Coquitlam 125

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Happy Birthday Coquitlam

This year the city of Coquitlam is marking a milestone with it’s 125th birthday. To jump start the year’s events they hosted Activate Coquitlam 125. Marking off the first few days of the calendar year, the city of Coquitlam lent a helping hand to neighbours and friends looking to boost their exercise routines while making the most of those New Years resolutions with free classes and drop in sports at the rec centre.

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A Moment to Remember

In these two images I captured a small piece of that celebration as aboriginal groups, historians, artists and athletes came together to celebrate what makes Coquitlam a truly unique community.

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Under the Sea: A Year of Learning at the Vancouver Aquarium

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Watremark_DSC_1260Welcome back readers.

It’s a new year and a fresh start. This years story has yet to be written. So here’s to hoping your 2016 is full of laughter, love and spontaneity!
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Under the Sea

Our new year started with the wonders of the sea and a membership renewal at the Vancouver Aquarium. We have held their membership before, especially through the children’s younger years. It was an exceptional place to spend the day with them as toddlers and infants. The facility is conducive to young and old alike. Great interactive displays, sensory learning and of course the fish! Now after a couple years away, a renovation and expansion, our children have been clamoring to get back. They’ve missed the hours of awe and wonder that come with the hands on and participatory learning offered at the Aquarium.

This Christmas we were gifted with a family membership to the Vancouver Aquarium. A years worth of opportunities for learning and creating special memories in a single card What a wonderful present to receive. We are so thankful for the hero of this story. Grandma. XOXO
Watremark_DSC_1253Watremark_DSC_1254Watremark_DSC_1258So what did the kids think?

Well, that it was awesome of course. In the words of the 6 year old:

“Let’s come back soon. The fish will miss me.”Watremark_DSC_1189

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Radiance of the seas: Sawyer Glacier, Vancouver RT

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Watremark_DSC_3367Last month my family and I hitched a ride on Radiance of the Seas as she made her last Alaskan voyage of the season out of Vancouver. Although we’ve cruised to and from some fabulous places, this was the first time we’d had the opportunity to sail out of our home port of Vancouver and it was an amazing experience!

Watremark_DSC_6295Radiance of the Seas: Sawyer Glacier, Vancouver RT

Day One: Depart from Vancouver

Day Two: At Sea

Day Three: Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) Alaska – Tender

Day Four: Tracy Arm Fjord Alaska – Cruising

Day Five: Juneau Alaska – Docked

Day Six: Ketchikan Alaska – Docked

Day Seven: Inside Passage – Cruising

Day Eight: Vancouver – Disembark

Watremark_DSC_5926We had a great time catching up with the kids while enjoying the natural beauty of the BC coastline and Alaskan wilderness. Such gorgeous scenery, right there, in our own backyard.

Over the next week check back here often. I’ll be posting some of our favorite captures from our family’s Alaskan adventure!Watremark_DSC_5719

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The many faces of Mendenhall

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Cars in the Hood

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Watremark_DSC_2980This past weekend the family and I hit the streets to check out some cool cars and custom rims as the annual Downtown Port Coquitlam Car Show came to town. This summer sizzling event has become a tradition for our kids. They love dreaming large while sizing up their next ride.

While the kids picked out their favorites with Dad, I spent the day Snapd’ing summer. Working the streets I met and chatted with families, car owners and local business’ and found a lot of smiling faces and happy kids excited about cars.  Make sure to look for my coverage in the September edition of Snapd Coquitlam.

In the meantime enjoy a few of the images I collected along my travels. I love capturing images of classic cars, the little details are usually what draw me in. Colour, texture, shine, oh baby! These cars had it all.

I hope you find something in the images below that have you dreaming of your next ride. See you at the next car show!

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Grouse Mountain: Let’s go for a Ride!

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I volunteered to be a driver for my son’s 2nd grade field trip last week to the North Shore for a gondola ride up to the top of Grouse Mountain. It was a beautiful day to be up at the top with views stretching as far as Vancouver Island. Watremark_DSC_1363

While the kids were on their guided tour, I had some time to kill. So my camera and I took a nature walk. Here’s a taste of the sights from a top Grouse Mountain.

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“Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.” -Alfred North Whitehead

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On the Banks of Heron Lake

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Watremark_DSC_9722VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver is more than just an ordinary garden. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city. A place where life slows down a little. To be enjoyed at a more reasonable pace.

On a recent mid day visit to the garden for tea, we came across this local resident hanging out along the aptly named Heron Lake. We enjoyed her beauty from a distance. As we made our way around the lake, she remained. Stoic, nonplussed by all of our commotion. Watremark_DSC_9690Watremark_DSC_9745Watremark_DSC_9748And like that, the reason became clear. It was her lunch time too.Watremark_DSC_9754Watremark_DSC_9757Watremark_DSC_9763Just another day in the garden…

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The 2015 Port Coquitlam May Day Parade: Everything is Awesome!

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Watremark_DSC_8944The May Day parade in Port Coquitlam is a family tradition. While most years we walk in the parade, this year my kids opted to sit curbside. Better to collect candy they tell me.

With all the sights and sounds (And smells, sunscreen anyone?) of a community in celebration, they weren’t just collecting candies, they were collecting memories.Watremark_DSC_9073

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Watremark_DSC_8999Watremark_DSC_9144Watremark_DSC_9247As the PoCo-ism goes: half the city is in the parade, while the other half cheers from the sidelines. One of the many reasons Port Coquitlam is one of the best places to raise a family.  I’m sure you can spot a few more awesome reasons in these images. #ProudPoCoMomma

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Happy Earth Day!

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Tulips of the Valley: A Garden Getaway

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Watremark_DSC_5179Tulip Fields are where Gardeners Go to Breathe

Packed full of wonder and amazement, as if a rainbow stopped to lay down and take a rest. And why wouldn’t one? Look around the landscape of any tulip farm and the reasoning seems clear. These are some of the most tremendous valleys any rainbow of tulips could possibly think to call home.

Who wouldn’t want to stay and play?

Watremark_DSC_5291Tulips of the Valley Festival

Held in Agassiz B.C. for 2 short weeks in April, my daughter and I decided to spend our Easter Monday relaxing and doing some much needed Mother/Daughter bonding. A trip to see tulips seemed ideal. Wanting to make the most of our day, we got up early and started on our adventure out into the valley.

Just past Harrison Hot Springs, the road to the tulip fields is easy driving taking under 2 hours (traffic dependent). Having left home just after 730am, we made excellent time and managed to be some of the first people to see the fields on that busy holiday Monday.

Watremark_DSC_5182We had arrived!
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Sleep in at You’re Own Risk

Having arrived so early we avoided the parking issues and road delays that often come during this peak tourist time in the valley. Reports from the Agassiz Tulip Festival, Seabird Island FB page in the week before our visit, had lots of talk of traffic problems, road closures and long waits for buses. All of this was avoidable by simply leaving early. We had no line, we had no wait and we had our pick of seats on the bus with tulips as far as the eye could see. What more could a couple gardeners on the loose want?

Morning has it’s own rewards. Less people means more room to move, day dream and frolic in the tulips. Besides, early morning brings the best light for all those dreamy tulip field shots and silly girl road trip selfies that we *had* to take.

It was so peaceful. We really had the run of the place. Just me, the kid and a few other shutterbugs patrolled the fields. Every face and every lens reflected the awe and beauty of the tulips.

Watremark_DSC_5311Watremark_DSC_5252Watremark_DSC_5317Watremark_DSC_5273While the festival is small (having only opened in 2006), this family owned operations packs a colourful punch! When you take note of the scenic views, the lack of border delays, the easy drive to Vancouver and even easier proximity to the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, the Tulips of the Valley festival was just the short reprieve from reality that we both needed. 

A garden getaway in our own backyard.

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