Author Archives: Shirley

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

Hiking Nanoose’s Enos Lake

I came away from a recent hike at Nanoose’s Enos Lake with mixed feelings. We struck out on a beautiful autumn day – our second attempt to hike the area after being turned back because of dangerously dry conditions in … Continue reading

Posted in DOG-FRIENDLY, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Qualicum Beach’s Moonlight Madness

There’s nothing better than sparkling lights, special treats, beautiful displays and Christmas music to put one in the mood for the yuletide season. The Qualicum Beach merchants do a bang-up job of kicking off the festive season with their annual … Continue reading

Posted in ATTRACTIONS, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, EVENTS, KID FRIENDLY | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Nanoose’s Rusted Rake Farm café

To say that Nanoose’s newest eatery is off and running is an understatement. Opened in late July of this year, Rusted Rake Farm has been packed with patrons each time we have enjoyed a meal there. Located off Northwest Bay … Continue reading

Posted in EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, LINKS, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS, WHERE TO EAT | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Nanaimo’s Buttertubs Marsh

With the feasting, partying and indoor activities of the looming Yuletide season (not to mention this month’s Thanksgiving celebrations) often comes the desire to just get outdoors for a bit of fresh air and exercise. There is a perfect spot … Continue reading

Posted in EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES, WELCOME, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Campbell River’s Elk Falls suspension bridge

With the rainy winter season looming here on the west coast we take every opportunity to get outdoors while the weather is still fine, so on a recent weekend we headed up to Campbell River to experience the hiking trails … Continue reading

Posted in ATTRACTIONS, DOG-FRIENDLY, KID FRIENDLY, NORTHEAST ISLAND, SPECIAL PLACES | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiking Nanoose’s Notch Hill

With winter coming on and the rainy season threatening here on the Island we grab every opportunity we can to get outdoors and enjoy whatever good weather the Gods bestow on us.  So it was with happy anticipation that we … Continue reading

Posted in DOG-FRIENDLY, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

One man’s dream. One magical internationally-renowned legacy. That best sums up Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail – a spectacular network of easily accessible walking trails  that stretches for a total of 10 kilometres (6.25 miles)  along the awe-inspiring headlands of Vancouver … Continue reading

Posted in DOG-FRIENDLY, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES, WEST COAST, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salt Spring Island’s Ruckle Provincial Park

There is a little bit of everything to be found at Ruckle Provincial Park, located on the southern tip of Salt Spring Island – history, waterfront, wildlife, woodland trails.  When we visited back in early autumn we figured on spending … Continue reading

Posted in DOG-FRIENDLY, GULF ISLANDS, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Port Alberni’s Stamp River Provincial Park

It had been more than 40 years since I last visited Stamp River Provincial Park in the beautiful Alberni Valley, and I have to admit that I headed over there recently with some trepidation.  Back in the 1970s the place was wild and … Continue reading

Posted in ATTRACTIONS, DOG-FRIENDLY, INLAND CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ladysmith’s Wild Poppy Bistro

Who knew? Who knew that a tiny town of 8,500 perched on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island could be home to an upscale bistro – gluten and peanut-free, no less! Well, the good residents of Ladysmith know, and that’s … Continue reading

Posted in DUNCAN/COWICHAN, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS, WHERE TO EAT | Tagged , | Leave a comment