Honda HR-V Helps Be A Hometown Tourist

With a long weekend coming up, why not stick around the city and explore it. After the long winter has kept us cocooned at home, it’s time to get out and see blooming in the city.  To help make zipping around to check out the attraction, I recently had the chance to test out a Honda HR-V.  The compact crossover SUV was a perfect sized vehicle to make getting around town easy and comfortable.

Visiting Bloedel Conservatory in Honda HR-V

Now is a great time to visit some of the city’s acclaimed and popular attractions, before the school holidays and summer high-season visitors descend upon them.  The variety of locations offer opportunities for every weather, Bloedel Conservatory is a tropical oasis on a grey and dreary day. Filled with tropical foliage and birds, the conservatory takes visitors away from the usual Vancouver spring rain.  If it’s nice out, step outside and explore Queen Elizabeth Park’s paths and gardens. For more gardens, visit the Bloedel Conservatory’s sister VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  Roam the world through the Garden’s varies garden exhibition, pick up some lunch and picnic on the great lawn or overlooking the ponds and fountains.

The Museums at Kits Point offer variety for all ages and are just a stones through from the parks and beaches.

Honda HR-V with Kits Point glowing behind.

Museum of Vancouver shines bright with its signature Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver collection of neon signs from the city’s brightly lit heydays.  A look back at the photos in Vancouver in the Seventies exhibition are a glimpse back at the city’s evolution.  c??sna??m, the city before the city look even further back to enlighten about the Coast Salish First Nations who settled the city before us. Upcoming The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century looks at the hot topic of housing.
The Maritime Museum’s current exhibition The Lost Fleet, looks at the causes and effect of the War Measures Act on the Japanese-Canadian fishing fleet. Children love to play and learn about our maritime history and today’s working harbour in the hands-on area in the museum or to board the historic St Roch and relive its famed sailings.

The Honda HR-V feels like a full sized SUV but handles like a Civic.  The short length makes street parking easy, and the extra height and right-side view camera helps reduce blind spots. The right-side camera is a dream in downtown Vancouver to make sure the bike lanes are clear before turning. The vehicle may be smaller but the cargo space definitely isn’t lacking, although I didn’t need much at Costco, I certainly could have stocked up and carried all of my visiting family’s luggage at the same time.  Even after a week of driving all around the city; commuting, visiting attraction, and running errands the HR-V still hadn’t even used a close to a full tank of gas.  My friend who’s looking for a new family vehicle has now added the Honda HR-V to her list, but you don’t need to be a family to have one, it’s a handy vehicle for everyone.

Honda CR-V Touring – Review

Honda_IMG_5353Today’s Friday Find, the Honda CR-V, is more like a rediscovery than a find. I used to regularly drive a first generation Honda CR-V and recently had the opportunity to drive the new model Honda CR-V Touring Edition.  I was still impressed by the space and handling of the CR-V, a great all-round sport utility vehicle. The latest facelift, in 2015, made the SUV a modern stylish mid-size model.  The design fits the the Vancouver urban lifestyle well, as capable of taking a load of children and groceries as packing up the outdoor gear for a day in the hills.

HondaIMG_5438The Touring trim level, packs in a load of great safety features like; Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning,  Adaptive Cruise Control and much more. My favourite features are the LaneWatch passenger-side mirror camera, which gives a camera view, on the large 7″ touchscreen display,  of the passenger side of the vehicle when the right turn signal is activated.  While it’s still no reason to not shoulder and mirror check it’s an added help, especially when driving downtown Vancouver with its plethora of bike lanes.   HondaIMG_5448Another favourite has nothing to do with the driving experience, at the back of the CR-V, the cargo hold is spacious and accessible.  The one touch power gate gives easy access to the hold, from there the remote seat-release handles quickly drop the 60/40 split seats to give even more room. I was easily able to load a 48″ tv single handed, and still had plenty of room for more cargo.

There’s plenty more to like about the Honda CR-V, but like most cars you’ll have to drive to get a feel for the features you’ll like the best.  Take one out for a spin and see for yourself.

The Honda CR-V starts at $26, 290 up to $37,090 for the Touring Trim package.

Picks of the Week – November 4, 2015

Halloween has past the post and even with just about 2 months to go the picks of the week find hints of the upcoming Festive season;

Circus: The acrobatics and clowning of Cirque du Soleil Kooza continues until December 27th under the Grande Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place.

Pucks: Tonight Vancouver Canucks host Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena

Comedy: Canada’s reigning king of laughter, Russell Peters is making the audiences laugh all week, starting at Hard Rock Casino Theatre tonight until Friday, then Nov 7-9 at River Rock Show Theatre

Dance: Ballet BC’s 2015-16 season gets underway with 3 nights of shows November 5 – 7 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Rock: LA based Buckcherry play the Commodore Ballroom on Thursday

Musical: Starting Thursday, The Arts Club Theatre’s A Christmas Story: The Musical comes to life at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until December 27th

Film: The 19th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival brings 4 days of Asian cinema to theatres around the city, from Nov 5-8.

Indie: Canadian indie rockers Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde play the Vogue Theatre on Friday nights

Improv: Throwback Theatresports a improv celebration of the 80s runs until Nov 21st at Vancouver Theatresports League

Sing: It’s a battle of the voices at Showtunes at 1181 on Friday night


Roam Expo 2015 inaugural show

This past weekend the inaugural Roam Winter Expo went off at Vancouver Convention Centre, bringing together Adventure, Travel and Fitness providers and enthusiasts to find out what’s new and upcoming for winter 2015.

Happening in conjunction with The Canadian Ski Patrol’s Vancouver, Winter Extreme New & Used Equipment Sale, Roam Expo invited visitors to take a break at the Oktoberfest Craft Beer Garden, shop for new gear from Helly Hansen, Hitcase or Destination Slope Outfitters, take in a fitness class with Good Life Fitness, Steve Nash Sports Clubs or Tight Club, get the kids warmed up for winter in the Burton Piglet Park, or see what the BC Ski Resorts, Tofino & Ucluelet adventurer providers and holiday companies have in store for winter 2015/16.  Speakers on the Adventure Travel Stage gave insight into top destinations, travel skills and more.

If you missed this first Roam Winter Expo, watch for it to return next year so you can keep up to date on what’s up with winter.

A Whistler getaway to Nita Lake Lodge

NiteLake_IMG_1188One of the hidden gems in Whistler Village is tucked aways just south of the main village. Nita Lake Lodge sits on the shores of its namesake, Nita Lake, near Creekside Village.

The luxurious boutique property features 77 spacious suites, from the 500 square foot studios to the ultimate getaway 1450 square foot Rainforest Suite, all the rooms feature plush king-sized beds, double soaker tubs, glass-surround granite rain showers, and comfortable seating areas with stone fireplaces. Free wi-fi, mini-kitchenettes, with fridge, microwave, sink and dishes,  L’Occitane en Provence amenities in the bathrooms, robes and slippers in the bedroom add to the plusses throughout the property.

If the in-room amenities aren’t enough, the resort also includes a lakeside, outdoor plunge-pool and hot tub as well as two more hot tubs on the second floor rooftop outside the full-service Spa At Nite Lake Lodge, perfect for an evening soak under the moonlight.  Besides the Spa, Basecamp Fitness and Loka Yoga provide services to guests and residents. The resort also offers, Stand-Up Paddleboards, Kayaks, Canoes, Bicycles, Snowshoes, even fishing rods, tennis rackets or basketballs.

Spectacular Lake Views

If you’ve burned off enough calories from all the activities, sit back and relax in one of the lodges’ three dining options; Fix Cafe for lights bites and gourmet coffee or smoothies, Cure Lounge and Patio for local urban-rustic dishes & drinks overlooking the beautiful Nita Lake, or Aura Restaurant for comfortable, local, casual fare.

Moonlit Roof Top Hot Tubbing

If Nita Lake Lodge has a drawback, it’s the fact that there’s so much to do, you barely have time to fit it all in during your stay.  The room is so relaxing you barely want to leave it, but on our recent stay we managed to tear ourselves away from gazing out at the spectacular lake view to check out the rest of the resort and paths around the lake, and the short walk to Creekside Village. A late night hot tub is great way to wrap up your day.

With so much on offer it’s easy to see why Nita Lake Lodge is so highly rated (currently #1 on TripAdvisor).  See for yourself, book a room soon.

Nita Lake Lodge is located at 2131 Lake Placid Road, (by the Husky Station at Creekside, Whistler) or adjoining the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Station.

Friday Find – Acura TLX

AcuraTLX_IMG_0626Just in time to wrap up the last days of summer, I had the chance to try out the Acura TLX. The peppy sport-sedan was a great summer ride, from the first moment of stepping on the accelerator I was impressed by the smooth ride of the TLX.  The sleek sporty stylings hid a surprisingly roomy interior easily room enough for 4 adults.

Throwing the beach bag into the big trunk, opening the large sunroof and turning up Siruis Satellite radio on the excellent sound system, and we were ready to hit the road.  It’s also comforting to know the Acura TLX has a 5 star safety rating with loads of onboard safety features; Forward Collision, Lane Departure and Blind Spot Warnings, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control and more.

The Acura TLX comes in 3 models with an array of optional trim packages starting at around $35k
Find out more about the Acura TLX at

Olé, Olé, Olé the World Cup 2014 Starts Today in Brazil!

WC BrazilToday’s the day! Until July 13th, all the world’s eyes will be focused on Brazil as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off.
In spite of being 5 time winners, Brazil are hosting for only the second time, last hosting the finals in 1950.  Brazil ran an uncontested bid for the tournament when FIFA decried that the World Cup would return South American for the first time since Argentina 1978.

Thirty-one countries are traveling to join hosts Brazil in the 12 host cities around the country. In addition to hosts, Brazil, defending champions Spain and all 6 of the past World Cup winners; Argentina, England, France, Germany, Italy and Uruguay, have qualified for these matches. While most European teams have hoisted the cup, the last 4 tournaments hosted in South America have been won by a South American team so they will be facing a tough challenge to beat the formidable teams from the host continent.

These are expected to be the most watch, most tweeted and possibly the most attended World Cup ever. Nearly a billion people watched the last World Cup, South Africa 2010.  While every moment of the World Cup will be broadcast on television, online, radio and even social media it can be overwhelming.  Here’s my thoughts on a few of the key matches if you can only catch one or two per day during the first weeks’ qualification rounds: (Local Pacific Time)

June 12:  Brazil vs Croatia (1pm) opening day, just one match

June 13: Spain vs Netherlands (noon) a rematch of the 2010 final

June 14: England vs Italy (3pm) both iconic teams are in a tough Group D

June 15: Argentina vs Bosnia-Herzegovina (3pm) first ever appearance at the World Cup for Bosnia-Herzegovina

June 16: Germany vs Portugal (9am) how this these European powerhouses fare in the South American climate?

June 17: Russian vs South Korea (3pm) a tough day to choose just one but should be interesting to see how Russia, the next host country fare are this tournament.

June 18: Australia vs Netherlands (9am) another tough day, but with the Socceroos in a hard group, this might be their moment to shine.

June 19: Uruguay vs England (noon) two former winners trying to live up to their country’s expectation.

June 20: Honduras vs Ecuador (3pm) one of these two teams are likely to advance from the group stage, this match could decide

June 21: Argentina vs Iran (9am) a chance for Whitecaps fans to see Steven Beitashour compete on the World stage

June 22: USA vs Portugal (3pm) USA are on a roll this year, is Portugal fit enough for the challenge?

June 23 – 26: the final match days of the round sees each Group match played at the same time due to their importance. However, some Groups’ outcomes will already be decided and some will depend on these matches. You’ll have to check the bracket to see which matches matter. There’s guaranteed to be excitement!

For a full schedule visit 

Hope you enjoy the World Cup! Olé, Olé, Olé