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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

While we were staying in Courtenay, we learned that there were two breweries in town plus another one in Cumberland. It was a very hot summer day and we needed some refreshing beer to cool us down, so we paid Gladstone Brewing a visit!

Gladstone focuses on Belgian ales, European lagers, and Pacific Northwest style India pale ales. The interior is quite interesting. It reminded me of an auto repair shop. In fact, its flight paddles are license plates mounted on a piece of wood plank.

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If you are asking for suggestions around Mid Vancouver Island, almost everyone would tell you about this little town named Coombs. According to Wikipedia, the town of Coombs has a population of 1,300+ but they welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every year. So what’s there?

The biggest draw is definitely the Old Country Market, better known as the Goats on the Roof Market. Namely, there are living goats on the roof! We were lucky to see a few of them grazing and chilling on the roof.

Old Country Market in Coombs - Goats on the Roof

Inside, it’s a giant grocery store/market. A lot of local and imported food products, as well as a deli/food counter. I have picked up some candied smoked salmon jerky there and they were very good. And best find at the market? Mr. found a Panama Hat that fits his gigantic head, and I scored a $5 Sun Hat!

Mr. and I with our new hats

Mr. and I with our new hats

While we were there, we had lunch at the Cuckoo Trattoria Italian Restaurant next door. It has a good selection of pasta and pizza dishes. (more…)

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For those of you who follow me on social media, you would know that we took a trip to Vancouver Island. It was a pretty epic trip — travelled from Nanaimo to Port Hardy and San Josef Bay in the northwest corner, and everywhere in between — 2,300km in 9 days.

First stop, Nanaimo. It was brunch time when we arrived in Nanaimo. Downtown Nanaimo has no shortage of brunch options, and Gabriel’s Cafe caught my eyes. Gabriel’s is about eat local, farm to table.

Gabriel's Cafe, Nanaimo

Food

Ordering wasn’t an easy task for me, because I was just recovering from a bad stomach flu. I had to pick something light so I avoided pulled pork, braised beef, or anything rich and heavy. I opted for the Breakfast #11 — Coconut Milk Pancakes with Roasted Apples, Seasonal Fruit and Yogurt. I thought coconut milk pancakes wouldn’t be too heavy and there would be a good dose of fruit on the plate. Haha the portion size was not for the faint of heart. (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Sorry we took a writing break, but it’s good to be back!]

When I was contacted by our friends at Ford Canada that I’d have a Ford Focus for a week, the hopeful boy racer in Mr. asked, “is it an ST? Is it a hatchback?”

As it turns out, it was neither. It was a fully loaded (Titanium) sedan with a pretty blue paint job.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

It also happened to be the same week as we threw a surprise birthday weekend in Whistler for CL, one of Mr.‘s close friends. So we gave the Focus a thorough test on a 36-hour trip.

Ford Focus Titanium 2017

36 Hours in Whistler

We kicked off the weekend at Stonesedge Kitchen, where we surprised CL with a birthday brunch.

Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

There were 6 of us – and there were 5 orders of Breakfast Poutine. Except for me, the adventurous one. I ordered the Woodsman’s Bowl, with pulled venison and roasted butternut squash. Let me just say, I was happy with my choice. There was a good combination of flavours and texture. The slightly gamey venison made the dish more interesting than the maple sausage in the Breakfast Poutine.

Breakfast Poutine, Stonesedge Kitchen WhistlerWoodsman's Bowl, Stonesedge Kitchen Whistler

Then, a stopover at Whistler Brewing.

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During the Christmas Break, Mr. and I went to the States to check out some holiday light displays. We drove through various neighbourhoods in the Seattle area and were amazed by how the houses came together to put on some fabulous displays.

The highlight of our trip was visiting the Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, at the Warm Beach Camp. With more than one million Christmas lights spread over 15 acres, this is known to be the largest holiday light display in the Pacific Northwest. I’m always fascinated by lights, the more the merrier, so I wasn’t going to miss it.

The Lights of Christmas

And it didn’t disappoint. There were 6 themed areas, each with its own unique lights. Some of my favourites include the light tunnels, a light maze (although not as elaborate as what Enchant offered here in Vancouver), the Fireball Tree (that looks like fireworks itself), the Cascade mountains, Christmas Tree Island, the angels, the snow-capped mountain, and the waterfall.

The Lights of Christmas

The Lights of Christmas (more…)

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Recently, we had the opportunity to test out a 2017 Ford Fusion Energi for a week. We thought it would be fun to see what it’s like to live with an Electric Vehicle.

There’s no denying that EVs are the future. Every year, there are more offerings popping up in this segment. They range from econoboxs to high end luxury cars. The Fusion Energi falls somewhere in the middle.

Ford Fusion Energi 2017

The Energi is a plug-in hybrid. Simply put, it’s a hybrid with the ability to drive on electric only mode for extended periods of time, and the ability to charge the larger battery pack by plugging in.

So what did Mr. like most about this Plug-in Hybrid? (more…)

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While we were in the Okanagan, of course Hester Creek wasn’t the only winery we visited. On this trip, we ventured out to Summerland, specifically the Bottleneck Drive area, and we discovered Evolve Cellars.

Evolve Cellars was open in 2015 and above the tasting room is e, its dining room. Simple decor – white wall, white table cloth, with big window panes overlooking a gorgeous view of its vineyard and Lake Okanagan. Bryan, Kathryn, Mr. and I made a lunch reservation prior to getting there, and we’re patting our back for making a good choice.

View of Evolve Cellars

Food

e’s lunch menu is quite interesting. I like that they incorporate their wine into many of the dishes. We shared a few appies, including the Seared Scallops. There was nice caramelization on one side of the scallops, the scallops were cooked to the right temperature, tender and sweet. The roasted corn salsa gave it some smokey flavours and crunch. For us, they were served on a spoon and it made a perfect bite (Mr. really liked it, because he always wants “a bit of everything in each bite”).

Seared Scallops

The Bruschetta was probably my least favourite appetizer. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite good.

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