Vacationing Canadian-style

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September 10th 2007
Published: September 22nd 2007
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Water source near Whistler Water source near Whistler Water source near Whistler

I think its Shannon Falls..
For many Canadians living in landlocked areas and not wanting to fly to foreign destinations, the vacation options are usually narrowed down into these three catagories:

A. Flocking to nearest water source. Usually this is a murky algae-infested lake or pebbled ocean beach with the tide a kilometre out while youngsters bring out their bright yellow sand shovels and buckets.
Canadians definitely enjoy their time on the beach Canadian style. Forget the parasols and suntanning lawn chaises. Its fold up lawn chairs with built in beer can holders all the way. It is slightly odd to see a bunch of people sitting up right in a chair with feet propped up on the 40L cooler (with rugged wheels for easier dragging). The upright suntanning position (as dictated by the chairs they bring to the beach) may result in the over-crispy, wrinkled and lobster-shaded cleavage that some Canadian women are fond of generously exposing in public.

A variation of this option is flocking to any area with some sort of pooling water AND grove of trees. Combine the two and you essentially have car camping. Add the coleman stove, deluxe air mattress and you're close to roughing it in the great outdoors. Note: For a more authentic car camping experience, choose an area with bear-proof garbage cans. You can have the close encounter of the wild outdoors... from the comfort of inside your locked car.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy car camping thoroughly but there is something puzzling about those that bring their RVs complete with satellite television... especially those large RVs inappropriately named "the Bandit", "The Cougar" or "the Prowler". I'm a bit doubtful that RVs of those sizes could be stealthy and prowl even on their best days...

B. Nearest cross-border foray to an outlet mall. For some reason, Canadians are quite eager to dole out money on items and brands unavailable to them in their native lands or goods that ARE available but are 30-40% cheaper at an outlet mall in the states. Canadians may be observed in these outlet stores exclaiming, "Man, this is cheeeeap!" as they rush forward to buy such item in mass quantities to last them until the next time they are in this outlet environment.

C. Visiting relatives. The slogan should be "same time, next year.... every year".
As many are looking to cut costs, visiting relatives in a neighbouring province or country is a relatively easy solution especially for those with children. These vacations usually entail endless lunches and dinners. If ethnic, this might entail these meals exclusively at designated ethnic eateries. For others, this may be an opportunity to sample the dining variety at such establishments as Joey's, Ricky's, Smitty's, Moxie's or Applebee's. Sadly, the entertainment during these vacations may be limited to the typical local tourist entrapments as waterparks, theme parks or amusement centres.

Random facts:
Lake Osoyoos may be Canada's warmest lake. The area is considered desert like according to how much rainfall they get a year (not a lot apparantly).

The town of Hope was where Rambo was filmed and they're quite proud of that fact despite the movie being 25 years old.

Burlington, Washington is quite the outlet mall destination for many Canadians. For those fashion-inclined, the Coach store is quite the attraction for those looking to parade around last season's line in the name of sporting Coach versus inferior labels.

Richmond, British Columbia is supposed to have inhabitants with the greatest life expectancy according to Stats Canada. Could it have something to do with the
More waterMore waterMore water

Hope, BC
plentiful amounts of gailan or bok choy available at many of the restaurants there?

Additional photos below
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22nd September 2007

home sweet home
Now you are in lands I am intimately familiar with. True to your writings, I go to BC a lot. Close, cheap and beautiful. Having gone there for over 20 vacations, I am still not tired of it. That's because there are dozens of spots I haven't seen: ie. the Queen Charlotte Islands,and many more I want to return to: kayaking the Similkameen River, Downhill mountain biking in Whistler, or climbing at Squamish Chief...we are well blessed with these gorgeous lands in our country.
22nd September 2007

Canada: The land of clean water and trees
Funny that because we have clean water and trees, we use and enjoy our outdoors.
22nd September 2007

clean water
To respond to the comment of clean water...As a fellow Canadian I am proud of the fact that we are known for our clean water and trees. I too, attempt to explore the outdoors off the beaten path. My observations are merely of those who do get outside by flocking to the nearest lake (Have you seen the water quality in some of the lakes in Alberta?... some not so good); approach the outdoors from the safety of their city-based SUV vehicle; consider rugged hiking to be walking on paved paths.

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