Tag: beach

Summer driving, summer living

This week I have been doing a lot of driving across to Kitsilano as I have a client looking in that area. Driving along by the beach is always a reminder of how lovely Vancouver is in the summer.

The pedestrians I see crossing in front of me are dressed for the beach. Flip flops, swim suits, wraps, big hats, rolled up mats under their arms.

In the afternoon, I see the kids waiting with their skim boards and damp towels at the bus stops. Tired parents with their toddlers too.

And at this time of the year, with the long evenings, I get out too. Perhaps not on my skim board, but taking the dog for a walk along the seawall. Admiring the cruise ships leaving in the setting sun. Imagining the cocktails being served. Hmmm, that’s an idea

Summer in Langley, White Rock and Surrey

Last week we featured Nanaimo (and beyond) and looked at the top things to do in the summer according to our partner Gary and Toni.

Now Juliet, our partner in the Langley area (and beyond) offers her top 3 things to do in the summer. You may have guessed that I am making the most of our partners to take a break from the newsletter writing!

GREATER VANCOUVER ZOO, ALDERGROVE, LANGLEY

When I took some English visitors to this zoo last year, they were amused by its simplicity and primitiveness. Seeing it through their eyes, it did strike me how slightly run-down it appears compared to the more slick zoos and animal parks in the UK.

But it does have a kind of old-fashioned charm; a refreshing lack of corporate commercialism. Despite its brush with controversy over the years, and if you can cope with the whole idea of paying to see caged animals, which as an animal lover I counter with the education it has given my kids, it is a great day out. When I was there last, I spent a whole day with the kids walking leisurely around the zoo’s never-crowded trails, taking a trip on the train, watching the kids play in the playground, walking around the indoor creepy-crawly section with both eyes shut, watching the falconry display, and finishing with a look around the small but surprisingly impressive gift store. If you go, don’t miss the grizzly and wolf enclosure; it seems a little more like a natural habitat, and passing through the sets of locked gates on the tour bus, complete with knowledgeable guide, it almost feels like a short-lived but real safari.

WHITE ROCK BEACH, WHITE ROCK

Ahh…White Rock. One of my favourite places in the world. Even if I can’t afford to live there, I find myself driving the 20 minutes from Cloverdale at least three times a week. There is something about the expanse of sandy beaches, with distant islands and mountains looming on the horizon of the shimmering Pacific, that makes me feel absolutely connected to Canada. Just walking on those East beaches when the tide is out, or swimming in the ocean when the tide is in, is a perfect example of what this country has to offer: clean seas, beautiful scenery; un-crowded, unspoiled and simply stunning. A little further along to the west and you will find a European influence in the bars and restaurants with their cold beer, busy patios and inviting ambience; and the beachy shops with their bikinis and beach balls.

BRUNCH AT NORTHVIEW GOLF COURSE, SURREY

Sitting on the patio at Northview Golf Course on a sunny Sunday morning, it is hard to believe that you are in Surrey. Not known for its natural beauty, but more for its continual development and much-maligned reputation as a crime-haven, Surrey is in fact quite stunning. A great way to see this beauty is sitting overlooking a perfectly manicured golf course (of which there are many in Surrey) with a backdrop of distant snow-capped mountains, a plate of delicious food in front of you. Northview will take your breath away, even if you skip the golf and head straight for the buffet.

Beach as therapy

One of the pleasures of living in Vancouver is having the beaches to visit. When you think of a city, you probably don’t imagine a beach since there are not many cities where beaches are so handy. I know that when we first came to Vancouver we had not pictured ourselves taking the kids down to the beach.

Now that they are older the kids take themselves off to the beach of their choice. Locally there are a few hidden gems where you can get to a quiet beach for a few hours. When we walk down to our nearest beach at this time of the year we always see groups of young kids playing happily in the sand by the water. The beach is definitely a local meeting place for Moms and their youngsters. It looks like they spend the whole day there, with their cool boxes and picnics.

We tend to get down there later in the day. We are not alone as we often see fathers coming along after work to meet the rest of their family. Our beach also has a few kayaks and canoes stored there. And it is not unusual to see one or two people setting out in their kayaks for an evening paddle in the warm summer evenings.

 Even if we only spend a short time on the beach in the late afternoon, it picks us up and reminds us of one of the reasons we wanted to come here in the first place.

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