Greater Vancouver, What makes it so Special?

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Living in the Vancouver area, I well aware of how expensive it is. It is not uncommon to hear people talk about moving away to get more housing “bang for their buck”. That is, until, we have a string of sunny days and then we are all reminded of why we will never leave.
This week was one of those weeks. The sun was out, the sky was blue and we had the time to get out and enjoy several areas of Greater Vancouver. From snowshoeing, to scenic walks, and campfires by the river. Greater Vancouver really does offer it all. Here is a summary of the week!

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The Mountains 
They have never looked so good. With blue sky, record snowfall and majestic views, the mountains drew in crowds from everywhere.

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Mount Seymour, North Vancouver: Our daughter headed out for a day of snowshoeing and fresh air. With the recent snow and busy mountain traffic I was relieved when she decided to take the free shuttle up the mountian. Sunscreen applied, she returned with great memories and photos to show. Vancouver has 3 ski mountain within 30 minutes and they all offer spectacular views. If you have a chance, get out and try snowshoeing, skiiing, snowboarding or sledding. It really is worth the trip!

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The Trails
With my Fitbit in hand I have been hitting the trails daily to reach my New Years goals. This week it was easy and with time on my side I headed out to explore new areas of Vancouver with a few friends.

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Burnaby Lake Trail, Burnaby: This 10 km trail is well kept, flat and a full loop making it a great afternoon hike. The signs were a bit confusing so we were glad to have a friend with us who was familiar with the route.

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Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver: We visited this park back in June for our daughter’s graduation photos so it was fun to go back and relive that memory. This mountain park has several paved trails winding around gardens and fountains all offering spectacular views. We stopped and watched people as they golfed, played tennis and enjoyed a community street hockey games. It was hard to believe we were in the middle of winter. We ended the day with a walk and coffee on Main Street.

Fort to Fort Trail, Langley: We have done this walk a few times but never on a frosty winter day. With the frost on trees and heavy fog laying over the river it really looked magical. This is a well keep gravel trail that is an easy walk. It runs from Fort Langley to Derby Reach so you can always park a vehicle at each end or do a there and back trip. The route is about 4 km each way and once you reach Fort Langley be sure to stop at one of the many bakeries for a coffee and baked good.

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The Water 

Living in the lower mainland, we have many options to spend time near the water. Rivers, lakes and the ocean are all within an easy drive of you.  For this reason we opted for a family day near the river.

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Edgewater Bar Campground, Langley: Over Christmas my brother-in-law had suggested a campfire at Derby Reach so we took advantage of the dry weather and vacation time. This park has a public campground, Edgewater Bay, which during the winter is only open for day use. We arrived early and set up for a daytime campfire with all the kids. Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while sipping hot chocolate was a great end to the holiday season.

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It is Sunday morning as I write this and my thoughts will now move to meal planning for the upcoming work week. It has been 2 relaxing weeks off but I am excited to go back to work and resume some control of my food intake. I guess it’s time for those New Years resolution to take effect.

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