Monthly Wrap Up

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My intention is to start doing weekly wrap ups. The last month and a half have been incredibly busy - I've eaten some amazing things and met a ton of new people in the Comox Valley and beyond!

One of the first jobs I did after moved to the island, was at the Villa Eyrie Resort. It's been 20 years since I last visited the restaurant, there have been some changes, but the views are just as stunning as I remember. The photos were taken for a Business profile page for Yellow Pages, you can check it out here.

My husband and I decided to start a monthly cocktail club, like a book club, but better. A place we could socialize and show off or practice our cocktail making skills. The first meeting's theme was "Apples", based on an assignment that I did for The Alchemist. Some of the photos of our drinks shown below.

At the beginning of January, I launched a campaign called "50 first dates". An attempt to really put myself out there and connect with as many new faces in the food industry as possible. Below is an overview of some of the places I visited, including:
Gabriel's cafe in Nanaimo, Milano and Church Street Bakery - both in Comox, Rhodos Coffee, Big Foot Donuts and Frankie Jo's - all in Courtenay, The Comox Valley Farmer's Market, Wayward Distillation House and Westcoast Gourmet Gift Boxes.

And last but not least, some fun, food-related events coming up. On Saturday, February 3rd, there is the Comox Valley Whiskey Fest with proceeds benefiting the Rotary Club. The same night, there is an event at 40 Knots Winery, featuring Cocktails + friends of 40 knots (including Milano, Wayward Distillation and Heavenly Libations).
I'm also keen to check out Dine Around Comox Valley from February 20 - March 11.

Email me if you have a food related business you would like me to visit or a food related event that you think I should attend. 

Until next time... :)

Summer Vacation | Island Bound

In July, we took a week off work and hung out on Vancouver Island. First for a big group camping trip in the Comox Valley, then off to Port Renfrew to stay in a gorgeous cabin and finally south to Victoria via Sooke Pot Holes.
I feel so at home on the island. Time slows down, phones turn off, just quality time with loved ones beachcombing and creating beautiful memories. Here are a few from this last trip:

Camping Trip at Comox Lake We stayed at The Cumberland Lake Campground on a group site with five other families. This is an annual trip for us, but I think this one was the most relaxing so far. The group site had access to everything we needed and we got super lucky with weather.

One of my friends that comes along every year is also an incredibly talented photographer. I'm sharing some of her shots. If you're ever in need of family, wedding or maternity photography on the island, get in touch with Crystal of Crystal Clear Photography. We also had the pleasure of being serenaded by Neal Ryan - he's a gifted musician and a regular performer at the Fairmont Hotels in Vancouver. And of course, I brought along lots of Salt Spring Coffee! This year I got hooked on brewing with an Aeropress - a super easy to use, manual brewing method.

Here is a gallery of some of Crystal's photos below:

After leaving Cumberland, we joined my husband's family in Port Renfrew. It was our second time visiting in six months - I absolutely love it there! We stayed in a beautiful, beachside cabin. You can find it listed here on VRBO. There is so much wildlife right outside your door. The landscape is so raw - truly west coast at it's best!

There are also many places to explore within a short drive of Port Renfrew. In December, we visited Botanical Beach. This time we opted for Avatar Grove and Lizard Lake.

My family lives in Victoria and I grew up visiting the Sooke Pot Holes. I've been wanting to bring my family and see if they were as incredible as I remember. The murals at the abandoned resort and worth checking out!!! You need to be careful hiking in to swimming spots with pets or small children but man is it worth it. The beautiful flasks were a souvenir that I picked up at Wild Renfrew - made by Moonshine Dreams.

Birthday road trip | Banff, hot springs | Canada's 150th

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This year I was celebrating a milestone birthday. I wanted to experience something brand new (to me) and opted for a family road trip. 

In true planning fashion, I started with a good google map. Little did I know it would end up being 2000km over 6 days. A ton of driving for my husband and my little girl!

Day 1: we travelled to Kelowna. We had lunch at Quail's gate, visited Mission Hill and bought a bottle of wine from Mount Boucherie. Thanks to family we were visiting, we got some very nice adult time in. My daughter doesn't have much patience for wine tasting.

Day 2: We travelled to Banff, via Revelstoke. We stopped at the very retro 3 Valley Gap. It was their first day of opening, so it felt a bit "abandoned" but still super cool. As we came into Banff, we travelled via the Bow Valley Parkway (in hopes of spotting some wildlife). Then we stopped at the customary lookout, just above the vermillion lakes. We stayed right in in the middle of town at Brewster's Mountain Lodge. It was super central, clean and quiet. The continental breakfast made me feel like I was in prison but all things considered, I'd still recommend it.

Day 3: Was our only full day in Banff and man oh man, was it jam-packed! We started off at the Cave + Basins historic site. It was pretty and educational. Then lunch at Park Distillery which was so inspiring - great food, design and staff. Then on to the Banff upper hot springs. They were super busy, more like a pool than what I was expecting. I didn't take photos but did capture some of the fun on my Spectacles. You can view the rest of the videos on YouTube here.
 

We continued our adventures on the gondola and capped off the amazing day with a meal at the stunning Banff Springs hotel. If I were to go back, I'd try to hit up their afternoon tea. The views in the lounge are off the hook!

Day 4: Sadly, we had to leave Banff, but spent some time at Vermillion Lakes before heading out. We were really hoping to see some wildlife. Aside from some scat, we were out of luck. Then it was on to Radium hot springs via Storm Mountain Lodge and a hike through Marble Canyon
As we left the hot springs and drove through the town of Radium, we were lucky enough to spot some Big Horn Sheep. They were super casual, hanging out on the hillside right next to the highway!

By Day 5, the whole family was pretty done with all of the driving. We woke up in Revelstoke on Easter Sunday and found ourselves a restaurant with amazing brunch. Refreshed from our breakfast, we decided to push on with our last day and headed out towards Halcyon hot springs. They did not disappoint - definitely my favourite (and the most relaxing) of all the pools we visited. We also had a quick visit to the town of Nakusp and enjoyed a few of the ferries across the Arrow Lakes.

Our last night, we stayed in a great suite at the Castle on Swan Lake in Vernon. We travelled back through Kelowna, stopping for lunch in Merritt (shown in the logging shot). Such an amazing vacation with the family. A bit rushed for sur,e but now we will know all of our favourite spots to return to.