Posts Tagged ‘West end’

The Cherry blossoms are starting to dominate the streets of Vancouver.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival gets under way this April, but that does not mean that you have to wait until then to enjoy these spectacular trees in bloom. Some of the trees are beginning to bloom quite nicely as many have actually started to show off their pink and whites during the middle of January.

As of this date (March 18th) and under gloriously Sunny skies, some of the blossoms in the West End, notably along Jervis St and Beach Avenue are already reaching full bloom on either sides of the streets, and if the weather holds up like this for a few more days, we can expect to see more signs of the mass awakening that is Spring in the city.

The link below is an interactive map that you can scroll your mouse over, so you can specifically pick and choose the area you will be in and what kind of tree is there.

http://www.vcbf.ca/maps/Map.html

The festival is a great appreciation of these majestic trees, and if you go and check out their official Webpage page, you will be able to track the progress of these trees at their locations all over the city. Some of the best places to see them are in the West End, Kitsilano and at The Burrard Street Sky train station – at this location, once these trees are fully blooming you find yourself under a canopy of startling bright pink and whites, a stunning welcome in the heart of Vancouver.

See the listings below for more events regarding the festival and for further reading on the blossoms.
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/sightseeing/cherry_blossoms/

These are the 5 best spots to view the blossoms….

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/03/17/the-5-best-spots-to-view-cherry-blossoms-now/

And if you really want to get serious about plants and more, look no further than Queen Elizabeth Park and The UBC Botanical Gardens.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/

Signs that Spring is approaching.

Friday, February 8th, 2013

After spending a great evening with a friend and reminiscing over our usual catch up on nature, (the Crows are always on top of the agenda in this conversation), it inspired that time should be spent on some walking in and around the West End. The forecast was for an improving picture as the day would go on, and judging from what we have seen so far, it indeed is improving, the conditions are certainly what is more akin to late March as opposed to where we are at the moment – February!

We were also debating and comparing predictions about the weather as it had been pretty mild for this time of year, we were wondering if this is game over for Winter, the clues are there, such as the sound of the Spring birds arriving during their migration, it does seem that there is a good chance that it will be a Green Winter, or are we being fooled? Will there be chances of brief snapping stabs of Winter like conditions at the turn of Spring?

The next afternoon was spent sitting in one of the small Inner city Parkways that are used by Pedestrians and Cyclists to pass through, a nice place to take a break and have a moment. This small little Oasis is one of many dotted all around the West End and the rest of Vancouver, they are really cute spots to use and enjoy, you can easily be occupied by all the trees and plant life that have been cultivated around you. There is also no shortage of wildlife to entertain and enthrall as they go about their lives (you will be no stranger to Squirrels, and overnight Skunks and Raccoons), it is easy to actually hear the wildlife even as the city noise buzzes near by, it is really actually not that audible and more of a quieter background hum, the birds conversations really are the dominant sounds of this environment at this time of listening.

On a really beautiful Spring day as today, in this small park alone you can see and hear the hints of a spring stirring up, it is waking the hibernating plant life and other creatures from their long slumber. The sounds of the birds are beginning to change, it is a sure sign that the first birds of Spring are arriving in the city, the area of Canada and the US that is known as the Pacific North West is their regular stop at this time of year. It seems like their migration is a never ending cycle, its almost unfathomable to comprehend at how large the distances some of these birds cover – some spanning the whole globe. The noises of their language is really fascinating to hear, some are like songs, some have the sound that is spoken as if in some Science Fiction setting -as if it came out of the mouth of a robot. Others are not so glamorous, some sound threatening, some sound horrifying and kind of scary, its certainly not dull up there and is a life that is constantly on the go.

It really is quite the sight to see the abundance of trees and plant species around the West End, there is quite the variety to take in. On days like these it is a good time to absorb the colours of the plants as they become illuminated by the sun, marking a vivid contrast among the colours of brown and green. The mountains are also awash with colours that the Sun is beaming its light upon and in between the towering columns of cloud. It seems like an age since Vancouver last saw the sun, yet, when it does make an appearance it has this uncanny effect on us in the city. People seem to have this extra skip in their step and a grin on their faces, with the seawall beginning to get busier with the leisure walkers and joggers making the most of a beautiful day, its quite nice to get a glimpse of Spring in the winter time. Hopefully this is a sign of a good things to come.

So if you are staying at the Sunset Inn and Suites this Spring, make sure that you have a nice stroll around the streets of the West End, it maybe the city, but the nature is all around us, and Spring Season is quite stunning in this area.

Click on the following link from Tourism Vancouver, it explains what you need to do in Spring in Vancouver
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/sightseeing/7-ways-to-enjoy-spring/

Open Air cinema and other summer film events

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The festivals have really knocked our socks off in the area, what with the culmination of the fantastically colourful Pride Parade and the grand finale of the Celebration of lights fireworks display, the West End really showed us all what a Vancouver Summer festival is all about, and what about that weather! Absolutely perfect sunshine and great warmth to please the masses.

August is a great month to check out some free events in the city, our highlight today are the free outdoor movies.

Head down to Stanley Park at Second Beach near the open air pool, here you will find the location for the Fresh Air Cinema.

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/06/19/free-outdoor-movies-in-stanley-park-start-july-3-2012/

Every Tuesday there will be an awesome movie for you to enjoy, so get out there, bring a picnic and sit back and enjoy the show!

Also, if you are into something a little different, check out the Pacific Cinematheque. Here they are showing a spotlight on Alfred Hitchcock and his works, and during mid to end of August, the cinema will be showcasing Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 years.

http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/

Watch Vancouver roar with Pride over this coming week and weekend!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The West End is alive with the sound of music, fireworks and probably the best weather of the summer season so far!

It all began in spectacular fashion with the opening of annual Celebration of Lights Fireworks display and it did not disappoint, with calm and completely clear skies, the stage was set for Vietnam (appearing for the very 1st time) to dazzle the strong crowd of well over 300 000 excited spectators, we really enjoyed the display especially the music which infused some traditional music and some more well known songs from our side of the pond which certainly got the crowd dancing. Next up on Wednesday will be Brazil to give us their best shot to try and win this competition. We anticipate a noisy booming affair.

Anyone who is staying at The Sunset Inn and Suites or elsewhere in the West-End will tell you that there is an unmistakable buzz in the air, and this is all for very good reason, as all week we are leading up to the 34th Annual Pride Festival and Parade. This is where the West End comes alive and its all fun in the sun.

Here is what to expect…

Friday August 3 from 7pm till 12pm – DAVIE STREET DANCE PARTY.
Start the weekend on the right foot and boogie on down at Davie where the street will be closed off for a Dance Party! Featuring some of the best and hottest DJs of the summer season, main entrance is at Broughton and Davie Street. This event is 19+ and cash only.

Saturday August 4th from 4pm till 10pm – SHOREfest.
Hosting free concerts on two music stages at English Bay and Sunset Beach, catch some of the hottest bands in Canadian music, absolutely free. The concerts preceded the grand finale of the finale to the Celebration of light, where Italy bow out the show starting at 10pm.

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Sunday August 5th – PRIDE FESTIVAL, PARADE AND MARKET.
@Sunset Beach, 11am to 6pm The festival is a great place to check out before, during and after the parade.

34th ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE at 12pm
Starts @Robson and Denman and ends at Beach and Thurlow, with an expected attendance of over 700,000 spectators.

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

So go out there and have fun, and support such an event that embraces equality and love in this huge world community of ours!

What to expect from the parade? See the link below.

http://youtu.be/J9gm3lMacOQ

June 17th are Car free days…..a perfect family day out for your Dad on Fathers day!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

If you are scratching heads on what to do for Fathers Day, worry not…….Vancouver has kindly decided this will be the day for the annual Car free event days.

These are certainly some of our favorite days in the city, and fingers crossed the weather will play ball too.

Car Free Days were created with the idea that the city can have days when we are free of vehicles and to see if there is future possible without cars at some point. it is also to encourage people to spend more time in their neighborhood with your families.

Since these festivals were created they have certainly grown in size and variety and are now popping up all over the city, you will get to see the weird and wonderful entertainers, plenty of food, stalls and information – on top of all that, the bars, restaurants and cafes will open their doors to join in the fun, along with music, bands and dancers to get you in the party mood.

The original site began on Commercial Drive with Live Music, Street Hockey a roller disco…even a healing garden, so you get the drift!

Here are the areas that will be taking part around the city.

THE WEST END Noon till 6pm
This is our Car free event in the area, make your way down to English Bay where the festival will be located along Denman St, and you will see the festival rocking out between Davie and Robson, this area is pretty cool, you will be spoiled for choice as it is close to Stanley Park, The Laughing Statues and the beach!!!

COMMERCIAL DRIVE (East Vancouver) Noon till 6pm
MAIN ST Noon till 8pm
KITSILANO Various times on the 16th and 17th
Each area is certainly worth a visit and are easily accessible via Public transit in no time at all, please check with the Front Desk for details.

So treat your Dad right and enjoy the party!

Check out the video of The West End Car free day….

http://youtu.be/2dWSmkEGB6E

http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Cherry Blossoms are Blooming!!!!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Video of Vancouver Crows coming home to roost

Spring season has arrived, and like clockwork it is very visible throughout Vancouver.

One of the most telling signs that the Spring is here is by noticing the Cherry Blossom trees awakening all around the city, and what a beautiful site these trees are. Vancouver is blessed to have so many Cherry Blossoms throughout the city and it will be quite the display from now until May.

Between April and May, Vancouver will host the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival The festival is run by a non profit Society that celebrates the season with Arts, poetry and entertainment, it was set up in 2005 to celebrate and give thanks to the trees that were donated to the city back in the 1930s. They also have a fantastic website that follows all the trees as they begin to bloom, there is an interactive map that points out where you can go and locate the very best in bloom. The festival runs from April 5th until April 28th.

www.vcbf.ca

What we really adore about Vancouver is how the area is really divided by the seasons, not only do we have the four well known seasons, but also Wet and Dry, it is this time of year where we see the beginnings of Spring appear, also the rains now begin to taper off marking the beginnings of the transition between wet and dry

Check out the local flora and fauna which are now visibly awakening from their slumber, the suburbs of the West End are by far a stunning sight to see. Also keep an eye on the skies above you as Vancouver has many migrating birds of all shapes and sizes appearing overhead, it is not unusual to see Herons, Bald Eagles and more hovering majestically above our heads. If you want further help on where to see the best of the natural world make sure to check with us at the Front Desk, there is a wonderful spot in Stanley park where the Herons build their huge nests (located near the open air Swimming Pool and Second Beach), and nesting season for the Avian gang are well and truly here, we will be able to recommend other great areas such as Queen Elizabeth Park – located in the south of Vancouver, formally part of a quarry, the park is situated on the highest point of Vancouver and has incredible 360 degree views of the area it is a must for all plant lovers.

Finally, everyday of the year look out for the Crows heading home to roost, a remarkable sight that sees a huge flock (believe it or not it is commonly known as a murder!) of crows all heading home one before sunset, they congregate from many areas of the city (such as English Bay, False Creek and Stanley Park) where they head south East towards Burnaby where hundreds of the Vancouver Crows settle in for the night!.

So from every at the Sunset Inn and Suites, we say a warm and welcome hello to Spring, the good weather is on its way…..