Welcome to my 2014 Roundup of Summer Travel — a fun rundown of my favourite adventures from the last few months!
In This Travel Article You Will Discover:
- Why I love Newfoundland
- The best Seattle restaurants
- How to do California right
It is raining in Vancouver, British Columbia. Really raining. That means it’s winter—fall, specifically, but let’s be honest. It’s winter.
Next week, I leave for Malaysia. Soon after, my winter-season-pass at Sea to Sky Gondola kicks off. My wife and I will be doing some storm-watching in Tofino in December too. And it looks like I’ll be in Mexico twice in early 2015. That mean’s it’s winter travel season for sure.
So, let’s look back at an awesome summer of travel. This is my highlight reel:
In June, I kicked-off summer on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. I hadn’t been to this Maritime province before. It was awesome. We surfed with one of Canada’s top pros at Lawrencetown Beach, kayaked with a local legend (outspoken Scott Cunningham) and even did some hands-on blacksmithing at Sherbrooke Village. And lobster. So much lobster.
The sunny shores of Central California called to us next. Erin and I flew into San Francisco, drank wine, then drank some more wine in Napa Valley, and hit up a bunch of wineries along the Central Coast en route to L.A. We also went kayaking and did some other stuff I guess. But wine. So much wine.
I was barely back a few days before I was again driving through ‘Merica — this time to the unbearably hip city of Portland. This is a ‘burg of craft beer, live music, local foods and hipster trends that will already be uncool by the time you hear about them. It’s a great Dude’s Getaway — a couple of buddies and I try to do an annual roadtrip. (We pull it off every couple of years.)
Speaking of hipsters, about a month later I was in Brooklyn. Well, Manhattan, but I walked the Brooklyn Bridge to see the birthplace of the scene. Erin and love NYC. We’ve been twice, and following each time we’ve seriously considered moving there. The food, the culture, the architecture and the pulsing energy are intoxicating. But shortly thereafter, we always decide to keep an idealized view of Manhattan rather than make it our home. This usually has a lot to do with discovering the reality of rent in NYC.
I went straight from NY to Salt Lake City for the biannual Outdoor Retailer show. It’s a gathering of the world’s outdoor brands: The North Face, Canada Goose, Columbia… it’s a great place to connect, but SLC is a desperately uncultured city. Utah, I love. Salt Lake, not a fan.
Less than two weeks later, I was back at YVR to board a flight to Winnipeg for the annual GoMedia Marketplace. This is another awesome event, where media from around the world connect with reps from Canadian tourism regions. I get a lot of story ideas here, plus, I reconnect with friends. As part of the package, I even spent a day canoeing past wild rice paddies on the Pinawa River, about 90 minutes east of The ‘Peg. Great day. And later, a polar bear stood on my head. (Sort of.)
I was off to Newfoundland & Labrador straight from Peg City — another province I had yet to visit. (Last one is New Brunswick!) Rather than touring classic St. John’s and Gros Morne, I spent the week in Central Newfoundland, checking out the rural areas around Burlington. It was packaged alongside The Gathering, a food and music event organized by Burlington-born comedian/actor Shaun Majumder. Sam Roberts headlined. The head chef from New York’s Waldorf Astoria made us lunch (yes, a Waldorf salad) on the shores a secluded bay. I couldn’t always understand what they were saying, but I really liked everybody I met in Newfoundland. It’s a gem of a place. Can’t wait to go back.
Three days later, I was once again driving across the U.S. border, this time to another favourite weekend getaway of ours, Seattle. Good restaurants were on our agenda. We chowed at Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grill in West Seattle the first night. Fantastic fish and the best view in the city. The next night, we dined at Stoneburner Restaurant, in my favourite neighbourhood: Ballard. Old Ballard is character incarnate — microbrews, knick-knack shops, farmer’s markets and awesome eateries everywhere. At Stoneburner, in the Hotel Ballard, we started our meal with craft charcuterie (my new favourite word) and I followed that up with the brick-pressed chicken. And a pint of pitch-dark dunkelweiss. So good.
Aside from the occasional trip to Vancouver Island and the usual outdoors/motorcycle stuff, I have stayed put in Van City for two months. Malaysia, next week, is looking really good.