I feel very strongly about Canada. When someone tells me they like Quebec's maple syrup, I take it as a personal compliment. I'm not from Quebec, nor do I make syrup or know anything about tapping the tree, but as big, as far, and as wide as Canada's border extends, every bit is part of me. Maple syrup and all.
Since Tuesday I've been tasting my way through Vancouver, Richmond and the Okanagan with four other bloggers from Paris, Australia, the UK and India. The maple syrup factor has come into play a lot. I blush a little hearing them gush about eating doughnuts in Vancouver, drinking bubble tea in Richmond, and sharing chicken poutine in Kelowna, again, as if I had something to do with the process.
Being a tourist in my own backyard offers a crash course in Canada all over again. And I love it. Everything is new. Even in familiar territory, it's healthy to switch into tourist 'learning' mode sometimes, because there's always a region, restaurant, shop or person that's new---something I've been discovering on this trip, as well as on jaunts to Montreal, Banff and Victoria over the past few months.
As my train was pulling into Banff National Park a few months ago, I could not believe my eyes. Surrounded by a real-time reel of nature through my glass-domed coach, the jagged, snow-dusted edges of the rocky mountains humbled my soul and put my camera in workout mode.
Oh, and by the way, when everyone in my train coach was admiring the Rocky Mountains, I took that as a compliment too, as if I painted the snow on the rocks and hand-selected the positioning of the trees below the peaks.
Speaking of real-time reels, you can find my Canadian version via instagram, twitter and facebook. Otherwise, I'll be posting a full feature on Monday. In the meantime, I'll be sipping wine on the Naramata Bench. Cheers!
[photos taken while exploring BC via Tourism Canada]