Review Category : Travel

Adventure Tales: Kayaking Alcatraz

By Mike Florian The tide took us out closer than I expected beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The rest of the boats stayed on a true course for Alcatraz, aiming to take it counter-clockwise. Our Seda Tango was a good, safe boat, relatively fast, albeit beamy. The double and single surf skis were long gone when the tide rips caught us again and brought us in, back on course towards the island. Ron and I stroked hard. At the sound of the starter’s horn we hugged the Sausalito shore and never let up. That morning the tide was our friend as we neared Alcatraz ahead of all traditional kayaks. I sat in the bow seat. The westerly wind began as a breeze, strong enough for the odd white cap to show its beard. We neared the prison island. My head was down and I was in rhythm. Ron steered the boat towards the island’s western shore. We were a hundred feet away when he yelled, “Look up”. I did and... ...

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Big White: BC Champagne Powder Sampler

Large and in charge! That pretty much sums up Big White Ski Resort. They don’t call this resort BIG for nothing. A big mountain complete with big snow banks, big runs, big white outs, big parties and of course big amounts of champagne powder. Prepare to leave with some pretty big memories too.  This ski resort offers monster big family fun for all generations. When you get to Big White, it’s reminiscent of what it might feel like to land on another planet made entirely of snow and ice. Overall, this resort has other worldly qualities much like a space-snow-jam.   They don’t offer rocket ships as a mode of transportation but do offer the convenience of taxi’s, shuttles and car rentals from nearby Kelowna airport. If you are driving, new this year is a million dollar road upgrade which makes driving to Snowmaggedon that much safer. Big White is famous for its snow ghosts, so much so that there is a chairlift named the ‘Snow Ghost Express’.  What is... ...

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Silver Star Resort: The BC Champagne Powder Sampler

The next stop on the magical, mystical BC champagne powder sampler is Silver Star Resort. Think Candyland meets Santa’s Workshop. Silver Star shines like a diamond among BC’s epic ski resorts. Famous for its cheery ambiance and movie set architecture, you’ll feel like you’ve just landed in a Disneyland Frozen themed ski resort. Waking up to this picturesque resort is surreal. Silver Star is nestled high above the clouds mid-mountain at 1609m.  The summit, Vance Creek is not far away at 1915m.  Only 55 minutes north of the Kelowna airport and 22 minutes from Vernon, outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world have easy access to this gem of a winter destination.  The 3rd largest ski resort in BC, Silver Star has been voted both the Okanagan’s #1 Family Resort and #1 Ski Resort by Okanagan Life Magazine. A star choice for families, couples and even big kids, don’t be surprised to find yourself referring to Silver Star as ‘my mountain’ just like the locals and social media fans.   Offering... ...

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Sun Peaks Resort: The BC Champagne Powder Sampler

Older than Whistler, Sun Peaks Resort recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. With the charm of a European ski resort, Sun Peaks in beautiful British Columbia has a Mayor, celebrity ski queen, a slopeside grade school called the Discovery Centre for Balanced Education and endless winter activities for the entire family.  Sound like a slice of heaven? There’s more. BC’s interior is blessed with a unique kind of snow that is fluffy, smooth and dry and is referred to as champagne powder. This gem of a resort town is Canada’s second largest ski area with 4,270 acres and not one, not two but three mountain peaks. Just 45 minutes north of Kamloops, Sun Peaks offers guests multiple transportation options including an airport shuttle. Kick back and let someone else do the driving as you soak up the scenery en route to the kingdom of champagne dreams. To Canadians, Nancy Greene-Raine is a celebrity ski icon and the mountain mama of Sun Peaks Resort. An Olympic gold medalist and Canadian Senator, Greene-Raine says... ...

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Everyday is après at Cornucopia!

The adventure to Whistler began in a Lincoln MKZ hybrid. There just isn’t any other way to travel the Sea to Sky than in style and that is just what we did. Whistler Blackcomb Mountain declared an early opening day on November 22, which is why it’s no surprise that even the locals welcome  Cornucopia Wine and Food Festival every year with open arms and open pocket books. Cornucopia offers guests a golden pre-season opportunity  to warm up their après-outdoor muscles during this 10 day booze and culinary adventure. Wrapping just days before Whistler opens for business,  here are the top reasons why Cornucopia is worth the calorie and liver sacrifice. For 17 years now Cornucopia has been evolving. Whatever preconceived notions you may have about Whistler’s annual wine and food  celebration, forget them.  Generalizations like being expensive or pretentious are not at all close to the reality of this festival and everything it has t  to offer. Depending on your budget, Cornucopia offers almost too many options. Fun and... ...

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Why More Guys Should Drop In on Wanderlust O’ahu

As Wanderlust Festivals make waves across the globe, it’s no wonder locations like Turtle Bay Resort make Wanderlust O’ahu a surfer’s wet dream. Both yogis and surfers appreciate and embrace the power of nature and the elements, have an innate ability to tune – in with and trust the universe and clearly understand that transformation comes through practice, practice, practice.  Dudes, the time is now to ride the Wander-wave and find your true north.Turtle Bay Resort: O’ahu’s Fabled North Shore   Photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort If size does matter, these 840 acres of private land and year-round waves will keep you satisfied.  Your wildest surf fantasy vacation is more accessible than you think. With unlimited waves and secret spots to choose from, you won’t have to leave the property to find personal wave space with a minimal lineup. Whether or not you are a passionate kook, star-struck by the history of the North Shore and legends past and present, prepare to be awed by Turtle Bay Resort’s surf culture and attention to detail... ...

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Jan 27, 2014 0

Panorama Mountain Resort – The Happiest Place in BC!

Pristine and secluded, Panorama Mountain Resort is BC’s best kept secret. Nestled between three giants, the Bugaboos, Purcells and Rockies along the ‘Powder Highway’, upon arrival it feels as if you have been dropped into Never Never Land. The unique appeal of Panorama is infinite. Some say it’s the people, some the 360 degree panoramic views. For others it’s the fresh, untouched powder runs. Comparable to the vibe of a European resort, the staff at Panorama are all smiles. More than a few admit, they will never leave. Those who have gone searching for a better wonderland found no such place and returned. The beauty of Panorama is that not many people know about it …yet! To outdoor enthusiasts, this means no line-ups, no crowds and no cruddy conditions. There simply are not enough people in town to track out the best runs or trails. Well worth the road trip from Vancouver, plan for an eight hour travel day North East towards Invermere, BC. 805 kms or 500 miles through Golden until you arrive... ...

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A Journal: How to prevent cabin fever in Terrace, BC Day 6

Spending multiple days up north in small BC towns with extended family over the holidays can bring on conditions like cabin fever. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, bursts of random laughter, intense boredom, paranoia; excessive sleep….the list of mental instabilities just goes on and on. On the flipside, embracing small town life outdoors can make your time spent in remote towns all the more interesting.  Follow my journal style exploration on how to embrace a local’s way of life in Northern BC – a reminder to adventure-on when the cabin fever sets in and not go stir crazy. Day 6: Find the best Cabin in town Embracing my boredom and finding a way to face my cabin fever became the final chapter of my small town journey. Although it can be somewhat uncomfortable, one of the best ways of dealing with intense feelings of any kind is to fight the dragon head on. Since my dragon has been cabin fever, I had no choice but to work my small town network and find... ...

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A Journal: How to prevent cabin fever in Terrace, BC Day 5

Spending multiple days up north in small BC towns with extended family over the holidays can bring on conditions like cabin fever. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, bursts of random laughter, intense boredom, paranoia; excessive sleep….the list of mental instabilities just goes on and on. On the flipside, embracing small town life outdoors can make your time spent in remote towns all the more interesting.  Follow my journal style exploration on how to embrace a local’s way of life in Northern BC – a reminder to adventure-on when the cabin fever sets in and not go stir crazy. Day 5: Shred Shames Mountain Nothing quite gets you out of bed on the first day of a new year than a free lift ticket, and Terrace’s Shames Mountain according to Powder Magazine is well worth the effort. “Shames receives 475 inches of annual snowfall, laying claim to one of the deepest, most consistent snow packs in North America and its backcountry access is unrivalled.”    The drive from downtown Terrace is a... ...

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