Posts Tagged ‘Mount Washington’


Friday, January 15th, 2010

I’ve always been entrepreneurial. I’ve started and owned about 4 different companies, and sold 3 of them… sometimes by myself and sometimes with partners. I’ve always loved the idea of working for myself, and it’s part of the reason why I ended up going to business school in the first place. However, straight out of university I ended up working at a video game company.

I’ve been working in the video game industry in Vancouver for the past 4 years. In all honesty, I can’t imagine myself working in a different industry… at least not for a long, long time. Still, I often find myself thinking of new business ideas, thinking of new opportunities… and how to implement them. The strange thing is, out of all of the ideas… the one I want to do the most is the simplest one.

Chesterman's Beach (North End)

When I was growing up, I always wanted to open a bed and breakfast. In recent years, this dream and desire has intensified, and I am sure now that I would open it in Tofino. I’m so passionate about this idea that I find myself thinking about it almost every night.

I’d like to purchase a home in Tofino, and move out there when I am 40 or 50 to open it as a bed and breakfast. I’ve always known that I wanted to get out of the city and move to the Island when I am older, and it just seems like the perfect plan for Allan and I. Sure, we’d be old farts out there surfing… but we’d have our piece of land, a home, a business to get us by (cost of living is a lot lower out of Vancouver), and we’d get to surf whenever we wanted. And still be close by enough to do trips every once in a while to Mount Washington to get our snowboarding fix.

Bye Golden!

And of course, the next level to this idea is to also own a bed and breakfast on Mount Washington, or a small mountain town somewhere in BC. We’d work at the Tofino B&B in the summer, and the mountain B&B in the winter, and have a manager to run the operations in the low seasons.

It would definitely be a dream come true.

Tofino Waves

I feel like it is well-suited to our skills and interests as well. Both Allan and I love entertaining, we can cook and clean, and we love meeting new people. We’d have a social media strategy for the business, and we’d use our other interests like photography and filming to round out our offering. Allan is great at teaching surfing and snowboarding, so it could be a nice little package add-on with photography included. I could go on and on with more ideas we’ve thought up.

Belgium Waffles with Strawberry Sauce and Bacon

I’d love to think of new breakfast ideas to serve to our guests each morning. There would be numerous personal touches to surprise our guests at every turn, like freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookies with milk before bed on stormy nights.

Amazing bathroom for the Canopy Room

The property would be west-coast style with vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams, with a focus on earthy elements like wood, stone, and plants.

The details, the palette

However, it would be warm and cozy in décor…  lots of lamps, comfy couches, flowers, and warm colours.

Light on the trees in the morning

Ideally, we’d be living on the beach… or at least with a view of the ocean. The property would be heavily treed, so that guests feel like they are living on the ocean and in the forest at the same time. There would be wooden walkways around the garden where we grow our own produce, surrounded by flowering vines and foliage. The walkway would be lit with lanterns at night, leading to a secluded hot tub where you could gaze at the stars or at your loved one.

At one point, I even spent a few days creating the business plan and some spreadsheets. I crunched the numbers… I did the cashflows and investments required and even detailed licensing and legislature considerations. It looked good on paper. But paper is very different than reality.

Citronella candle at campsite

I guess we’ll just have to see if the dream ever comes true… :)

What’s your dream?


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

It’s no secret to readers of my blog that I am often late in putting together posts. I have a huge backlog of photos and posts to be made. And I’m trying to get through them methodically. In this case, I am 8 months overdue…

So yes, here we are in September, and I am finally putting up our Valentine’s Day getaway weekend on Vancouver Island with Allan.

The Empress Hotel Victoria

Our first stop for the weekend was Victoria. Victoria has charm, no doubt, but really I love to travel there for the food, and for the accomodations.

One of my favourite places to stay in the whole world… the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Yes, it is old, traditional, and a little bit stodgy… but that’s why I love it.

The details, the palette

It’s all about attention to detail. Beautiful fabrics, wallpaper, patterns, furniture, lighting, moulding…

Our room View of the harbour from our room

The rooms are small and simple. Ours had a great view of the Victoria harbour…

Cobblestone Road

A quick walk on some cobblestone streets in the moonlight for some fresh air, and then off to dinner…

Empress Dining Room

Victoria is well-known for its fantastic restaurants… but my favourite happens to be right in the hotel. The “Empress Room” is the main dining room at the hotel. Whenever I eat here, I am whisked away to another world from another time…

The Setting

Nothing is modern here. There’s nothing innovative or unusual about the decor or the food. This isn’t a trendy place to go. It’s not the place to see-or-be-seen. This is where you go if you want delicious, traditional food that is incredibly rich with absolutely the best service in all of BC.

The Empress has recently reworked their drink menu and their bartenders have gone through extensive training to mix drinks the “classic” Victorian way. I don’t know what that is, but each drink we had was strong, clean, fragrant, and tasty.

A traditional dining experience

The food is SO good here. While it may not be for everyone’s palate, it really does suit mine. The flavours are always spot on, and their menu is always local and seasonal. But best of all, it’s always extremely rich. Nothing subtle here. I can’t say enough about the service. Although we always try to be seated at Earl’s table (my favourite waiter), every member of staff is impeccable and courteous. Yes, the silver platters are an over-the-top traditional touch. I don’t care. It’s awesome.


Dessert is always amazing too. This time Allan tried a peach cobbler, and I had the chocolate marshmallows with gold leaf. No ordinary marshmallow, it was filled with homemade marshmallows, hazelnut filling, and a crumbly dark chocolate crust at the bottom… then dipped in dark chocolate. Mmmmm.


You can’t help but feel a little small in the room. All the furniture, lighting, wallpapers and fabrics are ridiculously decadent. But there’s a large wood burning fireplace at the end of the room that softens it all and makes you feel like you’re at home. It’s kind of like being in your rich grandma’s house from another life.

Hallway Mirror

Every floor has different patterns, decor, and antique pieces and fine art on display.

Back to the room

We love to wander the hallways in the hotel.

A lamp

I loved this lamp in our room.

Lacy things for Valentine's Day

Of course, no Valentine’s Day is complete without a little cherry-red lace! :)

Antique Armoire

I fell in love with this antique armoire in our hallway.

Room Service! Eggs Benedict

The morning came a little too early and of course we had to order room service.

Mineral Pool at the Spa Couple's Massage

Then it was off to the Empress Spa for a couple’s massage and some rest and relaxation in their mineral pool. We definitely felt pampered.

Bare Light Bulbs

We said goodbye to the hotel. Opened in 1908. It’s one of those places you go to visit because you know everything is going to stay the same.

And well, as for the rest of the weekend? I had already covered that in a previous post. It was off to Mount Washington near Courtenay on Vancouver Island to visit friends and snowboard our little hearts out.

Group @ Mount Washington

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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.

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