Last year I was introduced to ZipCar during National Digital Media Day and I’ve enjoyed my casual car options ever since.
This summer ZipCar has taken 15 participants from each of their operating cities in North America and challenged them to a “Low Car Diet”. The Low-Car Dieters vowed to walk, bike, skate and Zip but not drive their personal car for one month. August 13th is their 30th day without using their own vehicle and so ZipCar is celebrating with a party at Yaggers downtown (for Vancouverites). You can read blog posts by all participants in every city online as well.
ZipCar is basically a short-term car rental service where you have a membership, book cars (from 1 hour to all day) and pick up/drop off at any of the dozens of parking stalls in your area where they reside. It’s a great system with awesome key-less technology and for a couple like us who do not own a car but sometimes find ourselves in situations where having a trunk or a set of wheels would be really handy, it’s ideal.
The Low Car Diet finale party will take place at Yaggers on Pender Street from 7:00-9:00pm on Thursday August 13th. All ZipCard holders and their friends will get a complimentary drink courtesy of Yaggers, and there will be appetizers served as well. They will also be running their “Refer A Friend” offer ($50 driving credit for each of you, after they sign up for ZipCar for $30).
With an expanded fleet of hybrids available as ZipCars and a two-way text alert system, it might be a good time to give it a try.
Today I crossed the Capilano Suspension Bridge for the first time in my life. When I was growing up in the area we never really did the “tourist in your hometown” thing especially when it came to downtown or North Shore attractions. Sure we explored beaches, parks, and forest trails in the Valley (and I wouldn’t change a thing) although I have always been curious about these points of interest that are so heavily marketed to the visitor-centric crowd. Truth is, they’re pretty much just as fun for locals, if not more so if you head out with the right crowd.
I assembled the best team possible to explore this treetop adventure with me, which included my sister and four of her young ones (the littlest guy stayed home). We grew up absolutely loving the rain (especially walks in the rain) and this has been passed on to my niece and nephews. This trait was key as we were pretty much pelted with rain pouring down on us all morning, either out in the open or under the Cedar canopy. We also failed to pick up our biodegradable ponchos since it wasn’t raining very hard when we first started out but our group was not troubled by this.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge entrance is just along Capilano Road in North Vancouver and the parking lot has a flat fee of $5 for the day. Adult rates for the Capilano Suspension Bridge area are $29.95 although if you are a resident of BC you can purchase an annual pass for $20.10. That will include your initial visit and every following visit throughout the year. Family passes begin at $58.20 although they’re based on a family of four, which I didn’t think would be useful for my sister and her family of seven. However, kids 6 and under do get in free.
The kids got a map that highlighted special points of interest where they can visit and get a stamp (like a passport). Seeing as how the maps got really soggy, really quickly, we stamped them at the first stop and hid them in my purse for the rest of the journey. Would the weather have been a bit brighter this is something they would have really enjoyed completing.
The first area of interest once you pass the main gates is the Story Centre. This interpretive area shares a bit of the area’s (logging) history before you head over to a First Nations exhibit that consists of a variety of totem poles. You’ll then hit the cafe, and the gift shop before you take the plunge and head across the suspension bridge.
Quick fact: Originally constructed of hemp rope and cedar planks in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is 450 feet long, and 230 feet high. Today’s bridge is constructed of reinforced steel, that is anchored in 22 tons of concrete on either side.
Once across the bridge, a whole world of forest fun awaits. We headed off to the Treetops Adventure where the kids could travel along elevated wood and rope bridges from tree to tree. Having just watched Return of the Jedi this weekend I had fun pretending to be an Ewok.
When we came back down, we took the Cliffhanger Boardwalk around the hillside and right under the suspension bridge. The kids loved the ponds, the rushing waterfalls, and the birds found at Raptors Ridge. The trees around us were massive, most over 300 years old and some with friendly names like “Big Doug”.
We would have liked to check out the Kids Rainforest Explorer area however by that time we were thoroughly soaked with rain dripping down our Gore-Tex exteriors.
Even though we didn’t get to see all of the attractions, shopping, entertainment, or take any tours, it was still a fantastic morning with the kids. We piled back into the car and in harmony I was treated to a resounding, “Thank you Auntie Becky!” That in itself is enough to make anyone’s day, really.
You can follow @CapSuspBridge on Twitter for updates, features, photos, and the latest news about fun North Shore adventures.
I once wrote a brief history of burlesque in Vancouver even though the form is still alive and kicking in this town. Such is evident in the opening of Shine: A Burlesque Musical at the Waterfront theatre on Granville Island.
SHINE: A Burlesque Musical is a tassel-twirling original musical about an infamous burlesque theatre and the family of talented misfits who try to save it from demolition… or worse, respectability
Photo credit: Frank Julian Roberts, Helianthus Photography
Written and created by Cass King, John Woods and Sam Dulmage. Directed by Jen Cressey. Choreography by Lauren Allen (AKA April O’Peel) and Rebecca Franklin (aka Melody Mangler). The show is 18+ and will be running from August 12th until August 22nd.
You can purchase tickets online for $25 or if you would like to attend any of the performances, please leave a comment below or re-tweet this post and you’ll be entered to win. The winner will be drawn on Wednesday August 12th.
Update: The winner has been drawn, congratulations Alisha!
I decided to treat myself tonight and give into the cold, silky, smooth temptation of ice cream. While doing so I was reminded of two dessert-related campaigns for good causes that are currently running…
Being the first-ever Canadian flavour for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the Barenaked Ladies‘ “If I had 1,000,000 Flavours” truly doesn’t disappoint. However it’s not the chocolate and vanilla ice cream that makes this so wonderful, nor is it the chocolate-coated nuts, toffee bits or peanut butter up chunks. It’s the fact that proceeds from every tub sold support ABC Canada.
“ABC Canada Literacy Foundation is Canadaâ€™s private-sector voice championing adult literacy. Launched in 1990 â€“ International Literacy Year â€“ by a group of business, labour and education leaders concerned about the social and economic effects of wide-spread literacy challenges among Canadian adults, the national charity raises public awareness of literacy issues.
Working with influential Canadians from a cross-section of disciplines and business sectors, ABC CANADA fosters an environment where all adults have access to opportunities that increase their literacy skills and prepare them to realize their full potential at work, at home and in the community.”
In case you like to shake things up a bit, you can also purchase a Dairy Queen Blizzard treat on August 13th for Miracle Treat Day. $1 or more from each Blizzard sold that day will go to the Childrens Miracle Network partner in your area, in this case the BC Childrens Hospital Foundation.
“Miracle Treat Day encourages the support of many communities who work together for local kids who may, someday, require the care they can only receive at a childrenâ€™s hospital.
On this special day in August, proceeds from the sale of their popular BlizzardÂ® treats will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. They have even incorporated the use of the Internet to pre-sell BlizzardsÂ® to businesses in cities and towns across Canada.”
So go ahead, indulge, cave in to the sweet silky chocolate and the fresh blast of the Girl Scout Thin Mint Blizzard knowing that even though that sugar’s probably going straight to your thighs, funds are also going straight to some deserving causes as well. At least that’s how I’m justifying the ice cream kick I’ll be on until August 14th.
Surrey’s Holland Park is the site of several free outdoor movies this summer. In conjunction with their screening of the Mamma Mia movie this Saturday, there will also be a special AirBand competition open to youth and children.
All kids, 16 and younger, can enter the Movies Under the Stars Long & McQuade AirBand Extravaganza prior to the free screening of the film on August 8th. Each contestant will be able to perform their favourite track with instruments supplied by Long & McQuade if needed. There is a super secret mystery prize for the winner as well.
Registration must take place ahead of time and you can do so by calling (604) 580-2321 or emailing joyce [at] downtownsurreybia [dot] com.
The AirBand competition runs from 5:00pm – 7:00pm and the North Surrey Lions Club will be hosting a BBQ in the park with proceeds going to local charities. The film will begin at dusk.