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WINE-der WOMAN at the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon

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Team Wine-der Woman running through the vineyards—C.Helbig

It’s my favourite weekend of the year! It’s filled with belly laughs, outrageous silliness and much wine consumption with great friends. This is our fourth year participating in the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon, an annual event that takes place in the vineyards of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Named the 2017 Canadian Event of the Year at the Canadian Tourism Awards, the “marathon” is an 18 km (11.2 mile) course that winds its way through bucolic countryside with more than a dozen wine tasting and food sampling stops along the way. There are no prizes for speed, only creativity. After being pushed off the podium last year, we were thrilled to reclaim first prize with our WINE-der WOMAN costume. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving from Mount Seymour, North Vancouver

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A perfect fall hike on Mt. Seymour—C.Helbig

My very first blog post was about being thankful for a great local hike called Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver. I’ve hiked this trail many times since I wrote that post, most recently a couple of days ago with my sister. I never get tired of hiking Mt. Seymour trail with its phenomenal views. On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I am again thankful for Mt. Seymour and all the other amazing hikes and parks on Vancouver’s North Shore. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Happy Holidays and Best in the New Year!

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One of my happy places: Cypress Provincial Park, West Vancouver

To my dear readers: I wish you and your families a happy holiday, and joy and peace in the new year.

Writing this blog gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. It started out as a simple love of travel and writing. It has morphed into a relationship with an extraordinary group of people. Thank you for reading my rambles. I so appreciate your likes and lovely comments. I’ve enjoyed “getting to know” you. Thanks to fellow travel and hiking bloggers who make my list of places to go/mountains to climb longer and longer. Thanks to a diverse group of bloggers who introduce me to recipes, arts, photography, life’s beauty and challenges…Your words and images inspire me.

I am grateful for a wonderful year of travel and outdoor fun with Mike, Alex, and my awesome friends. I’ve put together a collage of some of my 2016 highlights. I look forward to more travel and adventure in the new year—it’s off to Laos and Cambodia in January.

Cheers to you all—Caroline. Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 30 Comments

The Many Faces of Sevilla, Spain

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The Alcázar Gardens in Sevilla, Spain—C.Helbig

We’ve had a lot of gloomy weather in beautiful Vancouver and my mind is wandering to sunnier spots. Aaah…Sevilla, Spain, now that makes me feel cheery. Our son Alex spent four months in Sevilla as part of a gap year and we of course took the opportunity to visit him. That was almost a year ago, last November. Sevilla is a stunning city and November in southern Spain is as good as it gets—no crowds and beautiful warm, sunny weather. Mike and I had an awesome time discovering the city and Alex took full advantage of scrumptious tapas meals courtesy of mom and dad. Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Kayaking in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago: The Sequel

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Paddling in the Broughton Archipelago—C.Helbig

Some of you may remember a post from a year ago where I raved about a guided sea kayaking expedition in the Johnstone Strait/Broughton Archipelago (near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia). Mike wasn’t able to come with me because of an injured shoulder. We decided to book the trip again with our friends Trish and Steve. I was a bit apprehensive. Could this trip possibly be as good as my first experience? It was! Six days of spectacular ocean kayaking and wilderness camping, awesome wildlife encounters, a dream group, and extraordinary guiding provided by Spirit of the West Adventures (SOW).

Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Kayaking, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Bears, Birds, Berries, and Biking on the PoCo Trail: Port Coquitlam, B.C.

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PoCo Trail along Pitt River—C.Helbig

Today was a great day and once again made me appreciate the treasures that I have close to home. Mike and I recently traded in our clunky old mountain bikes for a pair of sleek hybrids. We’re on a mission to explore Vancouver area bike trails and we discovered a beauty—the Traboulay PoCo Trail in Port Coquitlam. PoCo, for short, is a bustling community surrounded by busy highways and massive bridges. But, you’d never know it biking the 25+ km PoCo loop trail. The gentle, mostly hardpacked gravel trail passes through peaceful farmland, forests, and wetlands. A large portion travels along dykes with beautiful river and mountain views. And, there’s plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing… Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 16 Comments

Water hiking in Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur (Loreto)

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Mesquite Canyon, Baja California Sur—C.Helbig

After two weeks of ocean-based activities in Baja California Sur, we opted for a land adventure on our last day. Little did we know that our desert hike in Mesquite (Mezquite) Canyon would leave us completely soaked. The hike, hidden in the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range, near the town of Loreto, is as beautiful as it is fun. The trail meanders through a gorgeous, steep-sided canyon. For most of the hike, we waded through refreshing, clear water. I’d never done a hike like this (I’m mostly deep in the forest) and it brought on a kid-like joy…nothing like getting your shoes and clothes wet and not caring one tiny bit, just living in the moment and having fun. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Mexico, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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