Archive for the ‘Surfing’ Category


Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

One of the best parts of this process of getting our place finished is finally getting rid of a lot of clutter and junk that we had been accumulating that we really never use. We do have a storage locker in our basement so we’ve been using that to store mostly seasonal items, such as our camping gear. It really makes a big difference in terms of space in our apartment!

Sports Room

We finally finished off the “Sports Room”. Really the easiest way to show the change is to show before and after pictures. Here is the “before”. Previously, as you can see, this room was basically a catch-all for our gear. 3 surfboards, 4 snowboards, 2 sets of wetsuit gear, 2 sets of snowboarding gear, 2 sets of ice hockey gear, 2 sets of golf clubs, plus camping gear and miscellaneous items. Phew! It was a lot of stuff to cram into one room.

Sports Room

And here is the “after” photo! We really wanted the room to feel more like a fun, bright place where we could show off some of our gear but also be functional in terms of storing everything.

Surfboard Wall

That’s when we came up with the idea of mounting our gear to the walls. When we originally measured out the surfboards, we realized that Allan’s longboard was WAY too big for the walls. Then we noticed that there was a strip of wall that actually went above the door… and bingo, the surfboards all fit on the far wall.

Hawaiian Gun Racks

We mounted the surfboards using handmade wooden racks made by Hawaiian Gun Racks. They’ve got some padded material on top to keep them from denting the boards, and also a dowel on the end to prevent them from slipping off just in case. They really are both beautiful and sturdy.

Snowboard Gear Wall

We also mounted the snowboards to the other wall. Mounting everything to the walls really freed up a ton of space, and also I think it looks pretty neat. We installed a cabinet to the wall as well, and put all our books and DVDs in there to save space from the living room. We also are using it to hold some of our snowboard gear such as boots and goggles. It’s also a great place to display some photos of some of our adventures.

2010 Men's Supermodel, 2007 Wms Feelgood, 2010 Wms Malolo

From left to right… 2010 Men’s Burton Supermodel, 2007 Women’s Burton Feelgood, 2010 Women’s Burton Malolo… Boots: 2009 Burton Men’s Serow Japanese Exclusive Model, 2010 Burton Women’s Supreme Boots

Hangtime USA Snowboard Mounts

The snowboards were mounted using HangtimeUSA wall mounts. They are plastic mounts that basically hold to the width of the board, so they are easy to pull in and out of the clips. They can also be mounted diagonally. We were really impressed by how sturdy they were, and the mounting hardware that came with them was awesome.

Burton Pillow

We fit a couple more things into the room like my golf clubs and the skim boards, but most of our gear is still tucked away in the closet in that room. We purchased a used red microfiber sofa that I LOVE and a couple lamps to complete the room. Not pictured are all the game plaques that Allan and I have from working in the video game industry… you get one when you “ship” a game. It’s kind of a fun addition to the room.

Sticker Coffee Table

The last part of the room I wanted to talk about is probably my favourite… the coffee tables. We covered one of the coffee tables in all the sporting goods stickers that I had accumulated over the past few years, and that Allan has accumulated pretty much his whole life. There’s a lot of history on that table. Not only is it covered with our favourite brands, but it’s covered in memories of accomplishments, events, special milestones in our lives, and our favourite activities. It really completes the room for us.

So what do you think of the transformation?


Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

View from one of the rooms

This past weekend Allan and I headed out to Tofino again for some surf and relaxation. This time however, we were invited to stay at the famous Wickaninnish Inn. “The Wick,” as it is affectionately called by locals and fans, is well-known for its fabulous location on Chesterman Beach, luxury accommodations, world-renowned spa, and five-star dining. No wonder — it’s a Relais & Châteaux property. I also found out a little interesting tidbit from some folks in town which confirms my theories… the Twilight Cast stayed there while they were shooting New Moon. The Inn cannot comment on this of course due to privacy issues, but you can be sure I did as much digging as possible on the subject from the locals.

Lobby for the On-The-Beach Building

The Wickaninnish Inn has long had ties to the area and the Pacific Rim National Park. It is family-owned and operated by the McDiarmid family who were born and raised in Tofino. You can read more history on the Inn here.

Handcrafted Wood Pillars

When you arrive, what strikes me most about the property (and what staff seem to be most proud of) is how the Inn sits on the fine line between the ocean and old growth forest. Compared to most other properties in Tofino and BC, the Inn does an incredible job of preserving the natural surroundings. Every single room has an ocean and beach view, but not at the expense of chopping down the old growth trees in front of the window. When you lie in bed and look out the window, you feel a little bit like you are floating somewhere between ocean and forest.

Wickaninnish Inn from the beach

You can tell that Managing Director Charles McDiarmid spares no expense with his attention to detail. Every room has pieces of nature integrated into the decor, from the driftwood chairs to the solid rock bookends. Every piece of wood in the rooms and around the hotel is hand-crafted and custom made, including the moldings in the rooms, the closets, the doors, bedframes, desks… it’s really something to see.

Beach Access

And all with a focus on sustainability without it being a trend. Claire Macdonald, Marketing Planner for the Inn, spearheads many of the projects herself. The Pointe Restaurant at the Inn actually composts 100% of all its food waste. Claire also organizes frequent beach cleanups with the Surfrider Foundation in Tofino.

The Canopy Room

Amazing bathroom for the Canopy Room

The Canopy Room is one of the fanciest rooms in the Inn, with a gorgeous canopy teak bed, living room, plasma TV, multi-jet shower and double soaker tub. Not to mention a great view. I hear it is the celebrity choice when staying at the Inn.

Our room at the Wickaninnish Inn

Double soaker tub with ocean view

Our room was awesome too. A deluxe top floor room at the Inn, we enjoyed the King bed, local artwork, double soaker tub, and glass panel shower looking out onto the ocean.

Staff nicely organized the closet for us

The service was great too — all our bags and personal items were organized in the room and the closet. The huge closet also held complimentary rain gear and gumboots. Definitely a plus for storm watching in Tofino.

Breakfast in bed

We also of course had to order breakfast in bed.

Enjoying the tub at the end of the day

Yeah, after surfing Allan and I spent quite a lot of time in our double soaker tub looking out onto the ocean. I’ve probably never felt so relaxed in my life. Honestly.

Ancient Cedars Spa

Of course, I had to try the spa while I was there. The Ancient Cedars Spa is probably one of the most talked about parts of the Inn. It has won so many awards it’s crazy, including being reader-voted as the World’s Best in Travel + Leisure magazine.

Lounge of the Spa at night

The real shame here is that I had to take photos of the Spa after hours, so unfortunately I couldn’t capture how beautiful it is with the natural light streaming in and the ocean views. So bear with me!

Ancient Cedars Spa Products

Every aspect of the Spa is beautiful… from the wood carved handles on the lockers in the shower rooms, to the huge wood burl mirrors and tables. They also carry a really unique line of spa and beauty products, many from Vancouver Island and BC. Many influenced by the ocean and nature.

Cedar Sanctuary (part of the spa) looking out onto the ocean

Side-by-side beds in the Cedar Sanctuary

They also have an incredible (you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it-kind-of-thing) Cedar Sanctuary where you can get treatments done… in a beautiful cedar house literally looking onto the ocean. Imagine having a massage while the ocean is spraying up in front of the windows… wow! All guests also have access to the Rainforest Sauna… which smells exactly like… the rainforest. So nice.

I decided to go for a massage treatment at the Spa. When I showed up, I was offered refreshing citrus water and tea, and shown to my hand-carved locker in the ladies room. I popped into my robe and slippers and enjoyed a steam in the Rainforest sauna for a while.

Time for some Ahhhhh at Spaaaaaa. Haha.

Then I was shown to a beach chair outside overlooking the ocean, given a warm blanket and a hot foot soak with pebbles in the bottom to roll my feet over. After an aromatic consultant and some time to relax while taking in the ocean breeze and the view with some hot tea, I was shown to my treatment room. Each of their certified professionals must have over 1000 hours of experience before they can work at the Inn, and my masseuse was no different. A wonderful woman with an amazing background (she previously worked in the advertising industry at notables such as Ogilvy and Mather), she worked her magic on me for an hour. I was completely relaxed. So, “Ahhhh at the Spaaaaa” gets a very relaxed thumbs up from me. You must read about the treatments there.

Wines at the Pointe Restaurant

Of course, our experience wouldn’t have been complete without having dinner at the Pointe Restaurant. We had eaten here before so we knew it was going to be good, and we were looking forward to trying some new dishes.

Dining at the Pointe Restaurant

The restaurant overlooks Chesterman Beach and is situated at a rocky point, which causes dramatic sprays of water and the sounds of waves to accentuate your dining experience. You must visit the Inn during storm-watching season (late Fall and Winter), as that is when the waves are the most dramatic. Believe it or not, that’s the coolest time to come to the Inn and see the power and wildness of nature. We always make sure to visit Tofino at least once a year during this time. Anyway — back to the restaurant — they also occasionally mic the waves underneath the restaurant during a storm for the full effect.

Allan at the Pointe Restaurant

Chef Nutting was in the kitchen that night, and put together some amazing dishes for us. Unfortunately I’ve recently found out about some allergies (egg, dairy, wheat… which feels like everything), but the chefs did an amazing job of working around the allergies. Allan got an amazing selection of bread (including olive and chorizo bread), and I was surprised to see I was also going to get bread… some delicious grilled rice bread and pappardum.


I had a mojito, and Allan tried a sidecar and a Manhattan.

Scallops and Dungeness Crab Appetizer

Grilled Octopus and Baby Shrimp Appetizer

For appetizers, I had the scallops with dungeness crab, pine mushrooms, and a chicken jus. Allan had the grilled octopus with baby shrimp, cherry tomatoes, foccacia croutons, pancetta vinaigrette, and watercress.

Crispy Sablefish with Braised Pork Belly and Citrus Sauce

For mains, I had a crispy sablefish with citrus, asian pear, bok choy in a szechwan pepper sauce with braised pork belly.

Lingcod with Fingerling Potato Chips and Cherry Tomatoes

Allan had the Lingcod with fingerling potato chips and chorizo sausage.

Quartet of Creme Brulee

I finished off the meal with homemade blueberry sorbet, and Allan had a quartet of creme brulee — vanilla bean, saffron, strawberry, and dark chocolate. I think I’m going to steal that idea for my party coming up. Some homemade truffles came at the end as well, with honey and thyme. Mmmm.

This way to the secret cove! Firepit at the Wick Beautiful pathway lights Art piece at the Wick... $85,000

We explored the property a bit the next day before leaving. The Inn has built so many amazing boardwalks, trails, and paths around the area. We found out they shot some of the scenes for New Moon on Long Beach, and also right on the beach in front of the Wick!


And of course, we made sure to get our surfing in.

Allan surfing

And that wrapped up a fantastic long weekend at the Wickaninnish Inn. If you haven’t already, check out the website… you must check out the restaurant menu, the accommodations, and definitely the spa treatments. The Wick is a fantastic place for a romantic getaway, a surfing weekend, a mother-daughter or girlfriends pampering experience… or just because. They’ve got some awesome deals coming up for the stormwatching season and the O’Neill Coldwater Surf Classic, so check those out.

Private Summer Cabin for the McDiarmids

Hope you enjoyed the review!
The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn on Urbanspoon

[Valid RSS]
About This Blog

My Picture

This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

Recent Comments
  • OHM: Your wedding looked like so much fun! I love all the little touches....
  • Cathy: Wow — amazing photos! I love how outdoorsy you got with your...
  • Denise Chavez: The decor is beautiful!!
  • JonIchinomiya: I luuuuuv this beach! I used to surf it ever weekend for about...
  • T.: Great pics! Congrats! What a lovely wedding.
  • Elsa: wow, your wedding was BEAUTIFUL :D the pictures are AMAZING but I think...
  • Hokkaido Shred: You surfed in your wedding dress?! OUT. OF. CONTROL. I like...
  • Lais: Congrats! Love your wedding pictures. It really look like you had an...
  • johnyrobertsmith: Great shots, Allie! You both look great in the pictures...
  • Jennifer Findlay: Hi Allie…tho se are absolutely stunning photos. You...
Twitter Updates

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter