Living Near Ocean

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I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

From ‘Sea Fever’ – John Masefield

There was a shiny brass plate with those words lovingly hand-engraved upon it that adorned a bulkhead above the stairs leading to the galley on my brother’s power-craft. The fact he made the effort to place it there speaks volumes about the love and respect he and I have for the mighty ocean.

Born and raised on a tiny island that sits at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, the sea is in my bones. For many generations my family subsisted on the plenty found in the surrounding ocean; the entire community did. There was little else.

I have no conscious recollection of any self-made covenant to spend my life by the sea…somehow, it just ended up that way. Observation would suggest I’m not alone. To witness the ocean’s magnetic pull one need only stroll down the hill toward Ocean Boulevard on any given day to observe children feeding Trumpeter swans at the lagoon, lovers walking the sands, families enjoying a sea-side picnic, while kayakers and para-sailors glide across the waves.

With this post I want to begin a feature section in this blog that will present a blend of photos and stories related to life near the ocean. My aim is to add new articles from time-to-time that will enable others who may not be fortunate enough to live beside an ocean or to watch it’s majesty unfold each day to have a sense of what it’s like. As a co-host at Ultimate BnB, my ulterior motive might be to entice the curious traveler to spend a few nights at our bed and breakfast; to indulge themselves in simple pleasures found at every turn when living “Life Near Ocean”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 9 Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Victoria BC

There are many reasons to consider spending the Holiday Season on Vancouver Island…lovely mild weather, incredible scenery, and fun, friendly people to start. But there are plenty of themed events to take in as well. I’ve chosen 9 but there are many more!

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  • #9 – 24th Annual Festival of Trees in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Each year a variety of business leaders present their staff decorated Christmas trees to adorn the public spaces throughout The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria. Shoppers are encouraged to view the trees then donate to vote for their favourite. The 2015 campaign raised over $23,000 for a very worthy cause.
  • #8 – Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase – Another fundraiser for a great cause: Habitat for Humanity. Last year $38,102 was raised for “Building homes – Building Hope”. There are 2 categories: professional & home baker. Entries are judged during a kick-off gala evening at The Laurel Point Inn where they can be viewed until January 3rd, 2016. Tip: don’t take in this event when you’re hungry!
  • #7 – A Sentimental Christmas featuring soprano Eleanor McCainEleanor McCainDecember 11-13, 2015. Celebrate the season with the Victoria Symphony’s traditional concert of yuletide cheer featuring soprano Eleanor McCain. Maestra Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony will be joined by choristers from the Victoria Choral Society for a concert full of Christmas favorites including an opportunity for the audience to join in with sing-a-long holiday carols.

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  • #6 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show – Tuesday, Dec. 15/15 – 7:30 PM. It has been 8 long years since this incomparable 5-time Grammy winning act has graced the stage in Victoria. They normally appear at the summer Jazz Fest so this special Holiday Season appearance promises to be a real treat.
  • #5 17th Annual Sing Along Messiah – December 16th, 2015 – 7 PM at Alix Gooldin Hall and presented by the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. This event is the perfect opportunity to give those vocal cords a workout on some of the most challenging Christmas music around.
  • #4 Magic of Christmas at world famous Butchart Gardens – from Dec. 1st, 2015 thru Jan. 6th, 2016. A tradition since 1987, the lighting crew works for 2 months preparing the hundreds of thousands of lights for the December 1st light-up ceremony. Throughout the festive season the ice skating rink in Waterwheel Square adds an extra experience to the lighting extravaganza. Each evening the Festive Brass and Traditional Carollers perform in the crisp night air.
  • # 3 Christmas with Holly Cole – December 19, 2015 – 8 PM15-16-Specials-Holly-Cole-1030x1030

  • Deck your holiday season with the sounds of Holly! Juno-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Holly Cole returns to the Victoria Symphony and will delight audiences with her versatile and distinctive voice. Mixing jazz, pop and your favourite holiday music, her unique interpretations and original music are applauded as being highly musical, intensely innovative, and refreshingly witty.
  • # 2 One Tree Exhibit – Nov 14, 2015 thru January 15, 2016. For almost a century this old growth Big-Leaf Maple from the Cowichan Valley stood witness to the events that shaped Vancouver Island. It needed to come down in October 2014 for health and safety reasons. Initially destined for the wood pile, the visionaries at Live Edge Design and the Robert Bateman Centre had a dream. Together they gathered 42 artists who, in turn, created nearly $175,000 worth of incredible art-work from this old, dying tree. Now the public is invited to celebrate this tree through an exhibit of the artist’s work showing at the Robert Bateman Centre. Come see this impressive community project that celebrates a 100-year-old-tree through the creations of 42 artists from Vancouver Island and across Canada.
  •  # 1 Grand Opening of Ultimate BnB“The best vacation rental suite we’ve ever seen” – T & P, Cochrane Alberta.  The number one reason to spend the Holiday Season in Victoria is the chance to be among the very first guests at our brand-new vacation rental. As an introductory offer we are keeping our rates at their current Low-Season levels throughout the month of December. Look for our listing on your favourite travel site:
  • VRBO
  • FLIPKEY
  • TRIP ADVISOR
  • AIRBNB
  • TRAVEL MOB

As your hosts at Ultimate BnB we wish everyone a truly delightful Holiday Season and the very best for 2016!

 

 

 

Michael Kaeshammer at “The Mac”

Friday, Nov. 27/15 – Blues & Boogie Woogie piano king returns to his roots…

When Michael Kaeshammer arrived in Victoria BC from Offenburg Germany in 1993 at age 16, he took this town by storm. He’d been playing piano for 10 years already. A friend encouraged me to get down to The Fernwood Inn and catch his Thursday night gig. Impressive would be an understatement.

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Michael Kaeshammer – photographer unkown

 

After arriving in Canada, Michael set about building a career, and what a career it’s been. With 10 albums released to date, on Friday evening he kicks off a series of performances that take him from Fort Lauderdale to a performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

“He’s a showman. If you haven’t seen him live you haven’t really experienced him in his true element” – THE MONTREAL GAZETTE

As you can tell from watching this video we will be in for a treat on Friday evening during Michael’s performance at the McPherson Theatre in downtown Victoria.

I hope those of you who may be considering a stay with us at our Ultimate BnB will find this little snippet enjoyable. It’s representative of the calibre of entertainment you’ll find happening on any given night in this great town. Please check back often as I will be writing on people, places, and events that travellers may find both interesting and enticing…perhaps even enticing enough to ‘take the leap’ and come stay with us!

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What’s In A Name?

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In the world of Vacation Rentals, the name Matt Landau resonates with many property owners. He has accomplished much at Cuatro Tulipanes in Panama City. Mr. Landau is recognized as a force within the industry and revered for his generosity when it comes to sharing knowledge. In his book, The World’s “Most Efficient Primer” on Vacation Rental Marketing he offers 20 actionable tips, each doable in 20 minutes (or so). Tip # 1: Give your vacation rental a name.

When we told our friends the name of our new Bed & Breakfast we were met with gasps and looks of horror. “You’re setting yourself up for failure. Your reviews will be filled with comments like, “it was good, but it was hardly ‘the ultimate”. Others felt that we would come across as arrogant or braggarts and that potential guests would be turned off. What do you think? We’d love it if you would take a minute to answer our poll question and provide a comment.

If you’re interested in our rates, available dates, or if you would like to make a reservation we are listed on the following vacation rental sites:

VRBO

Air BnB

Flip Key

Travel Mob

Thank-you for your interest in Ultimate BnB and please check back often.


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Ultimate BnB: An Introduction

There is only ONE Ultimate because there is only one…YOU



Property Description:

  • Brand new 1 Bedroom + Den suite with ocean, forest, mountain and city views
  • Self-catered breakfast included in the price (local, fresh, and organic where possible)
  • 768 sq. ft.
  • Private entrance, self-contained with high-end (Miele/Bosch) appliances
  • Italian Granite countertops with tile and premium Canadian Maple hardwood floors
  • In-suite laundry, dishwasher and very well outfitted kitchen
  • Ultimate BnB has only one rental unit. It’s the best and only one we have: thus the name – Ultimate!

The best holidays include rest & relaxation, pampering, and joyous discovery. Our wonderfully appointed private and fully self-contained ocean-view suite has been carefully designed and outfitted to meet those ideals. Cleanliness, comfort and thoughtful details are a given. And they’re a great place to start, but the real difference maker is service. Lots of people will choose a hotel/resort over a vacation rental for that very reason;on vacation we all want to be ‘spoiled’ a little bit.That’s not to say we wait on you ‘hand and foot’ but we try very hard to go the extra mile for our guests:

  • Need a lift from the airport or ferry terminal? We can do that!
  • Need a restaurant or theatre recommendation? No problem!
  • Need directions to 2 Jack Nicklaus designed world-class golf courses just 15 minutes away atop Bear Mountain? We can help!
TrufflesWith many years of award winning hospitality service, we understand the tiny details that can make a vacation fabulous.

Ultimate BnB is away from city traffic and noise yet minutes to shopping (Big Box & Outlet stores), hiking, golf, and many south-island attractions. Off-street parking and private entrance allow for a come-and-go-as-you-like vacation.

The pampering begins with soothing warmth that greets your toes from our gas-fired in-floor radiant heating system and the humidity controlled HRV system completely recycles fresh-air every 4 hours. As well, our on-demand hot water boiler means you’ll never be out of hot water and complements all our home’s enviro-friendly mechanical systems. As you awake, reach for the remote control, lower the window coverings and take in the breathtaking ocean view. Step up to the window and enjoy the vista before you:

  • the 565 acre old-growth forest and lagoon at Royal Roads University
  • Fisgard Lighthouse at historic Fort Rodd Hill National Park
  • The City of Victoria
  • Cruise ships, freighters and plenty of marine traffic
  • On clear days, marvelous Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountain range just behind the San Juan Islands.

Oh, and in the evening, enjoy the same view with the added bonus of twinkly city lights beneath starry skies while relaxing in the soaker tub. Magical!

Ultimate BnB is equipped with Miele and Bosch appliances, Natuzzi Italian leather chaise lounge and swivel chair, solid wood furnishings throughout, tasteful art selections and accents that reflect this gorgeous part of the world you’ve chosen to visit. Your kitchen is well equipped and ready for a culinary adventure or… warming pizza; you choose! Missing something? Just ask, we’ll do our very best to help.

The bed is a queen-sized leather-framed Scandinavian design and there’s plenty of closet space. The tasteful décor found in the bathroom sets the scene for more pampering. The glass door on the shower allows for taking in the view while the Maax Jazz tub was chosen to allow for a ‘pleasurely’ satisfying soak. A convenient ‘towel-tree’ stands beside the Italian granite topped maple vanity.

Need a little space after a long day of ‘togetherness’? That’s where the separate Den comes in. There’s a desk for writing a letter or e-mail. (There’s reliable, no-charge Wi-Fi/Internet throughout the suite). A comfy love-seat to curl up on and read a book or…? For a romantic evening, curl up back in the living room in front of the fireplace and enjoy Netflix, listen to iTunes, YouTube or? A great time to crack open an award winning bottle of Vancouver Island wine; there are many to choose from!


The Garden
The Garden
Great Room
Powder Room
Room With a View

Outside you will find 2 large terraces surrounded by understated greenery so as to not detract from the magnificent panoramic views.  Patio furniture is available in-season and a natural gas barbecue is available in summertime.

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Some notes about being pampered:

  • We only have one rental unit so guests get our undivided attention. That’s why we chose the name Ultimate BnB
  • Ultimate BnB is a self-catered bed & breakfast experience. What that means to us is that when we travel we like to operate on our schedule and we like knowing ingredients for the most important meal of the day are supplied, ready for us and are included in the price. The self-catered option allows us to do that. We can create a romantic gourmet brunch after a glorious sleep-in, or grab a toasted bagel, glass of orange juice and a piece of fresh fruit at 7:00 a.m. on our way out the door to whichever adventure the day may hold.
  • You can’t miss our lovely productive garden when you arrive. We happily share seasonal offerings when they are available and the garden-bed outside your suite is filled with fresh herbs…please help yourself.
  • In the kitchen, award-winning locally roasted coffee from Caffe Fantastico, Silk Road Teas, jams/jellies, etc.
  • Toiletries like Salt Spring Island Soapworks)