Cozi…with a TWIST!

Cozi with a TWIST

Photograph – unknown

Building Outdoor Space at UltimateBnB 

Part of the ‘fun’ when planning a Bed & Breakfast is designing, selecting, and sourcing elements that will comprise the ‘outdoor space’. It’s a given the patios, terraces, and greenery that surround the property must be inviting. We chose to open UltimateBnB during the winter for some very good reasons. It gave us a chance to roll-out our vision in stages. We started by making sure we had the interior right. As well, we polled our early guests so we could find consensus around our various ideas.

But sometimes life tosses a ‘fortuitous curve ball’ right when you need it most. Such is the case when we discovered TWIST Productions based in Quebec City. We set out to source outdoor seating. We liked the Adirondack chair but felt it was too ‘Cape Cod’ for our modern urban theme. Enter the ‘Cozi Chair’ by TWIST: the perfect answer. Adirondack comfort with modern style. We added the matching ottoman (not pictured) to complete the package.



TWIST Productions was founded in 2008 aiming to fill a niche in the landscape lighting, outdoor furniture, and recreational accessories market that was eco-friendly, durable, easy to care for and most of all, whimsical and FUN! Their products are rotomolded from the highest quality resins with a high percentage of recycled materials. They are resistant to UV and weather damage. TWIST’s product line is ideal for resorts, hotels, restaurants, and waterparks but equally enhances all manner of residential properties as well.

One of the most interesting and unique aspects of the TWIST product line is light. Many items can be lit from the inside in one of two ways: compact fluorescent bulbs or low voltage LED. The results are revolutionary!



TWIST productions have created products in several categories:

  • Lighting
  • Furniture
  • Garden
  • Accessories
  • Custom Work


When we discovered the Cozi chair we knew it would be a hit. The fact it is 100% Canadian made from recycled polyethylene resins, UV resistant, and ‘easy-care’ makes it our perfect choice. We have started off with Cozi chairs. In time we hope to add planters, garden globes, pathway lighting and more.

If you would like to learn more about TWIST products please visit their website:


All photography (except lime drink) courtesy of TWIST Productions.







Life Near Ocean: The Artist’s Muse


Linda Heslop – Is it real or is it…?Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

A Question of Balance


Linda Heslop lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island. But her art graces the walls of collectors around the globe. Her deep connection with this place is unmistakeable…an indelible imprint that informs nearly everything she does. “I am simply in love with Vancouver Island”, she says.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

Moods of the Sea & Sky

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Ms. Heslop’s work is it’s realistic detail. Upon first glance one assumes a photograph…many are taken aback to find that, no, it’s a water-colour.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB

Island Reverie

When we set out to look for artwork that could introduce our guests at UltimateBnB to the beauty of this island the decision was an easy one to make. We chose two prints: ‘Arrival’ and ‘After the Storm’. Each one personifies the ‘Life Near Ocean’ experience that island living entails.

Linda Heslop feature artist UltimateBnB
Photo-realistic painting by Victoria BC artist, Linda Heslop, featured artist at UltimateBnB




You can learn more about our featured artist, Linda Heslop by visiting her website: She is represented in Victoria, BC Canada by Full Circle Studio & Gallery.




Photo Credit: Unknown


Readers who have followed my blog know that I write to inform people about our new Bed & Breakfast, UltimateBnB. However, my goal is for this blog to be more than a ‘business card’. My hope is that people will discover this place (Victoria BC and Vancouver Island, CANADA), it’s people, it’s culture, and it’s beauty. To that end, I registered for a WordPress U course that lasted for two weeks in early December. One of our assignments was to guest-blog for a classmate. This post was my ‘guest-blog’ for fellow classmate, tomadaonline and it appears on his blog, SUP days are better than others. Thoughts, comments, and ‘likes’ are always welcome and appreciated!

There are literally millions of bloggers in the blogosphere. Some mysterious entity bears upon us and we choose one, or a few to read. Perhaps the title, the author’s avatar, or ? I really can’t say for certain but I think it was the acronym, SUP. What the heck is SUP? …click!

I begin to read about some guy and his love for the water. Empathy! I was born on a tiny island. I look at one of his pictures. It looks like Maine. “Are you from Maine?” I ask. “No, but I’ve travelled there” he replies. He talks about his youth, of surfing and summers by the water. I harken back to the endless fun; the crazy boyhood adventures I had during those early years; getting lost in the fog and being carried out to sea in a dory or jumping off the rocks into a tidal pool at the ‘foxes den’. Glorious fun! Instant affinity! I comment. The author ‘likes’ and follows my blog. I decide to dig deeper and realize even though we were raised worlds apart, there is commonality…lots of it!

In 1973 Tom jumped in his sporty yellow MG convertible and took a road trip. He ended up on Vancouver Island, my home for the past 25 years. If you read his guest blog on my site (Stand Up In Victoria BC) he talks of joyous discovery in Victoria BC. He tells of courtship he witnessed between 2 Kingfishers and the lasting impression it made. Just a few short miles to the North, in Campbell River my band played Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” and Jim Croce’s “Big Bad Leroy Brown” for loggers and working girls. They danced the night away amid another type of courtship.

There’s no telling exactly how many times I may have come close to crossing paths with Tom. I remember a road trip of my own in 1980 where I stayed with a friend in Marin County, just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. My friend Skip was from New York City and he was the drummer in one of the best bands I ever played in Ajax Blues Band.  He later went on to play for Elvin Bishop and then Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

I remember visiting Big Sur during that trip. Wait a minute…could that have been a younger, more daring Tom out there soaring across those thunderous waves while I stood enviously watching from the shore? We’ll never know for sure.

From these coincidences…cogent similarities the seeds of friendship are planted. Tom is a business man; I am a businessman. Tom has travelled the globe; I’ve lived in Europe for a number of years. Tom owns a video production company; I owned a recording studio. There are literally millions of bloggers in the blogosphere…what mysterious entity was the trigger that made each of us go…click? Serendipity!

Stand Up In Victoria BC

SUP at Ultimate BnB…Who Knew?!

SUP yoga_Ultimate BnB_Victoria BC

Photo Credit: Unknown

The first blog post of 2016 goes to a new friend and fellow blogger from San Francisco, Tomadaonline. I must confess, before meeting Tom (virtually, that is; we have yet to meet in person) I had never heard the term ‘SUP’. And for the uninitiated SUP stands for “Stand Up Paddleboarding”. Since meeting Tom, he has certainly piqued my interest in the sport. Victoria and Vancouver Island have become favoured destinations for SUP enthusiasts. UltimateBnB is ideally located to accommodate such adventurers.

So without further ado, please give Tom a warm, Vancouver Island welcome!

Victoria British Columbia left its prints on me. I was only there once, back in 1973, on the return leg of a leisurely jaunt through B.C. and Alberta. The place seemed magical. I saw my first Belted Kingfisher in Victoria. It was on the west coast. There were Bald Eagles too, but the Kingfisher is the bird I remember best. There were two and they sang. They danced in the air. They flew high, and turned hard. It was a courtship of sorts, and it brought the coast alive.

We spent the late afternoon and evening at Buchart Gardens touring the grand landscape while waiting patiently for the sun to set so we could bask in the garden’s luminous evening light. It was as promised.

I hadn’t been to England yet, but in retrospect, Victoria reminds me of the quaint bits of London. Very proper, yet ever so enchanting.  And they have Stand Up Paddleboarding, from flat water to surf.

Today, I’d stay at Ultimate BnB on the West Shore.  Within two blocks you can SUP the lagoon or the ocean.  The BnB is gorgeous, and the owner loves the water.  There are board rental shops at several locations including SUP Victoria and Ocean River Sports.

And there’s great surfing up the west coast at Tofino.  You can rent gear atTofino Paddle Surf.  Check out the Tofino SUP Surfing video.

If you have 8 minutes, check out the Naish SUP trip into the northwest.  They paddled in flat water, SUP Surfed in Tofino, and paddled by bears. Naish has a full line of stand up paddleboards for flat, surf, downwind, and more.

Naish SUP-tripping up the Pacific Northwest from Naish International onVimeo.


One Tree Exhibit

An initiative of Live Edge Design in coordination with the Robert Bateman Foundation

By the time you have taken a few steps inside your vacation getaway suite at UltimateBnB you will have recognized the obvious; your hosts have a deep affinity for wood. In particular, Maple. Wherever possible,Canadian maple. Because what could be more Canadian than a maple tree? The maple leaf has adorned our flag for nearly 50 years and our Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team(though somewhat beleaguered) is one of the most successful sports franchises on earth.

But I digress! Back at UltimateBnB the fireplace mantel is a beautiful slab of thick Western Maple, the cabinetry throughout is maple, floors in the bedroom and den are fine Canadian maple, the doors are maple, and yes, even the baseboards are maple. Even though the dresser, night stand, and cubby are from Wood Castle’s Calvin collection in Albany, OR, they are still made from solid maple!

So when we first read about the ‘One Tree’ exhibit at the Robert Bateman Centre we were more than a little interested. We were among the first to take the tour on opening day in early November, 2015.


For nearly 100 years this grand old maple stood next to the Cowichan Valley farmhouse. Generations of children climbed in it, swung from its branches and picniced in the welcome shade it provided. But in the end, it was determined the tree was in poor health and would need to be taken down to mitigate risk to the family home.


Rather than chop it up for firewood the family contacted Live Edge Design in hopes there might be a more noble use for it. From there, folks at the Robert Bateman Foundation became involved and the ‘idea seed’ was planted. What could be made from this tree? What was its true potential?

The answers are astounding! 42 artists from communities that span the continent went to work to see what they could do. Their enthusiasm and excitement on opening day was palpable. I spoke to some of the artists and they told of the creative process; of gazing at the block of wood (sometimes for weeks) waiting for it to ‘speak’ to them. Others knew instantly what their project would be. Either way, the eager anticipation amongst everyone who helped to bring this project to fruition was obvious as they talked about opening shipping crates in the days leading up to the exhibition. In the end, this potential firewood produced an amazing array of woodworking majesty that approached $175,000.00 when all was accounted for.

Concrete Bench_101

The One Tree Exhibition continues at the Robert Bateman Centre: 470 Belleville St., Victoria BC. through January 15, 2016.

Links: Robert Bateman Centre

Live Edge Design