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.

Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

It’s kind of hard to believe that there could be anything magical at all contained in the great concrete behemoth that greets visitors as they arrive by boat in the tiny settlement of Bamfield. The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is, … Continue reading

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Big Qualicum Regional Trail

There isn’t anything much better on a warm Summer afternoon than exploring new-to-us territory, so we recently set out to the Big Qualicum Fish Hatchery and the many miles of trails that snake along both sides of this lovely spot. … Continue reading

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Rob’s Lighthouse Eatery in Cowichan Bay

Eating outdoors is a rite of summer for us, whether we are at home or on the road. It is one of the great pleasures of the season, especially when a dining experience turns up a happy new find like … Continue reading

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A magical overnight journey on the venerable Uchuck lll

This post is an ‘encore presentation’,  filed again (with some updates) because the trip on the Uchuck III was one of our most memorable and delightful.  Anyone with a taste for a bit of the wild in their travels should … Continue reading

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Tofino Botanical Gardens

I am never quite sure what to expect when I am visiting a ‘botanical garden.’ I know about show gardens (Butchart’s in Victoria) and woodland gardens (Milner in Qualicum Beach and Kitty Coleman in Courtenay), but the term ‘botanical garden’ … Continue reading

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Pender Island’s Sea Star Vineyards

A beautiful setting, award-winning wines, talented artisans and good food – who could ask for more? We were entranced by a recent visit to Sea Star Vineyard on Pender Island when we were introduced to their weekly Wednesday Winery Market. … Continue reading

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The Malahat Chalet and Bakery

The Malahat Chalet and Bakery was one of those places that we never seemed to have time to check out during our travels to and from Victoria. We finally stopped there for lunch on a recent trip, and were happily … Continue reading

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Little Qualicum Fish Spawning Channels

One of the prettiest, most pristine and easily accessible nature walks on Vancouver Island is just a stone’s throw from the village of Qualicum Beach. The site is home to a steelhead recovery plan program and salmonid enhancement and watershed … Continue reading

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Fairy magic at Milner Gardens

When the lives of children are so caught up these days with scheduled activities, the cyber world and the hard business of growing up in modern times, it’s refreshing to find a place and occasion where magic, timelessness and imagination … Continue reading

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Nanoose Bay Art in the Garden

Can there be a lovelier place to be on a fine summer’s day than a beautiful garden filled to the brim with talented artisans and musicians?  If you think that nothing could be better, be sure to mark your calendar … Continue reading

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