West Coast Awesomeness!

We love the West Coast and really enjoyed visiting all of the great tourist sites…but nothing is better than staying with locals who are also very dear friends.

About 20 years ago, I went to the University of Ottawa with one of my highschool friends Jenn Holley. While living in Thompson residence, she met another Torontonian, Mark. After graduation, the couple decided to go to Vancouver for a couple of years and enjoy the West Coast lifestyle. They liked it so much – they decided to stay and raise a beautiful family: Thomson 12 and Owen 11.

Jenn (top right), Thomson, Mark (middle) and Owen Roxborough - what a family!

Jenn (top right), Thomson, Mark (middle) and Owen Roxborough – what a family!

While we were in Vancouver/Whistler, we stayed with them in their gorgeous house and had a great time catching up and getting to know each other’s families. The last time we had seen each other was 15 years ago – before either of us had kids – so this visit was very different from our previous one!

Like us, the Roxborough family is a busy one – with lots of extra curricular activities and the last week of school! Thomson graduated from grade 7, (BC kids go from K-7 and 8-12), while Owen was in his lacrosse playoffs. The kids played together as much as they could, including water balloon fights on the first day of summer vacation, tether ball tournaments, capture the flag and card games galore. It was a lot of fun for everyone!

Being locals, they also knew the places for us to go that were extra special. One day, we went kayaking at Deep Cove which leads into a gorgeous fjord/inlet called Indian Arm. We paddled for an afternoon in the brilliant sunshine and saw some gorgeous scenery. A seal even popped by our boats along the way!

Afterwards, we went hiking on a trail that brought us up over the Cove and we were able to see the beautiful scenery from a different view!

It was only because of Jenn and Mark, that we found out about Honey’s Donuts. There appears to be a tradition that anyone who does the Baden Powell hike should have Honey’s donuts afterwards…..and believe me – they didn’t disappoint anyone in our group!

Honey Donuts are the best!

Honey Donuts are the best!

We also enjoyed visited the suspension bridge and eco centre at Lynn Canyon Park. It was neat to cross the bridge, but even more exciting to watch some daredevils jump from the rocks into the water as well as use the rocks as a natural waterslide.

Stanley Park, was another favourite where we wandered around and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. The totem section was amazing and now that Zoe is an expert on reading totem poles, she was able to let us know what they were all about.

Stanley Park Totems

Stanley Park Totems

The statue of the Lady in a Wetsuit was also neat because someone put a Women’s Canadian Soccer shirt on her. Too bad it didn’t help our ladies.

Lady in Wetsuit - Go Canada Go!

Lady in Wetsuit – Go Canada Go!

We also discovered another cool online scavenger hunt for Vancouver and most of the larger US cities. The questions pop up on your Smart device and you get points for correct answers as well as bonus questions. It’s called Urban Adventure Quest and it was a lot of fun!   In fact, we are number one on the Leader board…for the moment that is:)

Through the game, we explored the city at an even deeper level as we looked for clues and answered riddles to reach our new destinations. The game brought us to the Vancouver library that was built to resemble the Coliseum in Rome. We also had to discover secret words in the Cenotaph, solve word puzzles in China Town, take the Seabus to the North Shore, and so much more!


Our time in Vancouver and Whistler was an amazing one….a beautiful city with beautiful friends. We look forward to visiting them again in the very near future….and doing some backwoods camping adventures together! No bears though please!

11 thoughts on “West Coast Awesomeness!”

  1. Harriet Johnston says:

    So nice to see Jenn & Mark and their family – everyone looks great – and very happy. It is great you had some time with them on your journey.

    1. Katina says:

      HI Harriet,
      It was wonderful to see Jenn, Mark and their family after so long….I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since our days at Ottawa U!! We almost decided to go to Calgary to visit you all but instead we headed South to LA! But we look forward to seeing you, Phil and the kids at Christmas this year!! Please make sure to visit when you come to TO!!!

      Cheers Roomie,

  2. Terry Gelinas says:

    Awesome – Great pics. I remember taking a local city bus to Lynn Canyon. It’s a 2nd growth forest – so worthwhile to see. Of course, Stanley Park is wonderful, and the jogging is great.

    1. Katina says:

      Hi Terry,

      There are so many gorgeous places to see in Vancouver…it’s so wonderful to be able to be outside and enjoy all the different places…I can see myself living there, if I can Oliver to move West:)


  3. Sandra Campbell says:

    Thanks for the lovely pictures. Now I know why my friend’s daughter never returned to Toronto.

    1. Katina says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Yes – I can see why too…it is so beautiful out there. I’m surprised Jason didn’t stay out there too! Maybe we should all consider moving West:)


  4. Oma says:

    Hi, Katina, for us it’s special to see Vancouver through your eyes, do all the interesting activities and visit different places. It’s wonderful that you were able to get together with your friends and catch up on all that has happened during the past 15 years, that’s a long time, and it was great for the kids to meet and get to know each other a bit. The photos are great, as always. Love to see all your smiling faces. Such a beautiful place to live, what a amazing country we all live in. Thanks for sharing. Lots of hugs

    1. Katina says:

      Hi Oma,

      It was wonderful to catch up with old friends…lucky for us technology helps us keep in touch. But there is nothing like seeing people face to face – especially in such a beautiful setting.


  5. Baba says:

    Hi Kat,
    This certainly is a lovely commentary with very beautiful photos! It is so wonderful to touch base with your friends and their family! Glad you had this opportunity to do this.
    The view of all the scenery is magnificent! Thanks for sharing. Love, Mom

    1. Katina says:

      Hi Mom,

      Vancouver is gorgeous – you really need to go out West and see this beautiful country of ours!


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