Vancouver,  the city where you can enjoy snow skiing, ocean sailing and a round of golf in one day!

If you live the affluent way of life here on the west coast it looks like this:  you start your day with a round of golf, hop into your yacht or sailing boat and end the day with night skiing on one of the local mountains, followed by dinner in a five star restaurant.

If you live an active life on a shoestring budget, it looks like this:

A trail run in the morning (free), 50 laps at the local pool ($4.78), a husband who takes you on a date night skiing on Grouse Mt.(free again) and a dinner at Mc Donalds ($9,98 for two, with discount card).

During this winter season our children spent more time on their boards than we have. We figured it’s about time we are going on a date night, skiing. Our boys are as happy being home alone, enjoying their freedom as we are enjoying ours. All they need is a pre-cooked dinner and a curfew (yes, I wish), all we need is a car and our gear.

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The folks at Mt. Seymour and Cypress have all discounted their lift passes,- but no, Grouse holds on to his normal, pricey self. Bugger, but hey, they are the only ones still open during the week and for night skiing. Plus, they have a gondola which carries you to the top of the mountain.

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Two weeks before the end of the season (April 28), they have three lifts running and promise 26 runs. They were right about the lifts, but I am not sure about the 26 runs. Somewhere between run 13 and 14 we lost count.

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What I always suspected was confirmed yesterday: I am a ‘perfect – conditions’-  kinda-skier. A fine layer of freshly snowed powder will do it for me nicely. Everything else is just torture. Or I am getting too old for that stuff –

Holy Moly, we had 16 degrees during the day. When we started our first run at 6pm the snow had melted and hardened- yeeks! Very icy, hard to ski on and painfull if gravity wins.

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Like Mt. Baker, hardly anybody else was on the slopes; from the top to the bottom, free runs, burn, baby burn!

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In my opinion, skiing up here is not a priority, you come her to enjoy the views- which are spectacular, breathtaking and magnifique! On a clear day you can see all the way across to Vancouver Island. When you ski down to the bottom, it feels like you are heading straight into the city, literally.

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This is what we moved here for, to live the fabulous outdoors – shoestring budget or not! It can be done!





A new year is about to start. Will it become a year to start a new life in a new country? If your goal is to immigrate to Canada, if your intention is to make a fresh, extra-ordinary start here in British Columbia and you want  to make this transition as smooth as possible, please take a minute to read through this compilation of character traits – you never know, it might helpI If you don’t want to immigrate, no harm in reading further either.

The successful candidate

– Must be loaded in order to participate in the great outdoors (e.g. skiing in winter, zip-lining, golfing or sailing in summer).

Born to board

– Should be a lover and admirer of casual wildlife found in their own backyard. We are talking bears, cougars, squirrels or deer. Needless to say, this doesn’t apply to you folks in downtown Vancouver.

– A Master’s degree in household economics and accountancy is required. Household and school excursion bills arrive on a regular, irregular basis. You need to stay on top of the situation and pay them on a regular, irregular basis.

– Can be deaf, or at least display a high threshold for beeping household appliances. I swear to you, every household item in our house beeps, rings or makes noise in one way or another. It beeps to let me know it’s time to get up, to let me know the coffee is ready, the laundry is done or dry, the oven has reached its temperature or the microwave popcorn is ready. One word of warning, stay away from the singing egg timer! You will never hear the end of it! This egg starts singing after 5 minutes in boiling water and doesn’t stop- even after you take it out of the water!

–  Can have a short attention span and a weak bladder when it comes to watching tv or going to the movies!  Leave it to program makers to interrupt any nail biting scenes to air commercials to tempt, educate, scare and annoy you! But of course, this is the perfect opportunity to hit the washroom (WC, toilet).

I have the sneaky suspicion movie theatres aren’t worried about our bladder. All they care about is how much popcorn and coke they can sell to us during a break in an 80 minute long movie!  I might be wrong, just saying…

– Needs to redefine the European definition of cosy (England), gemuetlich (Germany) or gezellig (.Holland). Here, a cosy pub is situated within a purpose built building, displays an open fire safely tucked behind a glass wall and has several tv screens(?) running! (Exceptions are the rule)

– Should know exactly what one needs and hold a tight grip on the wallet. Temptation is all around us: “Deal of the week, Specials of the day, Groups of 4 Deal, January clearance sale, pre-sale, end-of-line-sale, liquidation sale, stock clearance sale, pre-Christmas sale, Boxing Day sale, Boxing week sale, summer sale, midweek sale, pre-Easter bargain, Halloween specials…”

On the other hand, it is your choice to be part of the consumer driven society or not!

– Doesn’t necessarily need to speak fluent English. Mandarin or Punjabi will do just fine!

If you posses any of these characteristics, I highly recommend you pack your bags and come on over If you don’t,  pack your bags.anyway. Regardless of what you just read and how it sounds like, our whole family loves it here in Beautiful British Columbia and we are looking forward to our next, extra-ordinary chapter her.

Whoever you are, wherever you might be, – whatever your decisions will be for the NEW YEAR, I wish you a HEALTHY, adventurous and prosperous 2013!


I am looking forward to connect to many more of you wonderful blogging and reading individuals. Warm wishes,