Connect to Culture: Experience First Nations Traditions in British Columbia

Lonely Planet, December 2018

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Long before European fur traders arrived in the 18th century, indigenous people populated the area known as British Columbia, Canada for tens of thousands of years.

Today, the richness of the First Nations culture lives on. There are 198 distinct First Nations in British Columbia, each with their own traditions and history – and visitors can experience this living history through cultural adventures.


Travellers with Takaya Tours paddle a 25-foot replica ocean-going canoe © Margaret de Silva / Lonely Planet

Travellers with Takaya Tours paddle a 25-foot replica ocean-going canoe © Margaret de Silva / Lonely Planet

Within Reach

Southwest: The Magazine September 2018

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Taking a trapeze class can elevate your senses—and your sense of possibility. It did for me.

As I took deep breaths under the desert sun, I blinked back tears. Why did I ever leave the sanctuary of my home in the Pacific Northwest? Some 10 feet above me, a kind woman with a soothing voice was trying to coax me up the last few rungs of a 23-foot ladder that I was clinging to like it was a life raft.

And maybe it was, because I felt completely lost. My stomach was in knots, and I tried not to look down as I inched up the ladder. Somehow, despite my fear of heights, I was convinced to don a harness and climb to a platform some two stories high—only to jump off it. [Read more]

Illustration by  Michael Parkin/folio

Illustration by Michael Parkin/folio

6 of the Best Hotel Bars in Vancouver

BC Living September 2018

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Cozy up to one of these swanky hotel bars this season

Sometimes, you want Friday night to be an adventure in a dive bar, where the floors are sticky and the beer is cheap. Other times, you just want a fancy drink in a beautiful setting. Hotel lobby bars have a reputation for being boring, but in downtown Vancouver, there are a host of hot spots that are quite the opposite.

Explore six of the best in downtown Vancouver...


Play: Adventure Islands

Vancouver Magazine May 2017 

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It's a game that's easy enough to play: What would you take if marooned on a desert island? But a four-day kayaking trip to the Broken Group Islands proves an even greater packing challenge, where wind, blanket fog, torrential rain, and glorious sunshine are all possibilities.

 

The VanMag Guide to Mt Baker

Vancouver Magazine (vanmag.com) February 2017

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7:00 a.m.
Get an early start to beat the weekend border traffic. Cross at Sumas-Abbotsford (Huntingdon)—this is one of the quietest crossings near Vancouver, and the most direct route to Mt Baker.

8:00 a.m.
Turn left at the sign for Route 547 to Mount Baker. This winding country road snakes past picturesque farms and tiny churches before connecting to Highway 542, a scenic byway that terminates at the resort, making it difficult to get lost despite the mountain’s relatively remote location.

8:40 a.m.
A coffee and baked treat from Wake’n’Bakery in Glacier, the tiny service town 27 kilometres from the Mount Baker ski area, is absolutely necessary before starting your day. Pack an orange and cardamom cookie or a spicy chai snickerdoodle for a much-needed sugar boost on the hill.

If you need to rent gear, the bakery is conveniently located near Glacier Ski Shop and the Mt. Baker Snowboard Shop, where you can find like-new rentals and kids’ toboggans.

9:10 a.m.
After a winding 30 minute drive, you’ll arrive at the base of the ski area. Congratulations—you’re now free to explore the terrain that makes Mount Baker so legendary! Cell service is notoriously patchy, so make a plan and stick to it if travelling with a group.

Snowboarders in particular have an affinity for Mount Baker, since it was one of the first resorts to accept the sport in the early days. It’s a mecca for powderhounds, averaging one of the highest snowfalls in the world and boasting the record for the most snowfall ever in one season (a whopping 29 metres). As a result, groomed runs can seem few and far between on pow days and you can expect occasional (or frequent) whiteouts.

Intermediate and advanced riders are particularly well-catered for with eight quad lifts, imaginatively named Chair 1 to 8. None have safety bars, so keep an eye on kids if skiing with little ones.

12:00 p.m.
Lunchtime! Powder skiing works up an appetite, and thankfully, the on-mountain White Salmon and Raven lodges offer surprisingly affordable comfort food. Fill up with the steaming house-made chili or salmon chowder, served in an enormous sourdough bread bowl, or snack on decadent chili cheese fries.

3:00 p.m.
On a sunny day, there’s no better spot to rest your weary legs than kicking back in the makeshift beer garden outside White Salmon Lodge. Otherwise, head down the mountain to the best après spot in town: Glacier’s Chair 9 pub, where you can join locals for gourmet wood-fired pizzas and a laidback round of shuffleboard or foosball in the upstairs games room.

4:00 p.m.
It’s worth detouring a few minutes down Mount Baker Highway (542) to North Fork Brewery to fill a growler with craft beer before heading home or to your accommodation. This family-friendly spot plays double duty as a rustic wedding chapel, so hey, if you’re really falling in love with the area it could be the perfect spot to seal the deal. Alas, Washington laws require a marriage license to be procured three days prior to any nuptials, so those seeking a drive-through wedding will be disappointed unless prepared ahead of time.

 

48 Hours in Miami

Western Living Magazine, November 2016

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FRIDAY

The former warehouse district of Wynwood has experienced a recent renaissance, with artists transforming the once-gritty neighbourhood into a mural-laden Eden—and it’s the heart of Miami’s contemporary art scene. Fuel up with an espresso from Panther Coffee before walking up NW 2nd Avenue to the incredible Wynwood Walls. More than 50 artists have contributed to the ever-changing outdoor display, including Shepard Fairey (creator of Obama’s 2008 Hope poster), but it’s worth seeing inside some of the over 60 galleries, too, including Pan American Art Projects—the art of the Americas—and the Robert Fontaine Gallery for contemporary works from the ’60s to today.

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Into the Wild

Bmag, 2011

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Natural High in Vancouver

BNE Magazine, 2015

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I have to admit — I wasn’t really the outdoorsy type until I moved to Canada. Hiking in particular always seemed like a hot and bothersome effort, punctuated by bugs, melting sunscreen, and bushwhacking when I lived in sunny Queensland. But when you have towering mountains that offer almost impossibly beautiful vistas in your backyard, suddenly walking up a mountain doesn’t sound so bad. And with much more than just hiking on offer, Vancouver, on the Pacific coast of Canada, is an enticingly easy place to become an outdoor adventurer.

8 Reasons Why South Dakota is the Most Under-Rated State in the U.S.

The Matador Network, 2015

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Drive for hours through the plains and soon enough the earth drops away from you, revealing what appears to be an ongoing canyon dusted in a coating of candy-colored stripes. It’s actually just the result of a million years or so of erosion and the movement of rivers — and a spectacular reminder that nothing is permanent.