Frolic In The Flowers At The Abbotsford Tulip Festival

Abbotsford Tulip Festival | Photo: Bianca Bujan

Abbotsford Tulip Festival | Photo: Bianca Bujan

Nothing says Spring like strolling through rainbow-coloured rows upon rows of perfectly-pruned perennials, and the Abbotsford Tulip Festival is the perfect spot to do just that.

No longer a drive-through destination, Abbotsford has grown and flourished into a bustling community of its own, worth the hour-long drive from downtown Vancouver to experience the plentiful perks that the Fraser Valley town has to offer. Here’s how to have the perfect Spring day, just an hour away.

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Frolic In The Flowers At The Abbotsford Tulip Festival

Cranberry Festival turns Fort Langley red on Thanksgiving weekend

Fort Langley on Facebook | Dennis Ducklow, Double Exposure photo

Fort Langley on Facebook | Dennis Ducklow, Double Exposure photo

Like turkey and pumpkin pie, cranberries are a key part of Thanksgiving dinner. Fields of them grow just outside of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley, and this Saturday (October 10), they’re ripe for celebration.

That’s the date of the 20th annual Cranberry Festival, on which over 50,000 people descend on the quaint town of Fort Langley to honour the red berries.

In addition to fresh berries for sale, a pancake breakfast, and plenty of local shopping, there will be boat races and fun with floating pumpkins.

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Cranberry Festival turns Fort Langley red on Thanksgiving weekend

Eat Local Think Global Vancouver: 5 Foodie Resolutions for 2014

Dungeness Crab: in season now! Photo credit: Andree Lau

Dungeness Crab: in season now! Photo credit: Andree Lau

January is here and with it is a time for reflection and resolution. Last year I resolved to do a lot of budget-friendly yoga. This year I plan to focus on building my brain and making food choices that will not only feed my growing little family, but also tread lightly on the planet.

Vancouver is a locavore hotspot. Our city is the birthplace of the 100-mile diet phenomenon. Chefs from restaurants like Bishops, Forage, Raincity Grill and Campagnolo regularly change their menus to match the seasons and embrace vendors and suppliers who source local and organic food.

This year I looked for resolution inspiration from two local foodies who are passionate about ‘eating local and thinking global.’ Below you’ll find new year’s resolutions ideas from Lindsay Coulter, David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green, and Katharine Manson of the Chef’s Table Society and Hastings North Business Improvement Association. Their food and drink resolutions inspired me to share my own commitments to becoming a better locavore.

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Eat Local Think Global Vancouver: 5 Foodie Resolutions for 2014

Foodies Unite: Eat! Fraser Valley, Sept. 17-19

Photo: www.eat-fraservalley.com

Eat! Fraser Valley, the annual food expo that brings together chefs and restaurants, breweries and wineries and lots of local retailers, comes to Abbotsford this weekend, Sept. 17-19.  This is the eighth installment of the highly successful Eat! event, and it now ranks as the largest consumer food, beverage and cooking festival in Metro Vancouver.

This year’s festival is in the cavernous Tradex exhibition centre in Abbotsford, about a 50-minute ride from Vancouver along Highway 1.   Tickets are $10 if you buy online, $12 at the door.  Food samples inside are a bargain at $1-$3 each.

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Foodies Unite: Eat! Fraser Valley, Sept. 17-19

Top 5 Vancouver Day Trips

Golden Ears Provincial Park. Photo: Remy Scalza

As much as Vancouver has to offer – the beaches, the mountains, the downtown restaurant scene – sometimes you just have to get away from the city for a day.   With the weather finally heating up, now’s the time to break out the cooler and barbecue, load up the car and head for the hills.  But where to go?

Do you have a favorite Vancouver day trip?  A getaway that’s relatively close to the city but far enough away to offer a breath of fresh air and some new scenery?  Please share your favorite day trip destination by leaving a comment below.

To get things started, I’ll offer my Top 5 Vancouver Day trips.   All of these ideas are within a 90-minute drive of downtown, and they all offer a nice change of pace from city living.

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Top 5 Vancouver Day Trips