#1 – Going to see the Vancouver Canucks

I’ve always had an interest in Ice Hockey, unfortunately the closest I’ve ever got to playing it was at school, and that was just normal hockey (the type that girls play). I have fond memories of playing NHL ’95 on my Mega Drive, not really understanding what was going on. More recently (well, 5 years ago roughly) I remember watching some of the Stanley Cup Playoff games in the early hours on Channel 5, something they don’t show anymore which is a shame.

When we decided to move to Vancouver I thought it would be a good idea to brush up my hockey knowledge and start following the upcoming NHL season, which annoyingly is currently going through a lockout (for those that don’t know, the NHL and the NHLPA (player’s association) can’t agree on who gets all the money, so the season hasn’t started). I have quite an obsessive personality, so I’ve become a little obsessed with hockey, to the point that I have even bought a pair of ice skates for £3.60 on eBay despite living over an hour away from a rink. Another shrewd investment!

Hopefully by the time we arrive the season will be underway and one of the first things I will be dragging Natalie along to see is the Canucks playing at Rogers Arena. I can’t bloody wait!


#2 – Hiking to Lake Garibaldi

For those of you that know me this might come as a shock, because yes, I am a lazy bastard. The only time I enjoy running is when there is a ball involved and I’m playing football. Walking, in general, is something I try to avoid. Having said that, just look at the picture below, that is Lake Garibaldi in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Only 43 miles North from Vancouver, it’s certainly on the cards for a weekend trip. The only slightly daunting thing is that it is a 9km hike to get to the lake (around 3-4 hours one way), and a further 5km (around 2 hours one way) to Panorama Ridge, where even more spectacular views can be found. With views like that though it would be criminal not to at least attempt it, besides, we’ll have a whole year to get it done so hopefully some of the other outdoor activities we will be doing will help us get fit.

There’s some great information about the hike to Panorama Ridge (and many other hikes in and around Vancouver) over at http://www.vancouvertrails.com


#3 – Going up Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore Mountains (the others being Mount Seymour and Cypress Mountain) of the Pacific Ranges in North Vancouver (yes, I copied that from Wikipedia). If you take a look at their website, you’ll see just how awesome this place looks. Accessible via a 1 mile journey on the Skyride cable car, the mountain offers incredible views over the city of Vancouver. Not only that, but there’s loads to do once you’re up there, including paragliding, heli tours, mountain ziplines, seeing bears, watching a birds of prey show, and there’s even a lumberjack show (I’m guessing this involves lots of wood chopping and beards). I’ve also convinced myself that THIS is where I want to work, not only for the incredible benefits they offer their staff but also because I want to be able to say “I work on a mountain”.

For more information about all the awesome things you can do on Grouse Mountain check out their website – www.grousemountain.com


#4 – Going to see the Vancouver Whitecaps

I love football. I’ll be doing everything I can to watch Chelsea games whilst we’re in Vancouver, although it’s going to be weird getting up at 7am to watch a 3pm Saturday kick off (I think my maths is right there!). As a massive football fan it would be crazy not to follow the local team, the Vancouver Whitecaps. They share BC Place with the BC Lions (the American (Canadian) Football team) and tickets looks much more affordable than going to see Chelsea (tickets start from around £20 I believe, compared to about £48 to see Chelsea).


#5 – Snowboarding

For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved the idea of skiing and snowboarding. Unfortunately I’ve only been once when I went on a school skiing trip to the USA at the age of 16 (thanks Mum). Needless to say, I loved it, and I felt I picked up skiing pretty quickly so I’m hopeful that I’ll be a quick learner when it comes to snowboarding as well, although I imagine it’s more difficult and I’ll spend most of my time on my arse. I’m not 16 anymore so I am a little concerned that my body won’t quite be able to take it anymore, even at the ripe age of 27, I think the hundreds of cans of Stella, takeaway pizzas, and general laziness may make for a tough time.


Bonus – Ride a bear!

Natalie told me “that isn’t possible”. It may be difficult, but it’s definitely possible. I’m under no illusions though, I don’t expect this to happen, particularly as the only method I have come up with so far involves me sedating a bear and then sewing myself to it before it wakes up. I’m not the best at sewing, so I think that rules this idea out.