Read about the Festive events happening during November and into December. Its never too early to think about Christmas…Part 1

November 13th, 2013

Ok ok so its still November and we are about to talk Christmas, but for very good reason. Although we all know that the Christmas Season really gets going around the mid December mark in Vancouver the festivities begin to get underway come Mid November.

If you are planning to visit us between now and the end of the December then this blog will hopefully help you plan some festive activities for all the family, we do hope that you get to visit some of these awesome events.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

4th ANNUAL VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 2P1
Fri November 22, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

Now running in its 4th year, this is a fun market to get you all revved up and in the full festive spirit of Christmas. At this market you will get to experience the feel and vibe of a traditional German styled Christmas Market with all the goodies you can expect, with lots of delicious foods, drinks and festive items for you to enjoy!

Website: http://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com

CANDYTOWN – A YALETOWN HOLIDAY FESTIVAL
Throughout the Yaletown District
Saturday November 23 from 12pm – 9pm

Candy Candy Candy all around! Check out the Yaletown district and experience Candy treats like you have never done before, after the success of the Candytown of 2012 the event is returning again this year. At Candytown you will be able to buy some delicious items that will sweeten your mouth-buds you will be able to make your own Candy treats, enjoy sleigh rides, listen to great live music and much much more!!!!

Website: http://yaletowninfo.com/events/candytown/

THE PEAK OF CHRISTMAS – GROUSE MOUNTAIN
At Grouse mountain Ski Hill
Sat November 23, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

A host of activities will welcome you at this stunning location right at the very top of Grouse Mountain, here you will get to see Reindeer’s, Santa Clause, outdoor Ice Skating, Sleigh Rides, Carol Singing and Christmas Movies.

Website: http://www.grousemountain.com/

LUMINESCENCE AT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
845 Avison Way
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 3X8

Thu November 28, 2013 – Wed January 22, 2014

Get into the holiday spirit by exploring this celebration of aquatic light. Gaze at a display of 100-plus origami jellyfish, marvel at an electric eel-powered holiday tree & learn how sea creatures create & reflect light. Take a virtual tour through the depths of the ocean with a deep-dive installation & don’t miss the exhilarating 4-D film Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas. Afterwards, continue the journey to a winter wonderland in Canada’s Arctic Gallery & meet Scuba Claus. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for students, youth & seniors & $14 for children (ages 4 to 12).

Website: http://www.vanaqua.org/

CHRISTMAS AT FLYOVER CANADA
999 Canada Place
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 3C1

Fri November 29, 2013 – Mon January 06, 2014

Enjoy the ride of a lifetime from the comfort of your chair at Flyover Canada – here you will get to see Canada as you have never before with a Christmas twist!

Website: http://www.flyovercanada.com/

CANYON LIGHTS AT CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
3735 Capilano Rd
North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7R 4J1

Sat November 30, 2013 – Sat January 04, 2014

Come visit the worlds tallest Christmas tree at the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Prepare to be dazzled by the thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge & on CLIFFWALK, the Park’s newest attraction. Also part of the fun – a children’s scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the holiday band & glass blowing.

Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

The mountains have a dusting of snow…Time to think about the North Shore Mountain Ski Resorts!

November 6th, 2013

Earlier in the week Vancouver witnessed the very first dusting of snow high up on the peaks of the North Shore mountains that overlook the city. It’s a nice change to see first hand the beginnings of the impending Winter that will be soon upon us in over a month and half’s time, and we do not complain, when the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here, the White fluffy flakes of snow will be falling in abundance guaranteeing the locals and visitors alike some Winter Alpine fun.

In this blog we will give you a detailed look at the 3 popular Ski Resorts of the North Shore Mountains that dominate the Vancouver Skyline and bring in various visitors from all over the world who love to Ski, Snowboard and more….

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
A popular resort for Skiing and especially for those who prefer the more challenging runs then this will be the place for you. Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in the West Vancouver area and is part of the Cypress Provincial Park which is avery popular area for Hiking in the Summer and long distance Skiing in the Winter.

Cypress mountain was also used for certain events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that was hosted between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain resorts, the climate leading up to the games had some worried as the weather was unusually warm leading up to the games which had an impact on the amount of Snow on the hills, as the pack was very very low, it was decided that snow would be transported in and extra time was given for the Snow Making machines to salvage the events due – and thankfully it was a success…huzzah! Cypress hosted all of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions (Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom)

The Ski hill have 53 different Alpine Runs and 19 km cross country of trails which are extremely popular for Snowshoeing. Tours are available for many of these activities.

For further information: http://cypressmountain.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Probably the most well known of all 3 Ski hills, Grouse Mountain sits directly above the city of North Vancouver and is just one Bus Stop away from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Grouse Mountain is a very popular destination all year round due to its well known hiking paths such as the Grouse Grind and its Summer activities at the top of the peak such as the Lumberjack shows, Eye in the Sky (Wind Turbine) Theater & Restaurant.

Skiing on Grouse is certainly the most popular for all ages and abilities, so if you are a complete newbie then this will be the ideal location for you to fin your feet so to speak, some runs are much more gentle than others.

The resort has 26 runs, half of which are lit for Night Skiing and Snowboarding The most prominent run on the mountain is the Cut, one of two beginner runs, which is easily visible from the Vancouver area. It runs alongside the Screaming Eagle chairlift. East of the Cut are several intermediate runs, which take skiers and snowboarders down to the Olympic Express, which accesses the mountain’s easternmost expert runs, most of which originate from the mountain’s 4,100-foot (1,200 m) peak. Grouse Mountain features three green (beginner), 15 blue (intermediate), six black diamond (advanced) and two double black diamond. There is also an Outdoor Ice Rink located in the Village.

For further information: http://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Located above North Vancouver, Deep Cove (a popular area for kayaking in the Summer season) and the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm waterways The resort has 4 lifts, the Mystery Peak Express quad chairlift, Brockton, and Lodge double chairlifts, and the Goldie Lake covered magic carpet. Seymour also offers great Snowshoeing trails that are very popular with groups or just as a solo excursion.

For further information: http://www.mountseymour.com/

Events to look out for in Vancouver this November 2013

October 30th, 2013

Here is a look at some of the events to delight us during November….tis the season to be Jolly as the festive season begins to influence us at the end of the month….enjoy!

DIWALI FESTIVAL
This annual event that happens in October and November is more commonly known as ‘The Festival of Lights’ Diwali also Deepawali to many has its roots that hark back to ancient India, the festival is a celebration of light and life!

When: October 29 – November 8, 2013.

Website: http://vancouver.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=vancouver&cdn=citiestowns&tm=1339&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_p554.23.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=8&bts=0&zu=http%3A//diwalifest.ca/

CHARLES EDENSHAW AT THE VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
One of the most celebrated artists from the Pacific Northwest and recognized as one of the most prolific artists of his day and now in history. Through his Art you will get to see the Haida peoples culture as it is and as it was, you will learn to see how the lives were shaped and hardships that the Haida peoples endured through his creations.

When: October 26, 2013 to February 2, 2014

Website: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/the_exhibitions/exhibit_edenshaw.html

CHOR LEONI – MEMORY ETERNAL at ST ANDREW’S WESLEY UNITED CHURCH
In commemoration of the fallen during the World Wars this musical and theatrical tribute will lead you on a journey in memory of these terrible events that cannot be forgotten. This journey will inform and unite everyone together.

When: November 11th (Remembrance Day)

Website: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/events/details/6738

VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET
The Vancouver Christmas Market is back for its fourth year at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza!
Enjoy our expanded offerings of delicious food items and find your unique Christmas gift! Enjoy seasonal music and a great entertainment program of authentic folk groups!

When: November 22nd to December 24th

Website: http://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/

PEAK OF CHRISTMAS at GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Celebrate Christmas in this wonderfully snowy setting at the top of Grouse Mountain, this is a great time to bring the family young and old to kick off the Christmas festivities with plenty on offer to entertain everyone, some features to look out for….SOS Children’s Gingerbread Village, Santa’s Workshop, Visit Prancer, Outdoor Ice Skating, Mountaintop Sleigh Rides and much much more….

When: November 23rd to December 24th

Website: http://www.grousemountain.com/events/the-peak-of-christmas-2013

BRIGHT NIGHTS – STANLEY PARK CHRISTMAS TRAIN
During the holiday season, Stanley Park sparkles with two million twinkling lights, decorating the darkness that comes early at this time of year.

When: End of November till Early January (Closed Xmas day)

Website: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

Indulge yourself at the Festival of Chocolates, and make some Brownies too….

October 23rd, 2013

On these cold foggy fall days that we are currently experiencing in Vancouver, its time like this when its just nice to curl up with a Hot Chocolate as the fog drifts by. As it happens, this is also the time when the annual ‘Festival of Chocolates’ festival comes to the city, what can be better than a festival that lets us indulge in one of the most popular delicacies around. We do not know many that do not enjoy chocolate.

This festival showcases the very best chocolates around, you will get to experience a wider range of varieties and will also get to learn how to make various chocolate recipes and more…..if you are interested in the Culinary world and specifically the sweeter side of cooking, then this will be the festival for you!

For more information, please check their website to see what is happening
http://www.festivalofchocolate.ca/

And to get you into that chocolate mood, how about trying out this recipe…

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie
3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons golden flax meal

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda

7 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup boiling water

1 ½ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons (80 grams) Regular Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted (not tub margarine)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1) Prepare the flax meal, your oven and your baking dish
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the water and flax meal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture gets goopy. Place your oven rack on it’s lowest position and preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper allowing excess parchment paper on opposite sides so you can pull the brownies out of the baking dish later.

2) Whisk together the four and baking soda
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Set aside.

3) Mix the vegan brownie dough
In another medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso powder and salt. Add the boiling water and using a spoon, mix in the ingredients into a paste, making sure that all of the chocolate pieces are melted. Add the sugar, Vegan Butter, vanilla extract, flax meal mixture from Step 1 into the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the walnuts if you’re using them. Using a spoon, mix in the flour until well combined. The mixture will become extremely thick and you may need to use your hands to mix. Refrain from mixing this dough with an electric mixer at this point; this will overwork the dough and activate too much gluten, negatively affecting the texture of the brownies.

4) Transfer the brownie batter to a baking dish and bake to perfection
Transfer the batter to the baking dish. You may need to use your fingers or a spatula to press the thick dough into place. Bake for 35 minutes on your oven’s lowest rack. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool for about an hour.

5) Allow the brownies to cool completely
Transfer the brownies to the wire rack by lifting them out of the baking dish by taking hold of the exposed parchment paper on each side. Allow them to cool completely before slicing into squares.
This recipe makes one 8 x 8 inch baking dish of Ultimate Vegan Brownies.

THE ‘WILL-O’-THE WISP & the JACK O’ LANTERN – Why we Carve Pumpkins at Halloween…

October 9th, 2013

As Halloween is fast approaching it is time for us to get creative with the Pumpkin carving! At the hotel, we are putting our heads together to think of cool images to carve into the pumpkins – we will also love for you to help us out -what kind of cool imagery do you want us to carve into our own Pumpkin? If you have any ideas please let us know and even better, share your photos of the cool carvings you have created for this occasion!

In this blog we will discover the origins of pumpkin carving and as to why we continue this tradition every year.

THE ‘WILL-O’-THE WISP & the JACK O’ LANTERN Connection
The tradition of carving pumpkin has various origins and the most popular in well known folklore are the stories of The Will-O’-the Wisp and Jack O’ Lantern.
The ‘Will-O’-the Wisp’ was created by a natural phenomena that happens to occur when plants are decaying over Swampy or Peat Bog areas and are in the process producing a Phosphorescence Glow .
During the 18th Century tales of folklore were created to personify this ghostly apparition and tales of Pixies and Sprites were soon born to explain what was happening. The Sprite was said to form wispy flames of light around it and would lead foolish travelers astray by luring them towards the swampy bogs – where ultimately some may have gotten themselves stuck in the dark murky swamps.
In Latin the light is known as “Ignis Fatuus” which translates “foolish fire.” The reference of the name “will-o’-the-wisp” has been extended to any impractical or unattainable goal.

On the subject of the Phosphorescence Glow there are many common occurrences of this that you can see for yourself, materials such as Paints, Glow in the dark toys and Clock dials are all examples of a man made material that presents the Phosphorescence glow processes in opposition to the chemical states happening naturally.

The Jack O’ Lantern is related to the Wisp, but in modern times when we follow this tradition the Lantern seems to be a more common phrase that comes to mind.
The origins of this are from Irish and Scottish Myths and Legendary Folklore that come in various incarnations. In short, the tales usually involves a man ‘Jack’ Who has an undesirable trait wether he be stingy or a thief and has played a trick on the devil which never bodes well for his Soul. As punishment, Jack’s Soul after passing is generally to be found in Limbo as the devil agrees too spare it, yet, unbeknownst to Jack it means the soul cannot be entered into Heaven nor can it be let into Hell in part due to his lifestyle decisions and as well as the experience with the devil itself!!!

The images portrayed into the Pumpkins are of a ghoulish nature for these reasons, and over the years that we have traditionally celebrated the tradition, there have been many pranks played into the custom too – so the evolution of some of these Lanterns portray humorous looking Ghouls and imagery.

Below are some Lanterns that were created with some friends on a Halloween excursion to Seattle…..what do you think of them? Cool eh!

Halloween Events during October!

September 30th, 2013

October is here and that can mean only one thing………..HALLOWEEN!!!

This is a great time of year for kids and adults alike as it is the best time of year for fun dress up! If any of you will be in the area during the festivities and you want to find a good costume, we recommend that you visit DRESSEW on Hastings St, this fabric shop is amazing and will be a great place to find a fab costume for a Halloween Dress-up party. Please get there early as this place will have a huge line up closer to the event!
http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2012/09/halloween-costumes-vancouver-dressew-supply/

HALLOWEEN TOURS

HAUNTED VANCOUVER TROLLEY TOUR
2.5 Hrs of Vancouver Ghost Stories featuring stops at Vancouver Police Museum and Mountain View Cemetery
When: OCTOBER 18th – OCTOBER 31st, 2013 – excluding Sundays and Mondays
http://www.vancouvertrolley.com/tours/seasonal/haunted-halloween

FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER – THE LOST SOULS OF GASTOWN
Take a journey into the cobbled stone streets of Gastown and venture through some of the back alleys on the scary Macabre Journey that will be sure to make your hair stand on end….
http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/home/the-lost-souls-of-gastown/

HALLOWEEN GHOST TRAIN IN STANLEY PARK
Travel through the silver screen into the world of classic horror movies! Take your velvet seat on the Halloween Ghost Train and journey back to a time when moving pictures unearthed the shadows that lay sleeping in the dark recesses of our minds. Awake Dracula! Awake Wolfman, the Mummy, and the Phantom of the Opera. Crawl out from your coffins, slither from your slabs, and ooze out from your tombs! These October nights summon you from darkness.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/ghost-train.aspx

Friday, October 11 – Saturday, November 2, 2013
Closed Thanksgiving Monday, October 14
Afternoon matinees
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm (train only)
Nights
6:00pm – 10:00 pm seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving Monday)

FRIGHT NIGHTS AT THE PNE
Western Canada’s Scariest Haunt – Face your fears. Fright Nights possesses Playland, featuring 6 fright houses, 12 rides, and the freaky sideshow, The Monsters of Schlock.
October 11th to November 2nd
http://www.frightnights.ca/

NIGHTCLUBS-HALLOWEEN PARTIES & EVENTS
For the younger crowd out who are looking for an awesome Nightclub party Halloween Style, click on this link for all the big parties to choose from: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/09/halloween-parties-vancouver-2013/

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Rainy day things to do in Vancouver!

September 25th, 2013

Rain Rain go away come again another day! Um…well no…The Rains have well and truly arrived and this is generally the run of things for us till Mid Spring! So what do you do in an inclement climate? In all honesty quite a lot actually – so read on and prepare yourself for some excellent indoors activity for all the family to enjoy! Don’t forget to grab an umbrella from us behind the Front Desk…

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY at UBC
A huge hit among the guests here and with the locals alike. Located in the beautiful grounds of the University of British Columbia the MOA has a vast collection of Pacific Northwest and First Nations artifacts and historical information on the way of life in days gone by of human activities and civilizations.

MOA WEBSITE http://moa.ubc.ca/

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
Centrally located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver and very close to the Robson St shopping district, the VAG is home to over 9000 pieces of Art, it is also has a fantastic Cafe. Many of the Artworks are from a local source such as the Emily Carr University, also, each year the Gallery presents two to three international exhibits–traveling exhibits from around the world–and 10 to 12 in-house exhibitions that draw from their own extensive collections.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is located at 750 Hornby St, between Robson and Georgia in downtown Vancouver

VAG WEBSITE http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

SCIENCE WORLD
Another huge hit for locals and tourists, Science World is the giant Golf Ball looking building that is situated at the eastern end of False Creek.
The whole family will get great enjoyment out of this place and it is fun fun fun, so get your Geek on and learn some Science!

SCIENCE WORLD WEBSITE http://www.scienceworld.ca/

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
Nestled in the heart of Stanley Park this is the perfect rainy day location as you are in the heart of the beautiful rainforest and with the creatures that love the water the most. A hit for all the family you will all come away with something different young or old. The aquarium has a strong focus on the local environment of the Pacific Northwest waters. They run lots of events throughout the year and the famous Otters and Beluga Whales are sure to put a huge smile on your face because they are so cute!

AQUARIUM WEBSITE http://www.vanaqua.org/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
Just a small Boat ride away, Granville Island for Vancouver is what Pikes Place Market is for Seattle. At Granville Island you have the large Public Market, Theaters, Restaurants, Kids Markets, Granville Island Brewery and lots of cute boutique shops to enjoy. It is also a hub for Art (Emily Carr Art University) and live entertainment with the famous Buskers to enjoy.

GRANVILLE ISLAND WEBSITE http://granvilleisland.com/

SHOPPING!!!!
A good old fashioned past time to keep occupied in the rain is shopping – YAY! Here are a couple suggestions for some popular malls to choose from…..go on buy us something pretty…

PACIFIC CENTRE MALL
Located in downtown Vancouver and easily accessible by bus, cab or foot, this has all the brand named stores and food court to suit your needs in a compact and comfortable mall in the heart of the city. Just across the road on Granville St is the famous The Bay Store…check it out!

PACIFIC CENTRE MALL http://www.pacificcentre.ca/en/Pages/default.aspx

METROTOWN MALL
Boasting over 400 Stores and easily accessible via the Skytrain, this is BC’s largest Mall, you can literally spend hours and hours here, so make sure you have enough space on the old credit card as you will want to shop shop shop until you drop.

METROTOWN WEBSITE http://metropolisatmetrotown.com/

We will leave you with a great poem about the Vancouver rain, it really sums it up quite nicely. So please don’t let it bother you, get the raincoat out and the umbrella up and brave those elements, there is so much out there for you to enjoy it will be shame to miss out…

At Kitsilano Point there is a great story that sums up our “Raincity”. Which has been carved onto a large rock, it is a lovely testament to the inclement weather.
This story stone, entitled “Vancouver in the Rain” is one of ten across the city.

“It is probably fair to say that one of the things for which Vancouver is most famous is rain. It is true that it can and will rain here for weeks on end. Several years ago I found myself coming close to being thoroughly disgusted with the rain, unusual for me as it usually bothers me not at all.

I was walking home from work and was mumbling under my breath the whole way, carrying on about how this weather was suited only to ducks. The building I lived in at the time was a large square building surrounding a brick courtyard. I came around the corner into the courtyard and there, to my amazement, was a beautiful Peking duck, having a ball in a huge puddle in the middle of the courtyard. It was quacking and splashing with such obvious delight that I had to smile, glad that such joy could be found in the gray wetness of such a day.

I really love the rain in Vancouver. I have been told that the Inuit have hundreds of words for snow. I have often thought we don’t have nearly enough words for rain, for there are so many types of rain. There is soft rain and hard rain and sideways rain, rain that makes you instantly wet, and rain that leaves soft kisses on your cheek, like the wings of a butterfly. There is cold rain and warm rain, go out for a walk rain and stay in bed with the cats rain. There is booming rain and whispery rain, rain that lulls you to sleep and rain to sing you awake. The rain brings us all the shades of gray, but it also brings us the wonderful greenery which surrounds and blesses us.”

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Cycling around Stanley Park during Fall witness the Deciduous Forest come alive.

September 20th, 2013

This past week has been spent cycling a fair bit within Stanley Park and it has been such a pleasure watching the Fall Season begin to show its influence with the changing colours of the Leaves, Plants and Shrubs all around the park.
Watching the leaves fall and leave their marks on the pavements can be quite the sight the sight to see, although the leaves are not dropping heavily there is something surreal about the ones that have fallen on the pavements, take a look at the concrete paths after the communities have swept up the leaves to prevent them blocking the gutters before the rains dig in, you can see that the leaves have left their shadowy imprint on the ground, it almost has a ghostly quality about it, another year over in the ongoing process of the birth and death of the leaves life cycle.

As the fall season progresses we encourage you still to get down to Stanley Park for many reasons, ok it will likely be more overcast with rains in the air but it should still be explored for the beauty of the Fall Season, not only that, it will be much quieter too, so getting around either on foot or preferably bike you will have more of the park to yourself.
The Rain-forest also becomes more visible with life when the moisture is in the air, its times like this when the trees and the air around it comes alive and the forest seems to steam with clouds hugging the trees like cobwebs.

The Park has many trails for you to explore and along some of them are some of the biggest trees in the area, many of these trees are evergreens while many of the trees are of a Deciduous nature which means “falling off at maturity”.
In Canada and the US it is well known that the North Eastern side of North America boasts some incredible Fall colours, but do not overlook what we have on out doorstep, Vancouver will dazzle you with its own spectacular Fall display.

We hope that you decide to hire a bike and enjoy this time of year, we recommend that you head down to English Bay Bike Rentals – and don’t forget we have some discount vouchers for you to use behind the Front desk and we will help with any questions of course.

http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

It is not only Stanley park that you can enjoy the natural Fall colours – below is a list of the best parks to check out during Fall in the area and on the Island courtesy of Tourism Vancouver.

Fall Parks: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/fall-colours/

Event to look out for September/October

September 18th, 2013

There are still many more events to look out for if you are visiting the hotel at the end of September and during October.

The following festivals should at least appeal to most of you and one even involves CHOCOLATES! How can you go wrong?

RUNAWAYGRAPE “A TASTE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA”
When: September 20th – Where? The FISH HOUSE Stanley Park

If you like Wine and some of the finer foods in life, want to be surrounded by nature while sipping your finest Vino and really like to have fun while you are at it…..come along to this!
Located in the beautiful setting of the famous ‘Fish House restaurant’ in Stanley Park, you will be treated to taste some fantastic samples of wines from the Okananagan region, you will learn how to taste and test the different varietals of the Best of the BC Wines, and at the same time you will be able to sample some incredible world class foods to accompany the wines.
All in all you will be expanding your knowledge of some yummy fine wines and food, so not only will your taste buds be delighted so will your brain!

For further information: http://www.hellobc.com/servicefelisting/food-or-wine/4579028/runawaygrape-a-taste-of-british-columbia-.aspx

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
When? Thurs September 26, 2013 – Fri October 11, 2013 Where? Various Locations.

One of the most popular film festivals in North America and one of the largest cultural events in Vancouver. More than 150,000 people attend approximately 575 screenings of 350 films from 50+ countries. Check website for the 2012 Schedule of Films.

For further information:http://www.viff.org/

ARTISTS FOR CONSERVATION FESTIVAL
Where? GROUSE MOUNTAIN – When? Sat September 28, 2013 – Sun October 06, 2013

If you are interested in environment, you have a creative streak or simply just love Art and need some scenary, then this festival will be for you!
Taking place at the top of Grouse Mountain this signature cultural event will be one of the largest worldwide gatherings for conservation.
You will see incredible works of Art, meet some very inspirational people who will be involved with the project through exhibits, lectures, live demonstrations and more….

For further details: http://festival.artistsforconservation.org/

FESTIVAL OF CHOCOLATES
When? Tue October 15, 2013 – Sun November 10, 2013 Where? Various locations

The Fall Festival of Chocolate showcases everything one can learn about cocoa and chocolate. The magical mystery of these ingredients is explored through seminars and pairings held at local chocolate shops, wineries, breweries, restaurants, cafes, and bakeries across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Don’t miss out on this delicious opportunity to celebrate all things chocolate. Check website for a Schedule of Events.

For further information: http://www.festivalofchocolate.ca

Why the spectacular colours of the skies at Sunset? Here is the Science behind it.

September 11th, 2013

Vancouver has been experiencing some amazing colours in the sky and clouds lately which has been providing nature lovers with some incredible shots. This was all due to a low pressure system hanging around in the Pacific over the last week or so, the system had produced a few thunderstorms in the area which is not common for us – (ask any Vancouverite and they will tell you that this is a pretty rare occurrence). If you are a fan of us on our Facebook page you will likely have come across some spectacular photographs which were taken by some staff and from other sites online.

SUNSET FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/SunsetInnVancouver?ref=hl

In this blog we are going to swot up on the Science behind the reason why this colourful phenomenon occur, and we will also look for interesting colour formations to look out for during the Fall Season and why they happen.

Why were the clouds so bright Orange and Pink last week?
The clouds that rolled through were pretty intense Thunderstorms and just preceding them the sky was awash with some incredible colours, the most dominant that was noted widely by any observer of these storms were the very bright Pinks, Reds and Oranges that illuminated the towering Comulonimbus towers (the official and fancy term for a thunder cloud). When the storms rolled into our neighbourhood the clouds also had Green and Purples mixed in.
The reason for the difference in colours are to do with the angle of the Sun in relation to the sky and clouds and also the precipitation that is falling within in them.

This was the image taken from one of the staff at home as the Sun was setting through the pouring rain with the storm anchored over the city.

The colours created an incredible bright Orange due to the direction of which the Suns Rays were travelling. As the Sun is very low in the sky it takes the light and rays from the sun longer to reach as there is more distance to travel.

What is the Science behind these colours though?
We can all see colours in a particular area of the light spectrum and ours is a very small degree of what is known in Science the “Electromagnetic Spectrum”. Light that travels short distance and is more compact will show more towards the colour Blue and if they travel further, which means the light is also being stretched – this shifts more towards the colour Red.

Get your Nerd on! Click on this Diagram to see how the Spectrum works.
http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/visible.html

Why were we seeing Greens, Brown and Purple?
Within the clouds there were also reports of these other colours too, this is basically due to precipitation falling from the storms above us. A good indication that there is Hail falling high above will translate to a Green colour in the clouds as the ice refracts that image to our visibility. Heavy dark colours of Purple, Blues and Greys are usually a sign of heavy and torrential Rains about to fall from above.

Check out this Rainbow, and look where it ends! Right on the Sunset Inn…lol

This is why that many Sunsets can turn the sky very quickly into a very fiery and vivid look with bright Oranges, Pinks and Reds with a wonderful Blue, Green and Turqoise skies. It also explains why the Sky is Blue at the height of daytime as the Sun is so direct the Rays and Light have a shorter distance to travel to reach us.
September is a fantastic time to catch some breathtaking colours in the Sky, and around this time of year as we start to turn towards fall in the city, take a look at the colour of the mountains and the long shadows created by the sunset and of course the imminent changing of the Autumnal leaves.

A typical looking sky at this time of year.

Other cool images to check out as the Sun is beginning to set in the West are the Earths Shadow and Phenomenon called the ‘Belt of Venus’.
As you look East around the same time that the Sun is setting you will clearly see and Arch that is much darker than the rest of the sky beginning from the Horizon of the earth to just a few degrees higher into the sky. As the Sun creeps ever further below the horizon, this dark Arch seems to be getting larger and larger, and then the Night sky seems to take over and the Dark Skies of night prevail. What you are witnessing is the Earths actual Shadow hitting the atmosphere which is makes it apparent that it is the ceiling of our world.

Another cool Phenomenon is the Belt of Venus. Around the same time as the Sun is about to start to set, again look out East in the exact opposite direction of the Setting Sun and just above or along the horizon there is a distinct line of colour that has Pinkish glow, this again is to with the scattering of light in the atmosphere from the Sun, and this light is usually divided by the Earths shadow which has a much darker look to it, itself with a definitive edge.

A great time to witness this is when the Moon is relatively Full and starting to move from the horizon high in the sky, it just makes this natural occurrences that little bit more special.

If you are into Science and anything else related to this then you should check out Science World and/or the H.R Macmillan Space Museum.

Science World www.scienceworld.ca

Space Museum http://www.spacecentre.ca/

Sunset Inn Newsletter: http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

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