Monday, April 16, 2012

Sig’s Birthday Dinner

On Saturday our friends Helen & Sig joined us for dinner.  It was Sigs birthday and Helen had arranged to visit us as a surprise to her.

Sig with the table set.


Sig & Helen have become devout fans of the British TV series Downton Abbey which we had recently discovered on this side of the pond and encouraged them to watch hoping they would like it too.  Having downloaded and watched Seasons 1 & 2 we just had the 2-hour Christmas Special from December 2011 which none of us had yet seen, so tonight we planned to watch that too, after dinner.

We didn’t insist everybody dress in Edwardian costume for dinner, although we did insist on drinking bubbly out of saucers in the spirit of a bygone era !


Sig is a trained photographer although she didn’t bring her camera (as she didn’t know she was coming over for dinner !).  She did however steal our cheap point-and-shoot camera and got snappy while dinner was being prepared.

David’s creation for the appetiser was themed on a de-constructed california roll – a tasty tower comprising a base of sticky sushi rice, a yummy gooey layer of mixed avocado, yellow pepper and red onion, a layer of smoked salmon all topped with delicious prawns in a rose-marie type mayonnaise. 

We enjoyed the ‘california tower’ with the rest of the Oyster Bay sparkling wine.  The Burrowing Owl seen in the background here is waiting for our main course and was one we brought back from our wine-tasting trip to the Okanagan last September.


David and I


Sig was impressed with David’s patriotic chefs apron.


Mojo is delighted to have his best friend on ‘neighbourhood watch’ duty with him.


The main course is coming together.


Serving up.



Dinner !.  As always David served up a veritable feast of beef tenderloin with a mustard crust, asparagus and smashed new potatoes with kalamata olives and arugula (thanks Mum & Dad, this was your recipe being put to good use !).


Later we enjoy getting up to date with the rest of the world on the Downton Abbey series with a pecan tart desert. Not a great photo due to the flash…..but we had consumed a quantity of good red wine by this point so quality control had left for the evening !


In all a really fun evening and thanks Sig for running around taking photos so we have a blog entry to write !

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two Easter Weekend Walks

This weekend it felt like the coastal region of British Columbia finally burst out of winter hibernation.  A full-on four-day weekend of warm sunny weather.

Several previous weeks of either rain or busy work schedules meant we were really keen to get out for a walk with the camera.

On Sunday we revisited Alice Lake Provincial Park in Squamish to do the Four Lake Trail. The park re-opened officially at the beginning of April and there were a few hardy campers already established but for the most part the park was quite quiet, particularly given it was a sunny weekend.

Adjacent to the parking lot and trail head a creek rushes past, Mojo has a quick drink.


The trail winds up and through the forest, criss-crossing the creek several times.



Soon we reach the first of the three dog-friendly lakes the trail passes, this one called Edith Lake.


There’s plenty of running around and fetching sticks.


The trails were generally very quiet.


Next we reach our favourite spot of the park, Fawn Lake. A beautiful peaceful lake in the far corner of the park. Even on this sunny Easter Sunday we have the lake to ourselves.



Mojo tirelessly swims back and forth across the lake fetching sticks.

After a good swim we continue along the trails through the forest, eventually reaching the Cheekye River.


Video of the Cheekye River as it flows along the Northern edge of the park.

After another paddle here we continue along the Four Lakes Trail which takes us past areas of huge stumps, a sign of the amazing old growth forest that once stood here.


Finally we reach the third and final dog-friendly lake, Stump Lake.



On Easter Monday we stayed local to home but completed the longer Lynn Loop route at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

Views of Lynn Creek as we set off from the riverside trail.



Mojo on the trail.  The easier trails closest to the parking lot were very busy on this warm, sunny holiday but a little further into the park and the trails were much quieter.



Plenty of watering holes.


Despite the late teens temperature, there are still pockets of snow to cool the paws of this mucky pup.


We reach our furthest point, Third Debris Chute where there are good views of the local hills and Lynn Creek running through the valley.




Having walked along the easier, flatter riverside trail we return on the longer, more difficult Lynn Loop trail which takes us up through the forest.  The trail is much smaller and considerably less used than the riverside route.


The steepest sections are made a little easier with rustic log steps.


We saw numerous birds who have also come out of winter hiding, as well as this little chipmunk who was watching Mojo’s every move.


No new walks this weekend but it was great to just get out again and enjoy the good weather.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Great idea….Westjet

Love this new concept from Canadian airline Westjet……..of course there’s just a chance it was an April Fool……but we like the idea anyway.