Food and Drink On the Road

Victoria Day Long Weekend

I spent most of the Victoria Day long weekend in and around the Fraser Canyon with my kids. We came home late Sunday because traffic on the Monday of the long weekend is a nightmare I can seriously do without.

Victoria Day

We started out Friday afternoon of the Victoria Day weekend with a drive up the Scenic 7. I can no longer handle the pace of traffic on the #1 so we always travel the Scenic 7. And besides, it is much more scenic!

First stop for dinner was the Mission Springs Brewing Company-restaurant. Although you would think that the building that the brew-pub is located in has been there for a 100 year, it was actually purpose built back around 1996. Very cool in a Canadian Pickers-style kind of way. There are an endless number of old farm tools and implements inside.

As well as a “Tailgate Dinner” which is actually just the biggest buffet of golden fried food you will find anywhere. Including deep fried pickles. And they have a taco bar – the kids were in heaven!

Victoria Day

After my belly was stuffed full of tacos and deep fried goodness I needed a little pick-me-up to continue driving up the Fraser Canyon. Stop in Hope BC for a cuppa ethical coffee from the good folks at the Blue Moose Cafe.

Victoria Day

As soon as we go to the cabin the girls wasted not a minute to pull out the new Shel Silverstein book and start reading the poetry.

Victoria Day

I waited until the kids were in bed asleep before I opened my new bottle of single malt Scotch whiskey. A superb whiskey with a strong taste of honey and citrus. I will definitely be enjoying a wee dram of this whiskey now and again.

Victoria Day

The morning after the night before I get to make breakfast. Picky Pants only likes hashbrown potatoes so…we have hasbrown potatoes. This time we tried the small bites – like a flattened tater tot. They were well received even though there was significant suspicion about their “weird shape”.

For my foodie daughter and I it was farm fresh eggs scrambled “Ramsay-style” served on the croissants that I had sliced open and warmed in the oven. I grated some of the 3 year old hard cheddar we picked up at Agassiz’s Farmhouse Cheese shop onto the eggs and we both agreed, these were amazing eggs.

Victoria Day

After breakfast we spent the day exploring the waterways and watching the wildlife. Just a peaceful and quiet day exploring. No electronics. Other than my phone which is only good for taking photos when we are up in the mountains.

Victoria Day

On the way home we stopped at 293 Wallace for an early dinner. Grilled cheese and fries for you-know-who and a Caesar salad with a bowl of the soup of the day – corn and bacon chowder for me and the family foodie.

The chowder had just the right creamy thickness and the hint of maple in the Caesar salad croutons was a pleasant surprise. All reports were that the grilled cheese (off the kids menu) was also a hit with no surprises.

All in all, a wonderful weekend away with my kids. What a great time to be alive.

On the Road

Backroads Adventure; Harrison East to Boston Bar

I went for a backroads adventure motorcycle ride with a good buddy of mine. We were trying to ride up the east side of Harrison Lake before turning further east to go up and over the mountains that separate the lake from the Fraser Canyon.

We left the burbs early Saturday morning for our backroads adventure. We rode up to Harrison Hot Springs where we gassed up the bikes and bought emergency provisions.

Then we double checked our map before heading into the back country. It is important to be prepared! We knew we wouldn’t have cell service up top so we brought along a paper copy of a map.

The scenery was beautiful and we stopped frequently to marvel at the sights, including seeing many incredible waterfalls, a black bear, and a deer.

There are many roads that branch off the main road so make sure to stay on the right road – in our case, the Harrison East Road.

There were quite a few side roads so we were thankful to have our map with us.

All things considered, the roads were in great shape. A few patches of rough riding, but overall, they were quite passable.

The most difficult riding was the deep sand parts. Sand and snow are motorcycle’s kryptonite.

Speaking of snow, we got to this point and that was it. No more forward movement due to the snow.

We knew we had significantly more elevation to climb so we didn’t even try riding through the snow. To be honest, snow is the worst for riding through.

Funny thing about the above video – if I hadn’t tried putting my feet down I probably would’ve looked more “graceful”. I just remind myself that this is my first time on a bike in two years and first time “off road” riding in many years.

So we turned around. Boo. I really wanted to make it over the summit and get down into Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon.

We stopped at the Old Settler Pub and had their bacon, mozzarella burger special.

We will try this route again in a couple of weeks.

On the Road

Traveling the Scenic 7

Typically, when we travel to the interior of BC we avoid the freeway (Hwy 1) and we choose to travel via the Lougheed Hwy – the Scenic 7.

It really is a beautiful drive and as I’ve aged, my driving habits have become much more like my Dad’s. He always talked about how a car or truck’s fuel economy got progressively worse the faster you traveled so the Scenic 7 is a natural for me – a slower paced drive.

On my most recent trip up the Scenic 7 I had an idea – give my iPhone to my kids and get them to take pictures of “whatever you think people would want to see”.

Unfortunately I forgot to tell them how to focus when taking pictures so most of the footage has what you might call a “soft focus”.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Next one we do will be the Fraser Canyon from Hope up to Lytton. And I’ll be sure to show them how to focus before filming!

On the Road

Weekend Trip to Vancouver Island

If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you may already know that I spent this weekend in Victoria on Vancouver Island with my school’s basketball team. The highlight of the trip for me and our team was the behind the scenes tour of the BC Legislature that Keith Baldrey of Global TV graciously gave us.

I’ll do a more comprehensive post on some of the food I ate and the place I stayed but for now, here are a few of my observations of the Island life.

  • First, there seem to be lots of independent coffee shops. I only saw one large chain coffee shop on my trip.
  • Next, I saw more Nissan Leafs in Victoria than I think I have seen anywhere else.
  • Like Nissan Leafs, there seemed to be more people standing outside buildings and smoking.
  • And finally, I found it difficult to find my way around the city because I didn’t have the North Shore mountains as an ever present landmark or bearing point.

More about the McRae Bistro and the Accent Inn later.

On the Road

Day Two Traveling the Fraser Canyon

On the Road

The Scenic 7 to the Fraser Canyon

On the Road

Manning Park; Lightning Lakes Air Quality

If you are thinking of going camping in the southern part of the province, like I just did in Manning Park, you should know that the air quality is just fine, especially down through the Okanagan-Similkameen area.

Manning Park

Go out and enjoy yourself. But be careful with any burning material!! And if you want to check the air quality before you go, check the government of Canada website.

On the Road

We Survived Camping at Lightning Lakes Campground in Manning Park!

Yes, we are home again from our trip to Manning Park and yes, we survived our first family camping trip. Just barely.

I will update this blog post with my advice for other campers once I get back into my more regular routine. In the update I will add a list of what I believe to be the essential items to take with you when you go car-camping.