be feasting your eyes on glorious scenery without another care in the world. Oh, Jasper National Park you continue to steal my heart again and again with these breathtaking lakes.
Before driving between Jasper and Banff we had read how the Icefields Parkway is one of the most of scenic drives in North America. We have been on a lot of road trips all over the world, so we were a little hesitant to believe this to be true. However, once we embarked on our trip we were constantly craning our necks to look out the windows and repeatedly oohed and aahhed our way down the road. We have seen a lot of beautiful scenery in our lifetime and the Icefields Parkway is right up there.
One of the "must sees" in Jasper National Park is Athabasca Falls. We have seen a lot of waterfalls over the years and are not easily impressed. We approached the falls with a fair amount of skepticism, but were pleasantly surprised by just how stunning they were. Picture milky blue water cascading down moss covered quartzite and limestone.
Watching an animal in its natural habitat is truly one of the most thrilling experiences while being outdoors. From the squeal of marmots or pikas to watching elk, moose or big horn sheep The thrill of seeing an animal is never lost on me.
This year our vacations have been simple. We have spent all of our time hiking, camping, exploring and being outdoors. Spending time together has been our number one priority and we have kept all the other details simple.