Category Archives: Canada

Suggestions for Exploring Victoria in a Day

HRH Queen Elizabeth II

These are my suggestions for exploring Victoria in a day. I’m assuming you’ve already visited Butchart Gardens, which is a must-see, and I understand you’d probably prefer a week. But if it’s only one day you’ve got, begin it early with a drive of the perimeter of James Bay. It’s fun to stop at a […]

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Enchantment in Victoria’s Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens

There’s a particular kind of enchantment in Victoria’s Butchart Gardens. Maybe it’s the vastness of such a cultured space, a certain grandeur. Perhaps an audacity of vision that it takes to create something so lovely that it matters deeply to thousands of visitors over many decades. The feeling that nothing in nature could really be […]

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Ferry to Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island

Pat Webber tea service

If you take the Crofton ferry to Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island for the day, the only thing more fun would be if you never had to go home. We just missed the 8:45, so we parked our car in the line-up and took a stroll along the boardwalk adjacent to the wharf. We passed […]

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Capture the Wild Notes in Photos and Perfumes

Amphitrite Lighthouse 1915

Capture the wild notes in photos and perfumes from Cowichan Bay to Tofino and Ucluelet, so you can always remember Vancouver Island. That’s my advice. The drive south from Chemainus through Crofton to Cowichan Bay is lovely, with glimpses of the Salish Sea through the trees. When you arrive, be sure to look up the […]

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Mystique of Seafood, Marinas, and Totem Poles


If you, too, are a landlubber from the interior of the continent you may understand the mystique of seafood, marinas, and totem poles on Vancouver Island. Boats sat in the marina at Genoa Bay in North Cowichan awaiting the weekend, I suppose. Hard to resist the idea of hopping into one and speeding off. The […]

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Artists Created the Phoenix of Chemainus’ Rebirth

Douglas Fir pole

After the lumber mills closed in 1983 and the spectre of Chemainus becoming a ghost town loomed, outdoor mural artists created the phoenix of Chemainus’ rebirth. Some towns view the arts as an after-thought, something you do when you have too much time or money on your hands. Chemainus sees them as the life-blood of […]

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Dark Sky and Scavenger Hunt in Canmore

I learned via a dark sky and scavenger hunt in Canmore that there’s no quicker way to learn the secrets of a town. In all the years I lived in Alberta, Canmore was merely a road sign on the way from Calgary to Banff National Park. Never once had it been a place to stop. […]

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From Goats on the Roof to Afternoon Tea

Two goats on the roof!

The cultural dimensions of our first day on Vancouver Island ranged from goats on the roof to afternoon tea. Why are goats grazing on the turf roof of a retail establishment, you ask? Well, probably for the same reason the store is located in a great big yurt. The Old Country Market in Coombs, B.C., otherwise […]

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Tidy Prairie Town Called Claresholm

Claresholm sunset square

For years I had driven through the tidy prairie town called Claresholm, situated along the #2 Highway in Southern Alberta, Canada. It didn’t signify much more to me than a lowered speed zone. With its generic assortment of flat-roofed businesses lining main street, Claresholm, population 3780, was a mere artery I had to pass through in […]

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