Left Coast By Design

Category: Local Interest (page 1 of 6)

Fly Over Canada or Some Of It

This past week, I was fortunate to be invited to join my friend Jay to check out FlyOver Canada (and AboveUSA just before it).

In what I can best describe as an immersive experience that engages many of your “senses” to simulate your flight through the Canadian skies, you won’t find me complaining about the fun I had during our 8 minute journey. That’s because our tickets were free.

As an aside, there may be spoilers below.

While I can see FlyOver Canada provide some value as a tourist gimmick, it trip seemed to be lacking in content. For instance, Canada is pretty darn big and an 8 minute flight doesn’t do it justice. In fact, if someone knew nothing about Canada they will learn that there are very few metropolitan cities worth flying over – more than one, less than three. We also learn that cottage country is also as big as the prairies, give or take.

What’s crazier? I think I saw more of the US in the AboveUSA bit than I saw of Canada in the main event.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool how FlyOver Canada is set up and immerses everyone in the experience. Heck, my fear of heights nearly got the better of me a couple of times. But for $20 a visit, I’m not sure I could ever come to the conclusion I got great value for my money.

Have any of you flown over Canada? What did you think? Cool? Cool but expensive? I’m curious.


While looking for something I could bring with me to watch during my quick trip to Calgary, I stumbled on Blackfish. And being fascinated with Orca ever since a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium eons ago, I knew I had to watch it.

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multibillion dollar sea-park industry. –blackfishmovie.com

Words cannot begin to describe the emotion I felt upon watching this film. Using a combination of first-hand accounts from trainers, historical video footage, and context from world-renowned whale researchers, Blackfish is must-watch in my books. And what makes it more compelling in my books is how local this movie hits – Tilikum was first placed in captivity at Sealand of the Pacific (now closed, but previously located at Oak Bay Marina in Victoria, BC).

Have you seen Blackfish yet? And if so, what do you think?

Christmas Day Triple O

White Spot Burger Platter

White Spot Burger - courtesy of Raul Pacheco-Vega

One of my favourite restaurants to swing through has to be White Spot. Having grown up here in Vancouver, Triple O has been an integral part of my life and something I nearly consider a right (some may simply say that I’m addicted). So what does this all have to do with Christmas?

Going on a decade now, the Richmond Centre White Spot location has opened it’s doors Christmas Day to not only provide a quick meal for the holiday weary, but to also raise funds for the Richmond Hospital Foundation. Open 11a-3p tomorrow, all proceeds made by the restaurant through sales and tips earned by employees who donate their time go to the very worthy cause (last year alone raised $8888).

So if you find that you have a desire to order a Legendary Burger (I recommend adding the Baked Potato Inspired Poutine as seen in Raul’s picture) or just want to enjoy a hearty serving of Nat’s Hearty Brunch on Christmas Day, I encourage you to do so. Just plan on getting there early!

Raul + 100k-th Tweet = Money for @BCCancer

There are a number of people who I’ve “met” online that I have yet to meet in real life, but the one person I really do need to sit down and “shoot the proverbial with” is Raul Pacheco. In fact, though I’ve been on twitter for many years, it was a post from Raul that got me re-interested (yes, I like to make up words) so I have him to thank for helping me start what has been a wicked ride in social media as it relates to the Canucks.

I'm auctioning my 100,000th tweet.

Raul Pacheco AKA @hummingbird604 – courtesy of Raul

When I recently learned that he was not only nearing his 100,000th tweet AND was looking to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation by auctioning it off, it made perfect sense that I do what I could to support him:

You may ask – what is the value proposition of my 100,000th tweet. Well, for one, I have a fairly sizable readership, both on my blog and on my Twitter account (with over 7,400 followers). And since it’s a milestone tweet, it’s quite likely that my tweet will be retweeted many times. And who knows, maybe even the mainstream media will pick it up. And maybe TechCrunch or Mashable will pick the story up. And this would lead to even MORE exposure.

To bid on Raul’s tweet, you can read his post on the topic or simply tweet the following:

“I’m bidding [X] dollars for @hummingbird604 ‘s 100,000th tweet in support of @BCCancer #b4hb100k”

And although he has nearly 6 times more followers than I, when he does tweet that 100,000th tweet out to the masses, you can add an extra 1.2k followers to his 7.4k because I’m going to retweet the message to all of mine – your message will gain that much more exposure!

So what are you waiting for? Start the bidding!


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