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.

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

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

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

Posted in ATTRACTIONS, WEST COAST | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in ATTRACTIONS, KID FRIENDLY, SPECIAL PLACES, WEST COAST | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in WELCOME | Leave a comment

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

Posted in DUNCAN/COWICHAN, KID FRIENDLY, WHERE TO EAT | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in ARTISAN GALLERIES, ATTRACTIONS, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, EVENTS, KID FRIENDLY, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ladysmith’s Appetit – Food For Thought

Hole-in-the-wall eateries are always an adventure, and Ladysmith’s Appetit-Food For Thought is no exception. We first ate there several years ago when we enjoyed a quick, cheap ($4) and hearty dinner when we were in town for the annual Christmas … Continue reading

Posted in DUNCAN/COWICHAN, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, WHERE TO EAT | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Bamfield’s Music By The Sea festival

There are not, I don’t think, enough words to describe the enchanting Music By The Sea concert series held each July in the tiny west coast hamlet of Bamfield. ‘Superlative’ comes to mind, as do ‘magical’, ‘marvellous’, ‘exquisite’, ‘awe-inspiring’, ‘spectacular’, … Continue reading

Posted in EVENTS, KID FRIENDLY, WEST COAST | Tagged , , | Leave a comment