Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events, Food, Restaurants

After our tour in the Royal BC Museum, we took a Harbour Ferry across the bay to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub. I believe we were supposed to have had a tour of the Bay, but the Ferry lost our reservation or something like that. On our lunch, we were joined by a rep from Tourism Victoria, who helped to set up our lunch and visit at Spinnakers.


Image: miss604

Spinnakers sits on a huge piece of land overlooking the harbour – their property includes the Brewpub, as well as a number of Guest Houses (they operate like a B&B for these) we also had a chance to tour. I was expecting, for lunch, that we’d all just be ordering off the menu. Not so! There was a huge meal planned, with 5 courses of food, 3 wine pairings, 3 beer & chocolate pairings, and liquor and cheese pairing to finish off. Crazy!

The lunch started off with a plate of cheeses & fish, followed by a salad, mussels, clams, and pork & risotto (miss604 has great photos of each dish). If you’re thinking this doesn’t sound like food a pregnant woman should be eating, you’re right! After the plates started coming out, we had to ask that a special meal be prepared for me – I got to eat a cheese-less salad and a mushroom & chicken pasta. Most of the ingredients at Spinnakers are local or organic, and the herbs are even partially grown on their guest house properties!

New Media in New Victoria

While I did miss out on all the fantastic wines and beers, I did have a chance to enjoy the O de Vie, a mineral water that bubbles up from an aquifer 225ft beneath the brewhouse. Delish. And I have to say I probably wasn’t the only one who felt spoiled after such an elaborate lunch – ok, everyone else probably felt it more than I did, what with all the wine & beer consumed, and the fabulous service we had while there!

Spinnakers, as Canada’s first purpose-built brewpub, has a long history of making beer. They produce at least 10 types of ale (no lager) on-site, and take great pride in the process. I know Ianiv had a couple of glasses of their Nut Brown Ale, with the Hefeweizen being a crowd favorite as well.

Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to try their Malt Vinegar, and I swear I mentioned that several times after I left there. Note to self: when pregnant, satisfy cravings! I’m going to need to go back sometime for their fish & chips so I can have one of their naturally brewed vinegars!

Not making the same mistake twice, we stopped at the Spinnakers giftshop on our way out to load up on cookies and toffees and more of the truffles that were served with the beer. Why not, right?

Treasures at the Royal BC Museum

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events

I have to admit, this is the part of our trip to Victoria that I was most looking forward to! The trip to the Royal BC Museum. We only had 2 hours scheduled, but that’s probably enough waddling for this pregnant woman, despite how much more time I would have liked to have had.

Since this wasn’t our first trip to the museum, we concentrated on the Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum exhibit, which will be on show until September 30, 2009.


Images: Royal BC Museum

This exhibit contains 309 objects on loan from the British Museum, including a complete mummy that’s never been unwrapped. The whole collection is meant to span human history, from early axe heads and the development of creative forms of expression right up to ‘today’. I could do without the most recent stuff, but I thought they had some great items on display. I’ve always been fascinated with archaeology (even took a course in University, if you can believe it!), and with Egypt in particular.

After spending most of our time in this exhibit, we made a quick trip into our favorite part of the Museum, the Natural History and Modern History galleries.

New Media in New Victoria

New Media in New Victoria

As parents-to-be, we were conjuring up images of taking our family to the museum. It’s only too bad that it’s not in Vancouver, as we could imagine spending many weekends going through the exhibits each year. These galleries, in particular, offer something very tangible to young kids – being able to walk through the HMS Discovery or the city street… amazing. I have a few memories of being there as a kid and I just loved it!

Later in the day, we wanted to return for one of the IMAX shows, but we weren’t able to walk back quickly enough to make the showing we wanted. Instead, we had a nice nap before heading out for dinner.

15th Annual BC Wine & Oyster Festival at Victoria’s Coast Hotel

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events

The last week just flew by, but I never did finish talking about our fantastic ‘New Victoria for New Media’ trip. With a little time now, I’m going to try to wrap that up!

After our trip to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, our bus took us to check in at
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina. The hotel is located about 5 minutes walk from the main city center in Victoria, which was a nice place to be. Aside from the easy walking distance, they also have a hotel shuttle that can take you, or pick you up, from wherever you want to go in the city. As you can see, we had an amazing view from our room!

New Media in New Victoria

As if the cider weren’t enough for one day, just 30 minutes after checking into our hotel, we headed out for the 15th Annual BC Wine & Oyster Festival, which was being held at the hotel. Apparently, the website for that festival is already down (permalinks, people!), but it was a great event and very well attended.

New Media in New Victoria

Obviously, being pregnant, I wasn’t able to drink any of the wine or to eat any of the oysters. Well, I’m not an oyster fan anyway. But I did come along to enjoy the view, chow on some cheese (yay, they had pasteurized brie!!) and partake of the chocolate fountain. Ianiv hasn’t been drinking much either in the past several months, so he didn’t go crazy with the free alcohol. I think he had a couple of beers (yes, they had beer there too!) and maybe one glass of wine. If you go to the festival in another year, definitely take the time to read up about the beer and wine beforehand so you know what you want to try – so many choices!

New Media in New Victoria

Our Journey to Victoria

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events, Photography

We began our trip to Victoria bright and early on Friday morning by meeting at the Vancouver Coast Hotel. There, we met up with our fellow social media gurus (Rebecca & John, Duane, Anny, Karen, Lorraine, April & guests) and Danny & Sherry of Coast Hotels. The photos, videos and tweets started right away, of course (you can even find the hotel on Twitter) – see, here we are on the bus!


Credit: miss604

At the Tsawwassen BC Ferries terminal, we met up with a tour guide who took us through the Market where we all stopped for some much-needed coffee (at the Salt Spring Coffee stand, not the Starbucks one, of course. Mmm, mocha).

We were supposed to be sailing on one of the new Coastal ferries, but the schedules were flipped and we ended up instead on the Spirit of British Columbia. I don’t know if it’s because this is a Victoria-bound ship, but it’s not a class of ship that I’d known in my many years of traveling to-and-from Vancouver Island (way back when I used to live in Courtenay). Our itinerary had us down for a “buffet lunch” and I was pretty curious about that – were they going to put us in a private room, or what? To my surprise, I found out that several BC Ferries ships now have a special Pacific Buffet, in addition to the normal cafeteria area and snack bar. We sat down to a lovely brunch before heading out for a “BC Ferries Photowalk”, even catching a brief glimpse of some whales. Ianiv even had a little Marilyn Monroe moment. Cute.

New Media in New Victoria

On our way back from Victoria today, I also had a new experience – the Seawest Lounge. For those of you who spent endless hours sitting in noisy areas trying to read… it’s like a lovely little haven. The lounge, which you have to pay to go into, sits at the rear of the ship. There are sections with tables as well as a series of chairs that recline a bit (picture me there with my feet propped up on my suitcase). There’s also some pastries, coffee and things of that sort to munch on. A very relaxing place to be after a long weekend of activities!!

After we got to Victoria, we boarded another bus and headed to a Cider farm… more on that in another post!!

Headed to Victoria

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Events

This weekend, we’re heading off to Victoria for what will likely be our last pre-baby vacation. We were invited to Victoria, along with other Vancouver bloggers, as part of the “New Victoria for New Media” weekend organized by Coast Hotels. We were in Victoria last year for the BC 150 festival with Duane and had a fantastic time – we’re looking forward to the same this year.

DSC_9222

Our trip will begin on Friday, starting out at the Coast Hotel in Vancouver and taking us aboard the new Coastal Celebration ferry to Victoria. Our weekend will include a number of organized events, as well as some free time. Some of the things we’ll be doing include:

Our trip is made possible with transportation and accomodations provided by Coast Hotels and Tourism Victoria. We’ll also be having some of our meals supplied, including breakfast at the Blue Crab Bar & Grill as well as a lunch at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub. We’re also being given a "Harbour Holiday Pass" courtesy of the Tartan Group.

Chip’s Not Dead Yet – This Saturday!

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events

This Saturday, thousands of people in Vancouver will run, walk or parade for one mile uphill to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital in the Chip’s Not Dead Yet Memorial Mile. Back in February, we had a chance to meet Chip Wilson, the man behind this charity race. We talked about the race, which includes a serious sprint, as well as theme waves that cater to the wacky – from women in wedding dresses to kids dressed as superheroes! There’s also a Pooch Parade, so bring your dogs and bring your families out for a great day!

For every dollar the Chip’s Not Dead Yet charity run raises, Chip Wilson will match that amount up to $150,000!When sick kids get better they run, play, and most of all they appreciate the fact that they’re alive. What if we all did that?”

A couple of months ago, Ianiv & I had a chance to tour the BC Children’s Hospital and to learn how charity dollars are put to work. It was an eye-opening experience. A hospital for kids has to be prepared for premature babies as well as adult-sized 18-year-old kids… that takes a lot of equipment and a lot of specialized knowledge and care. Imagine buying not just one bed size (like in a regular hospital), but many sizes. Same goes for all the equipment – just look at the various sizes of blood pressure cuffs pictured to the right! So, though BC Children’s Hospital may fund-raise a lot, and may do well in those efforts, consider that the Hospital is more than 3 times as costly to run than a regular hospital!

I had honestly never thought of all of the complexities involved in treating sick kids. The hospital staff – who were amazing! – have to know how to not only treat these sick kids, but also to care for their emotional and developmental needs as well. That changes with each age group. The BC Children’s Hospital shared with us how important it is to have parents involved with their child’s care, although the ICU had no room for parents to sleep with their children. The hospital is far too small for the needs of the entire province. A new hospital is being developed, but it’s a few years away.

One of the things that shocked me most was to learn that doctors who specialize in treating kids actually get paid less, on average, than those who treat adults. Obviously, with so many more adults in the world, it’s more “profitable” to treat them – though treating kids takes a great deal more specialized training. This fact isn’t really related to the Hospital’s charity needs, but it stuck with me.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the Chip’s Not Dead Yet charity event, you can do so here! There are also some great prizes to win, as well as a fun-day filled with music (Daniel Wesley, A Current Swell, Armchair Cynics, and Run GMC.) and more! Don’t want to run? Try the Couch Potato Wave!

Ianiv & I sadly won’t be in town for the event – we’ll be in Victoria – but it should be a great event if you can go!

Juno Awards in Photos

Posted in Around Vancouver, Events, Photography

My vantage point for the Juno Awards on Sunday night wasn’t fantastic, being up at the 500 level in the “press box” with the other “online media” who weren’t given access to the limited seating back stage in the media room. Nonetheless, I had great fun and did manage to snag a few photos that turned out nicely. Plus, I was doing this while juggling the live blogging, live tweeting, and capturing of video via the flip cam.

Crystal Shawanda at 2009 Juno Awards

Great Big Sea at 2009 Juno Awards

Check out the full set here.



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