Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Sorry Vancouver

I was looking around Youtube today when I came across this, entitled “Sorry Vancouver”.

Not sure what I think about the lipsyncing but for a tourist travel video, it’s… different.

Maui jail: where British Columbians go when it starts to snow


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

So snow has hit Vancouver [mbv], and we all know that nobody here can drive when a light dusting hits the roads so the only thing to do is to leave. That’s right as of Tuesday I’m taking off and going to Maui, because that’s where you go when you want to throw back a few drinks and live out your Grand Theft Auto dreams [mbv] on the open roads of Hawaii [mbh].

This continues a long tradition of our folk going to the sunny islands when things get too cold here. From Captain George Vancouver in 1794 [bih] to Gordon Campbell some years later, we’ve always been the sort of guests that make the Hawaiians say, “Holy shit I hope those pricks don’t come back again.” At least I’m not expecting someone is going to house swap me [clv].

Depending on whether or not I get sunstroke and pass out, and what sort of internet access my hotel room has, I might be blogging on Metroblogging Hawaii [mbh] during my time there. So please while I’m gone learn how to drive in the snow? This interior boy finds the snowy traffic slowness of Vancouver pretty shocking.

Checking out the Coquihalla via the internet

Coquihalla web cam photo

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Rebecca blogged about many of the very cool webcams around Vancouver [mbv] the other day. This isn’t about one of those, this is about the BC Provincial Government’s own webcams, specifically the ones that let us Vancouverites take a look at the weather on the Coquihalla before venturing into the interior of the province.

I had planned a trip to Kelowna last week but delayed it because of sleet and snow, and checking the province’s highway site [pbc] I see that sadly it’s not looking good for yet another week. That might mean that I’ll either have to fly or forget adventuring inland until after the winter.

Living in Vancouver it’s easy to forget that the rest of Canada gets snow. Heck two hours in a car and you get this sort of weather. We should be grateful that on our worst days we don’t have to deal with anything like this level of slush.

Is there anyone else in Whistler aside from the Australians?


Originally uploaded by CharlieBrown.

Dear Australia [mbm]:

I don’t know who might be reading this letter, since it appears that your entire population leaves the country each year to come and work at Canada’s ski resorts. Living in Kelowna we always knew when Big White was going to re-open soon when the French Canadiens that filled the town to pick fruit during the summer made way for the Australians who came to operate the ski lifts and chat up our women. However I did not realize the scope of the exodus until I came to work downtown Vancouver.

We get a lot of tourists throughout the summer. Sure we get some Australians but it’s not really any more than any of the other nationalities. Japanese, Chinese, English, German and more, they all love Vancouver during the summer. They like our steam clock, they like our beer and sometimes they like our women, but once September rolls around most of them head home to their jobs and their own weather. You, you all take it up a few notches.

I’ve only ever been to Whistler during the summer, but my imagination tells me that during the winter it’s one long party filled only with Australians. You like your beer, and hopefully you like our beer, so it’s probably a good party but come on don’t you want to meet people who aren’t Australians? You’re to our ski resorts as Mexicans are to LA’s [mbla] mansions, except I suspect you’re having more fun.

I like Canada, but I was born here. Why do you like it? Are you all just ski junkies looking for a fix? Do all resort towns see this Aussie influx every time snow threatens to hit the ground? Do you let the New Zelanders come too, or do they have to stay at home and work on special effects for Peter Jackson?

I hope one of you are home to answer this. Maybe your Prime Minister could get back to me on this one. It’s been on my mind for awhile.

Thank you.

– Jeffery Simpson
Concerned Canadian

P.S. Stay away from our women.

Secrets of the City

Photo courtesy: Jason Vanderhill

Matt and I were just talking about the Secrets of the City tours. Matt had no idea they existed and I explained that, as I work Wednesday nights and Saturdays, I always miss them. The tours have been to the Post Office tunnel that runs from Georgia and Hamilton to Cordova Street; the basement of the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Hotel Vancouver’s roof with the abandoned CBC radio studios; the back spaces and roof of the Hudson’s Bay Company; the Shaughnessy hospital steam plant and tunnels; the main ambulance station for the BC Ambulance Service; the Yip Sang building on Pender; and more. To educate Matt (and others) on these tours, I dug up some tidbits.

Turns out I’ve already written about the tours. Which turned out to be a good thing because John Atkin, the historian who leads the tours and he of Vancouver Neon curating fame (and author of Heritage Walks Around Vancouver and Skytrain Explorer, co-founderof Heritage Vancouver, etc., etc.), removed the link to his Secrets page. The Vancouver Museum also removed links to his page.

It also turns out that Vandigicam took in his latest tour, which might also be his last tour for a while. This last trip, on September 9, was to the Richmond Steel Recycling Plant. Until the next one, there are always photos of the tours.

Wine country and a broken down car MetroBlogger Jeffery Simpson recently asked where Vancouverites spend their holidays. I was tempted to just post a quick comment and leave it at that, but the weekend road trip’s just been too eventful for that.

Highlights of the weekend included a scenic drive through the mountains on the way to Kelowna. I don’t take too many road trips and I’m always amazed to see the adventure-background landscape outside of home base.

I’d never taken a tour of wine country before. Make sure you bring along someone who knows something about wine – not necessarily for their knowledge, but for the enthusiasm. It’s also good to have someone who can talk the lingo.

One thing about road trips, though. Make sure you have your BCAA membership before you go. One broken radiator and a six-hour bus ride back to Vancouver from Kelowna to get back in time for work does not make a happy camper.

Kelowna: city of the easily confused

Valley View

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

While working at Metrotown today I sold a phone to a woman who just needed to have a 604 number because her boyfriend had recently moved from Kelowna and his friends back in the British Columbia interior wouldn’t be able to deal with having a 778 area code.

“Yeah, people from Kelowna are easily confused,” I agreed.

On the topic of B.C.’s most easily confounded city I’ll be returning there for a few days this week starting Tuesday. I’ve got some freelancing money to beg for and friends to see. Also I’ve been finding Vancouver a little too hot lately so I felt that going to the stupid hot temperature of Kelowna was a way to remind me of how nice it is in Van City.

Chilliwack Museum

It seems like an exciting year for local museums: new digs for the Surrey Museum, upcoming changes for the Vancouver Maritime Museum ($50 million for the National Maritime Centre) and the Maple Ridge Museum, as well as two museums brewing – a new Sikh museum in Richmond and a children’s museum in upcoming years.

The latest museum to get a facelift is the Chilliwack Museum. Slightly outside of the GVRD but with daytripping potential, this museum just got a $35,000 City of Chilliwack grant and now needs to raise the rest of the $114,000 needed to bring the museum into a more contemporary museum exhibition style, with interactive stuff.

Chilliwack Museum
45820 Spadina Avenue
Chilliwack, BC

Whistler in the Spring

If you want a really good deal, take the family over to Whistler for the day during the spring. Get up at 7AM, take the one and a half hour drive up Highway 99 and lo and behold, you’re in Whistler. Not that many people are there during the months of May and June, but there’s still so much to do, especially if it isn’t raining. We opted to go canoing in Green Lake and spend the rest of the day eating and strolling along in the villiage. Others would rent bikes and the ski buffs would ski on the glacier – all for a reasonable price. You can then leave at 8PM and still get home in time to get some decent shut eye.

We took our homestay students there in May and they had a great time! Hotels were dirt cheap there so we spent the night there and got some nice morning mountain air.

Feel free to take a look at our pictures on our Flickr Site:

Our short trip to Whistler

The trip to the roots

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Valley View, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Since I’m a columnist currently on the payroll of the Kelowna Daily Courier‘s art supplement magazine I have to make semi-regular trips back to Kelowna to go ask for money from the paper.

So Tuesday I’m looking at a drive across the Coquihalla, which is always exciting. More exciting because the Coquaihalla webcam [bchc] shows snow on the road which is always awesome in my car [fkr].

This will also be Lydia’s [ial] first time in Kelowna for more than an hour, so hopefully she’ll like it at least a little bit.

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