Kananaskis’ majestic mountains
Canada’s Kananaskis Country is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Calgary (Alberta), is more serene than its neighbor Banff, and has over 4,000 square kilometers of mountain parks and foothills. As an outdoor recreation enthusiast, I get a little overwhelmed at the options. Rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, climbing, and hiking are among my favorites. Since we have small children, we decided to go horseback riding, followed by a challenging (for kids) afternoon hike.
On Saturday morning my family and I headed out for a two-hour horseback riding expedition through the mountains courtesy of Boundary Ranch. The trail ride was easy and allowed us to see some amazing high-altitude views of Mt. Kidd.
After lunch we headed out to hike to Rawson Lake, a spectacular green lake flanked by Mr. Sarrail. The trailhead begins at the upper Kananaskis Lake parking area and is about 4km long in each direction. The trail is steep and takes about an hour and a half each way, but my kids managed to make it up without any difficulty, albeit a little whining here and there.
Josh and his uncle mid-hike
waterfall along trail
The elevation at Rawson Lake is 1000 ft and the views reward the effort you made to get reach the top. I’ve heard from my sister and brother-in-law that the trail is open for winter snowshoeing as well.
- Rawson Lake
For more information about Kananaskis Country, you can visit Alberta Government’s tourism website HERE. You can also read more details about Rawson lake at trailpeak.com; a great hiking trail database that covers most of north america.
Our new cat Eddy has made himself at home.
Luckily when he’s not lazing he’s earning his keep as a cheap exterminator.
I read an article last night entitled 8 Tips for Small Business Homepage Design (You can read it Here). I’ve been tempted lately to take the leap to the next level of my freelance career and create a website but I often stop dead in my tracks when it comes to design. Journalism school and news jobs that followed were like vampires that fed on art; they sucked the creativity from my veins. Nowadays I stare blankly at the screen and become overwhelmed with the thought of designing anything (Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz emphasizes wearing one “hat” in your career so that’s my excuse for sticking to content). However, when you’d like to have a custom website, and money’s tight, the article reminds us to KISS more often (Keep It Simple Stupid).
Keep your homepage clutter-free (no dancing cats). I’m totally using this an excuse to post the mind-bending atrocity above.
Keep the scroll bar big – I really liked this suggestion because it’s something my linear brain wouldn’t think of. Another good rule of thumb when thinking about links on your homepage is to stick to About, Product, News. It lets people learn what your company is about, how they can purchase your goods or service, and what you’re currently up to. Simple but effective! Be conscientious of how your page will look on a mobile app, and also think about adding a logo or avatar that will pop up on social media sites when someone (or you) posts a link to your site. Just for fun, Click HERE to see some of the best-designed websites this year according to Triphp’s design blog. Click HERE to see some of the worst websites this year.
One of my humor idols is The Oatmeal. Here’s one of his comics that harks back to his days as a web designer. He describes the experience as enduring “Fourteen year of soul-sucking meetings, hot pink logos, and clients who demanded that their corporate website play music and display animated photos of their pets.” His comic How a Website Goes Straight to Hell is a perfect example of the need to KISS more often.
We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came… (John F. Kennedy)
We spent the day today on Whidbey island. As soon as we drive off the ferry, I roll down the window and inhale slowly and deeply. My body relaxes and my mind floods with happiness. The island itself is pretty simple and there’s not really any big attractions. So why do I love this place so much?
I was born and raised on Prince Edward Island. A blip of an island on Canada’s east coast that rose to fame as a result of L.M. Montgomery’s little novel “Anne of Green Gables
.” My childhood, similar to Anne’s, was tied to the red sand, red hair! and the wonderfully simple life of living on a small island. During the summer, my sister and I would spend hours each day meandering along the beach, flanked by red cliffs and pristine sea water (we had watched The Goonies and convinced ourselves we were destined to find our own pirate treasure)
. Those years were the most carefree and happiest years of my life.
As soon as I breathe in the sea air of Whidbey Island, my mind instantly transports me back to those years. Swimming among the jellyfish, waterskiing behind our old ski boat my dad would coax into running, my mom sunbathing and happy. I had no idea how precious and fleeting that period of my life would be. Only a few years later, cancer would claim the lives of both my parents, the house and beach would be sold and gone, and I would be saying goodbye to my beloved island forever.
I am now a parent of my own two precocious children living in Seattle. I am usually consumed with the daily issues of kids, work, pets, and a husband to contend with (I put the husband last just to tease him
. It’s only when I find… no make
the time to get away and travel to one of the Puget Sound Islands, that a magic wand transports me back to my childhood, and I remember
That is why I love it so much .
Coupeville, Whidbey Island.
What do you do when you have filipino in-laws visiting Seattle? Take them to a filipino festival of course! The annual Pista Sa Nayon has grown into one of the biggest filipino festivals in the country. In 2001 over 15,000 people came to Seward Park to celebrate filipino culture, history, and of course…food.
The traditional filipino ”tinikling” dance with bamboo sticks (above) was amazing to watch (has there ever been an accidental foot dismemberment?) The booths were stuffed with filipino paraphernalia ~ my daughter got a “My First Tagalog Words” book, much to the grandparents’ delight. Personally, I was excited about the festival upon arrival before I saw a single thing…the whiff of filipino food in the parking lot was all it took.
I have a hunch I’m not the only one who’s only in it for the food. It’s that good. Rows of booths barbecuing, steaming, frying and baking some sort of exotic goodness. Carb-avoiders, vegans, and sugar-phobics beware: noodles, meat and sweet treats reign. Here’s a sampling of what we had.
Filipino barbecue and noodles are the perfect combination of sweet and tender meat paired with thin rice noodles perfectly seasoned .
Lumpia is the darling egg roll of the philippines. We bring these bad boys to parties and they are gone in minutes.
This crazy dessert concoction called Halo-Halo was best explained during a tour of Manila a couple of years ago: The Filipinos take the best of their cultural influences through centuries of conquest and control, and throw it all together at once. Hence the Halo-Halo: ice, ice cream, candied fruit and beans (yes, beans) that you mix together and eat with a spoon. The Filipinos affectionately call it “mix mix”.