Gloria's Travel Blog

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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

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!

Written by gloriastarr

January 14, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Outdoors, Travel

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

Outdoor movies in the summer

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   Outdoor movies are a fun, free way to hang out in the summer. There’s many movies showing in each municipality each weekend throughout August.  I went to Coal Harbour’s outdoor movie yesterday to watch ET.  Wow it’s been ages since that movie came out.  I don’t believe I’ve ever even watched it til yesterday. It’s a great way to re watch old classics and spend time with friends. 

     I really enjoy BC in the summer, when there are tons of activities going on.  It really helps when the sun’s out to enjoy them too.  It’s like traveling but in your own neighbourhood!   Hopefully I’ll go to some more movies before summer’s out. You can check out the link off of facebook at freshaircinema.ca  This site lists the outdoor movies in BC, and throughout Canada.  I’m not quite sure why I never used to go to any of these outdoor events in the past.  But I’ll just make sure to change that for the future 🙂

Written by gloriastarr

August 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

Canoeing in the Sunshine Coast

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The Sunshine Coast is a 40min ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay.  It’s an easy get away from Vancouver.  It has a scenic coast with thousands of  trees, many lakes, wildlife and adventures to be had. 

Today I came back from the Sunshine Coast. It was a nice relaxing few days off for the BC day weekend.  There is so much beauty in BC which should be experienced.  During this trip, I managed to see a bunch of animals.  There were about 6 deer in the backyard. A few different familes brought their fawn to roam & munch a bit.  I was almost able to go up and pet them.  I also saw a chipmunk and several birds, including the bald eagle.  Nature is truly in our own backyard, we just need to escape a bit to enjoy it.

There’s a lot of things to do on the coast, such as kayaking or canoeing in the lakes or ocean.  I went canoeing yesterday with my friend in Garden Lake. It didn’t take us long to go around the whole lake.  We even enjoyed our picnic on the canoe.  While going around the lake, we noticed leaves shaking in a bush and to our surprise, saw there was a bear eating berries. My friend got a good look at him, but I didnt.  The bear quickly ran off when he noticed there was company.  We continued canoeing, and later went by one of the islands and relaxed for a bit and took a swim. What an eventful day, and a great getaway. The sun was shining, there was good food, company; what more could I ask for.

Written by gloriastarr

August 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

Whistler Zipline

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The first step is the hardest. Take a breath. Wait, take another deep breath. Then leap!!! I’m talking about the Zipline at Whistler. Ziplining allows you to fly over spectacular views while safely attached to a harness. It appeals to the masses. One of my sisters is a daredevil, the other is afraid of heights, and my dad well he’s a bit of both and not a young as he used to be. Myself, I’ve done the Ziptrek before over Robson square in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics and yes I know this was much higher and longer, but for some reason this seemed less frightening. If you are scared, just remember the minimum age requirement is 6.

I went on Ziptrek’s Eagle tour today for a great adventure. It has 5 ziplines ranging between 400 to 2200 feet. Whistler has the longest zipline in North America. The 4th zipline is 2200 feet; the size of 2 Eiffel towers lengthwise! The speed goes up to 80km/hour and you can feel it. There are even 4 treetop suspension bridges with spectacular views. The Zipline definitely gives the thrill of flying while your heart is pounding with adrenaline. Not only is the tour thrilling it is also educational. Ziptrek teach you about sustainability for the environment at each platform. Whistler’s goal is to minimize the environmental impact by having complete sustainability by 2020. I hope it work out.

It’s a close 2 hours drive from Vancouver, to Whistler Village just by the Carleton lodge. The full tour takes about 3 hours for $120. A bit expensive but a worthwhile experience and one that will not be easily forgotten. The Zipline has dramatic landscapes that really encompass the beauty of British Columbia. Beautiful mountains, forests, bodies of water and wildlife. If you haven’t already come to visit Vancouver; there’s so much to see & do.

I’m so happy that I was able to have the time off today to spend time with my family and go on an adventure. It was thrilling to glide down 5 different zipline’s. My favorite was the last run where we were able to go upside down and free fall more. It felt good to not hold on to anything what an experience. If you have the opportunity to come to Whistler come do this Zipline, I highly recommend it.

Written by gloriastarr

July 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Adventures of windsurfing

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Are there any new adventure sports out there? Sometimes I wonder if there are not any more options for new sports to try. I’ve gone surfing, wakeboarding, parasailing, white water rafting & kayaking, hiking, ziplining, snowboarding and cliff jumping. I’m always looking for some new sports to try, when I came across the groupon for windsurfing with windsure.

Windsurfing combines elements of sailing and surfboarding. I’ve tried surfing before and enjoyed it and I’ve been in a sailboat at least but definitely need to go again in the recent future. When my friend told me about a windsurfing deal for $15 I figured that was a great opportunity. The group classes normally $52 for 2 hour introductory lessons. The lesson brings you through dry land simulations, teaching theory and giving plenty of time for on the water training.

I was nervous as it was my first time and the class was initially canceled due to too much wind for beginners. But there’s really only a few things to know. Stand in the middle of the board, knees bent, to keep your balance and grab the rope to make a T position. After you are straight enough, take your front hand and place it at the back of the sail in a chicken arm and then bring it 80 degrees and drop the remaining hand. It’s good to glide across the wind such as at the 3 or 9 position of a clock facing the wind. To turn around, let go of the sail, hold on the rope to the T position, bring the sail around the back of the boat and pivot until you are 180 degrees. It’s that simple and then you’re windsurfing!

I expected to fall down a lot of not be able to pick up the sail and just get exhausted. Yet it was awesome, lots of fun with simple instructions. I highly recommend it. If you know of any other interesting sports to try, let me know.