Stay·ca·tion – a somewhat indulgent local getaway

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Sometimes it’s just nice to get away even if it’s somewhere familiar, like the very city you live in.bayshore2So I suggested we go away somewhere exotic for Christmas.  A hotel overlooking the harbour and Stanley Park in Vancouver.  A place where we could be quiet but party if we wanted to, and a welcome leisurely holistay.bayshore4The weather was perfect for a couple of days.  We walked a lot, we lounged and we ate.  The dogs loved it.bayshore19And it was very relaxing.bayshore26And we had a few visitors.  This one we were not expecting.staycation1I hate when good things come to an end!

Photos: d. kingchristmas201711christmas20178

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Feel-Festive Friday: that’s the Spirit!

With ONLY NINE MORE SLEEPS to go until Christmas if you’re not already in the spirit, then walking through the lobby of the Vancouver Sutton Place Hotel is the place to get it.
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It’s the most festive looking lobby I’ve seen.

But in the true spirit of the season, they are not only striking to look at as they light up the lobby, there’s a purpose behind them.
sutton1sutton9Every year many talented designers, stagers and retailers in the city come together with one goal – to create a mini wonderland   using trees as their canvas.

The inspiring Christmas trees perfectly reflect their aesthetic and creativity.  The uniquely adorned trees delight the community and raise funds for an amazing cause – PALS, a Vancouver-based innovative school for autistic children. sutton11sutton8

When you view the trees, you are asked to vote for your favourite tree with a donation. These valuable donations go towards PALS. One of their methods for teaching uses visual cues via iPad. The funds raised will help with purchasing and replacing iPads and iPad covers.

sutton6sutton5You must come down and see all the incredible trees in person – they are truly the best decorated trees in the city! A stroll through the lobby to view the trees and vote for your favourite one costs only $5, with all proceeds going to PALS.
Also in the lobby:sutton420161203_140043

And necessary humour to enlighten us even more
And necessary humour to enlighten us even more

Travel: Sedona, Arizona

Have you ever been to Sedona?
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The setting is pretty unreal.  It’s a perfect location for mountain biking (our crew covered some ground and some dirt) and of course hiking.  Or you can just….be.

If you’re looking for a quiet spiritual experience to usher in the changing of the seasons, tranquil Sedona provides the perfect setting. Many people believe that the Sedona area is sacred, and that it’s “the center of vortexes that radiate the Earth’s power.”

I’ve been there on a few occasions. I loved the red rock canyons so much that I tried to replicate the desert colours for the interior of my home.  I believe I succeeded.

What To Do: Stay at the Enchantment Resort, try Diamondback Rattlesnake cakes and Cactus Fries at The Cowboy Club, take a UFO Night Tour (for something different…c’mon where else can you find something like this?) and drink biodynamic organic wine at Chocola Tree. Depending on your interests, you can also sign up for a weekend of healing, like this one offered by Hope Yoga.

Temperatures (October): High, 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Low, 52.sedona1

 Ahhhhhh   Have you been?  

Feel-good Friday: Celebration

It’s beginning to look a lot like Hanukkah and Christmas!hannukah2

Colorful candles burning bright, each lit on eight very special nights.hannukah3

Some simple decorative displays such as these look lovely and festive!
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The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.20141208_085008

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I hope your candles and tree lights burn bright and that you feel a warm glow and everything works out right.