Top 10 Transit Etiquette Do’s & Don’ts

According to @Travelsmart.ca, since the Olympics 50 more people take transit each minute. As fuel prices rise higher and higher, more people are opting for transit for the first time.
We, regular users welcome the new travellers as they’ll help keep service levels high and fares lower but perhaps a few tips on how to travel might be helpful.
Here’s this weeks Top 10 list: Transit Do’s & Don’ts

1. DO have your fare ready when boarding the bus so you aren’t fumbling around looking for change and holding up a line of people.
2. DON’T ask for a free ride.
3. DO keep moving along the bus, platform or train once you board.
4. DON’T leave your trash or old newspapers behind on the vehicle, there are bins on every platform & near most bus stops.
5. DO carry on your conversations…quietly! If you’re sitting beside someone the rest of the passengers shouldn’t be able to hear, same thing for your mobile phone calls. Keep it down!
6. DON’T stand on the left side of an escalator. The common rule is Walk Left, Stand Right
7. DO have a seat but please allow elderly, people with special needs, baby buggies to sit/access the front seats when needed.
8. DON’T eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner on board…a nibble is ok but a smelly messy meal is too much.
9. DO try to take up as little space as possible if you have bags or parcels, you only paid one fare so don’t take up two seats.
10. DON’T get too comfortable, fall alseep and miss your stop…trust me, it happens!

The Fairmont Empress – April is “Royal Month”

I recently had an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of royalty as I spent the night at the historic Fairmont Empress in Victoria.
In 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales danced until dawn in the Crystal Ballroom and in 1939 parents of our current Queen, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon at The Empress. In addition, countless Hollywood royalty have graced the storied corridors since the hotel opened its doors in 1908.
In recognition of this connection to the Royal Family,  The Fairmont Empress, along with sister property Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, has proclaimed April “Royal Month” leading up to the historic nuptials of future King of Canada; Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th.  Break out the hats and gloves and take part in some of the ‘Royal’ events and festivities taking place all month long. One of the highlights, I’d love to do is the Royal Empress Room Dinner, served on The Queen’s China, only ever used by Her Majesty, until this dinner!
Even though I don’t have a pedigree and paparazzi isn’t chasing me down, I was treated like royalty at The Empress.  As soon as I walked in the doors I felt welcome, this century old property is prime place to spend a relaxing break in Victoria.  Although the Inner Harbour, the hub of most Victoria activities lay just across the expansive front lawns, one can find plenty of activities to keep engaged within the walls of this castle, which was perfect on a rainy overnight stay as I experienced.

The Bengal Lounge

Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress provides first class spa services, stop in for curry and a cocktail at in the cool, colonial environment of the Bengal Lounge, lounge on a chaise with wine & oysters while overlooking the harbour on The Veranda and the ‘must do’ for everyone – Empress Afternoon Tea is renowned around the world.  Those are just a few of the experiences you can find in The Empress without even checking in!  Stay overnight and get the full Fairmont treatment, soak up the history

Fairmont Empress Guest Room

as you relax in your room and stroll the wide corridors, maybe even bump into one of the hotel’s supernatural guests.  There are a least a couple of ghost stories passed on by many guests, although I don’t have one…yet.   If you’re wandering, be sure to go downstairs to find the Archives to see the important roll The Empress has played in the history of Victoria.  With the great activities happening for “Royal Month” now’s the perfect time to make The Fairmont Empress part of your own personal history too!

Weekend ahead! April Fools Edition

People always ask me what’s happening in Vancouver so I thought maybe I’d provide some updates once in a while to some of the stuff I think is going to be a good time. You might or might not agree but that’s the great thing about Arts & Entertainment, there’s something for everyone!
So here’s some fun stuff happening to make your evening fun this weekend. This is just a sample, there’s lots more going on, just get out and find it!

Thursday Mar 31st
: Rapper T-Pain is at Gossip Nightclub

:Fighting for Ithaca (who are not from New York State but local Vancouver boys) are at Media Club

: San Francisco’s Dodos are at Rickshaw Theatre

 

 

 

 

Friday April 1st, the fun heads to the East Side
: The great British Sea Power are at Biltmore Cabaret

: Local punk, ska, reggae 6 piece, Los Furios with Heads Hang Heavy and The Saint Riels are at The – always a good time – Cobalt

: it’s the 1st Friday of the month so COME OUT! ROCK OUT! MAKE OUT! SHAKE OUT! as SPIT Vancouver returns for another fun filled edition at ANZA Club

Saturday April 2nd head back downtown
: the legendary Pete Yorn is at Commodore Ballroom
: My Chemical Romance romances the crowd at The Centre For Performing Arts

Dr Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

New World & Old World exist side by side

The first and largest classical Chinese garden outside of China, Vancouver’s Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens are part museum, part cultural education and part botanical garden all within a walled oasis on the edge of Chinatown.  Named for the “Father of Modern China” the Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens are an authentic representation of a traditional Chinese garden from the era of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Ming scholars lived and worked within their gardens and thus created gardens to encompass all aspects of daily life.  Amongst the asymmetrical stone and plant formations are places for quiet contemplation and as one winds along the curves pathways and corridors they’re

Around every corner is a different type of space

connected to space for energy and work. From scenic vistas overlooking the gardens and ponds a sense of peace is found away from the bustle of the city.
The Classical Chinese Gardens are currently open Tues to Sun from 10am until 4:30pm, in summertime it is open 7 days per week. Admission for adults is $12, discounts for children and seniors, including a guided tour (check website for more info and tour times) The Venue is also rentable for private functions, weddings, parties and receptions. Special

Interactive & hands-on learning are all part of a visit to The Garden

events and educational experiences happen throughout the year, check the garden calendar for upcoming events.

Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour 2011: March 26, 8:30pm - 9:30pm

First conceived in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund and the Sydney Morning Herald, as a way to highlight the need for action on climate change, Earth Hour saw 2.2 million residence of Sydney Australia turn off non-essential lights for one hour.  Other cities and countries adopted Earth Hour in 2008 and now in it’s 5th Year, the goal is for more than one billion people to participate by simply flicking a switch.

Earth Hour 2011 takes place March 26th from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time.  It’s easy to take part, save energy and maybe be a bit romantic at the same time.  Flick off your non-essential lights and electronics, light a candle and enjoy the company of the ones you’re with playing a board game, telling ghost stories or it’s the perfect opportunity for an intimate candlelit supper.
If you don’t feel like staying home, many local restaurants and hotels are taking part and offering Earth Hour specials. Check out Pan Pacific Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Yew Restaurant at Four Seasons Vancouver for just a few of the special promotions happening this year.

Top Vancouver Attractions for Spring Break

As Spring is upon us and students are out on Spring Break, parents are probably seeking out family activities to occupy and entertain the little ones.

While a trip to Disneyland might be on everyone child’s wishlist there is still plenty of fun to be had locally to make everyone happy. Leave the hustle and bustle of the work week behind and see the city from a different perspective by being a tourist in your own town for a day!

Here’s a few of the more popular attractions in Vancouver:

Grouse Mountain: “The Peak of Vancouver” is a year-round playground for the whole family. This year’s heavy snowfall means it’s still ‘winter’ on the mountain, head up for

Grouse Mountain Super Skyride

snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, skating or skip all those and just head straight for the Chalet and the many restaurant and lounge options.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Since 1889 Cap Bridge has been ‘wowing’ visitors as they cross the bridge 70m above the Capilano River. The TreeTops Adventures carry the adventure on throughout the forest and gardens.

Vancouver Aquarium: Canada’s largest aquarium houses a

Vancouver Aquarium Dolphins

vast array of flora and fauna within the heart of Stanley Park. Beluga Whales and Dolphin shows draw large crowds but perhaps the Otter habitat is the most popular destination within the aquarium.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden:  The first garden of its kind outside of China, these Vancouver Gardens are a beautiful oasis on the edge of Chinatown. Splendid colours abound as the trees and greenery start to bloom, contrasting with the dark, stark stone laid throughout the gardens.

New & Old Worlds side by side at Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens

Granville Island Public Market: The stunning arrays of colours, wafting aromas and hustle and bustle of the Public Market make every trip a sensory overload. Fresh produce, baked goods and tasty savouries, sit alongside unique merchants and artisans.

Science World at Telus World Of Science: It’s all hands on at Science World! Rotating exhibits make sure children young and old will find something new and interesting with every visit.

Stanley Park: Sitting on the edge of downtown Vancouver this 1000acre oasis is one of the world’s largest urban parks (New York’s Central Park is 843acres). With beaches, gardens, forests, attractions, sports, eateries all within the park there’s something to entertain every family member.

Colours come alive at Springtime in Stanley Park

 

Dining Out For Life 2011

http://www.diningoutforlife.com/vancouverDuring a long week it’s always nice to take a break and go out for dinner, this week it’s even better because you can ‘give’ while you get grub!

Go out Thursday March 24, 2011 and participate in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraising event to benefit people living with HIV/AIDS.

Visit one of the participating restaurants restaurants from the Fraser Valley to Whistler and 25% of the meal revenue will be supporting A Loving Spoonful and Friends For Life. As an added bonus, buy a bottle of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and they will also donate another $1 for every bottle sold on the day.

Visit a Vancouver Island participating restaurant and presenting sponsor Stella Artois will donate $1 from every sale, in addition to the 25% restaurant revenue, to support Aids Vancouver Island 

It’s a great way to give back and help while doing something you will probably do anyway this week!

Enjoy your meal!