cross-canada blogger tour

Exploring Canada - Postcards {3/3}

[trip style = urban + sightseeing + wine tasting]

The past week has been a full pour of Canadian Kool-Aid---the best flavor, obviously. I just got home from BC's wine country Saturday morning, and somehow I've ended up in Whistler {where I'm writing this now} on Sunday. Though I travel {outside of Canada} almost as much as George Clooney's character in Up In The Air, I'm a little obsessed with the place I call home.

Canada's diverse. Full stop. Using Vancouver's wilderness-meets-cosmopolitan backdrop as an example, within a:

  • one minute walk, I can run beside the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver's impressive seawall network
  • nine minute {Canada Line} train I can taste world-famous gelato, nibble on local cheese or drink craft cocktails in Gastown
  • 11 minute bike ride I can sit in the sand at Kits beach and watch the setting sun
  • 20 minute drive I can go for a heart-pumping hike in North Vancouver
  • 25 minute {Canada Line} train I can eat a traditional Cantonese dim sum feast in Richmond
  • 50 minute drive I can pick strawberries in Abbotsford
  • 90 minute drive I can ski at Whistler Blackcomb, consistently voted the number one ski resort in North America
  • four hour drive/ferry I can ride Tofino's surf on Vancouver Island
  • five hour drive/30 minute flight I can sip wines in the Okanagan, Canada's second largest wine region

I could go on, but the list would never end....

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some of the local finds and moments I'll never forget, snapped this week exploring my backyard.

Vancouver {A Vancouver Aquabus swishing from stop to stop around the harbor.}

{A world of flavors and vendors at Granville Island Public Market}

{"The world's best gelato" from Bella Gelateria, as voted by judges and people at the Firenze Gelato Competition in Italy. I concur; it's the best I've tasted in a long, long time.}

{Two Vancouver cocktail institutions: An Old Fashioned---taking seven minutes to make done right---at the Di6mond, and a line up of libations at Pourhouse.}

{Coffee---no decaf here---and a homemade peanut butter cup at Nelson the Seagull.}

Richmond {Learning about sustainable fishing from "fisherman frank", a second-generation fisherman based in Steveston, the largest commercial fishing port in Canada.}

{A farm-to-table education at Terra Nova Rural Park, home to projects for local schools, as well as garden plots for local restaurants and residents.}

{Bubble tea and a hot pot dinner on "food street", a three-block strip of over 200 Asian restaurants. A local expert told me that ordering bubble tea is akin to personalizing your drink at Starbucks, so I ordered a pudding-flavored bubble tea with pearls, add extra pearls and add extra pudding. The bev was giant and I drank the whole thing...and then ran on the treadmill the next morning.}

The Okanagan {It's still summer in the Okanagan, Canada's only desert. The view from my room at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna.}

{Uber local cuisine at RauDZ Regional Table in Kelowna. Crushed from nearby grapes, the dinner started with white wine sangria accented by Okanagan peaches. From there, we ate chicken poutine, Dungeness crab cakes with salsa verde and a salted caramel dessert---that in a perfect world would be bottomless.}

{Wine tasting amid vines, sunflowers and a chicken coop at the Okanagan Crush Pad, moving toward biodynamic wine making by 2014.}

{Buying local at its best; picking apples right off the tree at Matheson Creek Farm in Penticton.}

If you're interested in seeing postcards from the international bloggers on my get-to-know BC tour, check out their posts here!

[photos by @tripstyler taken while exploring BC with Tourism Canada]