Vancouver, the greenest city in Canada is an attractive place to visit any time of the year. There is something exciting for every age group and any interest - hockey nights, amazing dining, concerts, theater, art exhibitions, shopping, craft beer pubs.
There is a brand new hotel just opened it's doors to public - Seaside Hotel, by Executive Hotel group. It is located at old shipyards area, next to ocean harbor. What is great about this location- you can take a 10 min sea bus ride to Downtown Vancouver! Visit Downtown and get back to North Vancouver- no driving required.
The hotel itself is featuring well-designed rooms with quality finishing. The carpets are soft plush (they still smell new), beds are super comfortable, pillows are made for good-night sleep.
Each room has two cotton bath robes, 2 pairs of slippers, as hotel offers spa services to it's guests. There is a modern coffee machine with Illy coffee brand capsules and a pay for minibar containing chocolate chip cookie, potato chips, soft drinks.
The walk-in shower with rain-head and marble tile floors looks stunning! The toiletries are from French brand L'occitane. Every detail in the interior design reminds you about seaside and soothes all senses.
The room also has large flat screen TV, desk and a comfy chair.
Hotel serves tasty and reasonable priced breakfast in a tastefully furnished restaurant.
There is an ice-rink just outside the hotel for winter skating, honey products store, Caffe Artigiano (they make most delicious London Fog and Coffee Latte), Pier 7 Restaurant, Tap&Barrel Shipyards eatery/brewery, Lonsdale Quay Market.
Lonsdale Quay Market features various shops that sell food and drinks. You are welcome to try anything fancy! Very tasty soups from Soup Masters, pickles, crepes, breads, baking, fresh produce. So worth the visit!
With Christmas being only a month away, it is time to do some Christmas shopping.
Since most of us live modest lives, spending has to be conservative and presents better be useful. Hopefully I found something interesting for everyone.
Gift idea for all family members: everyday 100% cotton T-shirts. The price ranges from CA$5.38 to CA$6.73 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/s6K7pmIG
Cute puppy T-shirt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/MYBk9dqC
Another puppy T-shirt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/BFadTojq
Here are links to man's T-shirts
Whether you are planning a special event, having friends visiting or simply want to have a mini vacation without going far away, La Punta Norte Guest Inn is worth checking in.
It is located near Summerland, BC, right below the highway. Other pointers are: located on a wine route and close to Kelowna.
The guest house is perched atop a hill above lake Okanagan, providing breathtaking views. Every room decorated and furnished in Mexican style- wooden furniture, wool rugs, colorful tile mosaic, even sinks. It is like going to Mexico, but forgoing air fair kerfuffle.
There is a gazebo overlooking the lake, which can be used for vows. I took this picture on a cloudy day, but it looks amazing on a sunny day.
There is an events center, where wedding receptions are held. It would comfortably sit up to 60 people and probably more (ask for exact information reception). Everything resembles warm Mexican Riviera. They offer catering from local restaurants.
Each room has a fireplace for colder days, a private hot tub on a patio, heated tiled flooring.
Here is the link to the website: www.lapuntanorte.com/suites.html
Okanagan is known worldwide for it's outstanding wines. It is almost mandatory to spend at least one weekend during the summer (we prefer fall) wine tasting with a a group of friends. It is a fun and memorable experience, as usually you would learn about the variety of grapes in the area, interesting facts about wines at each winery, lough at funny jokes.
There are so many good wineries, that we hadn't have a chance to visit all of them. However the one's we have visited, left very good impression.
Our wine tasting trip included 3 wineries located along Naramata Bench:
Township 7 winery produces great variety of white and red wines. Their wines are classic and would jazz up any party or event. I really liked that tasting fee includes 5 wines: champagne (Seven Stars Polaris), Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Merlot.
My favorite wines are Merlot 2017 and Reserve 7, 2016.
Artsy winery, just next to well-known Ruby Blues. First of all you are welcomed by statue of naked Frank with a suitcase, than seduced/enchanted by a mermaid.
Well worth the visit, as Red Rooster produces a wide array of wines. Their tasting list included 5 wines where you can choose what you want to try. My most memorable moment was a dessert wine with chocolate-so good!
I liked each and every wine that I tasted at Moraine. They offer 5 wines of your choice, including dessert wine option. The tasting room is new, overlooking the lake Okanagan.
This winery is owned by Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov, the couple believes that wine offers one of life’s most simple, enjoyable, and accessible pleasures; and this philosophy spurred their leap into the wine industry. They relocated from Alberta, where they had lived for 15 years, to make premium Okanagan wines.
Last Sunday September 22, 2019 Mission Creek Park has a Kikinee Salmon festival. Salmon run will continue into October and if you had not make it last Sunday, there is plenty of time.
Salmon spawning runs in a four year cycle, with dominant years in 2014, 2018 and 2022. In those years it is possible to see more than a million fish return to spawn. In post-dominant years, like 2016, the number can be in the hundreds while pre-dominant years, 2017 for example, may see more than 10,000 salmon return to spawn.
Some salmon will travel thousands of kilometers in a typical four-year lifetime and by that last year will return to where they were born to reproduce.
Adult salmon will swim upstream to the same area where they were hatched and once at the spawning grounds the female fish will dig a shallow nest for her eggs. She will release anywhere from two to 10 thousand eggs and then the male salmon will release milt, which contains millions of sperm.
The pair will continue the process as they move upstream until they run out of energy, usually within a day or two.
The fertilized eggs will hatch in three to four months and then will eventually make their way downstream to the ocean.
It's a good time to get down to Mission Creek park for a glimpse of the salmon run, which is expected to last a couple more weeks. If you missed the run in the Central Okanagan, or if you just feel like a scenic drive to the north, you can head up to the North Shuswap.
In the Adams River, Koss says salmon just started showing up around Wednesday, Sept. 20.
“It looks like we are right about on track,” she says of the “first three weeks in October” window.
Predator Ridge is well known for it's luxury golfing course and Sparkling Hill Resort, however everyone is welcome to come over for a hiking visit as well.
How to get to Predator Ridge hiking trails?
Predator Ridge area is located south from Vernon. Heading north on Hwy 97, turn left on Bailey Road. At the stop sign turn left onto Commonage Road. Turn right onto Predator Ridge Drive. Follow along through the Predator Ridge Resort and turn right onto Birdie Lake Drive. You can park in an appropriate area anywhere here, or continue up towards Sparkling Hills. We parked on the left side of the roundabout, beside the trail map.
Why is it worth it to make a trip to Predator Ridge?
Reason #1 If you like golfing, than this is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the Okanagan. The course offers 2 luxurious 18 holes championship courses. This is unforgettable experience.
Reason #2 Hike along the Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop Trail is worth a stop! With easy access and fantastic views, it's perfect for everyone!
The trail starts as a wide paved pathway. Following along heading south, hikers pass Sparkling Pond and head right to start the trail for the Okanagan Lake Lookout Loop. The views are mesmerizing, looking over the Okanagan Lake and towards Terrace Mountain on the other side of the lake!
There are several trails and some of them are difficult, some easy, some are used mostly by mountain bikers. All trails are pet friendly.
Reason #3 You just have to visit a SPA at Sparkling Hill Resort! It is a very unique experience on it's own, but when combined into a two day adventure it really makes a difference in life. It is like a hitting revamp button.
Just to give you a heads up, resort stay is rather expensive. That is why we choose hiking as the healthy option balancing body, mind and bank account. Works very well!
The brands sale ( up to 50% discount) starts in 5 days on Ali Express. To fully enjoy the savings, it is recommended to add desired items into the cart now. The system would generate discount coupons upon purchase and those coupons can be redeemed during the sale week August 21-31, 2019.
Here are some shopping ideas for fall, based on trends and common sense:
1. Pumps visually make your legs appear long and lean: s.click.aliexpress.com/e/qJ732EjO
2. Stylish fall booties s.click.aliexpress.com/e/EIKnJtnS
3. Trendy white genuine leather snickers s.click.aliexpress.com/e/emmyYATA
4. Black stockings s.click.aliexpress.com/e/tO3aQbdm
5. Plaid warm blazer s.click.aliexpress.com/e/pbjV3kO4
6. Plaid warm skirt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/C7ikiyfO
7. Corduroy suit Zara style s.click.aliexpress.com/e/dgfXp9vq
8. Warm turtleneck s.click.aliexpress.com/e/kcQv2sKG
9. Floral print cotton shirt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/m3Jn57Iu
10. Trendy leather belt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/o4cq5nio
11. Super cute skirt s.click.aliexpress.com/e/rQFznVwC
12. Warm fall/winter dress s.click.aliexpress.com/e/2WZeAYXQ
13. Wool dress s.click.aliexpress.com/e/NFdhDpo4
14. Classy trench coat s.click.aliexpress.com/e/eFby1bxi
15. Shearling Lamb winter coat s.click.aliexpress.com/e/O31wAloy
Congratulations! You two decided to commit to a long term relationship and start a family!
This is an important event in your life and deserves to be the most remarkable and memorable.
It doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful, filled with love and elegant. These three places are hidden gems within Kelowna area for an affordable yet classy wedding ceremony.
1. Guisachan Heritage Park
The park and associated gardens have a very unique history as the land was previously owned by Lord and Lady Aberdeen. Lord Aberdeen served as the Governor General of Canada from 1893-1896 and the family played a pivotal role in the settlement of the area. Guisachan House was built in 1891 and houses a restaurant.
The property was later purchased by the Cameron family. Elaine Cameron planted the Edwardian gardens around the site starting in the 1920s. Some of the original roses, perennials and trees originally planted by Mrs. Cameron can still be seen at the site.
How to get there: The park is located at 1060 Cameron Avenue, just east of the intersection of Gordon Drive and Cameron Avenue.
Guisachan House was built as a summer home for the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen in 1891. Guisachan – Land of the Firs – was the name chosen for their new home. The new Canadian estate drew its name from a family estate in Inverness-shire Scotland. Designed in the Indian colonial bungalow style it became the focal point of a 480 acre working ranch. The ranch became the site of the first large-scale planting of fruit trees and hops in the Okanagan valley. The Aberdeens developed and invested in their adopted country and encouraged many of their English countrymen to settle in the Okanagan.
In 1986, Guisachan became a Kelowna City Park. The restoration of the house was undertaken by the Central Okanagan Heritage Society, in conjunction with the City of Kelowna, in 1987.
Today Guisachan House serves as a restaurant. It looks beautifully inviting.
Here is the link for Guisachan House: okheritagesociety.com/guisachan-house/
2. Gellatly Nut Farm
While people are still welcome to take wedding photos at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park, wedding ceremonies can no longer be booked there and the wedding arbor has been removed from the park.
It still serves as a beautiful wedding photo-shoot place and smaller group of people are welcome to visit the park and enjoy it's beauty.
3. Public beaches along Okanagan Lake that are hidden from everybody's eye.
There are series of public beaches along Okanagan Lake that boast some privacy to make memorable and beautiful pictures. This won't work for a large wedding, of course.
Please contact me for exact map locations or research yourselves.
While we are enjoying beautiful summer days, it is time to get ready for fall. This means adding fall colors like burnt orange, yellow, pewter to your wardrobe, as well as adding warmer layers.
As usual, I will find the most trendy fall collections for less on Ali Express.
1. Yellow genuine leather mules for CA$58.60 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/h0FcpeC
2. High waist snakeskin print leggings CA$20.18 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/w08dquo
3. Elegant fall waistcoat CA$48.58 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/b8E5zJc4
This fall double breasted blazers and jackets take the scene. It is very suitable for Canadian fall! In the last issue of Canadian Living magazine I saw a "Preppy prep" look that inspired me. Here is the offered jacket from Canadian Living/ RW&CO. I found similar jacket on Ali Express.
4. Long Loose Fit Double-Breasted Houndstooth Blazer CA$118.93 www.rw-co.com/en/long-loose-fit-double-breasted-houndstooth-blazer/423890.html?cgid=women-clothing-blazers-jackets&dwvar_423890_color=Camel%20and%20Black#start=1
Ali Express version of the same blazer for CA$25.28 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/befrO5Qs
5. Corduroy blazer for CA$29.77 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/l7ZU7yk
6. Plaid wool jacket for colder days CA$61.62 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bSnkXSAy
7. Plaid wool jacket CA$61.70 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/blFvoZoM
And we remember about accessories that complete our look:
8. 100% mulberry silk scarf CA$23.40 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/baq8AykY
9. Shoulder bag (GUCCI like) CA$70.16 s.click.aliexpress.com/e/bTgZSico
Here are the most beautiful apple fruit earrings from one of a kind jewelry store Lotus Fun. Please check out the links, as I am confident it will catch your attention!
10. Green apple silver studs/ natural Aventurine stone s.click.aliexpress.com/e/chSOUIjO
11. Lovely bird dangle earring s.click.aliexpress.com/e/GVhSFPa
12. Blooming poppies silver set s.click.aliexpress.com/e/ckyo4YPm
13. The most adorable Lilly of the valley silver set s.click.aliexpress.com/e/pmhPn1Q
14. This could be a perfect Christmas gift s.click.aliexpress.com/e/cg6UdNWo
Don-O-Ray Farm has been a favorite place to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables for several years. Recently they added a small goat/chicken educational and entertaining zoo for children. That is why it is a must see!
Don-O-Ray farm opens in the spring and operates into the late fall, selling a range of vegetables (potatoes, onions, radishes, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, peppers, etc.) and fruit (berries, cherries, apples, plums, pear, peaches, apricots). The produce is always fresh, prices are reasonable. Whatever is harvested that week, is sold the same week.
Don-O-Ray is a family business and owners are usually in the store helping out customers with a smile. They are very accommodating and willing to answer any questions you might have about the produce. There is a frozen section containing frozen pies, ice cream, butter chicken sauce, samosas. They also carry eggs, milk products from local Dutchmen Dairy farm. It is hard to leave empty handed!