summer

Into the sky! With Whistler Superfly Ziplines

When it comes to staycations in BC, I can imagine Whistler Blackcomb easily one of the top destinations, and not just in the winter! In the summer months, Whistler has a great variety of outdoor activities, including trail biking, sightseeing tours, jet boating, bungee jumping, horseback riding, ATV tours, white water rafting, and more.

My friend and I decided on Whistler as our destination of choice for a quick getaway trip from Vancouver. One of the activities we picked was ziplining with Superfly Ziplines. Sound like fun? Here’s our experience!

The zipline experience was estimated to be about 3 hours round trip. We opted to meet Superfly at their Whistler Village location, where their staff walked us over to their brightly coloured Superfly bus. Lucky for us – it was a gorgeous day, with plenty of sunshine and a hint of a breeze.

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Up, up, we went on the mountain, until we arrived at the Cougar Mountain Base, the hubbub of their activities, including the ziplines and Treetop Adventures.

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We met our guides William and Astrid, who welcomed us with a quick introduction, suited us up, and did a quick demonstration of what we were to expect on the zipline. We also learned William and Astrid’s funky monkey dance, which later become a common theme throughout our experience – their little dance indicated to us while flying through the air to prepare for the end of the zipline in the proper landing position.

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There was a group of 8 of us – my friend and I, a couple, and a family of four, including two kids. We hopped into a few ATV’s and continued our adventure higher up on the mountain.

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At the very top of the mountain, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. Looking down, it really was quite high up – our first zipline was the highest zipline in Canada! It was an incredible view point though, overlooking the forests below, with the mountains and blue skies in the background. My picture, unfortunately, does not do it proper justice. You’ll have to see it for yourself!

DSC09788 editAstrid was the first to fly down to the next base. Throughout the next few hours, William and Astrid were fantastic in coordinating with each other – one would strap us in, and double check our equipment was good to go, and the other would be at the other side to receive us with the funky monkey dance. Since the ziplines were tandem, the two kids from the family would often volunteer to be the first to zip down and race each other to the other side!

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There were 4 different ziplines, each with their own unique characteristics. For example, the first one was the highest, where as the third one was nicknamed Godzilla for the fastest. All four ziplines were tandem, with two lines right next to each other, but the fourth zipline was special – the two ziplines are actually close enough for a couple to hold hands on their way down.  Isn’t that sweet?

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Ziplining with Superfly was such an incredible experience, a mix of feeling intense adrenaline rushes while flying in the air, and a sense of peace and serenity trekking through the forest to our next location. Thanks to our guides William and Astrid, we felt safe, comfortable and taken care of throughout the whole journey.

And afterwards, we topped off our experience with delicious ice cream with none other than Cows in Whistler Village. Yum!

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For your next trip to Whistler, I would highly recommend including Superfly Ziplines as part of your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure!

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BC Blueberry Council’s Summer Kickoff

Among my favourite summer fruits, blueberries are at the top of my list, next to mangos and watermelon. In fact, one popular way to spend a sunny day is at a blueberry farm, to pick boxes and boxes of fresh blueberries (and perhaps eating one .. or two.. or sixteen).

Blueberries are my kind of superfood – packed with vitamins K and C, as well as antioxidants that help protect heart diseases and other illnesses, while improving your memory. The only “bad” thing about it is if you eat too many, it’ll turn your tongue blue!

The BC Blueberry Council kicked off the blueberry season with a picnic-inspired reception at the outdoor terrace of Shangri-La Hotel. With blueberry-everything on the menu, this was a summer fiesta on the tastebuds.

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I was greeted with a Blueberry Caipirinha as I walked out to the terrace! I haven’t had many drinks with blueberries in them, but the fruity sweetness works really well. I swear I wasn’t already buzzed when I snapped this photo, although I realize my glass is a little tilted…

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One thing I absolutely love in my meals is lots of beautiful, bright colours. And this Cob & Blueberry Salad has it all! This is such a fantastic way to incorporate blueberries into a healthy meal, along with lots of greens When I make this at home, I may throw in some extra fruit to make it extra summery.

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Do it yourself trail mix! I’m a big fan of DIY meals. It means I can add more things I like.. and less of the things I don’t like. Yay for more blueberries!

Olive oil poached salmon with blueberry & lemon

Olive oil poached salmon with blueberry & lemon

This one was amazing. Olive oil poached salmon with blueberry and lemon – I’ve baked salmon and lemon together before, but never thought to include blueberries. I was definitely inspired by this one, and will be making this on my own this summer!

Lemon & blueberry tarts

Lemon & blueberry tarts

This one definitely deserves 10/10 for presentation. I’m always wary of too much sourness in lemon tarts, but this bite-sized tart balanced quite nicely with the sweetness of the blueberries.

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Blueberry season started two weeks earlier in BC this year than it did last year, which means we get to enjoy blueberries earlier! If you want to be as inspired as I am in incorporating blueberries into your menu this summer, discover some new recipes here: BC Blueberry Recipes. Cheers!

Review: Milestones Grill and Bar (Cambie)

When I was in high school, Milestones was where all the cool people hosted their birthday parties. At the time, I only knew of the location on No. 3 Road in Richmond.

This year, Milestones celebrates their 25th year, a story of great food that begin right here in Vancouver on Denman Street. Now, they boast over 40 locations all across Canada. What an accomplishment!

As a starter, we picked a Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips. This was a HUGE portion, even shared between two. At some point I had to tell my hand to stop reaching for the chips or I wouldn’t have any stomach to eat my entrée!

Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips

Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips

My choice of entrée was the Cajun Seafood Fettucini, minus the spicy Cajun part. Although it didn’t look like a big portion, pasta is always filling (all them carbs.. yum). I definitely appreciated the healthy serving of seafood (some places skimp out), and I’m not sure if it was the spinach & artichoke dip, but I had to pack some of this home to enjoy another day.

Cajun Seafood Fettucini

Cajun Seafood Fettucini

The mojito is always my go-to drink, and I’m happy to report this Raspberry Mojito was perfectly minty and refreshing. Next time, I’m going to try their Watermelon Mojito!

Raspberry Mojito

Raspberry Mojito

K’s choice of entree was the Portobello Mushroom Chicken, with basil, roasted garlic cream sauce, vermicelli noodles, and seasonal vegetables. Colourful dishes always make me happy.

Portobello Mushroom Chicken

Portobello Mushroom Chicken

His choice of drink was the Milestones Original Bellini, complete with a little giraffe perched on top. I love this little detail – it adds just a bit of whimsy to put a smile on your face as you sip away.

Original Bellini

Original Bellini

As much as I enjoy Vancouver’s unique dining spots and hole-in-the-walls, Milestones will always be a great option for a night out.

Intern Life: BCSCA’s Annual Boat Cruise!

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to join 5 other members of the Ivanhoe-Cambridge Metropolis at Metrotown’s team to BC Shopping Centre Association’s (BCSCA) Annual Boat Cruise.

We boarded the beautiful Sunset Bay II of Sunset Bay Yacht Group at Westin Bayshore Marina just before noon. When I walked on, I was blown away by how beautiful the set-up the interior was. It had such a great balance between elegant yet casual, and just look at the colour coordination!

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Since we each had 2 drink tickets, we obviously had to make use of them. Mary (of Vancouver Bits and Bites) recommended Strongbow Apple Cider, which was smooth and refreshing without too strong a taste of alcohol.

As a sidenote, I want to share how amazing the Sunset Bay team was – all the servers on board were super polite, friendly, and attentive. If I didn’t have a drink in my hand, I would be offered one within minutes. If I had an empty plate on my hand, it would be whisked away before the awkward where-should-I-leave-this predicament crossed my mind. When a coworker and I walked out to the front of the boat when most of the crowd were still indoors, a server took the initiative to check in with us occasionally to make sure we were all good. The team on board is fantastic!

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I had such a blast on this boat cruise. Aside from the huge variety of refreshments and great people to network with, it was just amazing to be on a boat on a Friday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, and the waters were (mostly) calm. It felt so good to just stand at the front of the boat. feel the wind in my hair and take in the sights of beautiful Vancouver.

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Intern life is awesome.