July 10th, 2008
We admit it: The closest we’ve ever come to surfing the pipe is listening to The Beach Boys.
So when we heard about the ladies-only Roxy Surf Camp in Tofino, we decided to spend the weekend in a wetsuit.
Pro surfer and Tofino local Catherine Bruhwiler leads the class with her rock star surf stories and lessons on wave etiquette, safety and technique. While we may have mastered the lingo (surf the soup girls!), standing on the board? Not so much.
We love a good wipe out.
Weekend classes run in Tofino in July and August, $175 per person for two days of instruction (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) and equipment rental. See more at www.roxy.com or contact Bruhwiler Surf School, www.bruhwilersurf.com
See pics from our Roxy Surf Camp weekend on today’s Editors’ Diary.
June 28th, 2008
Until the Four Seasons opens in the Okanagan, Apple D’Or is your next best bet (or better). In a large log home overlooking the lake and Champagne vineyard, the three guest suites are up to 800 square feet and are fully wired and very private, with a no-expense-spared approach to décor and amenities. Recline by the pool and rhyme off the nearby wineries you’ll tackle in the afternoon: Joie, Laughing Stock, Nichol Vineyard, Therapy…
Apple D’or, 2587 Naramata Rd., Naramata, B.C., 250-496-4045, www.appledor.ca
Seasonality meets conviviality at Joy Road Catering’s Thursday and Sunday night Al Fresco vineyard dinners at God’s Mountain Estate in nearby Penticton. New friendships are forged at the outdoor harvest table overlooking the lake—and one’s faith in humanity is fully restored.
Walk, bike or run off the night’s festivities with an early morning jaunt on the meandering Kettle Valley Trail accessed above Nichol Vineyard. Expansive views at every turn, and an easy, flat road bordered by Indian Paintbrush and Black Eyed Susans. For a map, click here.
Planning a trip to the Okanagan? For our other travel itineraries and winery recomendations click here.
To see pics from our Okanagan trip, visit today's Editors' Diary.
June 19th, 2008
One of the best bits about traveling is the carefree meandering and people watching.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Asia this summer, be sure to download the new MP3 City Guide by Louis Vuitton.
Narrated by actresses Shu Qi (Hong Kong), Joan Chen (Shanghai) and Gong Li (Beijing), each hour-long soundwalk offers a cinematic itinerary, complete with step-by-step advice and original soundtrack. Also included are interactive maps, photos, and videos so lovely, you almost don’t need to leave home.
Louis Vuitton Soundwalks, US$17 each, www.louisvuittonsoundwalk.com
June 5th, 2008
We took a quick sprint to Seattle and bunked at one of Emerald City’s only luxury waterfront hotels, The Edgewater.
Drop your bags with a friendly valet (and warm your hands by the roaring outdoor fireplace) and step into urban wilderness scene—Whister-meets-Washington State!—complete with wood-cabin-chic décor and striking views of Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains.
Get hippie happy with a weekend of 60s rock star nostalgia in The Beatles Suite (from $850/night), a 700 square foot room on the 2nd floor decked out with a photo gallery, rock memorabilia and state-of-the-art stereo system (to blast Revolution, of course). Look for the infamous photo of The Fab Four fishing out of the window of this very suite. Fans were so eager for a piece of John et al., one even attempted to swim up to the room via Elliot Bay.
Yoko, was that you?
Rooms from $219/night, Edgewater Hotel, Pier 67, Seattle, 1-800-624-0670, www.edgewaterhotel.com
May 29th, 2008Katherine S. Evans, the sassy and stylish director of Opus Hotel, recently moved from Vancouver to open the Opus Montreal. Here are some of her favorite things:
Best place to practice your French?
Shopping on Saint-Denis Street.
Off the beaten path shopping?
The antique stores along Notre-Dame Street. I found sterling silver cutlery that perfectly matches my grandmother’s set.
After 10 p.m., French bistro Leméac does an amazing three-course set menu for $22. 1045 Laurier St. W. 514-270-0999.
I’ve become completely obsessed with Marie Saint Pierre. She’s a wonderful lady and I think her designs are right up there with the best in Paris. 2081 de la Montagne St., 514-281-5547.
The food at Yoy Sushi Bar is really fresh. They deliver in 20 minutes and their albacore tuna is absolutely to die for! 4526 St. Denis St., 514-844-9884.
It’s a shameless plug but I must say the Presidential Suite at the Opus Hotel.
Best thing about Montreal?
Watching people come out of the woodwork and filling up Saint-Laurent Boulevard on the first sunny day of spring.
May 22nd, 2008
Does renting a Whistler chalet conjure visions of spider-web draped snowshoes hung above a fireplace that hasn’t been cleaned since 1974?
Don’t take your chances: Opt for the new little romantic getaway Relax Whistler, a townhouse rental located between the Four Seasons hotel and Lost Lake.
The quiet, ground floor space looks onto a wooded yard (with grey bunnies) and has brand new linens, fluffy white towels, a Jacuzzi bath and a full dining table for entertaining.
Compact and well-appointed, it’s a quick jaunt to the village or the lake, and over that wood burning fireplace? It’s a flat screen TV for catching up on romantic DVDs.
From $99/night, three night minimum (through June 2008).
Read more at www.relaxwhistler.com
May 15th, 2008
San Diego is in the midst of a renaissance. The southern California metropolis is as hot as the scorching sun that bleaches its beaches.
A neo-gothic gem, The Sophia was built in the roaring ’20s and was the city’s first hotel with en suite bathrooms. Nestled between Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter, it retains its flapper vibe, but with a $16 million reno it now has luxe modern amenities today’s flappers have come to expect. 150 West Broadway, 1-800-826-0009, www.thesofiahotel.com
Forget postcards. Scent is a proven trigger of memories. Claus Porto’s 12 months of soap box set ($99)—August’s red poppy, May’s mimosa—will do the trick. Available at Little Italy’s Mixture, a 1940s warehouse converted into a treasure trove. 2210 Kettner Blvd, 619-239-4793, www.mixturehome.com
No need to head to Tijuana, just wander to the Gaslamp Quarter. La Fiesta’s mole pablano ($16), chile rellenos ($13) and camarones al chipotle ($24) will have you shaking your maracas. 628 Fifth Ave, 619-232-4242, www.lafiestasandiego.com
Get your motor running and head out on the highway. Downtown San Diego Harley-Davidson will hook you up with a rental hog for a self-guided tour up the Pacific Coast. What better way to experience the pine-tree dotted mountains that give way to causeways and ocean air? Maybe the one time that leather chaps are socially acceptable. 2400 Kettner Blvd., 619-233-6677, www.downtownsandiegoharley.com
May 1st, 2008
A springtime pilgrimage is in order…
With no reservations and great prices, you may wait for two hours for a seat at the new-ish SPQR, but sidle up to the bar for house-made pastas with deceivingly simple sauces. 1911 Fillmore St., San Francisco, 415-771-7779, www.spqrsf.com
The Hog Island Oyster Bar in the Ferry Building is the ultimate perch to sip afternoon bubbles over a plate of fresh California Kumamotos ($30 a dozen) and red romaine salad garnished with white anchiovies from Spain. 1 Ferry Building 11A, San Francisco, www.hogislandoysters.com
Hotel Vitale could not be better situated with harbour views and the amazing Ferry Building (and its Saturday/Tuesday Farmers Market) across the street. The open-air restaurant patio can get scene-y, but sometimes a scene is fun. www.hotelvitale.com
To see more San Fran tips, visit our editors' diary.
April 24th, 2008
In less than an hour for less than $50, you can be transported from downtown desk to oceanfront deck at the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa on Vancouver Island. The only question left is which weekend to go.
Notice the stunning Sea Shepherd artwork in the lobby on your way out to stroll the seawall and charming little town, Sidney-by-the-Sea. Then settle back on your sunny deck with that first edition of Lady Chatterly’s Lover you scored (the town is known for its bookstores) and sip a little Road 13 Red.
Buy a fresh skate at the Fish Market on the dock beside the hotel to cook in brown butter (with fries, of course) in your fully equipped, modern kitchen.
Don’t miss the Spa-in-Season treatments at the hotel’s Haven Spa using Vancouver Island-grown ingredients such as the gentle facials with local honey.
Orca Air’s daily $29, 20-minute flights from YVR South Terminal to Victoria International, 10 minutes from the hotel. Bonus: Our dashing young pilot was a dead ringer for Prince Harry and he carried our bag.
Sydney Pier Hotels and Spa (rooms from $159), www.sidneypier.com
April 19th, 2008
Plane confirmations? Check.
Kids? ….Kids?! Kids!
Don’t let your kids get lost in translation on your holiday to Corsica: multilingual Kid’s Travel ID bands (invented by a Vancouver Island mom) give you peace of mind when battling foreign airports. Waterproof and discrete for balmy beach days, simply record your hotel and flight info, plus emergency contacts in the wristbands (packs of 6, $6.95) and sit back and relax.