Gloria's Travel Blog

here's to a year of travelling…

Roadtrip to Banff, Jasper & lake Louise

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This past year’s July 2010 long weekend Karen, Shelly and I went to Banff for the long weekend! Roadtrips are so much fun especially with friends.
We drove down early in the morning, taking the scenic route, stopping at random places. We had some car adventures, along with getting a speeding ticket and made it safely to Jasper. We were exausted from the 9 ish hour drive but still went hiking the 6 bridges, which was beautiful. Then at night after an amazing bison burger we enjoyed the Canada Day fireworks.
The following day we drove from jasper to banff. It is so picturesque! Along the way we drove on one of the most scenic highways. There were mountain goats, elk, a bear and her cub. There is a lot of natural beauty that BC has and I’d highly recommend this trip to see it!
We drove by the Icelandic and took some amazing shots. We continued to lake Louis and hiked up to lake peyto. This is probably the most beautiful and highly photographed site. A truly green, remarkable lake showing off some of our gorgeous rocky mountains!! Fantastic.
After driving to banff we were able to find many places to hike near by. We decided to go to the hot springs which are surprisingly cheap and relaxing. We also had a great dinner at the hotel and another day went to the fairmont.
After only a short trip it’s easy to understand why it is named beautiful British Columbia.
July 2011 road trip was such a great time, hence the long delayed post. Apparently drafts don’t show up lol. Hope you too can go experience jasper, lake Louise and banff!

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Written by gloriastarr

January 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Outdoors, Travel

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town!

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I came across these great deals from tourism Vancouver and thought it was too great to not share.  Right now from  May 3rd to 29th all B.C. residents are invited to be tourists in their own city by taking advantage of over 30,000 free tickets to participating attractions!

Vancouver is such an amazing city that thousands of tourists come to enjoy each year. But so many of these places we as locals, have yet to experience.  Why go out, spend money and travel to another city when Vancouver ranks on the top places to live each year.  Best of all with all these diverse and amazing attractions they are giving locals the option to download 2 free tickets each day!   This month is the chance to play tourist in your own city – enjoy all the beautiful things Vancouver has to offer

Participating attractions include:

  • Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
  • Bloedel Floral Conservatory
  • Britannia Mine Museum
  • Burnaby Village Museum
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
  • Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada
  • Greater Vancouver Zoo
  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
  • Harbour Cruises & Events
  • Hell’s Gate Airtram
  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
  • Maplewood Farm
  • Minter Gardens
  • Powerhouse at Stave Falls
  • Roedde House Museum
  • Science World at Telus World of Science
  • Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours
  • Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
  • UBC Botanical Garden
  • UBC Museum of Anthropology
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Vancouver Lookout
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum
  • Vancouver Police Museum

Read more: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/visitors/bat#ixzz1LowOdXUz

Enjoy!

Written by gloriastarr

May 9, 2011 at 5:05 am

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Snowshoeing at Seymour

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     I haven’t gone snowshoeing in ages.  It’s something we used to do growing up for a couple elementary school field trips.   I decided that it would be something different and fun to try something new.  I’m personally more of a fan of snowboarding or something more in the downhill option but snowshoeing is a lot of fun, and a cheap activity to do in the winter. 
     Seymour has many well-groomed paths which are reasonably priced or you can do into the free paths along the far side.  I went with one of my groupon’s for snowshoes and the paths for $12 with my sister. We had a great time walking through the snow. It’s really just hiking in the snow. So if you like to walk, and like to see the beautiful scenery which we have so much of in BC you should try it. There’s actually many hills you will continue to go up and down, so take some water. 
     What to wear? You won’t really need snow pants, comfy pants will do. Shoes are best something waterproof or you can wear running shoes and bring plastic bags to protect them from getting wet and staying wet. A light wind breaker or snow jacket  is great. Layers is really key, as you can then feel comfortable in any options depending on the sun or snow in the air.   When to go? Personally I love it when there’s a bit of sun outside, but snow is also a nice time, or light rain as long as you have something waterproof.
     So if you haven’t gone snowshoeing in a while, why not do something different, not as strenuous and adventurous.

Written by gloriastarr

April 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

Hawaii

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       I went to Waikiki from December 7-15. It was my first time back to Hawaii for over 12 years. What a beautiful place to visit and go for vacation. There’s so much to do and see, but best of all there’s plenty of time for relaxation. 
      We swam by the beach and pool most days and sun tanned. It’s nice to be able to swim in December, and not have to freeze 🙂 We rented a car to be able to see more of the Island and so we went up to the North where there are more waves for experienced surfers. There was a huge competition going on but we didn’t have time to stay and watch and there wasn’t any parking in site.  The waves are crazy there some times over 10 feet tall. My brother-in-law did some crazy waves without even realizing that they were for only kamikaze surfers. I’m glad he didn’t miss any of the waves and get hit into the coral, that would have been truly unfortunate.
     One of the days I went out surfing with my sister. We had 3 person private lesson for only $25 for a 1.5 hour lesson. It was great! They took us outside on the boards and helped push us into the wave as the hardest part is the momentum in paddling. The waves were so much calmer here and I managed to make almost each wave!!! It was sooooo much fun and I rode most of the waves til the shore until I jumped off as I didn’t want to have to paddle as much 🙂  Can’t wait to go back and surf in Hawaii!!
     We went on a road trip and went to a beach with these turtles. Usually the turtles lay on the beach and people just stare at them. But they wanted to go for a swim. You were allowed to swim 2 feet away for them, so I decided why not swim with the turtles 🙂 It was amazing swimming with 3 turtles about half my size! A great experience!
     Along the road trip we stopped for some amazing snow cones. It was ice cream with shaved ice and several flavors like pineapple, coconut, mango. All I know is there were long line and It was delicious. I’m actually craving more right now that I think about it.   We also went to a little Thai restaurant that is very famous in Honolulu and they gave us this really tasty meal all from the side of a truck 🙂 
     While in Hawaii  we also went to hike Diamond Head. It’s a short hike with a long line-up in the tunnel but a gorgeous view of  Waikiki from the top.  It’s an easy hike, very accessible I wouldn’t suggest going in the peak hours likely at 10am as the lines are crazy busy but maybe go early or later in the evening.  It’s well worth the views.
     During the trip there’s a few places to go shopping too. I went to the mall nearby which was a quick minute walk from our hotel. There’s some new variety there with lots of nice designer stores. There’s the outlets just outside the downtown core which I bought several things from. I actually enjoyed the flea market of all things. It consists of many stands around the outside of a large stadium. The prices are really reasonable as this is where most of the locals shop, so you can buy many items and gifts for reasonable prices instead of the mark-up prices they have in the city. 
     We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian village in Waikiki. I really enjoyed the stay there, I highly recommend it. They have everything you’d need and more. They have a couple private pools and water slides, several stores for anything you can think of. Restaurants, bars, grocery stores, coffee shops, and a private beach. There’s also many animals like you’re in a mini zoo. You can find fish, parrots, flamingos, and penguins. I took my niece to the penguins most mornings and she loved watching them eat. She is so cute, and basically jumped into the fish pond to stare at all the fish. It’s a great place to take kids 🙂
    In Hawaii there’s so much to see & do. I’m glad I had the chance to visit again and have a break from everyday life to appreciate the world around me.

Written by gloriastarr

February 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

Seattle roadtrip

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   This remembrance day I went down for a road trip to Seattle! My friend needed to go the Seatac airport for a much awaited trip and what better way to send our friend off but to drive down together and make an outing of it.  We woke up super early and were out of Vancouver by 6am, making it to the peace arch truck crossing by just after 7am.  There was a huge line due to the holiday and we waited for over an hour. Then the border patrol man was quite curt, and didn’t make it easy for us to cross. Wow, something about acting suspicious to go early to make the flight. Crazy, but thankfully we made it though and had great timing along the way.
    We stopped in at my favorite Starbucks along the route. So nice seeing you again LEAHA!!  Wow were you ever busy, so many people want to have a nice treat. yummy peppermint white chocolate mocha. Thanks again for being so efficient at work. Hopefully the next time I see you again won’t be just for 10min at a time.  Let me know when you plan to visit.
   We continued along to the Seatac airport and thankfully were 1.5 hours in advance for the flight.  Everything worked out as usual, and so the rest of us continued into Seattle for brunch.
    We went to Delilah’s which didn’t have breakfasts on weekends and so went to their sister company Lola’s.  It’s a nice casual but classy restaurant. I had this delicious pumpkin/squash soup and then these delicious donuts with marscapone cheese and blueberry sauce.  So fantastic.  I highly recommend stopping by to have a great brunch. 
    After we walked around the city to some many great shopping stores. I bought some things as usual 🙂 This time my prized item was a pair of black patent coach pumps 🙂  We also went over to Pike’s Place for the much-needed tourist stop.
    Then we headed back to the outlets for some more shopping. There were so many people down for the holiday. People and lines everywhere, I guess the christmas rush is starting to happen. The christmas sales are even coming in.  I bought some gifts and things for myself. It was a lot of fun just to browse and shop around and go to some new stores unlike Metrotown.
   After a great shopping trip we were starved so we ended up going to this great Mexican restaurant. It was amazing! A small, non-chain restaurant with big portions and great lime margaritas 🙂 I’ll need to make this a regular event to my US travel days.
   Overall I had a long, eventful day with friends. Thanks Jessica & Dave 🙂 

Written by gloriastarr

November 15, 2010 at 5:08 am

My first Canucks game

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   What is Canada’s favorite sport? Hockey! It’s what we are known for. Canadians created the official sport and continue to play it as our most popular game. Canada even beat the USA at this years Olympics 🙂
    It’s surprising to say that I have never been to the Canucks game before. I enjoy watching hockey games on tv and have watched many in my life. I even watched a practice game of the Canucks a while back, but no game in GM place/Rogers arena.  It’s probably due to the time in 1994 when the Canucks lost the Stanley cup.  I was a bit disappointed to say the least 🙂  I did see my first hockey game this year back in February Canada versus Swizerland for the Olympics. Canada won of course and it was awesome!
      Yesterday I watched the Vancouver Canucks play against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a good game, lots of shots of net and many goals.  The Canucks played really well, and Carolina not so much.  It ended up being 5-1! We had a blast and I’m glad to say that now I’ve officially seen my first Canucks game.  It’s much more exciting live, as I’m sure most everyone knows already.  Well, it’s better late then never. Good Game.

Written by gloriastarr

October 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

Outlet shopping

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Yesterday I went down to the Seattle premium outlets for some shopping. It’s been about 6 months since I’ve gone, so I was likely due. To visit the outlets from Vancouver it’s a quick trip. I find the border line-up much smaller on Mondays. I waited about 20min on the way down & 15min for the return.  Then the drive to the outlets is about 1.5 hours.  So it’s an easy daytrip from Vancouver.

I went to the mini outlet in Burlington, where I took a break at Starbucks. Happily I found my friend Leaha working!! I was soooo excited to see her again after about 3 months at least.  So great that I selected the correct location & the shift schedule worked out perfectly.  It was great seeing you again. Hopefully you’ll take more trips to visit hint hint 🙂

We continued the drive another 30min, to the larger Tualip outlets. There’s hundreds of stores to visit with basically something for everyone. There was surprisingly many people at the outlets for a Monday, but it was probably due to the summer.  I bought a nice pair of shoes from Kenneth Cole & my sis found some at Nine West. I unfortunately couldn’t find my suit at Benetton; I guess I’ll have to wait to buy on til fall/winter.  At least I found some nice body wash & hand cream at Crabtree & Evelyn. 

Returning back to Vancouver, it’s always nice to stop at Bellisfair for a full shopping extravaganza.  I went to Hollister, and some other stores that I find are nicer in the States.  It was a great shopping trip. What made it even better was after the short border crossing. I explained I spent $50 & my sis $80.. and they didn’t make us pay Taxes!!  I was really expecting to pay, so I’m happy I didn’t.  Great trip; i’ll need to make sure to go visit more often.

Written by gloriastarr

September 1, 2010 at 9:51 am