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Sheri Radford

SeaWheeze: Sea, Sun, Sweat & Smiles

By SHERI RADFORD

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon's half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Runners enjoy the seawall during the SeaWheeze, Lululemon’s half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

One of the world’s prettiest half marathons, the SeaWheeze winds around spectacular downtown scenery such as the seawall and Stanley Park, encouraging runners to forget about setting a new personal best and instead snap plenty of photos. Along the route, over-the-top entertainers—including stilt walkers, TheatreSports improvisers and yogis on paddle boards—also encourage dawdling. Too bad all 10,015 spots in this year’s race sold out in under an hour. But there are still ways to get in on the weekend’s fun.

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Sunset yoga practice in Stanley Park after SeaWheeze half marathon. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

All are welcome at the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. First Eoin Finn leads a sunset yoga practice, perfect for stretching out tired muscles after the morning’s long run, then The Colourist and headliner Capital Cities fill the park with their pop sounds.

Limited edition athletic gear from Lululemon

Tracker-Short

Any event organized by Lululemon isn’t complete without apparel. The day before and the day of the race, a pop-up store featuring exclusive SeaWheeze clothing and accessories takes over the Vancouver Convention Centre. Lengthy line-ups don’t deter diehard shoppers, who scoop up the limited-edition tees, tanks, shorts, crops and more, none of which can be purchased in any other stores or online.

It’s a weekend of great workouts—whether for bodies or credit cards (or both) is up to you.

The SeaWheeze and Sunset Festival take place Aug. 23. The pop-up store is open Aug. 22 and 23.  Register for next year’s SeaWheeze in Jan. 2015. 

Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tours

By SHERI RADFORD

Tour attendees sample food at Urban Fare

Tour attendees sample food at Urban Fare

Foodies know that the best way to experience a new city is by wining and dining, but there are only so many restaurants a solo eater can try each day. The solution? Sign up for the Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour with Vancouver Foodie Tours and visit five of the city’s top destinations in just three hours. Stops such as Kirin and Urban Fare (pictured) guarantee that rumbly tummies quickly turn into satisfied bellies. Each tour ends with sweet treats at Bella Gelateria; the first delicious bite demonstrates why the celebrated gelato shop is the second busiest in the world. Let the eating begin!

Outdoor Essentials

By SHERI RADFORD

Whether your warm-weather destination is a beach, cabin or tent—or just the backyard—these handy items should improve your trip

Picnic basket and blanket from Poppytalk

Basket & Throw

Vancouver’s Jan Halvarson, who founded the popular design blog Poppytalk, teamed up with Target to create a line of “glamping” items such as a picnic basket and a camping throw with a useful carrier handle.

 

Playing cards by The Mountaineers Books

Playing Cards

Play your favourite card game and learn wilderness safety skills at the same time. The Don’t Get Lost Out There! Deck gives practical info on orienting a map, GPS usage, how to avoid getting lost, and more. At local bookstores.

 

Fabric checkerboard from Poppytalk, perfect for travel

Checkers

Banish boredom with this adorable fabric checkerboard, which includes game pieces and a cute travel bag, from Poppytalk for Target. Lightweight, colourful and quiet, it’s the perfect game for kids and adults alike.

 

Dermalogica sun protection line can be found at Spruce Body Lab

Sun Protection

For fun in the sun without fear of sunburn, slather on Protection Sport from Dermalogica. Non-greasy and water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, it’s ideal for extreme sport enthusiasts. At Spruce Body Lab.

 

Find a striped HBC hammock at The Bay

Hammock

Laze away the long hot days of summer in a hammock from The Bay. It comes in the eternally popular HBC multi-stripe pattern also found on swim trunks, beach towels, tote bags, deck chairs, Swiss Army Knives and more.

 

Zap Away bug repellant products from Escents Aromatherapy

Bug Spray

Repel pesky mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies with Zap Away spray from local company Escents. Made from lemongrass and lavender essential oils, the spray smells wonderfully fresh and is free from DEET and other harsh chemicals.

The PNE by the Numbers

By SHERI RADFORD

Whether you go for just one day of the Fair at the Pacific National Exhibition or all 15 days, it adds up to a memorable experience

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE and Tourism Vancouver)

The Wave Swinger is a favourite for everyone at the Pacific National Exhibition. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

1910 - year of the first PNE

2,000 – times per day a PNE Prize Home ticket seller says, “Win a house, win a car!”

2,000 – calories in the Vortex Burger from Gourmet Burgers

860 - pounds of food consumed by the 45 Superdogs*

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

Full house at the Superdogs show at the PNE. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

74 - years that local big-band leader Dal Richards has performed at the PNE

712,049 - visitors*

200,000 - people saw the Superdogs show*

250,000 - stuffed animal prizes won at the games*

22 - dumpster loads of dung taken away from the livestock barns*

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

The Hellevator and AtmosFEAR, two of the tallest rides at Playland. (Photo: Courtesy of the PNE/Tourism Vancouver)

3,750 - deep-fried Mars bars sold*

81 - age of the oldest person to ride the AtmosFEAR*

2,000,000 - Those Little Donuts sold*

 

*During 2013 Fair at the PNE

Tasty Tomes

By SHERI RADFORD

An appetizing trio of books will whet your appetite for dining adventures. Find all three at local bookstores
StreetEats_VancouverCATStreetEats Vancouver by Mijune Pak, edited by Suresh Doss ($16.95): In this comprehensive new book, Mijune Pak (aka Follow Me Foodie) dishes up all the details on the city’s burgeoning street-food scene, including local favourites Japadog and Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck.

StreetFoodJournal

The Street Food Journal: An A–Z by Sophia Augusta ($16.95): Foodies can keep track of all the street eats they sample, from the ordinary (Italian ice cream, American hot dogs) to the unusual (starfish on sticks in China, “red red” stew in Ghana), in this beautifully illustrated notebook and sketchpad.

Foodspotting-Field-GuideThe Foodspotting Field Guide edited by April V. Walters ($15.95): This guided journal from Foodspotting—an online community of eager foodies who share where to find specific dishes in cities around the world—includes photographs and details on 75 must-try dishes.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

By SHERI RADFORD

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have still got it.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers continue to rock the stage nearly 40 years after the group formed.

“The Waiting.” “You Got Lucky.” “Learning to Fly.” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers started making hit songs in the 1970s, and they haven’t slowed down a bit since then. See them live, along with opener Steve Winwood, Aug. 14 at Rogers Arena. And remember, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

Red Rock Diner Brings the ’50s Back

By SHERI RADFORD

The 1950s come back to life with Red Rock Diner. (Photo: David Cooper)

The 1950s come back to life with Red Rock Diner. (Photo: David Cooper)

Local legend Red Robinson was just 16 when he began his career as a DJ at radio station CJOR, playing hits by the likes of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. Inspired by Robinson’s early days, Red Rock Diner follows the young DJ and five singing, dancing teenagers against a toe-tapping backdrop of 1957 hit music, everything from “Diana” to “Great Balls of Fire.” See the lively musical until Aug. 23 at the Granville Island Stage.

Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit

By SHERI RADFORD

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, which opened in 1959, sits in seaside Vanier Park

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, which opened in 1959, sits in seaside Vanier Park

To November 2

Best known for displaying model ships, maritime art and the RCMP vessel St. Roch, the Vancouver Maritime Museum presents a more revealing exhibition this summer: Babes & Bathers: History of the Swimsuit. Running the gamut from modest to outrageous, the swimming costumes and teeny-weeny bikinis on display show the evolution of Vancouver’s seaside fashions from 1890 to 1980. And they just might inspire you to don a one-piece, tankini or Speedo and hit the local beaches.

The Sky’s the Limit

By SHERI RADFORD

Thrill-seeker takes in the ariel sights with Whistler Skydiving

Thrill-seeker takes in the ariel sights with Whistler Skydiving

The six most thrilling minutes of your life, followed by years of bragging rights: that’s what’s on offer at Whistler Skydiving. No special skills are required, since jumps are done in tandem, meaning that you’re harnessed to an instructor the whole way down. Simply sit back and enjoy all 3,200 m (10,500 ft) of the dive. The spectacular views are just part of the package.

Best of the Fests

By SHERI RADFORD

Thousands gather to enjoy top musical acts at the Squamish Valley Music Festival

Thousands gather to enjoy top musical acts at the Squamish Valley Music Festival

Spectacular scenery, world-class camping and a musical line-up of more than 70 performers, including Eminem, Bruno Mars and Canada’s own Arcade Fire. Think it’s too good to be true? Think again. The Squamish Valley Music Festival (Aug. 8 to 10) always attracts an astounding list of both international and local talent, and this year is shaping up to be bigger than ever, with Arctic Monkeys, Tokyo Police Club, Foster the People and more.

Happy BC Day!

By SHERI RADFORD

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Fireworks light up English Bay at the Honda Celebration of Lights. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

August 2 to 4

As the temperature rises, we present our top 10 ways to celebrate the BC Day long weekend.

1. Oohing and aahing as the Honda Celebration of Light (Aug. 2) fireworks illuminate city skies.

2. Practising our savasana and downward-facing dog with world-renowned yogis—and listening to Hannah, Matthew Schoening and The Soul Rebels—at the Wanderlust Festival (to Aug. 4) in nearby Whistler.

3. Making a splash at local beaches, pools and water parks.

4. Watching live theatre outside at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (to Sep. 20) and Theatre Under the Stars (to Aug. 23).

Folks enjoy the variety of food truck fare at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

Find a variety of bites at the Food Cart Fest. (Photo: KK Law)

5. Pleasing our palates at the Food Cart Fest, every Sunday.

6. Celebrating gay pride at the Vancouver Pride Parade (Aug. 3) and Queer Arts Festival (to Aug. 9).

7. Enjoying food, family activities, music, visual arts and more at the Powell Street Festival (Aug. 1 to 3) and Harmony Arts Festival (Aug. 1 to 10).

8. Taking in the Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to Sep. 1).

9. Screaming with delight/terror on all the rides at Playland (to Sep. 21).

10. Picking up local produce and handmade crafts at farmers’ markets around the city.

What a Doll: Maplelea Girl

By SHERI RADFORD

Maplelea dolls offer an educational playtime experience.

The Alexi doll hails from Toronto, Ontario, and helps kids learn about Canada

Can a toy teach kids about Canada’s culture, history and geography? This doll can. Each Maplelea Girl comes dressed in clothing appropriate to her region, such as the jeans and t-shirt for Alexi’s Toronto, Ontario (pictured); cozy turtleneck and hiking boots for Taryn’s Banff, Alberta; and vest and kamiik (traditional Inuit footwear) for Saila’s Nunavut. Accompanying each soft, huggable, 46-cm (18-in) Maplelea Girl is a journal overflowing with fascinating photos and tidbits about the doll’s hometown, with room for kids to add their own thoughts and doodles. Who says learning can’t be fun? Order online at www.maplelea.com.