Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grand Cariboo Opry 2012

It was another energetic fun filled night with
Barney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Opry !
Raising over $38,000 for the Vancouver Downtown East Side.

Matt Masters tells us how Annie Smits helps Kendal Carson travel around


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Travel Group 25th Anniversary Okanagan Retreat

The Travel Group celebrated 25 years in business this year. March 17th being the official day the doors opened, and in celebration we went up to the Okanagan for some wine tasting and spa treatments.

Saturday morning we started out at Kelowna airport in a 14 seat bus with lots of room for wine purchases.

Our first stop was Rollingdale Winery, an organic winery in West Kelowna.  We arrived to the view of large crates full of grapes ready to be processed into wine! Walking into the Quonset hut there was a strong aroma of wine, James happily greeted us and was ready to serve.

Next stop was Volcanic Hills where our Sommelier Guide, Shalyn from Wine Your Way Tours took us through a food and wine pairing lesson. Tasting your wines with cheese, sausage, lemons, dark and milk chocolate will quickly teach you what works and what doesn’t.

With a few glasses of wine in our bellies it was time to get some food. We headed on to Quail's Gate Winery for a private tour with Peter. He shared a lot of knowledge as he took us through the vineyard and their wine library and finished with a tasting in their beautiful fireplace room.   We then moved into the Old Vines Restaurant for a spectacular lunch overlooking the Vineyard.
Needing a few hours to enjoy the Sparkling Hill Resort we finished the day at Quail's Gate and made our way to the resort. A quick check -in and change we headed down to the spa to enjoy their 7 different plunge pools. Sweating out the wine we drank in the morning preparing for a 3 course dinner and some more wine, to test our new wine / food pairing skills.
On Sunday morning some we were up early to get the most from the fantastic pools and the breakfast before our start.

Our first stop was Ex Nihilo Winery. A beautiful winery because of all the local art they have around and about included in their store and displays. They also are the home of Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones Ice Wine.
 Next stop was Gray Monk Estate Winery. Known mostly for their bubblies and pinot gris, they won our hearts with the Odyssey Port, I personally purchased 3 bottles, a great price and Christmas gift. 
We managed to fit in a third winery on the way to the airport, we stopped into Intrigue Winery. They are associated with Gray Monk but are making their own wines, and they are tasty. 

Arriving at the airport in plenty of time for our flight we enjoyed a beer at the bar, we were wined out. And headed home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November BBQ

That is correct we are still using our BBQ in November !


On the menu: sliced BBQ potatoes with onions. And all the fixin's to go with it !


Friday, October 26, 2012

How often do you get to dress up anymore ?

Teasing our hair and putting on our pointed ears, we dressed up for a spooky night at the Metropolitan Hotel.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Where did Vancouver go ?

We are quickly coming to the end of our Grouse Grinding days, and Thursday we had the most amazing views. We've had days, weeks of warm weather and the idea of winter hasn't even crossed our minds. Showers and rain were in the forecast bringing the clouds in.
After a glorious grind in the cool fall air, the sun just setting we emerged from the tress to this spectacular view !

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Quarry Rock

Taking advantave of our amazing long summer, we enjoyed a hike to Quarry Rock

 Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grouse Grind in 6 minutes

For those of you that are interested in joining The Travel Group's weekly Grind
Check this out!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Silver Anniversary to The Travel Group

Where have we sent you ?
The Travel Group celebrated 25 years in business this year.

March 17th being the official day the doors opened, and in celebration we had a bit of a party!

Tara, Anne-Marie, Michele & Carmen
Regine, Anne-Marie, Karen & Naomi

Regine, Karen, Colleen, Anne-Marie, Annie, Lindy, Tara, & Naomi

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fruity Friday BBQ Style

Have you ever thought about BBQing Fruit ?
We tried it !

On the Menu
Pineapple, Nectarines, Peaches, aAnd bananas in a crumbled flake bar.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Corn on the Cob - BBQ style

Have you ever had BBQ corn on the cob?

Many of us in the office had not, so what a great experiment for our new bbq!!

Pull the husks back and remove the silt.
Use a small piece of sting to secure in place.
Brush the cob with oil, to avoid it sticking.
Rotate every 3 minutes.
And you've got great Yummy corn in 20 minutes!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vancouver Food Trucks - Vij's

Friday Food Truck Lunch !

There are now 49 food trucks in the city of Vancouver, and more are popping up every day. T
Today we had lunch out!

Today's truck - Vij's Railway Express


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trooper at the P.N.E.

What's summer without spending a day at the P.N.E.


Enjoying the smells of the mini-donuts and beaver tails
Trooper took the stage for a great evening of music and fun !

Fall Seawall Bike Ride

Another beautiful night in Vancouver to take a ride around the seawall !
Cruising along the Coal Harbour to our meet up point. We cruised along enjoyed the spacious seawall, as sight that the fall is coming.
Some of us were fast and some of us were slow taking our time, and enjoying the seaplanes take off and land in the harbour. Enjoying the sunshine on our backs as we re-grouped at the lighthouse.


Another amazing night and a great way to spend an evening in Vancouver.
We'll be doing it again, with long sleeve shirts next time!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Vancouver Food Trucks - Mom's Grilled Cheese

Friday Food Truck Lunch !

There are 28 food trucks in the city, and more are popping up every day. Being a local business we like to support the other local businesses so today we had lunch out!

Today's truck - Mom's Grilled Cheese Truck


Classic home style gourmet grilled cheese !

Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer time, Seawall Bike Ride

Taking advantage of the summer in our new location in Coal Harbour a few of us jumped on our bikes and headed around the Stanley Park Seawall.

Cruising along the Coal Harbour area we checked out the restaurants and dogs in the dog park, checking out the boats at the rowing club, we dreamed of kayaking, thinking

"wow, summer is fast coming to an end!"

We rode up the slight hill by the Harry Jerome Statue, checking out the 9 O’clock gun, which we heard later while having drinks at the pub.

We enjoyed watching the seaplanes taking off and check out the girl in the wet suit, sunning herself on the rock.

Passing along the seawall to a lighthouse, we the rode under the bridge. Biking along to Lumberman’s Arch where we all thought about riding through the kids water park.

We welcomed the cool shade and wind as we passed Siwash Rock.

As We made the last bend there was lots of skin on Third beach then making a left at Second beach to cross Lost Lagoon to where we began !

It was an amazing night and a great way to spend an evening in Vancouver.

We'll be doing it again, that's for sure !!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hot Dog Day


To christen our NEW BBQ it was

Hot Dog Day

To christen our NEW BBQ it was


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Wine Down

!! With Sangria !!


Salad Day

Enjoying the perk of having a patio at the office
with salads for lunch !


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grizzly Bear Feeding

Most weeks, we hike up the Grind then make our way over the gondola and head back down, not taking the time to “smell the roses.”   One day we decided we’d wonder over the grizzle bears to check them out for the first time this season!  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  As we rounded the corner we noticed a man with a grouse green slicker on with a bucket. Sliding his hand into the bucket he picked something up and tossed it into the bears ….


The bears are oblivious to human beings, and pay no attention to the noises we make or clapping to get the perfect snap shot. As Bella and Grinder munched away on their food we got a close look at their gigantic claws and snuggly fur. Walking along the cage for another snack, you could almost reach your hand out and pet them if you dared!

If you haven’t seen Bella and Grinder, make the trip. Pack a lunch and spend the day. There are other wonderful things happening on the mountain. Leisurely walks, a lumberjack show, as well as a chair ride for a scenic view!  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Epic Hike try #2 - GG & SSG

Meeting snow on our first attempt at our Epic Hike in July, we picked late September for try number two on our Epic Hike. Once a season we push ourselves a little bit further than our every day hikes to see if we can do it !

This time we hiked up the BCMC (Grouse Mountain), then continued up Grouse Mountain on the SSG (Snowshoe Grind), and kept going up to the peak of Goat Mountain!  It was an Epic hike, and about 5 hours long.

It was a brisk fall morning, but about 10 minutes into the hike the layers were being pealed off ! We had Bear spray in hand and the jingle of our bear bells on our hips and we were off.

Enjoying the leisurely hike of the BCMC, compared to our usual Grouse Grind, it was nice to look at the trees, chat and enjoy ourselves.  Reaching the peak we had a break for water and a snack, a quick check in that we all felt up for the next 2 legs of the hike, and we continued on.
The snow shoe grind is a very different hike than it is in the winter, it seems short and steep. Once we reach the peak we had increadable views, we could see 360' around, it was spectacular.

I quick dip down the mountin and then back up and around to Goat Mountain. We didn't met too many people on our adventure, so we were glad that  Anne-Marie had her Bear spray and bells to keep the wildlife away.  A small rope was on the last leg of the hike and an amazing feeling once at the top. So many mountains to look at. We could see the city, up Indian arm, over to Cypress mountain and much more.
Not a cloud in the sky. Having a snack and almost finishing our water we turn around and headed back down to the chateau. By the time we hike down the mountain, our muscles are not use to this because we always take the gondela after the grind. We all were very sore for a couple of days. But we would all do it again in a heartbeat. 
Hikers, you should do this at least once. Next year - Crown Mountain.


Epic Hike - GG & SSG

Once a season we get together to push ourselves a little bit further than our every day hikes. You may remember our Epic hike in March when we hiked up the BCMC (Grouse Mountain) with our Snowshoes on our back, then continued up Grouse Mountain on the SSG (Snowshoe Grind) And last summer a couple people did the Grouse Grind 3 times consecutively.

This year we decided to do our weekly hike up the Grouse Grind, and then make our way to Goat Mountain. The views are said to be amazing and 360' around.  Well.....with a cloud over Grouse Mountain as we started up the Grind we hoped it would clear for the second half of our epic hike. We didn't have much luck.

Continuing on towards goat mountain, it starts off up whistler waterway, which is the same trail that we do in the winter on snowshoes for the Snowshoe Grind. It was fun to see the terrain in the Summer. And how different it it looks when we're on the ground, and not on top of meters of snow.

Following a hand written sign we had some doubts about where we were going, but following the yellow markers, at least we were on 'a trail' we found ourselves on top of a mountain, we just didn't know which one. In the middle of a misty cloud, and the rain coming down, we had no other option other than to stared back down, and we find ourselves on Dam Plato.

The visibility was horrible, and with no idea of which way Goat Mountain was, we decided to call it a day and head back down to the chalet. We'll try again when the snow has melted and we can see more than 15 feet in front of us.

It was a cold, wet, muddy day, but we all had a great time, and can now say we've hiked the Grouse Grind and the Snowshoe Grind in the same day !!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Top of Mount. Seymour

This is on the top of my list for best hikes I've ever done. It takes most of the day, but it is well worth it, and will be doing it again for sure.
With a 360' views at the top there was no shortage of spectacular views all along the way.